Assembling the Cougar Challenger

While the Cougar Challenger may not be very exciting to look at, there's at least something comforting and familiar about assembling a build in a well established layout. The Challenger offered minimal hiccups in assembly and largely came through. Barring the oddly frustrating side panels, this is a fairly easy case to work with.

As I mentioned before, the motherboard tray includes a peg that makes lining up the motherboard a breeze, and if you're using a standard ATX board the extrusions in the tray should ensure that you won't have to install a single standoff. Our testbed board went in pretty easily, though it's worth mentioning that the Challenger's not one of the bigger enthusiast ATX cases. That means headroom over the motherboard is at a bit of a premium, and the AUX 12V line can be a little more difficult to connect.

Drives also go in fairly easily. The drive trays have holes for mounting 2.5" drives, and plastic extrusions built into them for snapping into 3.5" drives. This is a common solution and it gets the job done. Meanwhile, to install a 5.25" drive you'll have to remove the front fascia, but it snaps on and off fairly easily and taking out the shields is a breeze. The toolless mechanism used to secure 5.25" drives is also a pretty stable one and I probably wouldn't fret too much over having to use it.

Surprisingly, Cougar doesn't use thumbscrews for the expansion slots. This doesn't bother me that much; typically the thumbscrews are secured so tightly I have to use a screwdriver anyhow, but it's still odd. Installing the video card and power supply went fairly swimmingly, though.

Cabling was also actually a bit easier with the Challenger. The gap for routing the AUX 12V line is tight, but the routing holes in the motherboard tray do their job. Cougar's designers also allowed for a very healthy amount of space behind the tray for routing and stashing cables. The front fan includes both a molex lead and a 3-pin lead, and the USB 3.0 header cable actually includes an alternate USB 2.0 header built into it, both convenient features.

The Challenger's interior may be Case Design 101, but sometimes that's okay. This is for the most part a very easy case to work in, and the first time builder that decides it's the case for him or her shouldn't be too overwhelmed by it (as opposed to advanced level cases like most of what SilverStone produces). Cougar didn't try to reinvent the wheel here, so there are no curveballs to be concerned with.

In and Around the Cougar Challenger Testing Methodology
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  • geniekid - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    If they were targeting the younger market, they should have at least been consistent. The front and the main body look like they're from two different cases. They should've at least made gratuitous use of non-right angles, plastic, and jagged edges on the main body if they were selling this to young children building their own rigs. Reply
  • Geraldo8022 - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    I like the looks of it and I might buy one. After all I almost bought a Pontiac Aztek. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    Don't knock the Aztek! The ideal vehicle for the budding meth cook.. Reply
  • just4U - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Perhaps it's time to start sharing with these companies what are views are on a perfect case.

    For me I'd like something smaller along the lines of Silverstone's Temjin TJ08 but with a window to show off the build. Must have dust filters.. a removable motherboard tray would be nice (like the older lian-li's) Antec's usage (and coolermaster's) hard drive mounting system) generous space behind the motherboard for hiding wires.. Looks wise? should be more refined and tastefull. I like lighted fans but their something I prefer to put in myself if the build warrants it.

    Hits in the past for me were:
    Lianli PC60A
    Antec Super lanBoy (original not those horrors they released last year)
    Antec Sonata 1/2/3 (no .. it wasn't silent)
    CoolerMaster Storm Scout
    Corsair Carbite 600T
    Reply
  • just4U - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    oh btw.. it doesn't have to have alot of fans.. front back top make them easily accessable to. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    So get a Fractal Design Define R4 with the windowed side panel. Done. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    Here, even did the work to find it on newegg for you.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    lol.. there was no need. I am aware of Fractal Design's cases. We just started getting them here. The R4 is a nice case and priced fairly well but it has the door which is a star off in my opinion. I do however like their mini. It's very much on par with the Temjin from Silverstone. Both lack windows and while the silverstone does have a removable mb tray it's not really up to what some might be used to with older Lian-Li designs. Reply
  • eBob - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    I can only come up with one word for my reaction to this case. I didn't even bother to read the rest of the review. I can't see anyone over the age of 14 wanting this. Reply
  • Telset - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Seriously are these the same people that made the cool cougar evolution case?
    I have the cougar evolution its awesome. But this is kinda ugly but probably looks better with 2 fans on the top to make it more uniform.
    Reply

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