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This review is from: BitFenix Prodigy M Midnight Black Steel/ Plastic Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case
Durable/High quality materials.
Cons: Many screws.
A few pieces of metal were somewhat frustrating.
Other Thoughts: Keep in mind that I went from a Corsair 600T to this case.
This is a great case, but you need to do your research and set your expectations; guesstimate situations/problems you may run into with the parts you've selected.
I'm an experienced builder but my first tiny case - it took me 5.5 hours, not including unwrapping and prepping parts.
Plan your build steps, down to the part - this thing is like a rubix cube. You wont need instructions if you do this and take your time while building it.
On the handles - some reviewers are complaining, but I have a 15-20 lb. machine and the handles are fine. Yes, they flex, just don't swing it around like soccer balls in a bag and they will certainly hold up. If you plan to go sli, watercooling, etc. I can see the machine being pretty heavy, that's a lot of gear - its tough to transfer that weight in anything other than steel box.
I went with silent air cooling - set your expectations on higher temps if you plan to go with silent fans, although I was surprised find temperatures balanced between cpu and gpu - there is less temperature fluctuation for the whole system because the parts are so close together.
Stance of the case - My system's weight is balanced, therefore it sits on carpets just fine with the plastic handles. It is a bit wobbly, but it would still take a large disturbance of pushing it, kicking it etc to tip it. If its a serious problem for you, replace the bottom 'handles' with case feet (not included).
It looks great, its high quality.
The number of screws and little pieces made the build take longer. Tool-less is the way to go and they didn't provide that here. A removable motherboard tray would have made it significantly easier.
Wiring is also a disaster, but I didn't list it as a con because...this is a really tiny case for a mid-range gaming rig. Plan on wiring being cramped. Flip the sides so the power button is on the left side (looking from the front) and stuff it all in that front left corner with some zip ties or velcro strips. Purchase an 8-pin extension.
I built this for a portable gaming rig and workstation - it delivers just that.
AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4ghz
8GB DDR3 Corsair XMS3 (2x4GB)
GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 microATX
ASUS DirectCU II R9 280 (12 inch, all metal; must cut the 5.25 bay frame to fit it if you plan to use a fan controller - a disk drive would not be possible)
60GB OCZ Agility 3
750GB WD Black
4x Cougar 120mm fans (2 on top blowing in, 2 on bottom blowing out)
1x Cougar 140mm fan (one on rear blowing in)
NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller
Artic Freezer 7 cpu cooler
CPU Idle; 100% fan speed: 43C
CPU Load for an hour; 100% fan speed: 58C
GPU Idle; 100% fan speed: 43C
CPU Load for an hour; 100% fan speed: 62C
Pros: fast, newest AM3 socket, cheapest for price/performance ratio compared to ANY other cpu on newegg. Runs col in my system, unlocked both cores and overclock, read other thoughts.
I replaced an amd phenom x3 8400 2.1ghz
As stock dual core, when i put it in there were no significant gains when running normal desktop apps. As soon as I entered Battlefield BC2, WOW. maxxed out and BUTTERY. This is a must buy if you're on a tight budget like me
Other Thoughts: I bought this expecting a dual core; I unlocked this to quad tho and is completely stable under hours of prime95 and gaming.
After unlocking, I tried both methods of overclocking(fsb and multiplier). both worked great, using fsb it was stable except heavy games like BFBC2, the app would crash to desktop. I noticed that one of my case fans was going faster and slower, so this might be because of my psu not being able to supply my system. I ended up just tapping the multiplier up to x18, so I have my X4 pumpin 3.6ghz. everything is great and buttery smooth, no reason to go higher.
As for temps,
as the stock dual core - idle : 21C; load : 33C
as the OC quad - idle : 25C; load : 45C
AMD X2 555 3.2ghz(now X4 3.6ghz)
MSI 790XT-G45 am2+/am3
NZXT Beta Evo Case w/ 6 120mm fans
Rocketfish 90mm cpu cooler
BFG GTX260 maxcore OC
OCZ 4GB platinum ddr21066(running at 800 tho)
OCZ modx 600W modular
WD 640GB 7200rpm
2x 22" lcds
$800 total; compl
Pros: standard, stable motherboard with many features. I have been slowly converting a "best buy" HP retail computer into a gaming rig, and this was one of the updates.
Cons: here's where the frustration begins haha; this mobo is VERY UNSTABLE with any windows OS other than Windows 7. spent 2 days straight trying to get the OS, graphics card, and sound card to work the way they are supposed to. the mobo would cut off the graphics card or sound card at random times in Windows Vista, forcing me to reinstall drivers at some times or do a clean install of Windows Vista at other times. Also, forcing me to remove both the graphics card and sound card many times, and constantly turning the comp on and off. Finally, I did one final clean install of Windows 7 Professional, and everything was smooth from there on out. Seriously, no problems what so ever, and the drivers for the graphics installed automatically as I was installing Win7!
one con that bugs me is that my cpu fan is on 100%, and no matter what setting I use in both BIOS and software, it will not change. I'm idling at 11C and full load at 23C. the cpu fan is stock and only a 3-pin.
Other Thoughts: If you are not planning on running Windows 7 or a linux distro, then plan on banging your head against walls. Luckily I am a Comp Sci major and I get both copies of Windows 7 Pro(x86 and x64) for free :)
My 55nm GPU does not support hybrid SLI. I tested it with WoW and Unreal Tourn. 3, both enabled and disabled when I was running Vista. Not much of an improvement at all; sometimes a decrease in performance compared to the stand alone discrete card, and the heat and power consumption was tremendous. I didn't want to believe it, but hybrid SLI is a complete failure.
Overall, I got this board for $42 on 01/31/2010 after MIR and promo code. Great for the price!
Windows 7 Pro x86 - will replace with x64
AMD Phenom 8400 2.1gHz - will replace w/ AMD P2 550
3gB of generic ram ddr2 800 - will replace with better
BFG GTX 260 Maxcore 55 OC
RocketFish 5.1 PCI sound - needed cheap toslink output
600w OCZ ModX Modular power supply
NZXT Beta case w/ 4 rosewil