Noise and Thermal Testing, Dedicated GPU

With our dedicated GPU testing, I decided to mix things up a bit with the BitFenix Prodigy and put the screws to it a little more. BitFenix designed this case to be able to support high end gaming systems, so I tested it with the usual Zotac GeForce GTS 450 Eco; however, I also tested with the ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti we ordinarily use for full ATX enclosures.

CPU Temperatures with dGPU

GPU Temperatures

SSD Temperatures with dGPU

Thermals for the Prodigy are still quite good, but the 560 Ti does push it a little. Temperatures for the CPU go up substantially with the increased thermal load of the faster GeForce. Still, we're talking about the graphics card itself only hitting about 69C under load.

CPU Fan Speed with dGPU

GPU Fan Speed

The fan speeds are still pretty good, though. It's reasonable to suggest there's a healthy amount of headroom in the Prodigy, just like it was designed for. Even though the GTX 560 Ti is raising temperatures across the board, the card itself isn't starving for air.

Noise Levels with dGPU

And here's the Prodigy's big win. Even with a substantially more powerful graphics card and having to contend with more heat, the Prodigy remains measurably--noticeably--quieter than the other mini-ITX cases we've tested. Thermal performance is competitive with the other cases, but BitFenix is able to do it all while generating less noise.

Noise and Thermal Testing Conclusion: Shortlist It
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  • Zoomer - Saturday, June 9, 2012 - link

    They got IPOed
  • Norseman4 - Saturday, June 2, 2012 - link

    Currently it's nowhere, even as listing the case as "not yet available", but you can pre-order. (Shipping mid June. 79.99 w/ free shipping)

    Additionally, NewEgg looks like they will carry it, since they have placeholders (out-of-stock, Image coming soon, that sort of thing) for both the blank and the white case. (Currently showing 79.99 w/ 15.88 shipping)

    Other retailers may also carry it since the BitFenix site shows 9 resellers, but does not include the 'Egg
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 3, 2012 - link

    While Newegg does a ton of enthusiast business, I'd say BitFenix would be happier to get their stuff on Amazon first. *Everyone* has heard of Amazon; Newegg is big, but not quite that big.
  • Zoomer - Saturday, June 9, 2012 - link

    They could just do that themselves right now by shipping a bunch to amazon under the fulfilled by amazon program.
  • oDii - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    As someone who regrets building a WHS box in an fully populated Lian Li PC-Q08, this looks like they were so close to getting it right! Just needed one more 3.5" drive bay. To be honest, it looks like there's a decent amount of room between the drive bays, so I'm surprised they didn't just reduce that and increase the available bays...
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    You need more than five? Theoretically you can pop another one in the 5.25" bay, or alternatively, switch to 2.5" drives depending on your capacity needs.
  • Streetwind - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    There's actually a ton more drive bays in there than it looks like. If you wanted to go all out, you could mount, all at the same time:

    - Five 3.5" drives in the HDD cages
    - One 2.5" drive in a mounting bracket below the bottom HDD cage
    - Two 2.5" drives in mounting brackets between the bottom HDD cage and the power supply bay
    - Two 2.5" drives in mounting brackets on the right side panel
    - Four 2.5" drives in a (third party) 5.25-to-2.5 adapter in place of the optical drive

    So yeah, while you can't do a RAID with six 3.5" drives, that's still a hell of a lot of storage for a mini-ITX case.
  • tjoynt - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    Just curious: why do you regret using the Lian Li PC-Q08? Or do you regret using WHS? ;)
  • oDii - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    WHS V1 is fine for slow, slightly protected storage.

    My problem with the PC-Q08 is that once you start loading it up - lots of disks, standard ATX sized PSU (maybe slightly longer due to modular cables) - there just isn't enough room for everything. At the moment after the last time I took everything out of it, I put the HDD activity cable around the wrong way - and still haven't corrected because of how much of a pain opening it and accessing even small things in it is.

    Perhaps to even slightly talk against my own argument of "needs more drive bays!"; the Q08 stacks the drives so close together that the cable between the SATA power connector leads becomes a major cable management problem - if it sticks out too much, you can't put the case back together. Similarly, you're pretty much forced to use 90 degrees rotated SATA data cables as standard cables would break the plastic supports of the drives they're attached to long before you managed to wrestle the side panel back on.

    The positive thing about the Prodigy is that it seems like they've really got that general accessibility down with the rotated motherboard tray, as Dustin mentions on page 3.

    I guess this case would be great for someone dabbling with ZFS - few disks, and a few locations for ZFS cache/ZIL.
  • sheltem - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    Too bad the Lian Li Q25 was released afterwards. It's a bit taller, but not as wide, because it ditches the dvd drives and has 5 hot swap hard drive bays. The side panels comes off easier.

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