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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  • xbournex - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    Yes. It can fit 330mm cards.
  • 7amood - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    I would love to see anandtech review of silverstone SG08
  • Termie - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    My problem right off the bat with this case is that its dimensions (9.84" x 15.9" x 14.1") are almost identical to the Temjin: 15.16" x 8.27" x 14.72". Sure, the handles make it taller than it really is, but ultimately, the case is just too big. It is both wider and deeper than the Temjin. I just can't see a reason for going with this case if you're trying to be compact.
  • Termie - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    Sorry - upon looking at the pictures again, it seems it's not deeper than the Temjin, but actually taller (hard to match up those dimensions). Either way, it sure is wide!
  • Olaf van der Spek - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    How well is the Prodigy doing with the 560 Ti vs a regular mATX case?
    You just say: "Thermals for the Prodigy are still quite good, but the 560 Ti does push it a little." but some more words wouldn't hurt. The cooling in the Prodigy shouldn't be worse than in a mATX case IMO.
  • Taft12 - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    On the contrary, I think the short depth with front/back 120mm fans and "tunnel" for air to travel through front-to-back will provide BETTER cooling than most mATX cases.

    A terrific design worthy of the Editor's Choice award!
  • MichaelD - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    Case is great except for the feet. They let the designer people overrule the engineering people, which is usually not a good idea. Yes; the top handles are symmetrical with the bottom feet. And the case will tip over if you try to set it down on carpet. The "feet" have rounded edges which will just encourage the case to fall on it's side should you accidentally bump it. I can work around every other "negative" or shortcoming this nice case has, except the feet. That makes it a failure in my book. Side note: All that mesh ventilation looks nice on paper. Two weeks after building your system you'll be vacuuming dust out of that mesh on a weekly basis if you want the thing to run cool.
  • snajk138 - Sunday, June 3, 2012 - link

    It looks like you can take them off.
  • zcat - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    This BitFenix is a nice case that certainly would've been on my shortlist a few weeks ago, but I think I still would have gone with the slightly more expensive ($99) Lian Li PC-Q11A case that I did choose, as it's much prettier (all alluminum) and more minimal-looking.

    CPU: i7-3770S (65W)
    MB: Asus P8H77-I
    PSU: SeaSonic SS-300ET 300W 80+
    RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600
    SSD: 256GB Samsung 830
    HDDs: 2x 2TB 5900rpm in RAID1
    HSF: Xigmatek CAC-D9HH4-U02 PRAETON (one of the few that would fit, and quieter than stock)

    It went together quite easily, except for a few minor problems:
    1) Lian-li still uses a 3-pin connector for the power-led, so you have to re-pin it for 2.
    2) Had to order the rarer "left-angle" sata cables in order to connect the HDD sitting directly above the SSD on the drive cage.
    3) The side panel is attached with 8 tiny screws instead of 2 quick thumb screws like my previous full-ATX and micro-ATX LianLi's, but mini-itx cases are rarely opened anyway.

    Without the 2 HDDs, the system idles at just ~29W, and with at ~41W. Under full load it sucks ~118W so there's still headroom for me to add a 75W PCIe-powered card down the road (waiting on nvidia's more efficient mid/low-end kepler cards).

    If I had no plans to upgrade from intel's integrated HD4000 to a full-length/full-height/double-width card, I probably would've chosen the MUCH SMALLER Antec ISK110 case instead (same case used in pugetsystems 'overpriced' builds).

    Anyway... I guess this turned into a mini-itx mini-review of my own. Thanks Anandtech - looking forward to more mini & micro-ATX reviews as full-ATX fades to the fringes.
  • mars2k - Friday, June 1, 2012 - link

    Enter the poster child for Chinese plagiarism. All the positives aside, I would never buy a product that was a cheap copy of an iconic industrial design like a Mac Pro…and it’s blue.

    Take all the careful design in the world and wrap it in a blatant counterfeit skin..voila…worthless.

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