The original CONQUER case definitely made a huge splash when it was released two years ago. Prior to it, Cougar was on the map a bit from the few iterations of the PANZER case, but was mostly known for budget options. Then this open-frame, Transformers-looking case seemingly came from no-where. People were abuzz with intrigue and excitement over it and it seems like Cougar really wants to try to dominate the exotic case segment of the market.
Let’s talk about the design. If there’s anything that the original case had, it was polarizing looks. I would venture a guess that within 10 seconds at looking at a single full-case shot of the original, anyone would know if they loved or hated it. And that seems like it will be a tradition for this series of cases. Before you have time to decide whether Intel or AMD is better, you’ll know whether this is a case that could end up next to your desk or getting removed from the cart (if it ever even got there to begin with).
Like so many things that are popular now, retro is king and the CONQUER has a very unique vibe to it. I would describe it as 80’s-mecha-anime. There are a number of boxy- long-faced robots that I would say match it, but the two that come to mind first are the Proto-Garland from Megazone 23 and the titular Gundam from Gundam Zeta. Both have faces that are much longer than wide and mostly blocks from above the jaw. While the Gundam doesn’t sport the mono-eye look, the Proto-Garland does and this case bears more of its continence.
This is all of course from the front. When viewed from the side, we treated to copious angled side panels. They are very reminiscent of sportbike fairings, but with a less aggressive forward angle, like a lean-back version of the Antec TORQUE. They are all removable which should make building, and modding, much easier.
Speaking of removable, there’s an orange handle on the back of the case that looks very much like an ejection handle. And it is. Sort of. The handle is to “eject” the entire subframe of the case. And by subframe, Cougar actually means the box part where all the components go. It actually makes the case even more mech like as this is basically like the cockpit. Where we see this being an issue isn’t in the removal of the subframe. but rather putting it back together. There doesn’t seem to be any indication that the rear of the subframe has any way to hold down cables so that they don’t snag on some random angled bit on their way back in.
Just like any good sequel, the CONQUER 2 is bigger and can hold more. What was once a mid-tower design has been expanded upon to a full-tower case that supports motherboards from CEB down to Mini-ITX. There is one 120mm RGB fan pre-installed in the front and the case can support up to two 120mm fans in the front and three on the top. Radiator support is as expected given the fan accommodation, up to a 360mm radiator on the top and a 240mm unit in the front. No word on thickness clearances.
As of writing, there has been no word on release date or price. Given the cost of the last CONQUER, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was in the same range. Which is about $350 MSRP. That sounds like a lot of money for a case, but at least it’s not the company’s GEMINI X or a limited edition case from In Win.
Edit: Cougar has responded to our query of availability. As of December 23rd, the case is available in the USA market for $329.00 MSRP via Altex.com
Growing up the son of a West Coast Video Manager, Sean-Paul has literally been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Starting as a wee little boy in his room with a 7” black and white TV and his Atari 2600 with Tank Plus, not much has changed, just the room and television have gotten bigger. When not gaming, Sean-Paul is usually cooking, watching anime, or riding his bike around Singapore and dreaming up his next computer build.