Cougar Evolution Mid Case
Posted by: editor on: 01.03.2012 11:13:06 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
The Cougar Evolution has plenty of room even once a system is installed in it. All drive bays are tool-less, and they do a good job of holding their respective drives firmly in place. One thing to point out, that might not obvious at first glance, is that the optical drive is actually in the second bay down. This wasn’t out of choice…
That’s because the cables coming from the front panel connections are in the way of the top drive bay.
Even pushing the cables back doesn’t quite clear the space needed, and to be honest I was wary of straining too far for fear of breaking the solder connections to the front panel above. It’s not a deal breaker by a long shot (unless you run 6 optical drives for reasons unknown) but it is an oversight none-the-less, and is irksome to those who usually have their optical drive in the top slot. But I should point out most of the cases with top side ports and connections suffer with this issue too.
Just for reference, here’s the case with the system installed and the side back on. Unlike other cases I’ve reviewed, there is no problem with clearance of tall CPU coolers and the door fits on with plenty of room to spare.
Remember that hidden hot-swap bay from before? Well here is where it was hiding:
The bay is revealed by pushing down a spring loaded panel (propped open for this shot), and your 2.5” or 3.5” drive slots straight in as so:
I’ve seen cases with built in hot-swap bays before, but I think this is the most elegant I’ve seen so far. Instead of having your hard drive sticking straight up out of the case, it’s resting gently at an angle on the rubber panel below, providing a lot more physical support for your hardware, meaning it’s less likely to get knocked and lowering the risk of damage to your valuable data.
Back to the front panel of the case…
When in use the power button glows blue and the fan controller selection switches glow a fainter blue. Once you select a channel on the fan controller (of which there are two) the power ring glows green, and the selected channel flashes. Twisting the dial around the power button changes the speed of the fans and rather intuitively the brightness of the light ring. When you reach the maximum or minimum of the controller, the ring flashes a couple of times to let you know further turning is pointless.
Here you can see the ring on its lowest setting. Leaving the fan controller alone for a few seconds will de-select whichever channel you’re on and return the power ring to it’s default blue.
Even with the included case fans on full speed the case is not that loud, and with the fan controller all the way to minimum the case is all but inaudible but for a very gentle whisper.
Next Page – Conclusion