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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  • SquareOFortune - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link

    Where on earth could they ever have gotten the inspiration for that external design? ;) Reply
  • Mumrik - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    Finally an ITX case that comes loaded with storage bays. That means it has some pretty great NAS/server potential for a lot of people. I'd really like to have seen it tested with those bays filled with 3½" HDDs. Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    we just threw out a bunch of ancient apple towers that looked like this.

    little late to the game?
    Reply
  • SeanFL - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    Just realized this case is about the same size as the mini atx builds I've done.

    Here's a m-itx that is really small if needed. built it a few times, it works well.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • GED2 - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    Did you find the Easter Egg they left in the case that enables you to have BOTH a full-size GPU AND the middle bay for a total of seven drives?

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/user-builds/60362-geds-p...
    Reply
  • Narg - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Love this case. If they made it for Micro ATX I'd be all over it! ITX still doesn't fill the needs for my computer. But Micro ATX is perfect. Anyone know of a similar case in the Micro ATX sizes? Reply
  • n13L5 - Sunday, August 26, 2012 - link

    For one thing, it looks like a cheap copy of an old power mac.

    For another, I can't understand how they can be so wasteful with space for an mITX case.

    A counter productive box, I can find ATX cases that take up less room...
    Reply
  • jansteytt - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    HardwareDufus,
    Want a 23 liter case that is 22x30x34 cm? Want 5 or more 120mm+ case fans? 1000 watt power supply? Full sized CPU cooler? And Narg wants a mATX case. Perhaps smaller than the BitFenix. Room for three 3.5 in and four 2.5" drives? Both prayers have been answered.

    The Silverstone SG09 has been released in Japan. Supposed to be $99. in the USA, where it will be released in October. But costs $125 in Japan now. I was inspired by HardwareDufus and tempted to mod one of my Shuttle form factor cases (yes, the "S" in SFF was originally "Shuttle), but Silverstone has ticked every box except price. But the extra fans make it worthwhile for me; especially since fans can be ADDED!! The low temps may not be optimal for your hard drives, but everything else will rejoice.

    And did I mention, room for full sized cards?

    I don't need one, but I will buy one at $99.00
    Reply
  • BlueReason - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - link

    Not sure if this was pointed out yet, but it appears you accidentally forgot to change the details when you copied and pasted the first paragraph of the Testing Methodology section, as it seems to be from the review of a different case. Reply

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