Argon NEO 5 Raspberry Pi case review

By PJ Evans. Posted

A new form factor for Raspberry Pi 5 means existing cases need updating, especially if you want efficient cooling. Thankfully, the official case was available from day one and it does a great job of protecting your Raspberry Pi 5 from the elements. However, if you need something different, offering more robustness, cooling options and its own style, Argon 40 has always brought something to the table, from their original NEO cases to the iconic ONE. Now it’s Raspberry Pi 5’s turn.

Argon has launched its entry-level case, the NEO, for our new member of the family. For about £20 you receive an aluminium enclosure with a funky red plastic base. More interesting is the built-in active cooling system that connects to the new on-board fan header. In addition to the fan are heatsinks for the CPU and a power management circuit. All of this, along with good labelling and thoughtful exposure of the various headers and GPIO, make for a solid package.

The enclosure is provided with instructions. These are straightforward, although we will confess to some confusion with wiring in the fan cable. It took four attempts before the ‘ah ha!’ moment when we realised what was intended. The instructions could cover this better. The rest of the installation was painless and thermal pads are included for good contact with the heatsink. Once you have Raspberry Pi inserted, you can add the aluminium cover which gives the overall package a solid, strong feel making it more suitable for environments such as factories or classrooms. The case is held together by screws, adding to the strength of the overall package. You can choose between rubber feet (supplied) or wall-mounting using the built-in screw points.

The case in use

The aluminium cover looks great, but it does mean that the GPIO, PCIE, camera ports and other headers become inaccessible. You are not required to have the cover on to use your Raspberry Pi but it would be great to see alternative covers just as with the official cases. The SD card slot is exposed (which is not the case with many third-party cases) and a nice touch is a cover which can be screwed into place to protect the card from accidental removal. A welcome feature is the combo power light and switch, which links to the new on-board power switch.

Being actively controlled by Raspberry Pi OS means that the fan is silent for the majority of the time and you’ve got to get the CPU nice and busy to get any noise out of the case, which is minimal. As the body is nearly all aluminium, there is plenty of area for soaking up heat, so this would be a great choice for Raspberry Pis under heavy load.

With the cover removed, the NEO exposes all important headers and the GPIO

Argon’s build quality is some of the best in Raspberry Pi’s space and this case is no exception. You get the impression that a fall off a desk (normally due to a curious cat) would do it no harm whatsoever. The plastic base has a cheaper feel, but the red accents it provides look the part.

The NEO 5 is another excellent product from Argon that combines value and features into a hard-to-beat package.



A low-cost, good-looking case with excellent resilience and cooling options. A solid choice for any Raspberry Pi project, although some may wish to wait for the next generation of the Argon ONE.


Cooling: Passive and active, air intake vents

Fan: 30mm PWM

Materials: Aluminium, plastic

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