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


View All Comments

  • DanNeely - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    If noone bought these monstrosities the companies who designed them would've gone bust years ago?

    Perhaps the Cthulu cult is going hightech.
  • bigfire - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Hah, yeah. It's quiet ugly. Reply
  • mattgmann - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Please review some cases that an adult might actually consider purchasing. This may be the ugliest thing I've ever seen. Reply
  • Kepe - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link Reply
  • Lucian2244 - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    This must have looked well on paper because i can't explain how a design like this was chosen.
    Will you review the 200R ?
  • piroroadkill - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    That is the ugliest case I've ever seen. It's worse than your average 90s beige tower with bulbous plastic fronts. What the hell? Reply
  • jabber - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    ...dragons or girls holding big guns on it.

    Good Grud that's awful.
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    "the USB 3.0 header cable actually includes an alternate USB 2.0 header built into it, both convenient features."

    Every case maker in the world needs to copy this feature ASAP instead of copping out with 2x3.0 and 2x2.0 ports on the front that are going to become a liability in a few years when even your USB Christmas tree us designed to use 3.0.
  • Kiste - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    This case is ugly. In fact, it's so ugly that it's probably gonna give me nightmares. It's a horrible monstrosity and an abomination and it needs to die. Reply
  • Orvtrebor - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    An 8yr old would love this case.

    I'm not being sarcastic, throw on a healthy dose of led's and you've got a gaming case that a kid would truly be proud of.

    Not every case is meant to be used in a professional office environment or a tastefully done den/gaming room.

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