Cougar Panzer EVO RGB Case Review
The Cougar Panzer EVO RGB full-tower gaming case dazzles with brilliant lighting effects, dominates in scale and construction, and impresses with an excellent set of features.
Cougar has recently released the Panzer EVO RGB, a full-tower gaming case they’ve titled the “RGB Crystalline Titan.” It’s a mammoth of tempered glass, lighting effects, and features. With respectable temperatures and acoustic performance to match, Cougar’s latest may very well just have it all.
The Cougar Panzer EVO RGB is a case that looks built for war, evidenced by its sheer size and styling. Standing just over 24 inches in height, the EVO RGB commands desk space. The corners protrude outward, contributing to the case’s will-it-fit dimensions, but the carbon printing, visible metallic screws, all-black color scheme, and grills give the case a visually impressive profile.
The EVO RGB is a case that demands your attention. It accomplishes that feat in more ways than one. The three visible 120mm front fans and single 120mm rear fan, dubbed Vortex RGB, are ringed with LEDs. As their name suggests, they can output a variety of colors, effects, and brightness levels. The case’s other standout feature, tinted glass paneling, means the lighting doesn’t overpower the room while simultaneously giving a smoky presentation that I find particularly mesmerizing. And better still, an included remote allows makes it easy to change – or even turn off – the effects.
If you want that added lighting control, each fan has a second cable that you need to connect to a control box inside the case. The control box itself can be placed freely, and has a magnetic back that allows it to cling to various interior points. Furthermore, it supports a total of eight RGB fans and 4 RGB LED strips. My only irritation is that it requires a Molex power connector. I was hoping we were done with those, particularly as my power supply opted not to include one.
The aforementioned tempered glass completes the EVO RGB’s aesthetic dominance. Glass paneling has become more prevalent in recent years, but Cougar takes this a step further by placing it along both sides, front, and top of the case. There was concern that the glass would impede airflow, but there is room left open to pull in air.
Beyond aesthetics, the case has welcome degree of functionality. The top of the case features two handlebars for transport, wonderful additions considering how heavy the entire package is to lift. The front IO panel is angled and houses a fan controller and four USB ports, one of which is Type-C. Something that I find particularly cool is the inclusion of an optional headset rest. It can be attached to the front of the case, offering a handy place to store and reach a headset rather than messily thrown about a desk like mine so often are.
Putting together a build with the Cougar Panzer EVO RGB was quick and clean, with only a few caveats to that effect. The inside is lined with grommets for easy routing, and the area behind the motherboard tray is spacious enough to shove all manner of cables.
A plastic shroud hides the power supply and its bundle of cables. It does not have small cutouts for cabling to directly reach the motherboard’s bottom pins, however, meaning I had to stretch a few cables along the shroud’s top to reach their destination.
Hard drives are stored in removable bays behind the motherboard tray. It can hold four 3.5” drives with four SSDs, or six SSDs if forgoing traditional platter storage. Interestingly, the case is constructed to direct airflow behind the tray to the hard drives. It’s a consideration so few other cases have thought about, and it’s great to see Cougar implement such an idea here. That said, placing hard drives in such a position does add to the mess of cable vying for room. It took me a bit of extra effort to organize my tangle of wires with just three mounted hard drives.
Temperature and noise performance were commendable. The graphics card idled at 42 degrees Celsius, a very good result for a hot summer and a warm room. The EVO RGB is surprisingly quiet, too, outputting only a whisper of noise whether idling or maxing out a graphics card.
The Cougar Panzer EVO RGB is an amazing full-tower case that is a functional and visual feast. The abundance of tempered glass, customizable lighting, and rugged edges make it impossible to look away. And the ease of system building and performance – not to mention the headset hook and handlebars – come together to create something that has nearly everything I could want in a case. All that being said, those features don’t come without a cost. The Panzer EVO RGB retails for $220 USD. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.