Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
As my front panel was already off, I decided to change up some things a bit. Due to the way the drive cage is situated in the case, any 3.5" drive would be installed at the front here with the cables coming out near the fans. So I placed my 1TB drive here and installed the cables in, routing the SATA and power cables through a front panel hole. I also installed my unmarked OCZ ARC 100 240GB into the back cage. I ended up installing it closer to the front because I only wanted to use a single power cable between my two drives. I then followed this up by installing the power supply, screwing in the backplate and mounting the unit inside. My Seasonic FOCUS Plus 850 Gold 850W fit well in the case with much room to spare. MetallicGear mentions a maximum clearance of 190mm here, including the necessary power cables. After routing the modular cables through the necessary cabling holes and connecting anything else I could, I moved to the other side.
From here, I placed my main PC into the MetallicGear Neo. With everything installed in place, routing the necessary cables was pretty straightforward. The gaps between the front cabling area and the internal area were a bit tight for thicker cables like the 24-pin motherboard power cable. I ended up having to force the opening up just slightly more to get everything through. Even though this is partly a problem due to the types of cables that come with this Seasonic model, I think it would be nice for them to increase this opening here for accommodating even bulkier cables. Otherwise, the other cables were easy to plug in, including the ones for the CPU power plug and the graphics card. Speaking of which, my longer MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium had no physical problems fitting in the MetallicGear Neo in terms of length. MetallicGear mentions a length clearance of 360mm for expansion cards, which should even fit some longer three fan design GPUs. However, because of its larger width and the power input terminating towards the side, my cables bent out enough such that I had to push them down to get my glass on. As for CPU cooler height clearance, my CRYORIG H7 Quad Lumi had no issues fitting here, especially since it has a relatively low height. Once again, we should be able to put coolers as tall as 170mm, which theoretically should fit larger units like the Noctua NH-D15S, which has a height of 165mm.
From the back, you can see how everything neatly can be cleaned up with the backdoor. With all my cables in this valley and the basement, this was honestly not my best cabling job, but I am fine with the final result. With the tempered glass panel on, everything is hidden from sight besides the silver on the SSD. Otherwise, I really like how easy MetallicGear has made it to route cables with all the ample spacing provided between the metal frame and the glass panel. There are also quite a few cable tie points in the valley in addition to the Velcro strap here. I think the case could do with a few more cable hooks around the back, but it is not a huge deal.
After plugging everything in and setting up my machine, everything looked clean and compact. Compared to my last case, the Cooler Master MasterCase MC500M, the MetallicGear Neo's footprint is much smaller. I also really like the under glow of lights, though you cannot really see it in the picture. It is a subtle look, but it does have a few effects. For one, you can cycle between ten different colors with a static and breathing mode for each. Finally, you can set it to cycle through all of the colors. An even longer press also lets you turn off the lighting altogether. As for the audible output, according to the standard APH Networks sound scale, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud, the MetallicGear Neo is a 3.5/10 on day to day use. It is not too bad for noise, as the included fans are relatively silent and the case ended up isolating the noise well. However, I also ended up adding a third 120mm fan to the back afterwards just to get some more airflow in and out of the case.
Even though the MetallicGear Neo is not exactly a direct competitor to Phanteks and their own cases, there are a lot of elements we can see that have been pulled into the Neo. Starting from the beginning, the MetallicGear Neo is by far one of the best looking cases I have used in my personal opinion. Some may call it boring, but I think the clean styling is a great look. Furthermore, the Neo does not cheapen the effect by using lesser materials like plastic shells, but fits all the important parts with aluminum and glass with a steel frame inside. This sturdy build makes the case feel really solid. The interior of the case is well laid out with an open style that allows air to flow through. It may not be the best ventilated case, but this is attributed to the cleaner design. Installing into the MetallicGear Neo was straightforward as well. The large valley and cable spacing both helped in dealing with cables. With all these positives, there were some small considerations you should keep in mind. With a smaller case, there is obviously tighter clearances in areas like the width of expansion cards or the height of the CPU cooler. We also lack any top-mounted cooling in the Neo. However, I also think MetallicGear have some areas to improve upon. First is widening the routing holes that open into the main chamber to help with slightly wider cables. I also would have personally liked to see USB Type-C present on the front panel. When it comes to pricing, the MetallicGear Neo is competitively marked at $100 USD. This puts it at a $10 premium over some competition from Fractal Design, though the difference comes from the two glass panels and aluminum exterior. Overall, the Neo a worthy choice for a compact and sleek ATX tower chassis and I cannot wait to see even more MetallicGear cases in the future.
MetallicGear provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.5/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
The MetallicGear Neo is a stunning ATX case that brings premium materials to a small footprint.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion