Mini-ITX has been around for a while as form factor for compact computers, but a more recent development is the arrival of compatible motherboards that are as powerful as their larger compatriots. That evolution has made the market for mini-ITX chassis more interesting, but a high-end system has different requirements than a compact HTPC. Bitfenix has created its own interpretation of the mini-ITX phenomenon in the form of the Prodigy. This chassis is a bit different in several ways, and Hardware.Info tested it to find out whether it's a good option for a compact, portable yet powerful gaming system.
The Prodigy is the first mini-ITX chassis Bitfenix has released, and right-away it's an attempt to offer something different than what's already out there. Typical mini-ITX chassis are flat and very compact cases for HTPC and thin client-like uses, mini-desktops with just enough space for a normal hard drive and slimline optical drive, or 'cubes' with more internal space for larger coolers and power supplies.
The Prodigy falls into the last category, and you can even compare it to micro-ATX models because it's not small. It measures 25 x 36 x 40 cm and has a volume of about 36 litres. It's not very light either, weighing in at around 7 kg. It's heavier even than the full-size ATX Sharkoon T28.
So what kind of mini-ITX chassis is the Prodigy exactly? Isn't the point of this form-factor the small size? Even if the Prodigy doesn't follow tradition here, it has some other tricks up its sleeve that makes it well worth a closer look.