Do-it-yourself PC chassis manufacturers continue to bring new products to market at a steady pace. While many such manufacturers gear the bulk of their offerings to the mid-level and enthusiast market, some companies have recognized the need for more budget-builder-friendly versions, especially for gamers.
Cougar was founded in 2007, and their “Passion X Innovation” philosophy has produced many functional, user-oriented quality products geared towards the gaming community. They brought a number of innovative technologies and refinements to their PC component offerings. Whether it be case fans, power supplies or chassis, Cougar strives to create high-performance and high-quality products.
Today’s review will be of Cougar’s latest mid-tower chassis, designated as the MX300. While many gaming-oriented chassis can be flamboyant in appearance and unconventional, Cougar has stuck with a rugged and functional motif. The honeycomb and mesh front panel of the MX300 creates an appealing, but not overstated appearance, while offering superior air flow to keep your build well-cooled. We would like to extend a tip of the Technology X “thank-you cap” to Cougar for providing today’s review sample.
The MX300 offers 7 PCI slots, and can handle graphics cards of up to 310mm in length. It features two 5.25″ drive bays, with a simple yet effective tool-less latching mechanism for your optical drive or other 5.25″ device. The MX300 can hold up to 7 case fans, with the single rear 120mm fan pre-installed. The front can hold either one or two 120mm fans, with tool-less “snap-in” mounting. The top can support either one or two 120mm fans (or a lower-profile radiator of up to 240mm). The left side panel can also support either one or two 120mm fans that align directly over your motherboard components and graphics card(s).
Cougar’s MX300 is finished inside with a high-quality black coating, and with a slightly pebble-textured yet satiny finish outside. The dual drive cages can support up to three 2.5″ HDDs or SSDs, and up to three 3.5″ HDDs that can be mounted tool-lessly (2.5″ drives require screw-mounting). The MX300 offers enhanced cable management via well-placed cutouts and cable-routing openings, along with a scooch more room between the motherboard tray and the right side panel. The MX300 also features air flow filters on the front, top and bottom; with the top and bottom ones being easily and fully removable for cleaning. A clear window is also present in the left side panel to show off your build.
The MX300 can accept either mATX or full ATX motherboards. The power supply area is configured for a standard ATX power supply. The MX300 stands 450mm (17.71″) tall, by 195mm (7.67″) wide, by 490mm (19.29″) deep. MSRP is $49.99, and the MX300 should be available at Newegg.com sometime later in April.
PACKAGE AND CONTENTS
The MX300 arrived at our door in a standard cardboard-colored carton with black graphics. The front sports an angled picture of the case above the model number and features, along with a Cougar logo and their philosophy of “Passion X Innovation.”
The rear of the carton shows line drawings of the case and its interior, with lettered designations for the key features and a corresponding list.
Sliding the exterior carton off reveals the MX300 plastic-bagged and protected by a pair of styrofoam end shells. Once these materials are removed, we see that the MX300 has arrived in pristine condition.
In this next image with the left side panel removed, we see the group of front panel header cables, along with a box of hardware.
Examining the contents of the hardware box, we find an instruction sheet, a 5.25″ to 3.5″ adapter bracket and faceplate, a spare PCI expansion slot cover, a small supply of zip ties and assorted screws. Also included are three motherboard standoffs and four thumbscrews.