Cougar Conquer Essence Case Review: A Fanless Dust Trap?

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Hardware Installation & Test Configuration

Included accessories for the Cougar Conquer Essence are various screws, 3M cable ties and a pair of fan grills. The box also contains a printed manual.

There are seven cable pass-through holes in the motherboard tray for cable management: three large rectangular openings and two larger holes in the bottom of the motherboard tray. Additionally, there are two small holes within the top of the motherboard tray, one designed specifically for the 12v motherboard power cable. You'll also find a large hole in the motherboard mounting plate behind the CPU socket area to facilitate heat sink changes without removing the motherboard.

Again, because of the open-air styling of the the interior of this chassis, it is very similar to that of the Cougar Conquer and comparable to the Thermaltake Core P3 and P5 cases.

The five expansion slots will accommodate graphics cards up to 350mm, even in multi-GPU configurations. CPU air coolers up to 160mm can be fitted in this case, making coolers such as the Cooler Master MasterAir MA410M and the be quiet! Dark Rock 4 solid choices for this chassis.

As you can see from the photos, care must be taken when installing the PSU because you could easily run into clearance issues, depending on the length of your PSU and choice of motherboard. Our Corsair HX1200i PSU is 200mm long, and it barely fit into this case with our ASRock X299M Extreme4 micro-ATX motherboard.

Two of the three hard drive mounting locations behind the motherboard tray can support both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives. One of the three supports 2.5-inch drives only. The two mounting locations in the base of the case can be fitted with both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives.

Due to the open nature of this case, there isn't really anywhere good to hide cables, making cable management more difficult than usual. Even if a modular power supply is used, careful planning and routing is still a must.

When it comes to cooling, we were a bit disappointed that the Conquer Essence doesn't ship with any fans from the factory. Obviously, this can be remedied by the end user, and enthusiasts prefer to install fans of their choosing anyway. But it would have been nice to see at least a couple fans included with a case that costs $220. In total, this chassis can be equipped with up to four 120mm fans.

Radiators and all-in-one coolers up to 240mm can be mounted in the top and front of this case. Both mounting locations can easily support radiators up to 240mm sandwiched between fans in a push-pull configuration.

Test Configuration

Drivers & Settings

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ChipsetIntel INF
CPU4GHz (40x 100MHz) @ 1.1V core
MotherboardFirmware 1.10 3/2/2018
GraphicsMaximum Fan for Thermal Tests | NVIDIA GeForce 398.36 WHQL Game Ready Driver

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  • Co BIY
    Would using thermal pads to heat sink the case motherboard frame to the motherboard help to cool VRMs ?

    It seems like that might be extremely effective with a one piece aluminum frame like this case has.

    All cases designed with an open top for radiators seem like they are going to be prone to serious dust settling problems. But that may be a minor issue compared to the amount of dust drawn into the cases by aggressive fans.
  • modusoperandi00
    My favorite part about this case is how nothing about it makes any sense at all.
  • mrmez
    That's because you're not 12 years old.
  • cryoburner
    Cougar's Conquer Essence might be right up your alley, if you can stomach all the dirt, dust and pet hair that will likely fall into the case...
    Given the large openings, you might even end up with a few pets in there.