BitFenix Prodigy mITX PC Case

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White ProdigyEver since I heard about BitFenix's Prodigy I have been hearing about great it is. From reviews to build logs, they all praise BitFenix’s newest case on the market, possibly even getting more talk than any other case right now. Which the weird thing about that is the fact it is not a standard tower ATX case, but an ITX tower case! Not only is it an ITX case, it is an ITX case capable of supporting the ideal gaming rig, something that not many other cases of this size can boast about. Well, now I have one to get up close and personal with and I will generate my own take on this much-talked-about case.

 White prodigy

BitFenix Prodigy mITX PC Case Review

 

Introduction

Ever since I heard about BitFenix's Prodigy I have been hearing about great it is. From reviews to build logs, they all praise BitFenix’s newest case on the market, possibly even getting more talk than any other case right now. Which the weird thing about that is the fact it is not a standard tower ATX case, but an ITX tower case! Not only is it an ITX case, it is an ITX case capable of supporting the ideal gaming rig, something that not many other cases of this size can boast about. Well, now I have one to get up close and personal with and I will generate my own take on this much-talked-about case.

BitFenix’s take on the Prodigy

Meticulously crafted and beautifully engineered, Prodigy redefines the Mini-ITX chassis. The compact housing is suspended by handles made with BitFenix FyberFlex™ Composite for easy portability and maximum shock absorption. On the inside, our modular FlexCage™ gives you the flexibility to install up to five 3.5" hard disks or 2.5" SSDs, or remove it entirely to fit up to 240mm watercooling radiators and long graphics cards. For added flexibility, additional SSD locations are also included, and a choice of Midnight Black or Arctic White with interchangeable front facades mean Prodigy will suit your individual style. With tool-free convenience, two USB 3.0 ports, filtered intakes, and proprietary BitFenix SofTouch™ Surface Treatment, Prodigy is the compact case with no compromises.


Specifications

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

Features

With its subtle curves and clean lines, Prodigy is distinctly BitFenix. The compact mini-ITX body is suspended by two elegantly crafted handles that give Prodigy a solid yet modern look that makes it a perfect addition to any environment.

Despite its small stature, Prodigy is engineered for maximum flexibility. Remove the top HDD cage to fit long graphics cards up to 320mm in length. Bolt a 240mm water cooling radiator in the top, or if the build demands it, remove the entire HDD cage and put the 240mm radiator in the front, while still being able to install up to five 2.5" drives. With multiple installation options, Prodigy is a small case that truly does it all.

Both the top and bottom handles of Prodigy are made from BitFenix FyberFlex™ Composite - a revolutionary material that is not only flexible, but incredibly strong. Fastened on both the top and bottom of the chassis, these handles are a convenient way to carry Prodigy, while providing added shock absorption during transport.

With the ability to install up to five 3.5" HDDs or nine 2.5" SSDs, Prodigy provides loads of storage options. Set it up as a high octane portable gaming rig, an attractive home server, or a full on NAS. With Prodigy, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

Your computing environment is your own space, which is why everything in it should be uniquely you. Prodigy comes in both Midnight Black and Arctic White, making it a perfect fit just about anywhere.

To get you up and running in the shortest possible time, Prodigy is loaded with DIY-friendly features. The unique motherboard tray makes it easy to fit tall CPU coolers, and filtered fan intakes keep the interior and system looking superb. Finally, the Prodigy's tool-free drive locking mechanisms make installing HDDs an incredibly simple affair, while cable management features keep your internals neat and tidy.

Got large files you need to transfer? No problem. Equipped with two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, Prodigy allows you to transfer files ten times faster than with USB 2.0.

As a BitFenix chassis, Prodigy comes with all the extra touches fans have come to expect from BitFenix. Our FyberFlex handles are coated with none other than BitFenix SofTouch™ surface treatment, while the luxuriously coated interior and rolled-edge cable pass-throughs exude a premium feel.


Closer look at the exterior

This is the first time that I have seen the Prodigy outside of reading early reviews of it, which the style and grace it has is first class. The case as a whole doesn’t look like any of the other ITX PC chassis on the market. And yes, the top does kind of remind you of a MAC a little due to the shape of it's aluminum handles.

Prodigy side view

BitFenix being the one not to giving the customer their all offers the Prodigy in two flavors, white and black. We were fortunate to receive a white one for testing.

Just to give you some idea of how small the Prodigy is we converted the measurements to standard and came up with 10x15x14 (WxHxD), comparing it to the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced which measured 9.5x8x16 resulting in to 1216 cubic inches or 19.9 liters. The Prodigy is 34.4 making it almost twice as large as the CM case internally.

The front of the Prodigy is made completely of a solid piece of white plastic. And this makes of exterior of the case is pretty subtle and simplistic. And that does not mean boring. The black logo and vented areas around the front plate gives it a little eye-popping appeal. The only bay available in the front is a 5.25” which would not only be good for an optical drive but also for some of the other bay devices BitFenix has to offer like the Recon and the Hydra.

Prodigy drive bay

The left side panel has a large ventilation area to aid the GPU with cooling.

Prodigy left side panel

The right side panel is clean of any windows or vents but there are the I/O ports which consist of two USB 3.0ports, audio jacks and power/reset buttons.

Prodigy right side panel

Like many of the taller cases the Prodigy also has the PSU mounted on the bottom of the chassis. The two expansion slots are the perfect giveaway that the Prodigy is for ITX motherboards only. A large 120mm cooling fan is used for exhaust.

Prodigy rear panel

The top of the case has dual handles which BitFenix says is made from a FyberFlex™ Composite. The handles make it easier to lug the system around to LAN parties and for whatever reasons else you have to move your rig from place to place. In the center of the top is a long vented area with a small slide switch. The switch allows for the vent portion of the top to be removed. Removing the panel we see the opening for dual 120mm or other components that measure the same distance like a radiator.

Prodigy top panel

Prodigy top dust filter removed

Underneath the Prodigy uses the same type of handles as the top does but in this case we will call it feet. The opening for the PSU ventilation is covered with a dust filter.

Prodigy bottom panel

Prodigy bottom dust filter removed


Closer look at the interior

Now with the side panel removed we see what looks like a shrunken tower case. The Prodigy is laid out just like a standard case with the HDD cages up forward, PSU mounting on the bottom and the motherboard would sit over the PSU.

Prodigy panels removed

The interior of the case is mostly white with traces of black which would be the HDD brackets and cooling pieces.

Sitting on the bottom and in the rear of the case is the PSU mounting location. The case will support a PSU up to 6.3 inches in length. The cage in which the PSU would be secured by has cut-outs for routing cables. If the HDD cases are removed two 2.5" drives can be mounted onto the PSU cage.

Prodigy PSU cage

The top of the PSU cage services as the motherboard tray as well.

For an added cooling aspect the slot covers are vented and there is a 120mm in the rear to suck air from inside the case.

Prodigy 120mm rear fan

Up front are dual HDD cages that can support up to five drives including 2.5” and 3.5” unit. The first tier HDD cage can be removed to support longer video cards.

Prodigy HDD cage Prodigy HDD 2

Prodigy HDD cage top Prodigy HDD cage bottom

And with the cage removed we see the 120mm that is mounted upfront. The fan is portion blocked still by the bottom HDD cage but still has a portion that can blow over the motherboard.

Prodigy front fan


Build Images

Prodigy motherboard installed


Conclusion

The BitFenix is one of the better ITX cases out there. It has a list of features that you will not find in many cases of this size. This has been one of the few times I was happy to receive a case and just as happy to get the chance to work on one. Yes, most of it was due to the hype the case has received from the vast users that post up on the forums. The hype the Prodigy received made it seems like it was the second coming.

Working on the BitFenix was not a hazard waiting to happen. The case is larger in real life than some on a few of the forum threads that detail it. To give you some idea the size of the Prodigy is almost twice the amount of the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advance we reviewed. 34 versus the Elite’s 19.9. To most this is to be accepted  as it come house some pretty long video cards and a lot of drives. But it is not as big as the Xigmatek Gigas which is an ITX/mATX.

The Prodigy could as well be one of the best ITX for the enthusiast as the one advantage it has over the rest is the water-cooling features which it supports.. A dual 120mm rad can be featured in the top of the case as well as single unit in the rear or even the front with a little modding. Opening the window for more cooling choices.

The storage capacity of the case is outstanding as the Prodigy can house a total of five 3.5” drives or nine 2.5” drives. With solid state drives fast becoming the norm this is good as both HDD cages can be removed and the space used for other things like water-cooling parts. Too bad longer rads can't be used without having to get rid of the optical bay.

There are many other good aspects of the Prodigy that we can about here in the conclusion but we will bypass them and allow you to read about them in the body of the review.

Time for a few things we feel that could be fix with the Prodigy at least the sample we received. We love the looks of the handles of the case but using them for the feet made the case a little on the wobbly side. I was able to rock the case from side to side (only a small amount) while the case was empty.

Lastly, the Prodigy is not the smallest ITX case we have ever dealt with. Actually the case has more overall volume than some mid towers. This definitely will not hurt the case when it comes to sales as many that are looking at this case knows what they are getting and not worry much about the size.

Almost forget one more thing. You will have to be pretty selective when purchasing a power supply to use in the Prodigy. You have an estimated 6.3" inside the PSU cage to work with and don't forget to add on the how far the extension plugs will add to the end of the PSU.

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