The Exterior of the Cougar QBX Case

Cougar went with a simple modern design for their Mini-ITX QBX case, employing basic geometric shapes formed by 45° angles. Most of the case is made of steel, with the exception of the plastic front and top panels. Although the front and top panels are plastic, they have been treated so as to resemble an aluminum surface. The craftsmanship is exceptional for such a product and only very experienced eyes will be able to tell the difference.

Cougar is strongly promoting the QBX's compact design. Measuring 291 × 384 × 178 mm (11.46 × 15.12 × 7.01 in) and with a volume of 0.0199 m3 (19.9 liters), it truly is relatively small but also rather awkwardly shaped and exceedingly deep for its proportions. Still, the QBX is more compact than other cubic-shaped cases such as the Obsidian 250D (28.2 liters, +68%), but not as small as truly compact Mini-ITX cases that were designed for living room applications, such as the Milo ML05 (7.1 liters, -64%). The QBX however can take a full size ATX PSU and long graphics cards and, if we make these two parameters a requirement, it definitely is the most compact Mini-ITX case that we have encountered to this date. However, if cost is not an issue and volume is, the much more expensive Streacom F12C can even take full ATX motherboards and much more hardware with a volume of just 25.9 liters.

The power button is to the right side of the plastic faceplate, right above the two USB 3.0 ports and 3.5 mm audio jacks. Although the location of the power button is well-thought, the position of the I/O ports could be problematic if the case is placed inside a furniture or against a wall to its right.

There are no openings for optical drives to the front of the case but Cougar decided to provide an option for optical media to those that really one by providing one slim ODD slot. The slot is at the top of the case, near the front, and can only be accessed by sliding the top panel backwards slightly. Note that only slot-loading drives will work, as the slot is facing upwards and tray-style slim ODDs are not mechanized. A slot-loading DVD-RW, let alone a Blu-Ray device, can be an expensive option, but at least it is an option for those that need to have an ODD.


Both of the side panels of the QBX are almost entirely covered by a metallic mesh, aiding passive airflow and providing intake openings for the PSU and optional side fans. The mesh is not particularly dense, allowing good airflow but being ineffective against dust.


The rear of the QBX is black and not of great interest, with the exception of the AC cable plug visible near the top. No, the QBX does not have a PSU preinstalled, but it has its PSU compartment located at the front of the motherboard's tray. This is just an extension used to keep all of the plugs at the rear of the case.

Instead of installing typical feet to the case, Cougar went with two long plastic stripes that slightly resemble caterpillar tracks. These can be used to support up to two 120 mm fans. A nylon filter is also installed there and can be removed by pulling it from the rear of the case.

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle The Interior 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, :-)
  • 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. :)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • UncleSlug - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    There was this one from u-nas - there's a 4 bay one also.
  • lodos - Sunday, November 22, 2015 - link

    Thanks guys! Going to look at these!
  • 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?

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