BitFenix intros enthusiast-friendly mini-ITX case


— 5:31 PM on May 24, 2012

We've seen more than our fair share of Mini-ITX enclosures over the years, and we've reviewed quite a few of them, too. BitFenix's new Prodigy chassis stands alone, despite following the same form factor. Everything about it is unusual, from the pudgy, Mac Pro-ish vibe of its external design to the clever arrangement of its internals.

As you can see, the motherboard tray lies perpendicular to the side panels, above the power-supply compartment. There are removable drive cages with little slide-out trays that face the side of the enclosure, for easy access. And there are handles at the top and bottom. BitFenix says those are crafted out of a composite material that is "very flexible yet offers incredible strength," and they have a "SoftTouch" rubberized coating.

All in all, the Prodigy can accommodate one standard ATX power supply, one 5.25" optical drive, and up to five 3.5" hard drives (or solid-state drives). There's a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the side, and the middle drive cage and optical bay can be removed to accommodate 240-mm liquid-cooling radiators and graphics cards as long as 9". Bundled cooling amenities include dual 120-mm fans, but there's room for larger ones at the front and rear, and another two fans at the top. That's quite impressive for a Mini-ITX case, I'd say.

More impressive is perhaps the Prodigy's price tag, which is just $79. We're accustomed to seeing hefty premiums on Mini-ITX enclosures, so for such an interesting specimen to be priced in line with more pedestrian ATX offerings is refreshing indeed. We might just have to get this one in our labs for a closer look.

   
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