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Cougar MX500 Mid Tower

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Posted December 19, 2013 by Mike in Cases & PSU

Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Release Date: Currently available
 
Price at time of Review: $74.99
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Rigid build quality, good looks, very good platform for mod work, dust filtering for every intake, great tool-less functionality throughout, easy to clean, good amount of space behind motherboard tray, many fan accommodations
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Side panel fan requires low profile heat sink, no cable grommets or side panel window, only one color, competition very stiff for the features offered, might not be as appealing to those who don't want to customize things too much, poor cable management to take advantage of space behind motherboard tray
 
BOTTOM LINE:
The MX500 is good, but it needs work to be great.
by Mike
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Final Thoughts

 

This case has ultimately left us with a bit of an odd impression. It seems like for everything that was done exceptionally well, there is something else that just felt off the entire time. It is meant to be a gaming case, but it feels very much like a silence optimized case, not unlike the Nanoxia DS2 only without any sound deadening foam. The look of the case screams Arc Midi, yet lacks the same accommodations. You have plenty of fan features, but no native internal water cooling support and the side panel fan can only be used apparently with a low profile CPU heat sink. You are supplied with lovely cable grommets for the external water cooling holes, yet no such grommets exist for the motherboard cutout. You have ample room for cable management behind the motherboard tray, but only four cable tie points to take advantage of that space which makes it more crowded than it could be. The front panel is probably the one section where we have nothing but praise. It really highlights what we think the real point of this case is: it is well built and easily modifiable. All you would need is a few inexpensive things here and there and this case goes from decent to superb and one-of-a-kind.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come like that out-of-the-box, and so we were constantly left wanting just a bit more from it. It feels like this is very much a work in progress, though one whose story tells tales of epic build quality and Cougar DNA flowing through its veins. It’s not a bad case, but it could and should be so much more than it is. At $75 it is also up against some surprisingly steep competition, meaning that for this case to remain relevant moving forward, future revisions will have to take notice of what is possible in a constrained budget. The rest of Cougar’s lineup is great, and we really think that this could be even better in the future, but right now it needs some TLC.

Still, for the gamer who needs a lower priced mid tower that has plenty of decent features and tons of potential to be greater than the sum of its parts, it admittedly can become quite appealing. For that, we’re glad to give the Cougar MX500 the PureOverclock Good Hardware award.

 

Cougar MX500

Thank you to Cougar for sending us the MX500 mid tower for review, and as always feel free to discuss this and other PC related topics in the forums.

(Featured Image property of Cougar)

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