prodigy 1 BitFenix announces the Prodigy mini ITX chassis

The mini-ITX form factor seems to be on something of a roll this year with the motherboard makers focusing on some seriously high-end products, but so far most mini-ITX chassis have been a bit lacklustre, even though there have been one or two decent ones, but usually at a fairly high price. Now it seems like BitFenix has decided it wants a slice of the mini-ITX market as the company has introduced its new Prodigy mini-ITX chassis and it's something quite different from your average mini-ITX box.

The mini-ITX form factor seems to be on something of a roll this year with the motherboard makers focusing on some seriously high-end products, but so far most mini-ITX chassis have been a bit lacklustre, even though there have been one or two decent ones, but usually at a fairly high price. Now it seems like BitFenix has decided it wants a slice of the mini-ITX market as the company has introduced its new Prodigy mini-ITX chassis and it's something quite different from your average mini-ITX box.

The design of the Prodigy doubtlessly brings one's mind to Apple's G5 aluminium chassis, although here we're looking at a fairly standard steel chassis with plastic trim. That said, the Prodigy does feature BitFenix' "SoftTouch" surface treatment and the handles are made out of "FyberFlex" composite and they're actually flexible, but the company claims they still remain strong, so there should be no problem picking up the chassis by the handles.

prodigy 1 BitFenix announces the Prodigy mini ITX chassis

The Prodigy comes in either black with a mesh front or in white with a solid front. Both SKUs have vents on the left hand side and there's also a mesh cover at the top of the chassis. One slightly odd feature is the placement of the front I/O and buttons, as they're all located on the lower right hand side of the chassis which looks very strange in the pictures. You get a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a headphone and mic jack here, as well as a power and reset button.

prodigy 2 BitFenix announces the Prodigy mini ITX chassis

Popping the side off we find a spacious chassis with room for a single 5.25-inch drive, up to five 3.5-inch drives, or alternatively up to nine 2.5-inch drives depending on configuration. Each of the 3.5-inch drive bays have caddies and both sections – containing three and two drive bays respectively – can be removed to make room for longer graphics cards. Apparently it's possible to mount up to five 2.5-inch drives even without the drive bays fitted via a separate mounting bracket. Unusually the 5.25-inch drive bay can also be removed so a 240mm radiator can be fitted to the top of the chassis.

prodigy 3 BitFenix announces the Prodigy mini ITX chassis

The motherboard mounts on top of the PSU and the good news here is that the Prodigy accepts a standard ATX PSU, so in other words if you want to put a really high-end graphics card into the Prodigy, you can. Although mini-ITX motherboards only have a single expansion slot, BitFenix has made room for dual width cards as there are two rear expansion slots. The chassis ships with a front and rear 120mm fan, although the front fan can be upgraded to a 140, 180, 200 or 230mm fan and the rear fan to a 140mm fan. An additional two 120mm fans can also be mounted in the top of the chassis.

prodigy 4 BitFenix announces the Prodigy mini ITX chassis

Overall this is a pretty impressive little chassis which should appeal to those wanting to build a mobile gaming rig. At US$79 (S$100) it's cheaper than most competitive alternatives, although most of the competition tends to be aluminium cases that are vastly more expensive, with the odd exception like SilverStone's TJ-03 mini, but that's a chassis in a slightly different category and it's not nearly as portable.

Source: BitFenix