A quick look at BitFenix’s Prodigy enclosure

Mini-ITX motherboards have come a long way since the early days of soldered-on processors and PCI expansion cards. Current offerings have standard desktop sockets, PCI Express x16 slots, and peripheral ports up the wazoo. They can accommodate some of the fastest processors and GPUs available today.

It’s still difficult to find truly enthusiast-grade Mini-ITX enclosures, however. Most cases designed to accommodate the form factor have caveats, including limited support for larger coolers, graphics cards, and PSUs. Also, their cramped internals leave little room for mechanical drive arrays and can make the building process a royal pain.

There is one rather striking deviation from the norm: BitFenix’s Prodigy. This Mini-ITX box has little trouble accommodating full-sized desktop parts, and it has more drive bays than most mid-towers. Builder-friendly amenities abound, making assembly incredibly easy. I recently built a couple of systems inside the Prodigy for a special project you’ll read about soon, and I gained some insight into the case along the way.

The first thing you need to know is that the Prodigy isn’t all that small. At 9.8″ x 15.9″ x 13.7″ (or 250 x 404 x 359 mm), it’s more than double the size of the Silverstone SG07 pictured above on the left. The SG07 is already pretty beefy for a Mini-ITX chassis, so the Prodigy is positively monstrous. I’ve seen microATX enclosures that are smaller.

Of course, there are no rules that dictate how small a Mini-ITX chassis should be. ATX cases come in a range of sizes from modest mid-towers to gargantuan monoliths, so perhaps we should expect similar variety among Mini-ITX designs. It’s also worth noting that the Prodigy’s footprint isn’t much bigger than the SG07’s; the main difference between these enclosures is their height.

The Prodigy puts a new twist on a nostalgic design; it looks like the goth love child of the Power Mac G3 and G5. Despite the obvious influences, though, the Prodigy doesn’t feel like a copycat—not unless you’re one of those people who believes Apple has a monopoly on specific shapes.

The Prodigy’s exterior is as much about function as it is about form. Mini-ITX systems are ideal for LAN gaming rigs, and the handles on the top make it easy to carry the system. Matching handles at the bottom suspend the case 1.75″ (44 mm) off the floor, ensuring ample airflow for the bottom-mounted PSU bay. All four handles are made of flexible composite plastic, so they provide a hint of cushioning if you should drop the case inadvertently. I wouldn’t recommend it, though. While the handles spring back to their original shape after being deformed, your system’s internal components may not recover so gracefully.

Plastic parts can feel a little cheap, but the Prodigy’s handles have a soft-touch coating that’s really quite nice. The smooth, matte finish won’t pick up fingerprints, either. Unfortunately, the color isn’t a perfect match for the black metal side and front panels, especially under bright lighting. Replicating the same hue across different materials isn’t easy, and you can see similarly subtle mismatches in the white, red, and orange versions of the Prodigy. Kudos to BitFenix for making those other options available, though. The Prodigy looks particularly cute in color.

From the rear, we can see the Prodigy’s liberal use of thumbscrews. These screws anchor the side panels, PSU bracket, and expansion cards, and BitFenix throws in a few more for the single optical bay. Sadly, the thumbscrews pre-installed on the Prodigy cases we received were too tight to unscrew by hand. Having to use a screwdriver kind of nullified the intended convenience, at least for the initial setup.

The left side panel is riddled with ventilation holes. The Prodigy was designed to house potent hardware, and it’s well-equipped to keep even high-end parts cool. This thing has room for up to five fans, and it comes with two 120-mm spinners in the box. One of those fans is configured as a rear exhaust, while the other serves as an intake behind the front bezel. The stock fans have three-pin connectors and are reasonably quiet, but they’re nothing special.

Although the rear bracket comes loaded with a 120-mm fan, it also supports 140-mm units. There’s some flexibility with the front intake, as well. You can add a second 120-mm fan, or you can replace the existing one with something larger. The front intake has mounting holes for 140, 180, 200, and 230-mm fans.

On the black version of the Prodigy, the front fan mounts sit behind a mesh panel that covers the face of the chassis. This configuration should provide more airflow than on the white and colored variants of the case. (Those have solid front bezels with slim vents around their edges.)

Prying off the front mesh to clean it requires removing the side panel, which is a fairly involved process. Thankfully, taking out the other dust filters is simpler. The filter for the PSU intake slides out of the bottom of the case with ease, and the one covering the top fans pops off with little effort.

Up top, we find two more 120-mm fan emplacements. There’s enough room for a 240-mm liquid cooling radiator, but installing one will cost you the optical bay. A double-wide radiator can also be attached to the front panel. That configuration requires removing both of the Prodigy’s drive cages, which might seem like a horrible idea. Amazingly, though, the Prodigy still has five 2.5″ drive mounts even with the cages removed. To get a better sense of how that’s possible, we need to take a look inside the case…

Peering inside the Prodigy

The Prodigy’s generous proportions aren’t just for show. They’re responsible for the chassis’ roomy internals, and BitFenix has made the most of the available space. Opening the side panels reveals an internal layout reminiscent of contemporary mid-towers.

There are some differences, though. Instead of laying the motherboard along one of the side panels, the Prodigy positions it parallel to the floor. That layout leaves enough vertical clearance for common tower-style air coolers. Heatsinks as tall as 6.9″ (175 mm) are supported. Of course, adding a fan to the top-panel mount directly above the motherboard will reduce that clearance somewhat.

Most Mini-ITX cases have very limited cooler support, so the Prodigy’s tall main compartment really stands out. The airy design also makes inserting the motherboard a breeze. You can slide in the board easily from either side, regardless of whether the memory and cooler are installed already. With access on both sides, getting the motherboard into the chassis and lined up with the rear I/O shield is a trivial task.

Bolting down the motherboard can a little more difficult, however, because you’ll need a screwdriver shorter than about 6″ (152 mm) to avoid butting up against the top of the case. And since the motherboard posts don’t line up with the opening in the top panel, you can’t thread a longer screwdriver through the case’s ceiling. This is an admittedly minor annoyance, especially considering the hoops one has to jump through to install the motherboard in some Mini-ITX chassis. Still, screwdriver length isn’t a concern with most other cases.

BitFenix stacks two drive cages behind the front bezel. The top cage can be removed without tools, while the bottom one requires a screwdriver to extract. Ditching the bottom cage is only necessary if you want to run a radiator in the front panel. I’m guessing few users will do that, especially since there’s room for a similar radiator up top.

I expect more folks will be inclined to remove the Prodigy’s top cage to make room for longer graphics cards. With the cage in place, the maximum graphics card length is a relatively stubby 7.1″ (180 mm). Pulling out the cage provides enough clearance for cards as long as 13.1″ (335 mm), which means even the ultra-high-end GeForce Titan and Radeon HD 7990 will fit. That said, cards with triple-slot coolers aren’t supported, since there are only two expansion slot openings at the back.

The systems I’ve been building inside the Prodigy use integrated graphics, but out of curiosity, I popped a GeForce GTX 680 into one of them. Installing the card took all of a few seconds. The hardest part of the process? Loosening the thumbscrews holding the expansion slot covers in place. My only concern was that, since the vents in the left side panel weren’t filtered, the GPU cooler was free to suck dust into the case.

The main drive cage slides out on tool-free rails and houses three sleds ready for 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives. Desktop drives are held in place by metal pins backed by rubber dampers, but you’ll need to screw in notebook drives and SSDs manually. If you’re worried about the sleds sliding around, each one can be screwed to the cage, as well.

Two more sleds populate the lower cage, which is screwed to the floor of the chassis. The sleds slide out to the left in the default configuration, but the entire dual-cage assembly is reversible.

The Prodigy has five additional 2.5″ drive mounts outside of the cages. One of those mounts lies between the lower cage and the bottom panel, while two line the wall of the PSU area, and another two are situated on the inside of the right side panel. The only thing missing is an external drive dock. Then again, I can’t think of any Mini-ITX cases—or even microATX ones—with built-in docks, so it’s hard to fault BitFenix for that omission.

Pictured above is the right panel, which houses the SSD bays, the external USB and audio ports, the power and reset buttons, and the power and HDD lights. Some folks may prefer those ports on the left side, so it’s a good thing the panels can be swapped. However, that maneuver requires detaching the SSD cage and transplanting it onto the other panel (or removing it entirely). Swapping the panels also means losing the venting holes next to the graphics card.

Unlike older Mini-ITX cases, the Prodigy includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports. These are tied to one of those newfangled internal headers, and BitFenix provides an adapter for internal USB 2.0 connectors. That said, you’re on your own if you need to route USB connectivity from the rear-panel ports.

As I fine-tune the systems living in our twin Prodigy enclosures, I grow to appreciate the openness and flexibility of the case’s loft-like floor plan. There is one room that feels claustrophobic, though. The PSU bay is tight, with barely enough clearance for the Rosewill Fortress 550W units packed into our rigs. We had to route cables carefully just to get that PSU into the chassis. Admittedly, we’re exceeding the maximum size by a smidgen. Our units are 6.4″ (163 mm) long; the official FAQ recommends using PSUs no longer than 5.9″ (150 mm), and it identifies the maximum length as 6.3″ (160 mm). You’re better off sticking with shorter ATX units to avoid the hassle.

Happily, thanks to the Prodigy’s width, there’s plenty of room for excess cabling on either side of the PSU. The motherboard tray and second internal wall are perforated with routing holes, making it easy to lace a relatively clean layout with only the zip-ties included in the box. I also like that the power supply sits on fat rubber bumpers to dampen vibration. The reversible back plate is a nice touch, too, especially given the filtered grill in the bottom panel.

Conclusions

The Prodigy isn’t for everyone. Indeed, the fact that BitFenix has dared to build such a large Mini-ITX case seems to irk some folks. Let the haters hate, though. For some applications, bigger is simply better. The Prodigy’s generous size allows it to do things other Mini-ITX enclosures can’t, like stack five 3.5″ mechanical hard drives alongside five SSDs in a storage-centric config. You can also drop in a massive water cooler and uber-high-end graphics card and be the envy of the next LAN party. Were it not for my discrete sound card, I could swap mobos and squeeze my current desktop into the thing without any fuss.

With an affordable $90 asking price, the Prodigy is even suitable for budget systems. You’ll pay about twice as much for a fancier Silverstone Mini-ITX case like the SG07, which admittedly includes a 600W PSU. The SG07 is smaller, too, but it’s but not nearly as easy to work inside—or as flexible.

Of course, Mini-ITX has some inherent flexibility issues: you’re limited to a single PCIe expansion slot, and graphics cards usually have dibs on that. Folks who need additional slots may be better served by a microATX motherboard and a matching enclosure. After all, Corsair’s enthusiast-friendly Obsidian 350D microATX case is only 16% larger than the Prodigy by volume, and Silverstone’s SG10 is actually smaller than the BitFenix case—though, like the 350D, it’s a little more expensive.

Regardless of your affinity for Mini-ITX, it’s hard not to praise what BitFenix has accomplished. The Prodigy is small enough to be unobtrusive, attractive enough to put on display, open enough to be easy to work in, accommodating enough to house a range of systems, and affordable enough for all. This is still a niche product, but apart from a few minor niggles, BitFenix appears to have nailed it.

Comments closed
    • melissamando230
    • 7 years ago
    • Johannesburg
    • 7 years ago

    You should see the Prodigy with the top and bottom trim off. The only shame is the finish underneath, but it’s a small price to pay for a stumpy Prodigy IMO.

    Edit: [url<]http://i.imgur.com/0SN3jv6.jpg[/url<] Photography By: Photohannesburg.

    • adampk17
    • 7 years ago

    I purchased this case based on this review and it showed up today. My case only has the two left (as you face the case head-on) motherboard standoffs. There are just holes where the right standoffs should be. I don’t see any mention of having to install them in the manual, nor were any provided in the parts bag.

    Am I being dumb and missing something obvious or did I get a bad one?

    • rwburnham
    • 7 years ago

    I use this case and it is great.

    However, the limited space for the PSU is a problem. I had to sell a good Corsair case that was 160mm long because it would not fit and get something a little smaller.

    Also, fan noise from the video card is far more noticeable than it was in the last two cases. It’s a Radeon 6850 that has one large fan on it built specifically to be quiet, but that thing gets noisy during gaming.

    It’s not a perfect case, but for now I like it.

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    I think that this is the perfect LAN/portable gaming/workstation case. The only disappointment is the [url=https://techreport.com/image.x/bitfenix-prodigy/big_built1.jpg<]wasted volume[/url<] between the motherboard and the front of the enclosure when the middle hard drive cage is removed to accommodate a longer graphics card.

    • hasseb64
    • 7 years ago

    At last one good small case review!
    Maybe not for me but things are moving into mini-atx direction (finally)
    Can’t use this case with passive cooled PSU unfortunately, maybe not a deal breaker..

    Still that useless old fashion optical slot and too many drive bays.
    Nice looks!

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah, this case is pretty monstrous. For the same size you could go with a micro-ATX enclosure.

    My expectations grow as size decreases though and you really need to start making sacrifices for that size. While it’s quite modular, you can’t simply remove that excess space by taking out the drive bay caddy. That full size PSU takes up a lot of space too. I’m not sure why it’s in it’s own little walled off section, using some pillars to support the tray would’ve been a lot better arrangement for both airflow and accessability.

    I think Lian-Li really has this down though. You either move a full size PSU above the CPU socket (so it also functions as a rearport exhaust and buy a PSU with a 120 or 140mm fan) on it or you move it to the front of the case below the drive cages. Then you either flip it up right or leave it facing the motherboard. That seems to be the best solution for this while still maintaining a full size ATX psu.

    The other option is simply using mini-itx or FTX (which I just learned about) PSUs. There really should be a pact for case makers where they all agree on using a certain small form factor PSU so then PSU makers start building for them. There really are no options for either FTX or mini-itx PSUs, they’re all pretty generic. It’d be great to see Corsair, Seasonic, or OCZ hop in there. Seasonic has some really generic models, but nothing I’d trust.

    The other qelp I would have is that perforated side panel. I hate those as they let noise escape through the side. So if you have your computer sitting next to you on your desk you hear all the fans spinning up and down with little to nothing blocking them. Just another one of those things you should forgo when going smaller. Really all a case needs at this size in my opinion is two 120s, one at the front and one at the rear. If you can get the PSU to function in either one of these roles more points to you.

    Everything takes up space and going smaller is a battle of attrition, you need to start chopping things off or you end up with something like this which is too big for the form factor it’s representing. It really looks like they could’ve fit a micro-atx motherboard in here if they flipped it sideways and mounted it in a traditional manner against the side of the case.

      • Spunjji
      • 7 years ago

      What you say makes a lot of sense right up until the bit about the PSU as an exhaust. Being that they are high-heat environments with a temperature controlled fan, you really want to be providing the PSU with as much fresh air as possible. They’re also fairly lousy as exhausts due to the way the 120mm+ fan variants force the air to exit via a 90-degree turn. I have found from experience that it’s best to leave them to ventilate themselves and as little else as possible.

      I agree that this case looks like it’s between stools, though. It’d be better to either stretch to mATX for barely any additional volume, or further optimise for size and ignore silly outliers like watercooling and GTX 690s.

      Also agreed about the side perforations. Perforations be damned, front-to-back positive-pressure airflow is where it’s at.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    Mice little case, I was considering one to use to build a little Hackintosh but after pricing all the components I wound up purchasing a new i7 Mac Mini since it was roughly the same price.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    The reason people are annoyed by its size is not really the fault of the Prodigy case. It’s the fact there are just so few really great SMALL mITX cases for the enthusiast to consider and fewer still that are cheap and small and good.

      • Machupo
      • 7 years ago

      I agree, this is why the community takes over from time to time 🙂

      [url<]http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1717132[/url<] 2x prototypes have been made by Lian-Li and are in thermal/fitting testing... production kickstarter to occur soon w/ a projected August delivery date. [edit]not that this one will be cheap :p[/edit]

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Oh.
        My.
        <Deity>.

        That’s beautiful!

        • auxy
        • 7 years ago

        Oh my god! I must have it! I even have that CPU cooler already!

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly. This. Why does it take two guys from a forum to make this? Just seems obvious to me that making HUGE cases for something that’s supposed to be small is someone somewhere losing the plot.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        It looks like it’s made for a micro-atx motherboard though. Look at the space under the mini-itx board and extra expansion slots.

        That case has too much perforation in it for a quiet system. Only thing that’s not perforated is the panel the board is against and the front. I’m not sure why they went with side perforation and then made crappy venting on the back which can’t fit bigger then 92mm fan dspite there being room. Even the 92mm holes don’t have slots matching to it.

          • auxy
          • 7 years ago

          It only has three expansion slots. It’s intended for Mini-ITX, with a powerful GPU. Underneath the GPU, if you aren’t using the third slot, you can mount drives.

          MicroATX requires four expansion slots.

          Sure you can’t make it silent, but this is clearly meant for a powerful gaming system, which isn’t really going to be silent anyway.

          It has room for a 240mm radiator on the side, which is why the side is perforated that way. It’s a brilliant design; you should look more carefully at it.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            I can’t say I’m thrilled with that then… There are perfectly capable GPUs that fit in a double slot. If this is aiming to be a perfect mini-itx enclosure then I’m going to hold them to that. It really was a waste of space.

            You can still have a powerful, well ventilated gaming system without the entire case being perforated. Positive and negative airflow should be looked at as a proper alternative to simply brute forcing it by putting a fan on every orifice and making sure the case is full of holes.

            Stuff like adding a 240mm radiator on the side is rather frivolous, the same that it can fit one on top. That takes away from the focus of such a small enclosure, which shouldn’t be focused around extreme cooling, rather size and efficiency. Case mounted water cooling is more bling then anything. You need the extra airflow inside such a small case to make sure everything is cool and air doesn’t stagnate around the CPU socket. OCing in such a tight space is just asking for trouble and you don’t need a super mega cooler for a normal system, even a gaming one (despite what people think, stock heatsinks DO work). Although I know people love their cooling systems and it’s often times complete overkill.

            The design looks pretty nice, but they didn’t consider airflow at all. They just put a fan wherever they could fit one. It really is disappointing that the back end of the case only has a 80/92mm fan on it too, with slotting too small for the 92mm. If you really need to you can get a corsair cooler that can hang off the back and pull air through the case (if they had a 120mm spot). They should really cover all those perforations except in the front and the rear and have a push/pull system in place. It not only would keep noise down, but allow for positive airflow through the entire case.

            • Voldenuit
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]I can't say I'm thrilled with that then... There are perfectly capable GPUs that fit in a double slot. If this is aiming to be a perfect mini-itx enclosure then I'm going to hold them to that. It really was a waste of space.[/quote<] The NCASE M1 is designed to accept both Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards. While Mini-DTX is a much rarer form factor than Mini-ITX, it has one extra expansion slot, so sounds to me like it would be a great option for people who want mini-ITX form factor yet still want an extra expansion card (soundcard, RAID controller, etc) to go with their GPU. The NCASE looks amazing to me, and I'm impressed at the thinking that's gone into designing it. Although it's not going to be cheap, it could set a benchmark that every other case maker will be struggling to meet.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Lian-Li makes some similar cases with similar dimensions in the same form factor (some smaller). They still aren’t perfect, just like the M1 isn’t.

            You could make a case to accept a micro-atx motherboard too, that doesn’t mean you should when you’re trying to go for the absolute smallest size.

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      Agreed. There seem to be a fair amount on the Intel side, but AMD users will be out of luck for AM3 CPUs. There are simply no AM3 mini ITX boards to buy anywhere. You can get some FM1 and FM2 boards, and for some budget gaming builds those chips will get the job done, but the lack of an AM3 option stings.

    • auxy
    • 7 years ago

    Bitfenix Prodigy? I mean, not that I don’t appreciate the review, because I do, but…

    … well, I keep trying to make some reference to the ‘slowtaku’ meme, but I can’t make it happen. Slow Report? 😆

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    I read some other reviews and it appears that the handles and feet are becoming quite the Achilles Heel. The case hasn’t even been out that long and they are already failing – resulting in thumps when a foot fails and a crash when a handle breaks. The case looks dumb without them and the feet are mandatory due to ventilation requirements of the PS. I imagine the constant weight on the soft plastic feet will guarantee failure on all units within a couple years and if you are going to put carry handles on a case – they better be solid, which these obviously aren’t.

    • keltor
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not sure I understand the color comment, there doesn’t not appear to be ANY attempt to match the top color to the sides, they in fact look to be a complementary color from the same color family. I own the Prodigy case personally.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      I bought one and immediately returned after opening it up. I had several problems with it which, one of which was the white model I received had three different shades of white on it. If you want something this big do yourself a favour and get a proper mATX case and not this over-rated nostalgia mediocrity.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Handles? I own a Prodigy and I wouldn’t trust those “handles” if I had any chips more expensive than Doritos inside…

      • Captain Ned
      • 7 years ago

      Normally I’d agree with you with a vertically-oriented mobo with an oversize HSF hanging off of it. In this case (heh) with the mobo flat and gravity not being a bitch, this might actually work.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      they do look sturdy enough, and are screwed or riveted in on the side in the third pic. probably not as sturdy as the CM Cosmos handles, but it’s an mitx case after all.

        • drfish
        • 7 years ago

        The tabs holding the handles to the case is crap, mine arrived in a pristine looking box with the broken tabs initially hidden from view. I took the sides off and bits of plastic fell down on the table. The ones that weren’t damaged snapped off with trivial force. [url=http://dr_fish.speedymail.org/techreport/WP_000981.jpg]Behold[/url] the [url=http://dr_fish.speedymail.org/techreport/WP_000982.jpg]damage![/url] I would not recommend carrying this case by the handles. Love it otherwise.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    So the feet add 3.5″ (89mm) to the height. Is that the difference above and below the plane of the top and bottom, or does it include the molded part of the feet that runs alongside the left and right sides? If it is above and below the plane of the top and bottom the actual case is only 12.4″ high which is pretty small – it’s only a few inches more than a mITX board+ATX PSU jammed nest to each other.

    In any case 😉 the feet accounts for quite a bit of the added height of the case. I feel like BitFenix could have excluded the feet, or made them an option and when removed wouldn’t leave a weird channel along the sides, and included some inexpensive stick-on feet as an option. Lifting it off the ground serves no special purpose if you mount the PSU fan facing internally, or maybe just use the bottom foot. That would prevent or at least reduce the initial ‘omg it’s big for mITX’ reactions. Given what it can hold I still think it’s a great case and will be the first choice of mini ITX for those who want lots of CPU cooler clearance, numerous drive bays, a full-size optical drive bay, and ATX PSU.

      • tay
      • 7 years ago

      It is big but I really like its flexibility and the handles are removable.

      Interesting size comparisons [url<]http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_comparison/35015-Bitfenix-Prodigy-vs-Prodigy-w-no-handles-vs-Fractal-R2-vs-Sugo-SG07-08[/url<] Photo without handles [url<]http://cdn.overclock.net/d/d4/d4f9a054_Prodigy.jpeg[/url<]

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Nice, thanks for the pic without the handles. I knew they were removable. It ends up looking a little weird with the channel along the top and bottom edge without the handles which was my concern. If BitFenix made some ‘replacement channel’ accessories for like $10 I think they would sell. It’s easy enough to find stick-on feet otherwise.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I think the feet make sense in the context of a niche LAN application. It might add some overall volume, but the case obviously won’t scratch someone’s floor/table, it does offer some good points to carry the case, and it gives you some elevation off carpet if needed as well.

      But like I said, this is a very niche LAN context. I am sure you can find some alternatives that function almost as well without the large handles/feet.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Right, I am not hating on the handles, they serve a purpose for certain uses, but if they were optional somehow without making the case look weird that would be awesome. I’m not going to look up the details for the sake of this post but the only cases close to the flexibility of this (drive bays, ATX PSU) are Lian-Li ‘PC-x8’ cases, and they have much smaller CPU HSF clearance.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah. I’m not hating on them, either. Would be a nice thing to throw into the kit, though. Just some “bumpers” that cover up and hug the sides of the chassis would probably be a nice touch.

        • slowriot
        • 7 years ago

        I really like the Lian Li TU-200. It has a handle on the top. It has less flexibility in what you can pack in but still offers a lot. You can remove the hard drive enclosure and instead use a 5.25″ HD enclosure, then fit a closed loop water cooling setup in the front. You could have a very powerful setup inside. Something like a Core i7 + GTX670 (maybe larger even), plus something like a 2x SSD + 2x 2.5″ HD drive setup in the 5.25″ enclosure.

        Dang… I just convinced myself I should have went that route instead of going with a gaming laptop for my LAN gaming needs. Oh well!

          • auxy
          • 7 years ago

          I really like the TU-200 too, but it’s just so expensive. I can’t justify $170 on a case! That’s $100 I could spend on RAM, or a faster GPU, or an SSD, or anything! I love how it looks like a guitar amp tho.

          You definitely should have built a portable “desktop” machine rather than buying a gaming laptop. Is it too late to return it? Hehehe.

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