One of my most used cases of last year is the Bitfenix Prodigy (my family own three between us), and Dustin gave it an Editor's Choice award back in June last year.  It offered a slightly larger mini-ITX case with space for several storage drives and a large GPU.  The Prodigy got enough of a following that requests were funnelled back to BitFenix to release a version, either the same size or slightly bigger for micro-ATX motherboards and dual GPU functionality.  I saw some of the design factors that Bitfenix were working on during Computex, but today they are officially announcing the BitFenix Prodigy M, the same size as the Prodigy but enough to fit a micro-ATX motherboard inside.

As you can see, it is all a tight squeeze to fit a 5-bay mATX board inside.  The Power Supply insert requires a unique cable (provided) to route the PSU to the front of the case, and both 120mm and slim 240mm water cooling radiators are supported.  The Prodigy M comes with the same SofTouch surface treatment as the Prodigy as well as FyberFlex handles.  By fitting the storage into the side panels and on the bottom of the case, BitFenix are claiming support for four 3.5" bays or five 2.5" bays, though I'd imagine that comes at the expense of certain other features.  For example, it would seem that users have the choice of a second long GPU or an ODD.

We are told that the Prodigy M will be available in October, and UK retailers currently have it on pre-order for just under £70 (inc. tax), which would put it at the US$90 mark (without tax), although official pricing from BitFenix is an MSRP of $99.  It would seem that intially the case will be available in white or black, although I would imagine we will see a more diverse color range as the orginial Prodigy has today.

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  • 1Angelreloaded - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    Yeah same thoughts, the footprint would have been perfect for an ITX, but just seems way to crammed to allow semi decent internal airflow for MATX.Which is what cube FF is all about, I would rather recommend a Xigmatek Gigas, H2go, Bob Slay V2, for the sizes they provide better airflow. This case wont be able to house an Asus Maximus board with the combo card due to the fan placements. Reply
  • mikepegg - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    "The Power Supply insert requires a unique cable (provided) to route the PSU to the front of the case" thats my only worry really. more info in review please :) Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    I'm guessing it's a longer version of the one in my NASes case which has an ATX PSU installed vertically on the back instead of the front; and is only unique in the sense that it's new to Ian. Basically a short extension cord that plugs into the cases wall plug socket on one and and to the PSU's AC in on the other.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • Termie - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    Based on experience with my TJ-08E, I can say with complete certainty that the Prodigy M will overheat - there's simply no way you could keep that level of components cool without a front intake fan. A definite pass... Reply
  • InterClaw - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    You can put 3 x 120mm or 1 x 200mm or 1 x 230mm at the bottom of the cage (or drives I guess). Reply
  • 1Angelreloaded - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    No he is right on top of that you can clearly see the parts will hinder the airflow due to the cramped quarters, Cube cases are superior due to the volume of air they can push in and out of a case, MATX and higher should never see anything less than 2 intake and 2 exhaust 120mm fans with a clear direct flow path to the main board and gpu, otherwise the thermals will rise rapidly causing throttling, the Gigas is better than this. Reply
  • voodoobunny - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    oooOOOOOOOoooooo :) Reply
  • Dentons - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    I never really got the point of the Prodigy ITX. I was actually going to buy one until I saw it in the shops, I was stunned at the size. The case is massive for ITX. And why? So it can hold a bunch of mechanical hard drives? So it can use a standard PSU?

    This shows that BitFenix is lagging a year or two behind the times, but so are most case manufacturers. A lot of cases still don't have USB 3.0.

    Even for those that want a large ITX case, there are better cases for less money. The Fractal Design Node 304 is one. A great case that's great looking, but still overly large for the ITX specification.

    The Prodigy in a mATX configuration seems to make more sense, but I have to wonder as to the ongoing need for lots of mechanical hard drives and standard PSU's. Many if not most non-gaming use cases could be adequately handled by a very tiny ITX case with an SSD and external PSU.

    Unfortunately, there are a real lack of high quality "book sized" cases, a size that seems perfectly designed for the ITX spec.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    Looking at the gallery, the prodigy M only has room for 2x 3.5" drives (and 3x 2.5); and the space where the 3'4" drives can go can also be used as a pair of fan mounts. All it's costing you is a few cents to drill more holes.

    The ITX version's 5 3.5" bays only makes sense as a NAS enclosure; but it's much larger than the Chenbro case I mentioned above (and even that could be made significantly smaller with an SFF PSU and reorienting the drive bays).
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    As an owner of a Shuttle SZ77R5, which is about as physically compact as an mITX case supporting a full-length GPU with 2x3.5" and 1x5.25" can possibly get (because there's little empty volume remaining inside, even if the mobo is a custom form factor slightly bigger than mITX), the Prodigy seems enormous...

    I would like to see a revised mITX prodigy with the following changes:
    - Remove bottom handles, since they take up space and make the Prodigy unstable (wobble). Replace them with raised feet, since the case still needs to be elevated a bit for airflow
    - Reduce the number of 3.5" drive bays to one or two; the 2.5" drives can mount randomly around the case as they do now, that's fine for SSDs
    - Attach the sidepanel ports/buttons to the main chassis (rather than the sidepanel), with a cutout from the sidepanel that fits over or around it
    - Remove the space used for a few of the fan mounts. Airflow is good, but 4x120mm in an mITX case is excessive.
    - Revise the top handles. Handles are a great idea (moving around computer cases is always annoying), but they could be a bit lower profile while still allowing easy carrying points.

    mITX cases don't have to be as insanely tightly packed as my Shuttle, but the Prodigy could still be made a bunch smaller if less space was wasted on things most people won't need (like extra fans, extra 3.5" drives) or don't want (like bottom handles).
    Reply

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