Let's have us another case review. I don't do these too often, usually saving them for weeks when I feel particularly burned out on power supply reviews and just want something different, so I'm glad Cougar has sent me this here Panzer Max gaming case to have a look at. And look - as a bonus, they sent me their Immersa gaming headset to go with it, just so that I can show off the headset hook the case apparently comes with.
Silly Cougar... do they know who they just sent this headset to? A former pro audio engineer who is so picky with sound quality that he can poke holes in the performance of almost any audio related product? I once reviewed Corsair's SP2500 speakers, finding them pretty decent in general, but there were still some shortcomings in them I had relatively little trouble finding. I still use them on the main rig - they're good for what they are - but perfect they are not.
And those speakers were on the expensive side of things. This headset retails for under fifty bucks. I am not expecting greatness from them in terms of sound quality. But they're here, so you better believe I'll be listening to them and making comments on them. I won't score them, because I have no good way to do that, but I'll give you my two cents for sure.
But that's for later. This is primarily a case review, and we need to get started on the main attraction. There's a lot to see.
The box is heavy on the marketing, and it starts right here. Up to 6 motherboard form factors? Might be nice to know which ones, Cougar. Maybe we'll find that info as the review goes on. Support for big GPUs? There better be, if you're a gaming case.
From this list, the case does seem rather light on the storage support. Only four 2.5's and two 3.5's? They couldn't find any more room in this thing? We'll have to take a good long look at this case. While it's ok with me that not every case should be able to support eleventy twelve hard drives - not every rig is a file server - I can't help but wonder if Cougar's going a little too light on them, here. And yet, how many drives do you really need in a gaming case? The rig I'm going to install in this case only has three... a Corsair 960GB SSD boot drive and two WD Green 2TB drives for the RAID array that stores all my jonnyGURU reviews. That should be easy for this case. But is it? I don't know... we'll find out soon enough.
8 fans? 4 radiators? I'll wager this is not all at the same time. This box makes much of the airflow guides in this case, claiming that it tries to bring some air movement from the fans back behind the mainboard tray. I can't really think of too many good reasons to do that in your average case, though some cases like the GROne have extra fan locations back there to help cool the backside of the motherboard.
I'm digging the tool-less part of this case. The rig I'm installing in here is coming out of the Thermaltake Chaser A71. A great case, but boy howdy did it ever get annoying after a while to get in there to change anything, what with the thumbscrews having to come off first, and then having to slide the panels off. The right side panel even had to come off once because I had one drive drop out of the RAID array, and it turned out that the pressure of said right panel on the wiring back there was causing it. There just wasn't enough space. I hope Cougar has thought of that.
Ah, there are the specifications, including motherboard support. I see no mention of EATX, not that there's much chance of my Asrock EP2C602 leaving its home in the Corsair 900D and coming to this little case. I am pleased to see slightly more height supported on the CPU cooler than the Chaser - my Thermalright cooler was big enough to almost be a problem for that case. Almost.
The ultimate computer case, eh? Well, let's just see about that. A lot of cases want to be the ultimate, and yet it's entirely up to what you need in a case that determines this. I can already tell you that if you need to house twenty hard drives, this thing doesn't want to be your case. Just from the specs alone. That said, it does promise to be pretty good for my purposes. The office rig is going in here, and because it mines crypto 24/7 using an R9 290 cooling is very important to it. If this case makes my rig happy, it'll make a gaming rig happy, I figure.
Heavens... the marketing just goes on and on and on with this box. Oh, I see why they wanted airflow behind the motherboard tray - that's where they shoved all the hard drives. I'm not disagreeing with that - drive cages block airflow to GPUs and other parts in most cases. But Cougar must be careful to leave extra space back there... cables also block airflow, and I haven't met many cases yet that paid much attention to leaving adequate room for cables behind the mobo tray, let alone hard drives.
Ah, good. Time to unpack, and get the blanket off the case.
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