SUPPLIED BY: Cougar
PRODUCT: Panzer Max Case
PROD LINK: Panzer Max Product Page
PRICE: $149.95 @ Altex
Price is at time of testing!
Here’s your first look at the case. Not terrible looking… nothing too flashy or gaudy about it. It has a dust collecting window because of course, it does.
You guys are going to have to bear with me – the case came with no manual, and there was no manual found at the Cougar site. This is one of those cases where they expect you to be able to figure everything out on your own. So, we’ll be discovering this case together.
Here are the front and back. I see that it does support installation of power supplies either facing up or down, which is nice. However, as you will soon see there is a big plastic airflow guide in there… you won’t be able to use that if your power supply fan is facing the sky. More on that later.
Cougar touts the space underneath the handles as a keyboard tray to clear up clutter on the desktop, but I don’t know how useful it would be as such. Using it like that, you cut off airflow from any fans you’ve mounted up there. Really, it seems like it’s more of a “we need another marketing point, let’s find one” type of thing than anything else. You can put a keyboard on top of most cases – it’s a feature by coincidence. But that’s ok. I rarely put keyboards on top of my cases anyway, because I have enough desk space.
Don’t like cases with windows? This isn’t the one for you, though you can always swap the side panels as I’ve done with my 900D if it really bothers you. Hello, Mr. Nikon.
Here’s the right side panel. I am pleased to see the same easy release mechanism on both sides – this will be a pleasant change from the Chaser. Again, that was a great case when I could just leave it alone, but dealing with those side panels? I will not miss that experience.
The top panel is actually split into two covers with push to release catches. Here, let me show you…
This means that you can mount fans or radiators without having to mess around inside the case too much. Set the fans on top, screw them down from underneath. Or, screw them down from up top and mount them underneath.
Fair warning, though… you have 25mm of space above and about 30mm below to mount your gear. Any more than that, you are not getting your motherboard in there or putting those top covers back on. Furthermore, mounting fans or radiators below the panel has the potential of blocking some of the cable management holes.
Yeah… I’m going to suggest this part of the case is better for fans than radiators. You can use radiators, but it’s going to be tight. The case can handle either three 120mm fans or two 140mm up here.
Incidentally, those handles are plastic grips below metal straps. They’re fairly sturdy, so don’t worry about them breaking. You can remove them if you wish, but the process is a little involved and I’m not sure why you would even want to do it. They’re pretty convenient.
The bottom. And oh, how I wish the case feet on this thing were are sturdy as the handles. The one on the left was broken in shipping – it’s currently only held in place with one screw. I like that the power supply dust screen, being magnetically attached, is both easily removable and long enough to cover the auxiliary 120mm/140mm bottom fan mount, but at the same time, I do wish it was easier to access, like the slide out ones found on other cases. But at least we don’t have to pull the power supply to clean it.
A look at the control panel. That long clear bar in the center below the Cougar logo is for the hard drive indicator LEDs. To the left of the logo are the reset and power buttons (and integrated power LED), while to the right of the logo is the case fan controller switch. It has three positions, which is nice… the GROne had only low and high speed, which never really satisfied me.
Above the logo, you have your USB 2.0, front panel audio, and USB 3.0 ports as usual. Again, I wish for more 2.0 ports, but four in total is probably good enough for this case’s intended purpose.