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Doing it right: Bitfenix Prodigy

bitfenix prodigy watercooling watercooled watercool liquid cooled cooling

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#1 The Ran

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:11 PM

It's a little disappointing the amount of Prodigies I see that are half empty that could easily have fit in any of the other smaller MITX cases so I thought I'd try and fill one the way it was meant to be done, with lots of cooling.

 

It started off as many others still are, fairly basic. I'd actually gone a step backwards here as I took out the two stock fans and stuck an AF140 in the front for some reason.

DSC03143resize_zpsd061e66a.jpg

 

It wasn't super tidy but I knew it wouldn't be staying as it is for long.

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First up was a 230mm Spectre Pro for the front and the AF140 moved to the rear, as well as a TX3 to replace the stock heatsink (I originally ordered a 212 but that didn't fit, the TX3 was a compromise and again I knew it wouldn't be staying for long).

DSC03145resize_zps2b5e6bd3.jpg

 

Then I worked on making it a little prettier with some sleeved extensions and a DIY cover for the PSU area to hide some wires behind.

DSC03150resize_zps8246b3de.jpg

 

And then I decided to replace the front panel, the vents round the outside got clogged up far too quickly and was hard to clean. Black mesh was my only option and I figured I'd go with red trim to match the theme going on inside. Also removed the junky optical drive and bought a cheap external Blu-ray reader to replace it.

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Also got a magnetic filter for the side panel made by Silverstone, an almost perfect fit.

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At this point I was happy with the looks but I knew I could stuff more in there and it just didn't justify using such a large MITX case.

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And so began my first venture into watercooling. I decided on Swiftech's H220 as a base to save a little space, combining the CPU block and pump as well as integrating a res into the radiator. Unfortunately it turned out that my graphics card used a non-reference PCB so I was tuck with using a universal GPU block, not ideal but I couldn't stand the rubbish air cooler for much longer.

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The space was now looking better utilised with that rad at the top.

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Unfortunately due to the uni GPU block the VRM wasn't getting any cooling and the heatsinks on it weren't helping a great deal, especially as the front fan wasn't blowing much air onto them. I made up a duct to direct the air in front of the card and added a junk 40mm fan cable tied over the heatsinks which helped a fair bit.

newguts_zpsccf5147e.jpg

 

But still I could do better, I extended the ducting and swapped in two Xilence fans, now the temps are pretty much in line with the GPU (~30°C idle, ~60°C load).

goots_resize_zps07b86c5f.jpg

 

And that's how she sits today, chances are the next change will be a graphics card upgrade most likely to a 690 and then I'll work on adding a second rad in the front.

 

Current specs:

Bitfenix Prodigy

i5 2500k

XFX 7950

Gigabyte Z77N

2x 4GB Geil Black Dragon RAM

2x 2TB Samsung Spinpoints

128GB Samsung 830 SSD

Corsair CX500

Swiftech H220 and EK VGA Supremacy GPU block, two NF-F12s on the stock rad

AF140 rear intake, 230mm Spectre Pro front intake

Bitfenix windowed side panel and replacement front panel

 

Let me know what you think, hopefully this inspires a few Prodigy owners who are still air cooling.


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#2 XiaoPigs

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

It looks quite brilliant actually from the side which shows off your GPU. You did the best you can with the non-modular PSU you had so great job there

 

Nice color scheme plus you managed to squeeze so much stuff into the prodigy so I will applaud you :D

 

Bravo! I like it :)


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#3 joelthezombie15

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:27 PM

looks really cool i like the look of xfx gpus they are so pretty


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#4 That Norwegian Guy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:29 PM

I don't like it much. Watercooling the CPU is a bit of a space waster, lots of air coolers that will do just as well will fit in the Prodigy. I can understand watercooling the GPU but it's not exactly pretty. I would try not starting out your thread by making an underhanded swipe at Prodigy builders (even if I agree that many don't use the space available) unless you intend to make your build godly, or else it's just rude.

 

Cables are tidy though, but as it stands it looks pretty ghetto.



#5 The Ran

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:39 PM

It looks quite brilliant actually from the side which shows off your GPU. You did the best you can with the non-modular PSU you had so great job there

 

Nice color scheme plus you managed to squeeze so much stuff into the prodigy so I will applaud you :D

 

Bravo! I like it :)

Thanks, much appreciated. Managing the cables was a bit of a pain and I intend to go fully modular in the future with some custom length cables, similar to the short cable kits Silverstone offers for their smaller cases.

 

looks really cool i like the look of xfx gpus they are so pretty

Indeed they're very good looking, some of my all time favourites, just a shame they're not very good and XFX isn't the top company to be buying from.

 

I don't like it much. Watercooling the CPU is a bit of a space waster, lots of air coolers that will do just as well will fit in the Prodigy. I can understand watercooling the GPU but it's not exactly pretty. I would try not starting out your thread by making an underhanded swipe at Prodigy builders (even if I agree that many don't use the space available) unless you intend to make your build godly, or else it's just rude.

 

Cables are tidy though, but as it stands it looks pretty ghetto.

My intention wasn't to be rude nor to imply that my build was amazing, just to put across my intention of utilising the space as best I can as I don't see it done very often. I couldn't fit a heatsink any large than the TX3, not even a 212 due to the heatpipes hitting motherboard components never mind a NH-D14 (which still wouldn't cool as well as the H220). I'm not sure if you're aware but the majority of MITX boards, at least Intel ones, have the CPU socket situated right up next to the PCIE slot limiting the maximum heatsink sizes to nothing much larger than the stock cooler. Even the H220 block/pump was a tight fit, I had to trim a bit of one of the swivel fittings and add some foam between it and the graphics card. I also realise it looks a little ghetto, most DIY stuff does unless you have a lot of time, tools, and sometimes money to put into it, but it works and might be replaced soon. It was pretty much my only option due to the bad choice of graphics card and I think I got around the problem quite well.



#6 That Norwegian Guy

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:45 PM

I couldn't fit a heatsink any large than the TX3, not even a 212 due to the heatpipes hitting motherboard components never mind a NH-D14 (which still wouldn't cool as well as the H220). I'm not sure if you're aware but the majority of MITX boards, at least Intel ones, have the CPU socket situated right up next to the PCIE slot limiting the maximum heatsink sizes to nothing much larger than the stock cooler. 

 

Ah gotcha, I don't have that problem at all with the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe, pretty much the only limiting factor is height up to the roof of the case. And while you may be right about the 'majority' of M-ITX boards having their sockets in such an interfering position, it's not true for Z77 (and into the future) where board makers are situating the socket much more competently.



#7 The Ran

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:49 PM

Ah gotcha, I don't have that problem at all with the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe, pretty much the only limiting factor is height up to the roof of the case. And while you may be right about the 'majority' of M-ITX boards having their sockets in such an interfering position, it's not true for Z77 (and into the future) where board makers are situating the socket much more competently.

It doesn't matter what the chipset is, so far I've only seen two MITX boards with sensible socket placement which are the Asus board you have and another by I think ASRock, also a future 1150 board from I think Gigabyte which also has a VRM design similar to the Asus board. Hopefully things will change in the future, as it stands the only options for decent CPU with MITX are to spend more money on watercooling (e.g. H100 instead of NH-D14) or spend more money on a motherboard such as the Asus.



#8 TommyHItmarkers

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:54 PM

What about some straight fittings on the GPU block so that the tubing goes straight up to the roof and can be hidden up above the window when the side panel is on? Just an idea to maybe make it look less "busy" (for lack of a better word). Overall, I like it a lot. Lots of stuff in that tiny case. :)


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#9 The Ran

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:06 PM

What about some straight fittings on the GPU block so that the tubing goes straight up to the roof and can be hidden up above the window when the side panel is on? Just an idea to maybe make it look less "busy" (for lack of a better word). Overall, I like it a lot. Lots of stuff in that tiny case. :)

Not really an option with the current tube routing, it would have to bend far too tightly and end up kinking.



#10 superducky94

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:34 PM

I've always, water cooled setups in this case, nice job. I really want to see that 690 in there.


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#11 Williamchan87

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 10:10 PM

nice



#12 Nit3Rid3R

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 12:16 AM

Oh wow, that looks really good, I love how you've managed to hide the cable management with the graphics card blocking everything. 


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#13 Jozi

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:35 AM

Very nice build!


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#14 The Ran

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:40 AM

Oh wow, that looks really good, I love how you've managed to hide the cable management with the graphics card blocking everything. 

Haha, was that sarcasm? I've had quite a few people say stuff like "Sure it looks good from one side, but it's messy as hell from the other". I like to think of it just like any other case, the other panel is the back panel and will only be removed for maintenance, just like under the motherboard tray of any other case it's going to be messy, it's the other side which has the window on and has to look "nice".



#15 Nit3Rid3R

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:53 AM

Haha, was that sarcasm? I've had quite a few people say stuff like "Sure it looks good from one side, but it's messy as hell from the other". I like to think of it just like any other case, the other panel is the back panel and will only be removed for maintenance, just like under the motherboard tray of any other case it's going to be messy, it's the other side which has the window on and has to look "nice".

No no, I like how you've actually managed to block out the back view(which any graphics card will), but still, the waterblock looks really good in that window too. 


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#16 evilHamsterzZz

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

The prodigy is such a good case, your build makes it look even nicer

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#17 hamsor

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:47 AM

very nice build there, i like it very much :)

there should be a challenge to put as much as you can in a Prodigy :P



#18 MathijsZ77

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:53 AM

Sir, this is outstanding!


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#19 nitrousoxide10

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:46 AM

I prefer the look of the stock cooler. Overall sweet build though. Red and white looks great together!


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#20 The Ran

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

No no, I like how you've actually managed to block out the back view(which any graphics card will), but still, the waterblock looks really good in that window too. 

Cheers. I really like the way the Prodigy puts the graphics card on show, you see all these sexy cards yet you only see the top in most other cases. Also it means you don't have to worry about what the stuff behind it looks, it could be a brown motherboard and neon green RAM and no one would ever know.

 

very nice build there, i like it very much :)

there should be a challenge to put as much as you can in a Prodigy :P

That would be an awesome challenge, although hard to quantify. For example there are guys sticking MATX motherboards in them but also people putting multiple rads with MITX boards, perhaps we should judge by the density and just weigh them (no mercury filled loops or lead heatsinks allowed).

 

Sir, this is outstanding!

Thank you, much appreciated.

 

I prefer the look of the stock cooler. Overall sweet build though. Red and white looks great together!

I did too but it really was terrible, as much as I aim for a nice looking build I just couldn't sacrifice performance that much. I was going to reuse the stock shroud with the fans removed and have the tubing come out the fan holes but it didn't work out.







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