Cougar originates from Germany and originally specialized in advanced computer peripherals. During the past few months we have looked at several of their high end peripherals and mice. The company however produces more than just keyboards and mice, having diversified towards PC power supply units and cases. Cougar however is not particularly well-known for their cases, even though they have nearly a dozen designs available. One of their most recent releases is the their first Mini-ITX case, the QBX, which was unveiled at Computex and even won a design & innovation show award in the process. This is the case that we will be reviewing today.

Cougar's marketing is making some very bold claims regarding the performance and capabilities of the QBX. "Powerful Graphics". "Massive Storage". "The Best Cooling of Its Class". And then we notice a $53 price tag, which makes everything sounding a little bit too good to be true. So today we are putting the QBX to the test to see for ourselves where the new case excels and where it falls short.


11.2 oz Coke can for size comparison

Cougar QBX
Motherboard Size Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External One slim ODD (slot-loading only)
Internal 1 × 3.5"
4 × 2.5"
Cooling Front 80 mm (optional)
Rear 92 mm (included)
Top 2 x 120 mm (optional)
Sides 120 mm (optional)
Bottom 2 x 120 mm (optional)
Radiator Support Front -
Rear -
Top -
Sides Up to 240 mm (only one 120 mm fan)
Bottom -
I/O Port 2× USB 3.0, 0× USB 2.0, 1× Headphone, 1× Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 105 mm
PSU 140 mm
GPU 350 mm
Dimensions 291 mm × 178 mm × 384 mm
11.46 in × 7.01 in × 15.12 in
Prominent Features · Expandible: Powerful Graphics
· Expandible : Massive Storage + ODD
· The Best Cooling of Its Class
Price $53 incl. shipping

Packaging & Bundle

Cougar supplies the QBX in a relatively small (but tall) box that hints the proportions of the case. The artwork of the box follows the orange/black color theme of the company and is mostly based on pictures of the case itself. The main features of the case are clearly printed on the sides of the box. Inside the box, the lightweight case is well protected with Styrofoam and wrapped inside a nylon bag.

The bundle supplied with the QBX is very basic, which was not unexpected considering the retail price of the case. Inside the small cardboard box we found only a very basic leaflet with installation schematics, black screws and mounting hardware, two small cable ties and one nylon filter for a 80 mm fan. 

The Exterior of the Cougar QBX Case
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  • mr_tawan - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    > Ultiamtely once you have done the necessary homework, what you will find is that the Cougar QBX is a well-designed and high quality Mini-ITX case

    Ultimately, :-)
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    I'm not sure about the slot loading disk drive... At this point in time, the only disks I still use are for older games that you can't buy anymore. I'm not running those through a slot loader. Make it a slim drive with a normal tray. :) Reply
  • SpartyOn - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    I use my slot loader in my ITX for Blu-ray backups and burning home movies to Blu-ray/DVD for family. It's still helpful to have around. Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    Oh, absolutely. I'm all for having an optical drive option, just not slot loaders. If it grinds a piece of dirt into the data surface of a classic game disk while feeding it, you've got to go to Ebay and try to find a new one that isn't outrageously expensive. Kinda of a niche problem, I suppose.

    Some glorious day in the future, all game publishers will put their back catalog on GOG and this won't be a problem.
    Reply
  • lodos - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    Anyone know of a nice looking mini-ITX case with 2 or more externally swapping 3.5" drive bays? Thanks! Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    Not really. You might have better luck looking at rack-mountable cases, it's easy getting hot-swap bays in those. Reply
  • ND40oz - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - link

    Silverstone DS380, Lian Li has the PC-Q25 but you have to open the side panel to get to the hot swap bays. Reply
  • UncleSlug - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    There was this one from u-nas - http://anandtech.com/show/9508/asrock-rack-c2750d4... there's a 4 bay one also. Reply
  • lodos - Sunday, November 22, 2015 - link

    Thanks guys! Going to look at these! Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, November 13, 2015 - link

    Looking at that cable snarl makes me worry about how well a GPU would fit. I know you mentioned that longer cards would get in the way of modular cable connections; but without an alternate short 24pin cable I'm not sure how you'd be able to get a full card in and stuff the extra cable out of the way. I see a few other people've suggested an SFX PSU for space reasons; do they also come with shorter cables out of the box? Reply

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