Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
If you are in the know, then you can remember the release of the original Prodigy from BitFenix. The chassis released at the perfect time; the design was revolutionary, and gave users something outside the conventions of what a SFF chassis design typically offered. Of course, after this chassis hit the market, it was also a huge hit for the mod community, as it seemed everyone was buying them. The chassis was so well received, that even after quite some time, BitFenix found it productive for the bottom line to go back and offer this chassis in a plethora of colors to help match various system themes.
Some people in the mod community took things a step further. They were taking the Prodigy and hacking away at the back, removing the motherboard tray, and reconfiguring the entire interior to fit Micro-ATX based systems. They just liked the Prodigy so much that come hell or high water, they were going to make the much larger motherboard fit. But those days are now over. BitFenix has listened to the complaints, seen the mods themselves, and they figured: why not offer what all those people want, directly from the factory, with no modding needed?
This is exactly why we have you here today: to have a look at the way BitFenix answered the call for a reconfigured Prodigy that will fit a Micro-ATX system, right out of the box. Their answer to your call is the Prodigy M. The outside of this design kept all of the things that made the original so successful, but with BitFenix taking control of the redesign, you no longer have to worry about things like removing the motherboard tray and PSU location, then having to invent a motherboard tray. But what about storage, since the motherboard support also took care of that?
Well, in this design, BitFenix has covered all of the angles. With the Prodigy M, there is plenty of room for Micro-ATX based systems, and there is a new way of installing the PSU; plus, there are some other very handy design features that you will have to continue reading to find out about.
The chassis is still mostly made of steel, with the exception of a plastic front bezel, and FyberFlex composite handles or feet, depending on whether you are speaking of the top or bottom. For now, the Prodigy M is only available in all black trimming, or the white version we received, which has highlights of black trim. The chassis is not all that large considering that we can house Mini-ITX, as well as much larger Micro-ATX motherboards. On the inside of the chassis there is room for a single 5.25" device, and the bay is completely removable as well. There is room for either four 3.5" drives, or up to five 2.5" drives, or some combination of the two. At the back of the chassis there are five expansion slots to fill. On the right side of the chassis, the I/O panel offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm HD Audio jacks, and of course, two lights, a power button, and a reset button.
Cooling in this smaller chassis is quite varied in its options. The top of the chassis is not shipped with any fans, but there is room for a pair of fans, with or without a radiator. The floor of the chassis does ship with a 120mm fan to exhaust out of the bottom, but this location can also house either a 200mm or 230mm fan as well. The rear offers the second fan in the chassis, and it is another 120mm fan installed as an exhaust. The front does have holes drilled to accept fans, but due to the new PSU orientation and location, this area is off limits for optional fans. The nice thing about the PSU location is that the bracket that holds the PSU in place allows the fan to face the front to draw in cooler air, or you can use it with the fan facing inward, as additional system exhaust.
Since the original Prodigy is still widely available on the market for right near $70 U.S. dollars, anyone with a Mini-ITX motherboard based system is well on their way to a new build. However, for those looking for a vertical orientation of the motherboard, less restrictive PSU area, better storage options, and the ability to fit a Micro-ATX motherboard inside - you are going to want to spring for the Prodigy M. The fact that we are finding the Prodigy M at $99.99 is no surprise to us.
Re-tooling costs money; the time to re-engineer the layout costs money; and the fact that there is no need to run to the hardware store to make gear fit, is all worth that $30 difference in the end. If you are still not sure that the Prodigy M, Micro-ATX chassis is the right case for you, then please continue on, as we are certain you will appreciate the updates found in this redesign, even if you are looking for a Mini-ITX chassis, and were already pondering the original design.
PRICING: You can find the BitFenix Prodigy M for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The BitFenix Prodigy M (White) retails for $99.99 at Amazon, and the BitFenix Prodigy M (Black) retails for $122.99 at Amazon.