Introducing the BitFenix Prodigy

The mini-ITX form factor is starting to pick up steam these days, and with good reason. Micro-ATX boards are already capable of essentially hitting feature parity with full ATX boards, including multi-GPU support, while many mini-ITX boards include almost all the bells and whistles an end user could need. With the right board it's just not that hard to build a powerful gaming system in a fraction of the space it used to require.

There's also been a slow trickle of new mini-ITX enclosures designed to support that kind of hardware, but even these enclosures have had their limits unless you were willing to spend through the nose on a Lian Li case. That changes today with the BitFenix Prodigy, a $79, full-frills mini-ITX enclosure designed for maximum performance in minimum space. If you're looking to build a powerful mini-ITX system with a single graphics card, this may very well be the case you've been waiting for.

I had a reader e-mail me asking why we even bother with lower profile releases from less well known brands, and I argued that just because a brand isn't as big as, say, Antec, SilverStone, or Lian Li doesn't mean they aren't worth investigating. On the contrary, sometimes you have the privilege of bringing to light a fantastic product that people simply wouldn't have known about. WIth the Prodigy, BitFenix has an enclosure that absolutely merits your attention. It isn't perfect, but for a first effort priced at just $79, it doesn't have to be. Here's the quick overview:

BitFenix Prodigy Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 1x 5.25"
Internal 2x 3.5"/2.5", 3x 3.5"/2.5" in modular cage, 4x 2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan (supports up to 230mm)
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan (supports up to 140mm)
Top 2x 120mm fan mount
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 2
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 170mm
PSU 140mm or 160mm non-modular
GPU 7" with modular drive cage/12.5" without
Dimensions 9.84" x 15.9" x 14.1"
250mm x 404mm x 359mm
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
Support for 240mm radiator
Price MSRP $79

Ordinarily in the spec sheet I wouldn't mention support for a 240mm radiator as a special feature, but on the BitFenix Prodigy things are a bit different. Take a moment to really let all that expandability sink in; even with just a 230mm intake fan and a 140mm exhaust, you could turn this case into an incredibly efficient and incredibly quiet enclosure.

It's remarkably flexible for its size, essentially allowing the end user to make a series of tradeoffs to suit the needs of their build. If you're willing to give up the 5.25" bay, you can easily fit a 240mm radiator in the top. If you want to install a full-sized graphics card, you can remove the middle modular drive cage. You're down three 3.5" drive bays, but there are still two left over in the bottom of the case. These are all compromises but they're your compromises to make depending on your needs. Let's find out just how it all fits together, shall we?

In and Around the BitFenix Prodigy
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  • B3an - Saturday, June 02, 2012 - link

    LOL! Thats exactly what i'm talking about. Thats one seriously ugly case, but SO many PC cases often look like that. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    Very nice. I love the idea of a small machine being very powerful, yet fully DIY and standard. Lovely case.. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    No pics with the card installed?

    This case's basic design is one I've been asking for a long time now. Glad someone finally did it. The great price just throws it over the top. Wish there was a silver version =P.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately, only black and white versions. :| It really is an awesome case, though. Reply
  • Daller - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    I wish some of these "bigger" ITX cases would be tested with proper hardware.

    This case is obviously designed with bigger tower coolers in mind. Shove an i7-3770K in there at 4.5 GHz and a high-end GPU instead of this mainstream stuff.

    A SFX powersupply in a case designed for ATX PSU - who on earth would ever do that?

    'nuff said.
    Reply
  • Daller - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    They got the idea:
    http://www.caseking.de/shop/catalog/images/product...
    Reply
  • Menty - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    "A SFX powersupply in a case designed for ATX PSU - who on earth would ever do that?"

    Someone who was unable to fit in an ATX PSU, as is the case here? :P
    Reply
  • Daller - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    He tried with a modular PSU - they require more space. High quality non-modular PSU are readily available - and better than any SFX unit i know of. Reply
  • xbournex - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    160mm PSU's will fit. As with all PSU's, each company will use different thickness cables. Some will use thin black cables with no color, some will use sleeving bundled together to make huge inflexible cables. Reply
  • DragonMantis - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    Does installing the dedicated GPU require removal of the middle drive cage? How long a card can be accommodated? Reply

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