BitFenix has always been known to cater to the enthusiast crowd, and their first foray into the mini-ITX world, the Prodigy, is no different.
At first glance, the BitFenix Prodigy resembles a Mac G5 case, but it is so much more. With the number of configuration options bordering on the ridiculous, and a price that makes you think of cases with nowhere near the quality of this one, this case could very well be the best valued small form factor enthusiast level case on the planet.
The BitFenix Prodigy has a modular/tool free drive setup that is standard to most cases today, with a few surprises. The main drive cage will hold up to 5 3.5” or 2.5” drives, nothing really to write home about, but here is where things get interesting. The top three drive bays are in a modular cage that is easily removed by squeezing two quick release tabs and sliding it toward you. If you configure the prodigy with 5 3.5” or 2.5” drives, you can also add 4 more 2.5” drives, 2 attached to the front of the PSU cage, and 2 attached to the inside of the right side door, making this case a prime candidate for gaming (removing the upper drive cage will give you room for any length video card, even the gigantic Radeon 6990) or a home server if fully outfitted with 9 total drives.
Here is where the options of the Prodigy get a bit more difficult to follow. The total fan loadout for this case gives you huge options:
Front: 120mm x 2 (1 included) or 140/180/200/230 x 1 (optional)
Rear: 120mm x 1 (included) or 140mm x 1 (optional)
Top: 120mm x 2 (optional)
The Prodigy, with its horizontal board orientation, gives you the option to put huge tower CPU coolers (up to 160mm tall) on to keep even the most hardcore overclock nice and chilly.
For those of you that want something a little more “exotic,” the Prodigy, like other BitFenix cases, is very liquid cooler friendly. Perhaps you noticed that there were a lot of “120mm x 2” fan configurations available in the Prodigy? Each one of these, with a few minor and easy to make modifications, is capable of holding a 2x120mm radiator.
Let’s see what kind of liquid cooling you can cram into this little cube:
Front: With removal of BOTH hard drive cages and the removable optical bay; you can easily mount a full size (60mm thick) 2x120mm radiator to the inside of the front of the case. Although you have the option of a pair of 140mm fans in the front, the mounting holes for that size fan aren’t quite lined up right for a 2x140mm radiator, with the ability to mount a 200mm fan in the front, you also have the option of a 200mm radiator, although not many companies make such an animal (Phobya quickly comes to mind.)
Rear: This is a simple one, the fan mount back here would easily give you the option of mounting a 120mm or 140mm radiator in a custom loop, or it would be prime for a 120mm closed loop kit, such as the Corsair H60 or H80, the Antec Kuhler 620 or 920, the Intel RTS2011LC, the Zalman CNPS20LQ, or the new Thermaltake WATER 2.0 Performer or Pro setups.
Top: The 2x120mm mount area in the top gives you the ability to mount a closed loop setup like the Corsair H100, arguably the most popular closed loop liquid cooler on the market, or a full thickness 2×120 radiator for a custom loop, and even have enough room for a push/pull fan setup.
A Look Around
The Prodigy gets the same SofTouch exterior surface treatment that most of their other cases get, giving it a good resistance to scratching and fingerprints.
All of the fan intakes get filtered mesh to help cut down on the amount of dust getting into the system.
On the right side panel of the case you have the power and reset buttons, your activity lights, headphone and microphone jacks, plus 2 USB 3.0 ports, with internal. The only complaint I have about the location of the I/O ports is that they are actually mounted to the side panel, so you have to think ahead when doing your cable management so you’ll be able to get your side panel off if you need to without pulling all front panel connectors out of your motherboard and damaging them or your board. Speaking of cable management, the Prodigy gives you PLENTY of room to make your cables tidy, but being a Mini-ITX you still have to think ahead when routing your cables.
If you’re building an SFF system for gaming, you’ll be very limited on your drive capacity due to the fact that to get any modern higher powered video card in the system you’ll have to remove the modular cage that holds 3 of the 5 tool free drive bay.
The case has top and bottom “handles” made from a material developed by BitFenix called FyberFlex. It’s a carbon fiber composite material that gives both durability and flexibility. You can literally hit the FyberFlex handles and feet with a hammer and not break it, and it will also give your system some shock absorption while traveling if you build a system for LAN parties.
The left side panel has a nice open mesh design that runs almost the entire length front to back to give any video card the airflow from the outside it needs to stay nice and cool.
Being a Mini-ITX case, the Prodigy has the standard back panel for said form factor, with 2 PCI brackets to be able to hold a single 2 slot video card. The only real difference is the motherboard is mounted horizontally over the PSU cage, which holds a standard 160mm or smaller ATX PSU.
Materials Steel, Plastic
Colors (Int/Ext) Black/Black, White/White
Dimensions (WxHxD) 250 x 404 x 359mm
Motherboard Sizes Mini-ITX
5.25″ Drive Bays x 1 (removable)
3.5″ Drive Bays x 5 (3 + 2 modular)
2.5″ Drive Bays x 9 (5 + 2 + 1 +1)
Cooling Front 120mm x 2 (120mm x 1included) or 140/180/200/230mm x 1(optional)
Cooling Rear 120mm x 1 (included) or 140mm x 1(optional)
Cooling Top 120mm x 2 (optional)
PCI Slots x 2
I/O USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio
Power Supply PS2 ATX (bottom, multi direction)
Extras FyberFlex™ Composite handles, SofTouch™ surface treatment, filtered intakes, tool-free drive locking
With all being said and done, I have no choice but to give this case the minidigita Gold Award. With all the configuration options available and a steal of a price at 79.99 USD, this is, without a doubt, the best mITX case to date
Being the size it is, does this case impress you? Are you a fan of Bitfenix’s products? Why or Why Not? Comment Below!
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