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BitFenix Prodigy Case Review

Today, we are taking a look at the BitFenix Prodigy Case. It looks to be in a league of its own, with features that you would only expect in a full-sized tower. We were able to get a look at the white case, but the case is also available in Midnight Black and two new colors Fire Red and Atomic Orange.

The Prodigy came packaged in the standard brown cardboard box, nothing too fancy.

Specifications

Materials Steel, Plastic
Colors (Int/Ext) Black/Black, White/White
Dimensions (WxHxD) 9.84 x 15.91x 14.13 inch
Internal Dimensions (WxHxD) 9.84 x 12.10 x 13.39 inch
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 4.72 inch x 2 (1included)
Cooling Rear 4.72 inch  x 1 (included)
Cooling Top 4.72 inch 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

 

First look

The BitFenix logo is found on the front of the case. Behind the logo is a 4.72 inch front fan for cooling. At the top front of the case is 5.25” drive cover for attaching an optical drive.

I am certainly impressed with the overall look and design of the case.  On the left side of the case is a large grill to keep the inside components cool.

Located on the right side of the case are the Power and Reset buttons, as well as 2 USB3.0 ports, a microphone and headphone socket.

     

The back side is mostly dominated by a 4.72 inch fan, compared to the size of the case this is quite large. The PSU area is located on the bottom center of the unit. The plastic handle on the bottom lifts the case up to provide space for cool air to enter and cool the PSU. Above the PSU and on the rear, I/O ports are located and to the right there are 2 PCI slot covers held by thumbscrews for easy removal.

The top of the case features a lockable easily removable vent panel which runs down the center of the case. Beneath the vent are mounting holes at the top to attach two 4.72 inch cooling fans.

Inside Look

Removing the side panels is easy as removing the four thumbscrews on the back of the case, but in the process we discover the I/O cluster in the right panel is completely mounted to the panel itself. This runs the risk of making the Prodigy harder to wire than it needs to be. There are two 2.5″ drive bays built into the side panel.

Installation

Let’s start with the power supply installation, screw the mounting bracket to the back of the power supply and then insert the PSU into the case. The Prodigy leaves ample room on each side of the power supply for cable management. The I/O plate had to be pushed a bit hard to snap it into place.

The inside of the prodigy is more spacious once the 3.5” hard drive cage is removed from the case. Installing the motherboard was possible once the 3.5” hard drive cage was removed. Since the board is installed horizontally, a small issue was encounter the screw driver was unable to line up with the screw. This issue can be fixed by using a thumbscrew or shorter screw driver. With the hard drive cage removed, it is easy to gain access to the headers on the board even with our cooling kit from EKWB.

To install the 3.5” hard drive, snap on the drive tray as it already has a bolt preinstalled lining up with the drive’s screw holes. Then just slide it into the drive cage. For the 2.5” drives, they require a bit more work where screws are involved. Unless you plan to install the 2.5” drive on different place than the 3.5” drive cage.  The hard drive can be installed on the bottom or on the side of the PSU cage, if you have removed the 3.5” drive cage.

Even with the GEFORCE GTX 660 installed there is still space left for a bigger GPU. If you remove the hard drive cage, there is room to add a water cooling reservoir. Even with the motherboard, Graphic card, Power Supply and one hard drive installed, there is still room for other components to be installed.

Test

The Prodigy keeps the system quite cool. For a high-end/gaming system, expect the results to be higher, particularly when considering discrete graphics cards and overclocking.

Final Thoughts                           

At first, I was a little concerned with the case design due to the fact that the plastic felt soft.  I thought that once I picked up the case, the plastic might break easily and become damaged. To my surprise, the case held strong and I realized that the case has a steel frame which makes the case sturdy. The BitFenix Prodigy case surprisingly has plenty of storage space for such a compact case. You could put up to 5 SSD drives without any complications. Another great feature is water cooling radiator which I’m surprised it fits. The only disadvantage is that you sacrifice an optical drive. The issue I have with the BitFenix Prodigy is the location of the ‘front panel’. Instead of being on the front of the case it’s on the side panel. The problem I see with this design is that in order to remove the side panel, you will have to first unplug the cables.

For components, you could put a power supply with the diameter of 7 inches, a video card with the diameter of 12 inches, motherboard with the diameter of 6.7x 6.7 inches and the CPU fan with a diameter of 6.8 inches. The BitFenix has room for 3 cooling fans both front and rear fans are included the top fan is optional. Over all the case performed really well, with only a few inconveniences while building the computer (those with bigger hands might have a hard time installing components). For $79.99 the Prodigy is a great buy.

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