Looking for a Mini-ITX chassis that's actually small? Direct your eyeballs at Cougar's new QBX. This compact candidate can squeeze a potent gaming rig into 7.0" x 10.2" x 14.5" dimensions.
The angular panels and brushed face give the case a more mature, understated style than some of Cougar's more garish designs. At first glance, the QBX checks all the right boxes, too. It has USB 3.0 ports around the front edge, plus a vertical bay for slim optical drives. There's plenty of venting in both side panels, and gamers can add double-wide graphics cards up to 13.8" long.
Cramming standard desktop hardware into such confined quarters does have some drawbacks, however. The stubby PSU compartment is only 5.5" long, and it doesn't work with all external plug orientations. The ceiling for CPU heatsinks tops out at a relatively short 4.1", as well. Although the left side panel can accommodate either a 120- or 240-mm radiator, both setups are restricted to a single fan.
Swinging open the hinged, internal scaffolding shows the tightly packed internals one can expect from a loaded build:
Looks like running a double-wide radiator will block the lone 3.5" bay and two of the 2.5" ones. Good thing the case has two more 2.5" mounts attached to its frame. There's no shortage of fan mounts, either. The case comes with a 90-mm fan at the back, and users can add an 80-mm unit up front in addition to five 120-mm spinners in the top, bottom, and side panels.
The QBX is scheduled to start selling in late April. Given the pricing of Cougar's current cases, this fun-sized model should be pretty affordable.