Cougar Dark Blader G Review
First impressions are important, and, as mentioned in the introduction, before we opened the box, our first impressions were less than Golden. Maybe it was something to do with the name, after all 'Dark Blader' doesn't exactly scream mature elegance and style, especially when we misread the box and though it actually said 'Dark Bladder'. These first impressions though are delightfully misleading, as you discover when you lift the case from its external carton, and are further encouraged by the absence of polythene wraps and flimsy fractured polystyrene. Instead, there's a black fabric protective cape, and card reinforced dense foam supports. The news continues to be good when the case is unwrapped as we find both side panels are smoked tempered glass, with the front panel being part tempered glass and part line brushed Aluminium.
The Aluminium theme of the Blader continues inside, with a striking angular cable management cover plate giving a stealthy cover for all the cables as they exit from the rear of the motherboard area.
Having determined that the Blader has style, it's good to know that it also has substance. Exact details can be found in the Technical Specification and the body of this review. Suffice to say that there's room for up to four 2.5 drives, or 3.5 drives, with any combination of the above being catered for. The Blader will also take long GPUs, big PSUs and tall CPU coolers. Cable management at the rear is also excellent with a hinged cover plate enabling all the untidiness to be hidden, especially when you consider that this case has glass panels on both sides.
The Blader continues to extol itself when we look at its cooling water credentials. Up in the roof, there's room for up to 360mm or 280mm rads, with a total of 60mm of space to play with. The front can also accommodate a 360mm rad, but not at the same time as the roof, and again the total space is limited to 60mm. If you're happy to go down the 240mm or 280mm route though, in the front, then the sky is pretty much your limit, recognising of course that GPU lengths etc will need to be taken into consideration. Oh yeah, and then there's the integrated addressable RGB LED lighting, with the ability to add and control more elements thanks to the integrated controller, particularly if you have compatible motherboards.
As you might have guessed, we're pretty impressed with the Blader G, despite it's 'iffy' name, so much so that I'm thinking of having me one of these for a second build that I've meant to do for a long time. I should also add that it's got my long-dormant modding juices going, as I'm itching to dismantle it and spray the aluminium parts in a deep and rich metallic Copper. If only the weather were a little warmer.
It goes without saying that the Blader G gets the coveted OC3D Approved award, and should we have an 'I'm having this" award, it would also be sporting one of those.