On the outside of this chassis, there is nothing to get really excited about. If placed next to the original Prodigy, unless you can get a view of the bottom or back of these cases, you will be hard pressed to tell them apart. But that isn't what sets the Prodigy M apart; what sets it apart has everything to do with the interior. Here, BitFenix took all the messages and images of what the community wanted and had done to the original design, and reworked it into an almost perfect design - all in the same restricted space they had before. Now we not only get a vertically mounted motherboard, but it is also inverted, which many will tell you is the better orientation, thermally speaking.
Then we get more storage options with the new rack and offerings in the floor. One of the biggest improvements in our mind with the Prodigy M is that you are no longer limited on what power supply can be used by the short cage. Now you can have a seriously power hungry system installed, and still have the means to be sure it has ample power as well.
Issues are very limited. Of course, there are those that will complain that the handles are flimsy, and while the FyberFlex sort of specifies flexibility, the amount it has is nothing to be worried about. We have yet to have any break on us. The only other thing we wanted to bring to your attention is the side panel wiring. Here, we don't mind so much that we had do tear things down and reinstall them once we realized the door was still sitting across the room.
Our issue stems from two other things. First, the wiring is a tad short, and will leave you hanging the panel while trying to connect the ends. They did try to correct for this with plugs on the panels PCB. Also, two of the clips are 4-pin, and with no notation, or way to see the connection on the motherboard in our case, we were left guessing and crossing our fingers that we got it right.
Cooling is a concern that may need addressed if you plan to run a serious build in here. There are plenty of locations to make the air flow much better inside, but with the negative pressure design that they offer out of the box, it may not be enough to leave you comfortable with the results. However, we were more than happy when we flipped the fan on the floor and added in the AIO. Of course, someone will say: "What about sucking in the PSU exhaust?" To that, we only say this: With a draw of around 300W from an 850W PSU, we are not even warming things up, let alone delivering any sort of noticeable heat.
All things considered, we do like the redesign, and it will save many potential clients of the original version a ton of time. Ever since the Prodigy was released, I have wanted to use it for a Micro-ATX system I still have here. The issue was that I just did not have the time to get it done properly. With the Prodigy M, we feel that BitFenix offers a chassis that is on the next level when compared to the original, and not only when using a Micro-ATX based system, but even for those wanting to use a Mini-ITX board.
Even if the cost has increased to $99.99 with the newer design, for what you get, and the issues that were solved from the original design, we still feel it is worth every penny. It just takes time, patience, and planning, and you could have one rockin' system in a chassis that you never thought you had the talent to pull off.
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.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [BitFenix Prodigy M Micro-ATX Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Prodigy M]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Case Build and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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