I sometimes get weird looks when I tell people that I like COUGAR. Everytime I say I’d like one for myself I get winks from my guy friends and inevitably someone makes some kind of joke about it and twists around the words to make it sound that I’d like a forty-year old woman to make me her “booty call”. Aside from the terrible idea of naming your company after a wild member of the feline family (I’m really going to get hit with that one) without realising it’s going to end up as a pun, COUGAR Germany has made a lot of great stuff in the past few years that we’ve sadly never been able to buy.
The Challenger is a new chassis from COUGAR that tries to upstage the competition by bringing in more rugged looks, an eye-catching design and some cool colour inserts to hopefully attract younger gamers into the brand. More info and possibly some puns after the jump.
The Challenger doesn’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before. The front of the chassis looks like the face of a Transformer and it comes in orange, black and white accents. COUGAR has no plans for other colours for the Challenger, but it will probably add in some red to spice things up and maybe even a pink colour scheme for the ladies who want to be different. The most intriguing part of the chassis design is that the power button on the top of the chassis needs to be accessed by popping up the lid covering the button, similar to the way jet fighter pilots have to lift up the red cover to fire their missles into the back of an unsuspecting enemy.
The front panel also features two USB 3.0 ports as well as an audio and microphone jack. There’s also a SATA hot-swap bay at the top of the chassis, which also acts as a convenient place for you to store all your stuff when you’re not using the bay. Moving to the interior, the Challenger can fit in the biggest and best hardware you can find comfortably and has plenty of available space for hiding cables and routing them around the components. There’s even a removable drive cage to fit in extra-length graphics cards as well as two 2.5″ drive cages built into the to of the chassis underneath the 5.25″ drive bays.
There’s tons of space for up to seven fans with the option of a top-mounted radiator for watercooling setups. There are holes for external water cooling tubes and space for up to nine drives, not including drives added in through 5.25″ to 3.5″ or 2.5″ adapters. There are plenty of filters for the fans and the one protecting the PSU is magnetised. What’s really going to impress you is how flexible the Challenger is with the removable drive cage.
If you figure out that your GPU can fit in but measures less than 330mm, you can move the drive cage inwards and use the extra supplied 2.5″ brackets to fit 2.5″ drives in the shortened cage. Removing it completely allows for larger cards to be installed but doesn’t compromise your ability to fit in 2.5″ drives. That’s pretty impressive engineering and I’ve never seen anything like that before.
If you can find one, the Challenger would be a worthy upgrade from whatever you currently have. With an eye-catching design and unique layout, its a sure-fire way to make yourself noticed at LAN events where you can have your friends foes drool over it for a while. Also, if you’re a neat person and really feel like cleaning the dust filters regularly, that’s possible too – all of the filters are accessible without opening the chassis. The Challenger ships with a front intake 200mm fan and a rear 120mm exhaust.
COUGAR hasn’t made any mention of pricing or availability, but its probably going to be fighting for market share with the Thermaltake Element G, the Corsair Carbide 600R and the ever-popular Cooler Master CM690 II. That should put it in the R900 price range and is definitely one to consider for your Christmas wish list.
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