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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  • Guspaz - Saturday, June 02, 2012 - link

    I ended up buying the Lian-Li LanCool PC-K12 and putting some hotswap bays in it; it holds 15x3.5" drives. I also have 2x2.5" drives in there for boot, but that's kind of a kludge, since they're not mounted to anything except a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter that is loose in the case. Still, that many SATA cables in a case, the drive sled isn't budging. Reply
  • Matt355 - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    I Don't know why he doesn't like it but I didn't use the Li PC-Q08 because I was building a WHS and didn't need a optical drive or a big fan in front. The LIAN LI PC-Q25B has 5 hot swop bays and allows you to install 2 or 3 at the bottom of the case. I'm currently running 5 drives in mine 5 3.5 drives and 1 SSD. Reply
  • Matt355 - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    Try the LIAN LI PC-Q25B Thats what I used for my WHS. Reply
  • Synomenon - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    So when are these going to be available for purchase in the US? Is it too late for Bitfenix to take recommendations and critiques from reviews to improve the case before making it available for purchase? Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    It's already available at NCIX's US site.

    http://us.ncix.com/search/?q=bitfenix+prodigy
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    My bad, that's just a preorder. Reply
  • LOUiECOG - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    If you click on it, it actually says they have some in stock. I'm not sure if they'll send it to you right away or not since it states preorder. But they do say they have it in stock. Reply
  • xbournex - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    It'll be available early July guys, and we're laying the eggs down pretty soon around that time as well! Reply
  • B3an - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    It's nice to see a case that doesn't look like a piece of shit, as if a 10 year old designed it or someone stuck some random plastic parts together with glue. Reply
  • Matt355 - Friday, June 01, 2012 - link

    Have you seen the Cubitek Mini Tank. Reply

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