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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]
The Cougar Archon Case is a value mid-tower case with two 5.25” bays, three 3.5” bays, three 2.5” bays, and a transparent window at the left panel, costing only $40 USD. Let’s take a look at it.
The Archon comes only in black. Its left panel has a transparent window and room for two 120 mm fans. The right panel is solid.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 1: Cougar Archon case

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 2: Cougar Archon case

Let’s take a closer look at the case in the next pages.
[nextpage title=”The Front and Top Panels”]
The front panel of the Couger Archon is all meshed, as shown in Figure 3. It has two 5.25” external bays.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 3: front panel

The plastic front panel can be easily removed, as shown in Figure 4.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 4: front panel removed

On the front of the case, there is a plastic piece that holds two 120 mm fans, and also acts as a second air filter. It can be easily removed for cleaning.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 5: support for two 120 mm fans

On the top of the front panel is the area with reset and power buttons, status LEDs, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports, and the earphone and microphone connectors.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 6: panel with LEDs, buttons, and connectors

The top panel has no openings, as shown in Figure 7.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 7: top panel

[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The bottom panel of the Cougar Archon has no openings for fans. However, it has an air filter for the power supply. This filter slides into a slot, being removable without the need to lift the case.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 8: bottom panel

The rear panel of the Cougar Archon are painted in black. The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.
This case comes with seven expansion slots, one open and six with vented covers that must be broken in order for you to use them.
The product comes with a 120 mm fan installed on its rear panel (model QH12025SE12M, 4 W, no more information available). There are two 18 mm openings for external liquid cooling system hoses.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 9: rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Cougar Archon.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Cougar MX300″]
Each panel is attached to the chassis using two plastic thumbscrews.
The motherboard tray is painted in orange and has a huge cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case, and holes for you to route cables behind it.
The case supports ATX and smaller form factor motherboards.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 10: overall look

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 11: a view behind the motherboard tray

In Figure 12, we have another overall look inside the case. Notice that there is no support for fans or radiators on the top panel.
Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws.
The Archon supports video cards up to 12.2” (310 mm) long. You can install CPU coolers up to 6.5” (165 mm) tall.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 12: overall look

The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. It can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As shown before, there is an air filter for the power supply fan.
You will be able to fit power supplies up to 11” (280 mm) deep, which is more than enough to accommodate most power supplies available on the market.
There is no support for fan installation on the bottom panel of the case.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 13: power supply compartment

[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Cougar Archon has three internal 5.25” bays, but only two of them are exposed and can be used for installing devices. There are also three internal 3.5” bays (that can also fit 2.5” devices), and three internal 2.5” bays, all of them with plastic drawers.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 14: disk drive bays

On both the external 5.25” bays, the unit is installed using a tool-free locking mechanism, as shown in Figure 15.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 15: drawers

Figure 16 shows the drawers for 2.5” and 3.5” units. 3.5” drives are installed with no screws, but 2.5” units are installed with regular screws. The 3.5” drawers also support 2.5” drives.

Cougar Archon CaseFigure 16: drawers fors SSDs and hard disk drives

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Cougar Archon include:

  • Style: mid-tower
  • Application: ATX and smaller form factors
  • Material: zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
  • Power supply: does not come with the product
  • Available colors: black
  • Side panel: transparent window at the left panel
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 16.9 x 7.7 x 18.9 inches (430 x 195 x 480 mm)
  • Net weight: 12 lbs (5.5 kg)
  • Bays: two external 5.25” bays, three internal 3.5” bays, and three internal 2.5” bays
  • Expansion slots: seven
  • Maximum video card length: 12.2” (310 mm)
  • Maximum CPU cooler height: 6.5” (165 mm)
  • Fans: one 120 mm fan on the rear panel
  • Optional fans: two 120 mm fans on the front panel, two 120 mm fans on the side panel
  • Extra features: air filters for front and power supply fans, tool-free locking mechanism for 5.25″ and 3.5″ drive bays
  • More information: https://www.cougargaming.com
  • Average price in the U.S.*: $40 USD

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
 
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
The Cougar Archon is a simple case, with no bells and whistles, but with nice quality and great finishing. Its main highlight is the excellent cost/benefit ratio, which makes it perfect for budget gaming computers or workstations.
Strong Points

  • Excellent cost/benefit ratio
  • Good construction quality
  • Good internal space
  • Air filter for the power supply and front fans
  • Supports three 3.5” and three 2.5” devices (or up to six 2.5” drives if the 3.5” bays are unused)
  • A huge cutout in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler
  • Holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray

Weak Points

  • Does not support 140 mm fans
  • Does not support fans on the top panel
  • Only one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports at the front panel
  • Expansion cards attached with common screws