One of the more bemusing aspects of 2019 was the launch of the new Mac Pro. Powered by Intel’s Xeon W CPUs, it offered a range of options such that the most buoyant of budgets could splash out on a fully equipped $50k+ system from the fruit company. The chassis was a doozy: nicknamed the cheese grater, because it had a holey and angled design such that you could grate cheese on it. Some reviewers even did that in there reviews – no joke. The only problem with this case is that it is only available for Macs. Phanteks' gaming brand, Metallicgear, has the solution if you want it for PC, and it’s much cheaper.

This cheese grater is called the Metallicgear Neo Pro, and currently in the last stage of design before retailing later this year in March/April. The concept from Phanteks has, for lack of a better phrase, turned into a cheap knockoff, intentionally. Apple’s case is machined aluminum for that premium feel – this Neo Pro is by contrast a plastic design, hence its ability to be only $60.

The circular vents are different to the Apple design, and the feel of the material is definitely different. Not only this, but Phanteks is thinking on making a set of wheels for it – a steal at $395 (they’re not actually making wheels, that’s a joke). However at a distance, you would be none the wiser, for at least the first few seconds.

The chassis design fits an ATX motherboard, and the idea is to ship the black model first with two black fans. The side panel is tempered glass, and the power supply bay is covered compared to the rest of the design. The front IO panel is on the top of the case, with two USB ports and audio outputs. More details to come when Phanteks is ready to ship.

Part of me wants this case, just to build a more powerful system in it than the top-end Mac Pro. Either that, or fill it with more than $50k of hardware, just to see if it is possible.

Images provided by Phanteks - ours weren't that great.

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  • AshlayW - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    You are aware that the latest TR has 64 lanes of PCI-E 4.0, right?
  • close - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Are there many TR motherboards with support for 1.5TB or RAM? Can I point you to my earlier statement about ignorance and what "most high end PC users already know"? This isn't the high end PC your mother buys you, it's a workstation and it fulfills certain requirements. If it's not for you carry on.

    I can assure you the professionals who spend $50k on this have thought about it for far longer than the 40s it took you to google the price of a Threadripper and victoriously proclaim yourself "smart".

    Between the CAPEX and OPEX they are better off buying this than scouring eBay for deals because they save a few thousands at purchase. But you already gave away the understanding you had when you started talking about "high end PC users". I bet you have never met anyone who actually needed something like this but you already know what's better for them. Hon ;).
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    The world has already changed... The CPU isn't the center of the computing universe anymore. Apple is focusing more on the performance of GPUs and dedicated hardware like their new Afterburner card to encode/decode ProRes Raw video. The closest thing in the PC World is a RedRocket card that sells for over $6500 without a PC. When looking at high-end video editing workstations, Total Cost Of Ownership is what really matters. And here, the MacPro with an Afterburner card is a real bargain.
  • Zizy - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    I don't think anyone actually pays PC vendors their list price. I doubt Apple discounts as much.
  • Zizy - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Yup, comparison should be a 6k cheese grater to the 60 one - the entry price for both. You pay 50k for extra heat, but it doesn't make sense to compare that to a completely cold grater.
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    Yes and no.

    Can faster consumer systems be build for less than the Mac Pro's starting configuration? Most certainly less but the delta rapidly decreases as performance climbs. Being able to scale up to where the Mac Pro can climb is often overlooked as everyone focuses on the baseline.

    The usage of Xeon W's help normalize the price a bit as those are expensive to begin with.

    Where Apple misstepped is with the motherboard. That thing has to be expensive to build as there are memory slots on the underside and uses several expensive PCIe bridge chips. There really is no equivelant to what Apple is doing here. However server boards have gone up in price as CPUs have included more memory channels and IO.

    GPU offerings are also interesting. The low end starter is a mere RX 580 which can be had for ~$200 in the PC space, sans Thunderbolt 3. Not that impressive. The high end is different which includes a dual GPU setup featuring AMD's Infinity Fabric links between them. That is unique with not PC equivalent from AMD. nVidia does offer nvLink on Quadros but to be about to create a quad GPU setup, one would have to get the faster $100K DGX-1 workstation system. So one could argue that Apple is coming in cheaper here for this very high end niche.

    Apple's Afterburner card is simply a giant FPGA which MacOS has the hooks to use for video decoding. Such cards are available on the PC side with prices roughly comparable. The difference would be in the software support which goes to Apple's advantage controlling the whole stack for video editing.
  • thunderbird32 - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    And of course they've added a window to it. Is it so much to ask to have stylish PC cases without windows (other than Fractal Design)?
  • Operandi - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    Thats pretty much what Lian Li used to do, and they still do though the have recently been making a push with their own tempered glass + GRB offerings to the market.

    They are still making full anodized AL cases and I'm sure they would/will turn their focus there again when/if people start buying them.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - link

    I purchased the Lian-Li O11 Dynamic and it has been a massive disappointment. The pegs they glue to the Tempered glass panels to hold them in place break off with ease.. In the PC World, even the Premium brands, are selling some extremely compromised crap.
  • lazarpandar - Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - link

    Honestly I think that's just funny enough to sell. Hell I'd buy one.

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