Friday, November 23, 2012


Why You'll Dig it:

Mini-ITX is a curious form factor. Both motherboards and cases have traditionally been designed around low power consumption, establishing a niche that has hardly set the world on fire. However with the evolution of the modern PC, mini-ITX is becoming a viable platform for building full power systems, and it is this market that Bitfenix is tackling with the Prodigy.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that this case only costs around US$80 - US$99, and is designed to work with off the shelf parts. You'll need a Mini-ITX motherboard but the Prodigy will then take a normal Power Supply, CPU, RAM, Graphics card and hard drives. It has been built with enough room to take up to a large tower cooler, or even on integrated water cooling system if you are so inclined.

Where To Get it?

Bitfenix has managed to allow the use of normal parts through a few tricks. Firstly, the motherboard sits horizontally, on top of the power supply cage. This makes the case a bit wider than normal ATX designs, but not significantly so. Secondly, a lot of the case internals are removable, which does limit the combinations of hardware that you can place inside, but not majorly. For example, if you want to use a full length graphics card (a front-mount radiator), then you'll need to remove one of the hard drive cages. This cuts the number of bays from five to two, but two bays are still enough to build a powerful PC with. If you wan to get even fancier the Prodigy can even fit a dual radiator integrated cooler if you remove the 5.25in optical drive bay.

While there are going to be limitations imposed by just what features you can find on a Mini-ITX motherboard, there is no reason why you can't build a top of the range system inside the Prodigy. Despite the fact that you'll be limited in the number of hard drives you can use, you can still put many terabytes worth of storage into the case.

Not only does the Prodigy offer great system flexibility in a small package, but it does so with an excellent build quality and attention to detail. Bitfenixhas even combined its soft-touch plastic finish with a new material dubbed "Plastic Steel" to make the handles on the case, which double as mild shock resistors if you are moving it around. By combining good engineering with a truly excellent pricetag, Bitfenix has created a case that has us re-evaluating Mini-ITX computing.

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Product Details:

Motherboard Form Factor: Mini ITX
Brand: bitfenix
Exterior Color: White

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