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Product Listing
BitFenix Prodigy - A Case of Exceptional Talents?
By Wong Chung Wee - 25 Sep 2012
Launch SRP: S$125

Exterior Design

Exterior Design

The first thing we noticed about the BitFenix Prodigy Midnight Black is its pair of large handles. The company says that they are made from BitFenix FyberFlex Composite, which guarantees the handle's strength and flexibility. Hence, the top carrying handle allows the chassis to be moved with relative ease while the bottom handle acts as a stand that is able to absorb shock. Essentially, this mini-ITX chassis is a steel enclosure with two such handles attached to its top and bottom.

The FyberFlex handles of the Midnight Prodigy; the bottom handle raises the chassis by almost 8cm off the ground while the top handle provides a rather sturdy hand grip for transportation.

The handles appear to be removable but we were rather concerned about the quality of its build and durability. The handle is attached to the steel body of the Midnight Prodigy by six screws whose points are only visible after the removal of the side panels. We discovered some of these attachment points of the FyberFlex handles have visible cracks and we wondered if this was due to its poor make or to the over-tightening of the mounting screws at the assembly line.

The photo on the left shows an attachment point that may be ineffective in securing the FyberFlex handle to the steel body of the chassis; while the right photo showed the onset of cracks which may lead to its ultimate fate, witnessed on the left.

With what we have witnessed, we truly question the ability of the handles to withstand the weight of the Midnight Prodigy, especially after it has housed all the PC components. Another trait of the chassis, as a result of the bottom handle, is the ease at which it will rock when it is pushed gently from either of its flanks. The sight of a PC chassis wobbling with a slight push is rather uncomforting for us even though it doesn't danger the components within nor would it topple over. It is also ironic that with all its heft, even before we have installed our test PC components, it couldn't offer stability.

At the top of the chassis, you can see a removable dust cover that has a fastening switch at one end. After removing the dust cover (which isn't as easy as its designers thought it would be), we saw that there are cut-outs for mounting a pair of 120mm cooling fans.

The removable mesh cover for optional top cooling fans. The cover is difficult to remove as there are no finger grips; it is much easier to pop it out from the bottom after the side panels have been removed.

With its dust filter removed, we see the cut-outs for an optional pair of 120mm fans.

The facade of the Midnight Prodigy features a wire mesh covering for full ventilation. It is unbroken, save for a 5.25-inch bay cover and a polished silver insignia of BitFenix. The front panel is held in place by a total of four fastening tabs; its removable front mesh is held in place by twenty bent mesh tabs. Regular maintenance of the mesh is recommended as it is the front air-intake for the entire chassis; caution is advised as the mesh tabs may be broken with repeated prying.

The well-ventilated fascia of the Midnight Prodigy, with its removable mesh. The front panel was easy to remove as it is fastened to the metal case with its plastic tabs.

There are numerous hexagon cut-outs for vents and we like the added dust filter for the 5.25-inch drive bay cover to prevent dust for entering the chassis when the drive bay is unused.

On one of its side panels, there are power and reset buttons as well as the usual headphones and mic jacks above the two USB 3.0 ports. Oddly, there are no markings for the activity LEDs nor for the audio jacks. We had to remove this side panel to trace the PCB contacts of the LEDs to the ends of their connector wires to determine their functions; the top LED is for HDD activity and the bottom one is for power. The side panels themselves are held in place by four thumbscrews; a pair for each panel.

It is a guessing game for the audio jacks as there are no indications on the side panel. The buttons have a nice rubber textured touch though.

Its opposite side panel has ventilation holes; however, there are no options to mount side cooling fans, though that shouldn't be much of a concern.

Focusing on the rear of the chassis revealed a bundled 120mm rear cooling fan. According to the manual, it accepts an optional 140mm fan in place of the 120mm fan. There are two expansion slots with a removable mesh cover; we are glad that it did not feature those punch-out slot covers. There is an expansion card securing plate that is held in place by two thumbscrews and a lone M3 screw; hence, installation of expansion cards is not a tool-free affair. Further down, there is a removable metal bracket for PSU installation, held in place by four thumbscrews. Besides the bundled rear 120mm cooling fan, there is also one mounted in the front of the chassis. We shall see them in greater detail as we uncover its internal design on the following page.

We notice that there are no rubber grommets for liquid cooling setups, which could have been a possibility given the size of the case.

After upending the chassis, we uncover the washable dust filter for the air intake vents of the PSU.

  • Aesthetics 7.5
  • Functionality 7
  • Usability 6.5
  • Value 6.5
The Good
Well-spaced interior
Removable drive cages for modular config
Side mounting options for 2.5-inch drives
Good cooling options
The Bad
Unable to fit ATX PSU with 160mm depth
Fyberflex handle cracks at mounting points
Casing is wobbly to the touch
Large and heavy
Could have been mATX compliant
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