Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside
Getting inside the MetallicGear Neo is a pretty simple task and not a whole lot different from many other cases. The two glass panels flanking the sides both rest on a metal lip and sit flush with the rest of the case when installed. Opening up the Neo involves removing the four thumbscrews on each panel. As we have mentioned on the last page, the thumbscrews are each lined with a rubber ring to prevent vibrations between the glass and it. The holes are lined with a similar material for the same purpose. As for the glass, it is a relatively thick piece at 4mm on both sides. They are lined with a black border to hide fingerprints and other handling marks that you may make when removing and installing the glass. The bottom side of the glass is filled in with a neat rhombus and triangle pattern, presumably to hide the power supply shroud. It is an interesting idea, but I would have liked to see one panel that was without it so users could swap the sides depending if they want to show off the power supply or not. Finally, the front panel is held on with protruding metal tabs that slot into the steel frame. It works well in holding the front in place.
Otherwise, you can see the whole MetallicGear Neo follows in the steps as practically every other case we have reviewed in 2018 with an open interior. No drive caddy exists at the top for either optical disk or other drives, though this is not too surprising considering how small the overall package is to begin with. The large opening is where you can put your motherboard and expansion cards. Storage drives and the power supply can be stored underneath the metal divider. The divider itself is a solid piece of steel, with holes nearer to the motherboard to help with internal cabling.
Looking at the main area where the motherboard sits, you can see the Neo already comes with the necessary standoffs installed. These have been painted over in black to match the rest of the dark interior. I would have liked to see the steel frame match the silver exterior, but it is not a huge deal. As you can see here, the aluminum top is exposed here with nothing much more at the top. As we have covered already, there is no top mounting options for cooling. It can clash with the styling of the case, so I would keep this in mind if you are purchasing the Neo. Cabling holes exist at the top to route in various cables like the CPU power cable and hide any extra cables you may have from your CPU cooling options. Speaking of which, the large opening for the back of the motherboard exists so users can install backplates for the aforementioned cooling without having to remove the motherboard. The edges of this cutout are rounded over and smoothed to prevent any accidental cuts that may occur. The back has an open slot for a single 120mm fan or radiator with the back I/O output beside it. Underneath, we have the seven expansion card slots, each held in with a thumbscrew.
Nearer to the front, you can see where the cables can route through from the back as well as the front cooling. First of all, power and other cables can be hidden behind the protruding front portion, where several slim openings allow cables to lead through here. Several cable tie points can be found here to assist with managing the extra wires too. Two 120mm fans are included with the MetallicGear Neo and both are mounted at the front of the case, drawing the air through here. Users can also take these fans off and mount their own set of two 140mm fans or radiators of up to 280mm here. It is nice to have this opening space and thankfully it does not interfere with any of the drive storage options at the bottom of the case.
Turning to the back, you can see the large valley at the front of the case, which allows for many cables to be slotted here. MetallicGear has allows for over three centimeters of clearance at the front area alone to help with the additional cables you may have. Elsewhere, the cable clearance decreases to a little under two centimeters. The cable valley is also covered by swinging door which you can use to secure all the cables down and hide any unnecessary clutter you may have. The door is held in by a single thumbscrew, but it can also be removed if users do not want to use it at all. Under the motherboard opening, we have spaces for three 2.5" drives, but only two caddies here. I would have liked MetallicGear to fill this third slot just because it is not a huge deal to add an extra plate of steel. The bottom has one more drive cage to hold two more drives, bringing the total out of the box storage options to four. This is a pretty good number for a compact case. Beside the drive bay is the area for the power supply. This area is lined with four rubber pegs to prevent vibration between the power supply and the case. Finally, you can see the black I/O cables here, which include the standard HD Audio, USB 3.0, buttons, and light headers, as well as a few more. As we mentioned previously, there is a button at the top to cycle the RGB power light, but it can also be used to control other lights compatible with the Phanteks lighting products or the three major RGB interfaces from Gigabyte, MSI and Asus.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion