This CES 2020 Phanteks is showcasing its brand new MetallicGear NEO Matrix case, with D-RGB Light Matrix front panel. This impressive matrix display contains no less than 119 individually controllable LED squares, made up of a giant grid of RGB LEDs diffused through a smoked black glass panel. Phanteks calls it “a smooth and crisp LED lighting with multiple colors preset including various pixel arts”.
It’s entirely controllable via a front I/O button to cycle through modes and profiles, however no word just yet as to whether it’ll be compatible with any aftermarket software or custom MetallicGear desktop program to allow you to create and use your own images and light-shows. That said, boy does it look cool.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this, InWin showed off a similar design with its 307 RGB Midi-Tower Case back at Computex 2018, and that one included 144 individual LED grids in the front panel. Sadly it never made it to the US market, and if it did it was going to be priced at $280, InWin’s 309 is available however it's still an eye-watering $250. The NEO Matrix on the other hand, is an impressively cheap $100, and it's available this March.
But enough about the lights and price, let’s talk interior. As standard the NEO Matrix will support E-ATX mobos up to 280mm in width, comes with compatibility for 280mm AIOs both in the roof and the front, and allows you to install 2x 3.5-inch drives, and 3x 2.5-inch drives as well. A quick glance inside also revealed some fairly basic cable management, and a full-length PSU cover too, with a cutout/passthrough for PCIe power cables.
The frame on the whole looks to be manufactured from steel, and it reminds us a lot of the Phanteks Eclipse P300, at least the skeleton anyway. There's certainly no aluminum panels here, although not surprising given that $100 price point.
Airflow could be a problem. Although ventilation around the front panel is provided via around an inch or so of grates between the chassis and that front matrix display. The bigger concern for us is the upper most exhaust looks to be a very tight clean metal grate. It certainly doesn’t look too airflow friendly especially for those fans that lack static pressure performance, although we’ll have to wait and see.
MetallicGear Neo Pro
That’s not the only MetallicGear case Phanteks is debuting this CES either, it’s also got its NEO Pro chassis as well. With a similar internal layout to the NEO Matrix just mentioned, the big differentiator is that front panel. This time around it’s clearly taking inspiration from the recently launched Apple Mac Pro, with that cheese-grater style front grill cutout. According to Phanteks the design helps to maximize airflow and reduce noise for silent operation.
The NEO Pro will launch in March of this year for just $60.
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As Associate Editor of Tom's Hardware's prestigous British division, Zak specializes in system building, case reviews and peripherals, and has a particular penchant for liquid-cooling. He's also a lover of all things Viking/Scandinavian (thus the poor attempt at a beard).