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My Planned Bitfenix Prodigy Build

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Xenturion, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Xenturion

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    Hello, all, as I've said in another post, I'm planning on building a build based around the Bitfenix Prodigy in the next couple of weeks or so. It's all a part of a larger plan to have a new system for myself, freeing up my old rig to be gifted to my younger brother, who will now get to enjoy the benefits of Nvidia Surround over 3 1080p monitors. Seeing as he'll be gaining a core, over 200% increase in GPU power, dramatic increase in memory bandwidth, 2 SSDs in RAID 0 (currently has 250GB HDD), 2MB of L3 Cache and a increase in IPC in general, he's certainly coming out pretty well in the end.

    But, with the recent unforeseen issue regarding a snafu over 'Active' and 'Passive' Display Port adapters, (mainly me buying 2 passive adapters when I really just needed 1 active adapter) I figured I'd run this by you guys just to see if you catch something I missed. Can anyone see any potential problems with this?

    Case: BitFenix Prodigy
    Mobo: ASRock Z77E-ITX
    CPU: Core i5-2500K
    Memory: 8 GB G.Skill 1600Mhz (2 x 4GB)
    Storage: 2 x 640GB WD Black Drives in RAID 0 with Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe 60GB for SRT Caching
    PSU: Corsair 80Plus Bronze 650W (Can't remember the specific model at the moment)
    GPU: XFX HD 7970 DD
    Optical Drive: DVD RW that I've got laying around.

    As far as I know, with the middle drive bay removed, I'll have plenty of space for the 7970. I've got the active adapter lined up and on it's way which will enable Eyefinity for me. I'll be cooling the 2500K with an Antec Kuhler 620. Probably will mount the radiator itself to one of the top 120 fan mounts. I've got a 200mm fan from my old Antec 900 ready to go behind the front fascia. Probably will just keep the included fan on the rear exhaust. Should be able to get the 2 HDDs installed in the remaining drive cage and the SSD installed on one of the side-panel 2.5" mounts. Using the Antec Kuhler I think I avoid any clearance issues that could arise with the RAM or the PCIe slot. I don't really plan on taking the i5 much beyond 4Ghz. The RAM I might swap out for a set of higher-speed memory because I'm going from Triple-Channel (x58, wooh!) 1333 to Dual Channel 1600 which will definitely equate to a loss in memory bandwidth.

    One thing I keep hearing from reviews is that the 'FyberFlex' supports are less than ideal. While I'm not putting too heavy a system in it, I'm definitely thinking about replacing the bottom supports with feet if I can. Sadly, I have no idea if there are somewhat standardized mounts in place or if it's more a case of finding feet somewhere and having to use an adhesive to put them on. Obviously, the enclosure can't really go without feet because the PSU intake is pointed down.
     
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  2. fasteddy2020

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    I just put together a rig almost exactly like the one you are doing. I wanted the Bitfenix Prodigy for a build for me but I used one for my Dad instead. When I got the case the thing was a lot bigger than I expected and seemed a bit wobbly. I love Bitfenix cases and have a couple because of the quality of build. This one is by far the least favorite of mine. Between the Prodigy and the Lian Li PC-Q08 I have, they both are the same size and build quality is pretty equal, but I like the Lian Li PC-Q08 a bit better overall. The Prodigy is a bit easier to assembly, though. I don't think you could go wrong with either.
     
  3. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Note I cannot fit a single 120MM radiator at the top of mine plus install an optical drive. The drive's cables get in the way and hit the fan I have on the bottom of rad pushing up and out. Mounting fan outside the case would look like crap. I thought I could drill four new holes and slide the rad all the way back but it's still not enough room. Looks like the rear is the only option but was trying to avoid that as so close to board itself. If that turns out to just not work either I guess I buy an eSATA enclosure for my Asus Blu Ray burner (same mobo too, by the way).
     
  4. Xenturion

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    Yeah, I was a little worried that the optical drive might interfere with things installed up there. An optical drive isn't really a necessity, and I could easily jerry-rig one in long enough to get the OS installed. Or just install the OS from an external or flash drive. I think the drive I've got is fairly short, but I'm really not sure it's short enough. May have to put the rad on the rear exhaust instead. I'm definitely tossing the idea around of switching to the Factal Node. It doesn't look like it'd perform quite as well from a thermal perspective, but it just looks a lot more solid and understated.
     
  5. MightyMission

    MightyMission

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    I've got a 240 rad up top a 180 rad up front and a 120 rad hanging out the back after I cored out a couple of holes..and I still have the optical drive bay fitted :eek:)...the prodigy is quite a versatile case...
     
  6. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Where are the fans for the top rad? Inside the case? Again, my cables hit the fan so post pics of this sorcery, please. And some other guy here claimed he looked around and could not find any other examples of a top-mounted radiator plus an internal optical drive.
     
  7. m1dg3t

    m1dg3t

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    Pix pl0x :eek: Really curious how you managed a 240 up top while retaining use of the ODD bay. Are you running the rad/fans outside the case or a fanless rad? Maybe a slim ODD?

    Unless i'm completey missing the point and all you are saying is, that you left the drive cage mounted in the case and installed everything else?
     
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  8. Xenturion

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    Alright, gentleman, I got all the parts and got the thing put together. I ended up having to make some changes/modifications to the build, because, as is so often the case, not everything in the build went to plan.

    1. The 200mm Fan I had harvested from the top exhaust of my old Antec 900 did not seem to want to mate with any of the fan holes on the front panel. It is entirely possible that the fan I have isn't a standard size, but inevitably I wound up giving up the idea of using it.

    2. It is immediately obvious as others said that the optical drive's placement does have massive potential to disturb mounting plans using the 240mm fan mounts on the top. My plan to mount the Antec Kuhler 620 there was binned. Instead, I removed both hard drive cages and installed the radiator on the front panel. The length of the tubes are perfect for installing the radiator at the front.

    3. I had intended on using the lower hard drive cage, but seeing as I had to take it out and I had 2 2.5" storage drives (Laptop HDD and SDD), I just used the two side panel hard drive mounts. This left a nice open area behind the front panel for storing extra cables/cable length.

    4. I had read reviews about it, but I can confirm, the ASRock Z77E-ITX really does not like CPU cooler backplates. It has a very inconveniently placed mSATA port near the back of the CPU socket. I knew the Kuhler 620's backplate wasn't too substantial because I've used it before and because it isn't like the kind of backplate that's necessary to mate a tower cooler to a motherboard. Even still, the Kuhler 620's plastic back plate did not fit without some tweaking/warping. It's only a small part of the bracket that intrudes into the mSATA conenctor, but unfortunately, it's a corner with all the various screw holes for different sockets. I got the thing on there and it's working great, but I'd go with a different water cooler if I could do it over again.

    The Case:
    It's a thing of beauty. It really is highly mobile and quite solid feeling. Unfortunately, the FyberFlex supports are even worse than I'd anticipated, but on a solid surface, they shouldn't cause any issues. Cable management is amazing considering how little room you've got to work with. The side-panel vent should be plenty for just about any video card you could put in there. I suspect you could even use a GTX 690 without any significant issues. The included fans are dead silent, even at full bore. I can't comment much on the included instructions because I largely ignored them. I wish the screws had come in separate, labeled bags like they did with my NZXT H2. I'm not a huge fan of having to match screws and play "guess-and-check" while installing various components. But that's a minor niggling. I'd give it a 9.5/10.

    I'll be sure to get some pictures up when I can arrange for a decent imaging device. (My 3MP cell camera doesn't really cut it)
     
  9. Absolution

    Absolution

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    Great thread! After that Bitfenix competition shedding light into this nice chasis, I started looking into builds and this thread has been informative.

    Ive been a loyal AMD fan, and it seems there are no 8 core mini-ITX motherboards out there, so it will most likely be your way (Intel 2500k). I also plan to put a somewhat high end card, which would mean that undoubtedly Ill have to remove the HDD cage. The smaller cage below can only fit 2.5" drives?
     
  10. adulaamin

    adulaamin

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    PICS please! :toast:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  11. Xenturion

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    I, too, had wanted to put an AMD system into an ITX case. But when I looked, there didn't seem to be any AM3+ boards in the ITX form factor. There were some old AM2+ boards, not like that's particularly relevant. It makes me wonder if Mini-ITX is an Intel-specific form factor. It might be somewhat TDP related as the 125W of the high end AMD parts rather dwarfs the miserly 95W and 77W of Sandy/Ivy Bridge respectively. Admittedly, a full 125W processor might be a challenge to cool in some enclosures.

    There was a guy on another forum who purchased a X79 based motherboard that Shuttle makes specifically for their cases and was able to install it in the Prodigy. The guy has a true 7950 Crossfire setup using 2 water-cooled HD 7950's he converted to single-slot cards. Got a 200mm, 240mm, and 120mm radiator in there with an extreme edition hex-core i7. Shuttle may have an AM3+ platform you could get a motherboard from. :)

    As far as the Hard Drive Cages go, the top one is the "removable" one, it has clips you depress and you can pull the whole thing out. The bottom on can be removed, you just have to unscrew 4 screws at the bottom of the case. Both Cages support either 2.5" or full 3.5" drives. There's also 2 2.5" drive bays on the side-panel with the power button and 2 places you can mount 2.5" drives to the bay the PSU is in. Using those, the drives point up and down or are perpendicular to the motherboard.

    I'll get some pictures up tonight before the whole thing gets wrapped up for Christmas. I got a chance to thoroughly stress test everything and it's a go. Extremely happy with the end product.
     
  12. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    I got mine to work with optical internal. Was able to fit rad on back and actually the tubing layout ended up great-looking too. Waiting on another angled fitting before it is truly done though.
     
  13. MightyMission

    MightyMission

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    Sorry Midget,i forgot I posted here!
    yes the rad and fans are on top of the case cutout,(I only done this as my 240 rad doesn't have a end on exit,only top/bottom so the 240 would've fouled on the 120 rad out the back,(this is the case before I put the optical drive cage in)though my next trick is to fit a slim/laptop bluray drive and have the fans mounted inside the chassis.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Xenturion,it's easy enough to mod a backplate for the z77e...it really it only needs 6 mm shaved off the corner that fouls on the msata socket in a diagonal fashion..
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
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  14. Xenturion

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    Alright, so, as promised, I've got some pictures;

    First up is just a picture of the Prodigy by my NZXT H2. Just to give you a size reference.
    [​IMG]


    Second is a picture of the Prodigy with the side panel removed. I've got to say, I like the XFX DD, and it does wonders covering up the horrors that await just beyond that PCB....
    [​IMG]


    Finally, a picture revealing the true scale of the lack of cable management. Realistically, it isn't all that bad, and there really isn't a whole lot of options for hiding the majority of them. Not to mention it doesn't really significantly affect airflow and there isn't much to cool through the case with the CPU's Radiator up front and the GPU using mostly a side intake. If you look closely, you can see the slightly bowed CPU cooler back plate. The motherboard itself is raised on the right side because I didn't want to put too much pressure on the CPU socket and the motherboard itself by fastening it down flat with the backplate in its current state.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. theonedub

    theonedub habe fidem

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    Its coming along nicely, always nice to see another Prodigy :D

    Try to stuff the cables on the reverse side of the PSU in the cage. It doesn't seem like a lot of room, but you can make things fit. I have a ton of extra hardwired cables on mine and sleeved extensions, but was still able to get the wires hidden decently.

    [​IMG]
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU
  16. Xenturion

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    Oh, I see how it is, just swoop in with your immaculate Prodigy. Puttin' mine to shame over here. I'll admit, it's one of those things where laziness has taken hold and seeing that it doesn't have a side-window, and my younger brother, who has no concept of cable management, is the end recipient of the system, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just glad the things together and working. Tested fairly extensively with BF3, WoW, and WCG - seems to be stable. If it was my system though, I'd probably have the whole thing apart with zip ties and significantly better planning.

    You've got a sick Prodigy there. What do you have running in it?
     
  17. Absolution

    Absolution

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    The TDP is the issue, actually the Asus FM1 motherboard itself is kinda having issues itself.

    My plan is to go i7 2600k. Any tips on memory selection? I read somewhere sandybridge and mobo combo's sometimes prevent 1600 memories from being run.

    I want to go 8 or 16gb
     
  18. Xenturion

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    I just put an 8GB Kit (2x 4GB) in there of Corsair Dominator 1.5V 1866 RAM. It was the fastest kit my local Microcenter had that wasn't absurdly expensive. There were 2000 and 2133 kits but they were either 1.6V or 1.65V. After doing a little research and finding that there are massively differing opinions on the matter of using higher voltage kits on Sandy/Ivy Bridge, I figured I'd air on the side of caution and use a 1.5V kit.
     
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  19. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Wow I am even more impressed with my cabling job now (no offense :p). Such is not usually my strong point but it came out really well.
     
  20. m1dg3t

    m1dg3t

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    Re: memory choices for iTX.. Samsung Lo-Pro, lo volts... Sleeper RAM ;)
     
  21. Absolution

    Absolution

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    Eh, ok, so it should be preferably 1.5V

    My current setup is still ddr2 :D

    Is 1600mhz low? What is standard price nowadays? 1833?
     
  22. Absolution

    Absolution

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    I will check that out, there is an 8GB kit 1833mhz but its priced almost the same as the 16GB 1600mhz kit. :|
     
  23. Xenturion

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    Nothing wrong with 1600Mhz. Higher speed RAM, AFAIK, stops yielding real-world performance gains at a certain point and starts heading into theoretical differences. I don't think you'd notice a difference playing on a machine with 1600 and a machine with an 1866 kit. There are several 2x 4GB 1.5V 1866 Kits at Newegg for ~$45. It's a full $10 less than what I paid at Microcenter. If the capacity is more important to you, there's definitely nothing wrong with 16GB of 1600. You could set up a fairly sizable RAMDisk with that amount and actually could fit a modern game on it with room to spare.

    I went with higher speed rather than capacity because A) I wasn't planning on using a RAM Disk because the system already has an Intel SRT caching SSD, B) I was coming from a system with Triple-Channel RAM which meant that the only way I was going to get similar memory bandwidth was to use a higher-speed kit, and C) I rather enjoy going a little overboard on components when the price increase isn't too steep.
     
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  24. Absolution

    Absolution

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    How about when overclocking? Would it be a constraint to have a 1600? Ie, is the CPU overclock tied to memory speeds?
     
  25. Xenturion

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    Well, in a way, yes, they are linked, but it doesn't matter with an unlocked (K-Series) processor and a chipset that supports memory overclocking (Z77). To get the CPU clock on IB/SB (and others) it's the base clock times what's called the CPU multiplier. 3.3GHz = 100MHz x 33. K-Series processors have an unlocked cpu multiplier, so you can choose whatever level you want. For 4Ghz,I chose 40. The memory speed is also based on the base clock. Embarassingly, I don't know the math or numbers for it. I'll have to wikipedia it myself here at some point, but it's a similar base clock times multiplier equation. On systems that don't have an unlocked cpu, the only way to OC is to increase the base clock. This subsequently overclocks a lot of other subsystems, including RAM, and some that dont like overclocking like PCIe buses. IB/SB don't have much base clock wiggle room. IIRC, 108 - 110 Mhz is the limit really. Other designs like my older X58 platform can go from the default 133Mhz base clock to over 200Mhz, albeit with significant voltage increases across the board. I don't have an unlocked processor on that system, so I have my base clock at 165Mhz. This brings my 1066Mhz RAM up to 1320ish. The kit itself is a 1333Mhz kit, so why is it running at 1066 normally? Well, any high speed kit comes with a manufacturer provided XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) in the memory. These need to be enabled in order to have the memory run at their advertised speeds. The profiles have settings tested and validated by the manufacturers. (though it is possible for them to get it wrong) You could buy a 2800Mhz kit, but if the profile wasn't enabled it'd run at 1066 or 1333 depending on platform defaults. If I enable the XMP profile of my 1333 RAM with the base clock raised puts the memory at a speed it can't take and makes the system unbootable so I just let the overclock put the memory at near its advertised speed.
     
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