Cougar Spike MicroATX MiniTower Case Review – Small Form Factor On A Super Small Budget


Small form factor is all about trade-offs; small form factor on a budget even more so.  Use of the 3.5″ HDD cage creates some fairly significant problems.  These are overcome by careful assembly planning, and accepting that you don’t want to be swapping out an installed 3.5″ HDD unless unavoidable.  This is the trade-off to leaving your graphics card options pretty wide open.  Moving the drive cage down to alleviate issues created by its current location would dramatically limit graphics card options.

cougar spike

The optimum hardware configuration for the Cougar Spike to fulfill its role as a small form factor budget gaming case would go something like this:  The microATX motherboard and processor of your choice.  Forget an upper side case fan — this increases your CPU cooler options significantly.  Forget using a 3.5″ HDD.  Mount a 2.5″ HDD or preferably an SSD to the interior of the bottom panel.  Utilize the memory modules of your choice since heat spreader height is no longer an issue.  Install the graphics card of your choice up to 330mm long.  Install the power supply of your choice, with enough wattage headroom for potential graphics card upgrade.

cougar spike

Cougar’s version of a small form factor budget gaming case leaves us with an overall positive impression.  The gamer-aggressive but not outlandish styling is pleasing to the eye.  The cooling options are excellent for a budget-level case.  The interior is graphics card roomy.  The fit and finish is for the most part excellent.  The only two negatives I take away from this review are the poor alignment of the front USB ports and the potential issues created if using a 3/5″ HDD.  One would hope that the USB circuit board issue can be corrected on future production runs. Save for that one, all of the cons I could list are not beyond the expectations of a sub $40.00 small form factor case..


The Cougar Spike features attractive gamer styling with excellent fit & finish and a matching black painted interior.  It has good cooling options and the ability to install graphics cards up to 330mm long.  It features tool-less drive bays and a front panel USB 3.0 port.  It has SSD or 2.5″ HDD mounting support on the interior of the bottom panel.  The Spike comes with a one year warranty.

Not only that, but the amount that you get from it considering the price makes it extremely appealing, coupled with the fact that the Spike is a surprisingly solid performer.


The poor alignment of the front panel USB ports was a definite negative.  The excess glue on the back of the power and reset switches, although hidden, indicates inadequate quality control for this step of production of the case.  Installing a side fan in the upper position limits your CPU cooler height options.  HDDs mounted in the 3.5″ bay create unexpected consequences for assembly sequence and HDD removability.  The textured side, top and bottom panels are prone to showing fingerprints.  The use of cheap rubber feet may result in their coming loose prematurely.

cougar spike

The Cougar Spike was a pleasant surprise to review.  At under $40.00 shipped, Cougar has created a great case option for gamers on a budget.  The product page for the Cougar Spike can be viewed here.

A tip of the “thank you” hat to Cougar for providing the review sample.

The  Cougar Spike has earned our “excellent value” award!


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