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BitFenix Prodigy with Window Cobalt Blue Steel / Plastic Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: I am from the larger the case the better school and this was my first build in this format.

The build this case was used for was designed the wrong way. It was a gift and the user wanted a blue case. My painting skills are limited to buying a can of spray paint and the reviews on all the other blue cases left me cold. The rest of the system components were selected to fit in this mini-ITX case.

Some reviewers did not like the handles and reported issues with them. Mine were fine. These handles also keep the case up high enough to insure good air flow to the PSU. Even with cats and a dog there are no stability issues.

Building in this case was a breeze; solid construction and easy to remove parts. Just about everything that could be removed for this build was at one point or another. The case was easy to work with and not one skinned knuckle; my hands are big. The biggest problem I had building in this case was the cat walking through it when I was working.

The included fans were probably adequate for use in an air-conditioned pet free environment. They are sitting unused. Cooling (see other notes) was upgraded to a positive pressure configuration with an all in one liquid CPU cooler. The CPU cooler is configured push / pull and is seated in the top of the case.

To facilitate cooling the custom front panel was used. It is of the same high quality as the case.

Here is my bottom line

My system is about five years old. It has been upgraded and I plan on using it until the CPU dies of old age. Depending on what CPU and mother board options are available then, the BitFenix Prodigy case is a viable contender. This case is that good.

It is well designed and well constructed without sacrificing being able to work inside it. If they ever build a full size tower as good as this case I’ll buy it.

Cons: With the H80i in the top the Bly-ray burner is to big to properly fit in the case. The space between the back of the bracket and the H80i fan is insufficient for the cables. The bracket had to be modded to properly fit the burner so the cables were not in contact with the fan.

But in fairness I could have gone with a single 120mm fan in the top and vented the CPU cooler out the back. That would have left room for the 5 ¼” bay without modding. I just didn’t like bending the hoses that much.

Not really cons more a building note and a disappointment.

PSU:
• Based on reviews I went with a short PSU. Other builders report being able to force a full size ATX PSU in there. I just do not like forcing parts.
• Modular cables are a good idea. It gets tight in there very quickly and if you are air cooling your air flow will be impeded.
• Also (see other thoughts) the shorter PSU cable kit is very useful.

Considering how well constructed this case is, the removable top cover didn’t leave enough space for proper re-seating with the water cooler in place. It fits back on but is just barely not flat and I hate feeling like I am forcing parts.

Other Thoughts: Based on reviews, recall this is my first mini ITX build, this case is supposed to be on the large size for this format. That may be a consideration if you are building a mini ITX based system.

This build was a gift for a user whose primary usage is to surf and email. With that in mind some of the parts are clearly overkill. The system is being used in an area without air-conditioning and where the ambient temperatures commonly are in the 90s during the summer. It is also dusty and there is pet hair so positive pressure air flow and dust filters* were a must; it will be me maintaining the system.

Build Parts:
• Case – BitFenix (blue) Prodigy with the BitFenix (black) custom front panel and Silverstone FF132B dust filter*.
• Mother board: Asus Z87I – Deluxe
• CPU: i5 4670 3.4 GHz – system will not be over clocked
• RAM: 8 GB of G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR 3 1600 sticks
• Graphics card: None
o Even with everything else in this case it still has room for a graphics card – just pay attention to its length.
o I used the CPU’s native graphics and that was a pleasant surprise.
• Storage:
o Samsung 840 Evo 120 GB
o WD VelociRaptor 1 TB
• PSU: Silverstone ST55F – G 550 Watt (because it would fit without forcing.)
o Next major system cleaning I’m upgrading to the shorter power cable kit.
• Optical Drive: Pioneer Blu-ray Burner DBR-209DBK
• Cooling:
o Corsair H80i
o BitFenix Spectre Pro 230mm case fan – front case fan replacement
o Noctua NF-A14 140mm case fan – rear case fan replacement
o 2 X Noctua NF-F12 PWN 120mm case fans – H80i replacement fans

Cooling and dust control were a very large consideration when selecting parts for the build. With an ambient temperature of 101 degrees F the component temps were only a few degrees above ambient.

READ FULL REVIEW
CM Storm Devastator - LED Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Bundle (Blue Edition)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Not a gaming keyboard and mouse review 08/02/2014

This review is from: CM Storm Devastator - LED Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Bundle (Blue Edition)

Pros: It is nice to look at if you like blue and the illumination is turned on.
It is a nice size for a keyboard.
Aside from ascetics the mouse is responsive and accurate enough.
Looks nice if you don’t look to hard. (See the first con.)

Cons: Some of the key caps are not fully illuminated, e.g. the “D” looks like a “U.”
The level of illumination is not consistent across the entire face of the keyboard.
If you do not use it with the illumination feature turned on you better be a touch typist because you will be spending time trying to see which key is what.

Other Thoughts: This was purchased as a gift and was included along with a new build. They didn’t like it and I use it now.

I am not a gamer. The keyboard and mouse are not used that way. If you are looking for a gaming keyboard and mouse this evaluation just does not apply

READ FULL REVIEW
Intel 730 Series SSDSC2BP240G4R5 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: SSDs are faster than HDDs. If you have not added an SSD to your system yet it is a significant upgrade in speed no matter which one you get.

So easy to install even I couldn’t foul it up. The hardest part was putting it in a 3 1/2 “ bay and making sure the BIOS was configured properly.

Intel’s Data Migration software was not used; this was a clean install for all software.

Intel’s SSD Toolbox software was down loaded and installed and is a very nice plus. It installs firmware updates painlessly. It runs SMART diagnostics on the SSD and hopefully will give advance warning if issues develop before failure. It optimizes the Windows OS for SSD use (very nice as it was a chore on a recent build using an EVO SSD.) And, it runs trim on a schedule and or on demand.

The five year warranty.

It was well packed by Intel. The shipping packaging would have killed a HDD. It was in direct contact with the outside of the shipping box and there was inadequate packaging material, it rattled around in the shipping container (first time ever for a Newegg shipment for me.)
It arrived ahead of schedule.

So why only three stars?

It has only been in use a month and a half. I plan on updating this review after it has been in use a while; after a year or so of use as the primary storage / use for everything drive not just the OS and a few select programs. The software is nice but I bought an SSD – So after about a year of usage I’ll update this. (Please see other thoughts.)

Cons: Price – maybe (see other thoughts)

Other Thoughts: I bought this SSD as an experiment to test for myself if SSDs were ready to be used as the primary storage device. Based on reviews SSDs are infamous for not giving any warning before they fail. Then there are the recommendations to use them only for the OS and a few select programs transferring your file storage to a HDD. This is reportedly to save wear and tear on your SSD to extend its life; the five year warranty on this SSD is a nice safety blanket.

After researching a lot of SSDs this one was selected because it was supposed to be a workhorse of a drive. Intel is backing it with a five year warranty.
It was not the fastest in benchmark tests; solidly in the middle to near the top of the pack depending on the benchmark used by the tester.

But it is reported as consistently near the top in real life usage tests, e.g. gamming.
Additionally, it is supposed to be a variant of Intel’s DC S3500 server grade SSD built for home users not enterprise users. (Note: the 730 series has no error correcting memory.)

Let’s face it, the actual benchmark differences in speed between SSDs are faster than most of us can actually see when using our systems; they are all fast. I’m looking for solid SSD speed and long-term dependability – lots of write operations and deletes.

Again please recall, at this posting this SSD has only been in use for a month and a half.

This is the only drive in my system at this time. I run a lot of databases and spreadsheets some of which are large; some pull real time data from the internet and recalculate on a 300 second cycle refresh rate. I create and revise documents. I down load a lot of all of those things. Additionally, I like to check out different programs, which results in a lot of installations being removed. In plain language I am doing all the things on an SSD I did on a hard drive despite all the pundits’ recommendations against it.

The system this SSD is installed in was built four years ago:

Mother board: Asus P7P55D with “SATA revision 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 respectively delivers a native transfer rate of 1.5Gbit/s, 3.0Gbit/s and 6.0Gbit/s.”

CPU: i7 – 860 Lynnfield over clocked to 3.46 GHz based on Cupid CPU-Z.

Primary Storage: Intel 730 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s. It formatted at 223.47 for a 16.53 GB loss. Some loss on formatting is normal and user mileage may vary. (No stars deducted now or in the future for that.)

READ FULL REVIEW

D G.'s Profile

Display Name: D G.

Date Joined: 12/07/06

  • Reviews: 22
  • Helpfulness: 4
  • First Review: 04/02/10
  • Last Review: 08/02/14
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