The Cougar MX300 is a value mid-tower case with two 5.25” bays, three 3.5” bays, three 2.5” bays, support for 240 mm radiators, and a transparent window at the left panel, costing below USD 50. Let’s take a look at it.
The MX300 comes only in black. Its left panel has a transparent window and room for two 120 mm fans. The right panel is solid.
Let’s take a closer look at the case in the next pages.
[nextpage title=”The Front Panel”]
The two covers for the 5.25” bays of the MX300 follow the same pattern as the rest of the front panel, in such a way that is hard to see that the case actually has these bays.
At the top portion of the front panel there are one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports, the traditional audio jacks, the reset and power buttons, and the power and hard disk drive activity LEDs.
The plastic front panel can be easily removed, and it is padded inside with a thin foam, which acts as an air filter.
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, and the installation of the two fans is made without the use of tools.
Figure 5: support for two 120 mm fans
[nextpage title=”The Top Panel”]
On the top panel, the case has room for two 120 mm fans, compatible with 240 mm radiators.
Removing the top panel, you will an air filter, held in place by four magnet strips.
[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The bottom panel of the Cougar MX300 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.
The rear panel and the interior of the Cougar MX300 are painted in black. The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.
This case comes with seven expansion slots 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).
Let’s now take a look inside the Cougar MX300.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Cougar MX300″]
Each panel is attached to the chassis using two plastic thumbscrews.
The motherboard tray 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.
Figure 11: a view behind the motherboard tray
In Figure 13, we have another overall look inside the case. Notice that the top panel supports the installation of two 120 mm fans. The case also supports radiators up to 240 mm in length there, but there is a small distance (about 1” or 25 mm) between the top panel and the motherboard area, so probably only slim radiators with slim fans will fit here.
Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws. (The case comes with four extra thumbscrews that can be used here.) The MX300 supports video cards up to 12.2” (310 mm) long. You can install CPU coolers up to 6.3” (160 mm) tall.
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.
Figure 13: power supply compartment
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The Cougar MX300 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. The 5.25” and 3.5” bays have locking mechanisms that allow you to install devices without the use of screws or tools.
Figure 15 shows one 3.5″ and one 2.5″ drawers.
Along with the accessories that come with the case, there is an adapter that transforms a 5.25” bay into an external 3.5” bay, nowadays used by internal card readers and small fan controllers.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Cougar MX300 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: 17.7 x 7.7 x 19.3 inches (450 x 195 x 490 mm) (H x W x D)
- Net weight: 12 lbs (5.4 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: 6.3” (160 mm)
- Fans: one 120 mm fan on the rear panel
- Optional fans: two 120 mm fans on the top panel, 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.cougar-world.com
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 45.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Cougar MX300 is surprisingly well-made and full of features for a case with a price tag below USD 50. It may feel not as solid and tough as more expensive models, but it is surely a nice case for anyone who is intending to save money.
- Low price point
- Good construction quality
- Good cost/benefit ratio
- Great ventilation possibilities
- 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
- Does not support 140 mm fans
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