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PC Enclosure Cougar Evolution (Askot 6GR1) Review

PC enclosures developed by Cougar are not frequenters in the global market. Still, the company's line of products is replenishing with ever newer models that might compete for the market dominance with a lot more renowned suppliers. Its latest creation, Evolution (Askot 6GR1), was released with a dual brand: Cougar and Askot. In the majority of cases, Askot enclosures fill up the line of Cougar's products, but sometimes its cases single out as a separate brand. Casting aside all marketing issues, Cougar Evolution (Askot 6GR1) is a worthy representative of contemporary PC chassis segment that offers a bunch of typical and a few singular facilities to all potential customers.

Design

Enclosure Askot 6GR1 features visually unpretentious design without any bright points or voluminous salient elements. Nevertheless, more intent inspection uncovers the whole beauty of this case: the availability of prominent ribs on the frontal panel, an unusual pattern of the frontal and top ventilation grids, and a bit rounded edges in the top and bottom parts of the clipboard. One more peculiar feature is a fan controller switch that found its place also in the frontal part. Left-side panel has got a transparent window, framing the integrated fan. The steel case is totally black with a silver company's logo only. The nominal delivery set contains a general user's guide, some guidelines on assembling, and a few essential components for efficient utilization.

Layout and Framework

This enclosure is developed in full-tower form factor with 514x223x523 mm dimensions, though the maximal magnitude of the compatible motherboards is restricted by ATX standard. Besides, the number of plugs for expansion cards is 8. The mere sign that speak of the chassis' full-tower destination is the integration of six slots for 5.25-inch drives with the output to the frontal panel. The number of internal bays for 2.5-/3.5-inch drives equals to four items.

It should be mentioned that the model comes without a pre-installed power supply unit. Still, the bottom part of the casing allocates a dedicated bay for its installation. The top panel houses a dock-station for fast connection of SATA cables; it's also the place for the connection of one 3.5-inch drive. The maximal length of graphics cards supported by Askot 6GR1 is 305 mm. Both side plates feature two ledges; the ledge on the left panel is intended to facilitate the installation of CPU cooler of a quite voluminous height (up to 180 mm), while the ledge of the right panel is destined for efficient cable management. The case feet have got rubber pads that increase its shock-absorbing properties.

The frontal panel is made of dull plastic that covers the grooves with glossy insertions. It is fixed by means of six metallic clips with spring petals. The top panel is also made of plastic but is fixed with the help of two screws in combination with six plastic clips. This panel accommodates a set of interfaces: two pairs of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, a couple of audio slots, blue activity indicator, and Reset button. Power button is superposed with a fan controller switch.

Ventilating System

Cougar Evolution (Askot 6GR1) is delivered with three nominal fans, while the cooling system might be extended up to seven fans. All three nominal fans are void of lighting and feature orange fan impellers. They are connected to the motherboard (or directly to the fan controller) by means of 3-contact sockets. The first 120 mm fan is responsible for the drive's section cooling down; the second 120 mm fan is located on the rear panel and removes heat from the CPU environment. One more 140 mm fan is fixed on the left-side panel and provides cooling to the integrated expansion cards and graphics adapters. As it's clear from the layout, the user is able to install up to four more fans: 120 mm fan on the frontal panel, two 120 mm fans on the top panel, and one more 120mm/140mm fan on the chassis' base.

Filtering System

This PC enclosure is considered to be unique in some way. This is explained by the availability of filters on all places allocated for fans (except for the rear blow-off fan). The most accessible and practical filter found its place on the plastic frame with a nylon net fixed to the base. It is easily removable and easily cleaned. Frontal filters are less accessible than the bottom one; in order to remove them, the user will have to detach the frontal panel and unscrew the fixture. Top filters appeared to be the least accessible ones and require the top panel removal in order to extract them.
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  • 10 December 2012, 19:27
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