I said it on the first page of today’s article, I fell in love with this case when I first saw the press release. From that point on I decided to ditch my planned and mostly purchased Intel LGA2011 build. The decision was mostly based on the a few pictures and the information in the original press release. Now that I have the BitFenix Prodigy on hand, am I as impressed with the Prodigy as I was when I first saw it? For the most part I would have to say yes. There are a couple of items that caught me off guard, mainly because I didn’t do enough research on the BitFenix Prodigy before I would have purchased it. That’s not the fault of BitFenix so I won’t hold my errors against them.
The first thing that I wasn’t as impressed with as I had hoped was the cooling options. Having to sacrifice the optical drive bay in order to use a dual 120mm radiator was a bit disappointing. If I would have actually read the entire press release it’s clearly stated in there: Remove FlexCage and the ODD bay all together to make room for a thick 240mm water cooling radiator. I knew it would fit a dual 120mm radiator which I was ecstatic about, and I still am. Is it worth sacrificing the optical drive though? Not quite sure on that one just yet.
The other issue I have with the BitFenix Prodigy is the location of the ‘front panel’. Instead of being on the actual front of the Prodigy, it is built into the side panel. The first flaw I see with this design is that in order to remove the panel, you will have to first unplug the cables. If all of your cables are passing through the holes in the PSU cage or zip tied together for a clean look, that can be troublesome to accomplish. The other issue I have with this is more of a personal set up issue. The current location of my computer will put those buttons against the wall. If I rotate the case so that these are accessible the ventilation for the graphics card will be blocked. Once again this is more of a configuration issue with my desk than the case. It is simply something that you may need to be aware of depending on your setup.
The above issues that I have with the BitFenix Prodigy are easily outweighed by the advantages and features that are packed into this tiny wonder! Before we even opened up the chassis, just handling it was a pleasure. The BitFenix SofTouch surface was a huge change from the cold steel that is typically found on most cases. The top and bottom of the BitFenix Prodigy feature the BitFenix FyberFlex composite handles, at first I was a little worried about them holding up when carrying the Prodigy around. I kept being overly cautious at first, by the time I was done building the system and had been moving in and out of the light box for photos, I was carrying it around by just one handle without an issue. The handles may flex, but they have always come right back to where they belong and seem to be incredibly strong!
Once we moved into the BitFenix Prodigy I continued to be impressed. For starters I am not the most graceful individual out there, and when building a PC I will typically end up with cuts and scrapes all across my hands. All of the edges in the Prodigy were rolled over so I didn’t have to worry about that with this build, that says volumes about the build quality of the BitFenix Prodigy. When it comes to the build itself, I was impressed with the configuration options! The simple fact that you can remove all of the BitFenix FlexCages and still have room for five SSD’s is impressive in itself! Toss in the fact that we can fit in graphics cards that measure up to 320mm (12.6 inches) which is nearly double the length of the mini-ITX motherboard that measures 6.7 inches x 6.7 inches just adds to the WOW factor. Let’s not forget the ability to build a full custom water cooling with a 240mm radiator the BitFenix Prodigy is a winner in my book!
If you are looking for something other than a black case, BitFenix also offers the Prodigy in white. Personally I think I like the white better between the two of them. Which ever one you choose, you will pay the same price as both of them are available for only $79.99 plus shipping!
Legit Bottom Line: The BitFenix Prodigy mini-ITX chassis is a beautifully crafted case that has the features to meet the demands of an enthusiast and all in a small form factor chassis!