Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #3: BitFenix Prodigy Edition

Do-It-Yourself Systems | Silent PC Build Guides
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 5~10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

FINAL THOUGHTS

SPCR's Silent Mini-ITX Gaming PC #2 Component List
SPCR Build Components
Street Price
Alternatives
$220
$55
$150
$95
$575
$160
$80
$85
TOTAL
$1420
 
*MSRP
Retail prices are subject to constant fluctuations. Please use the shopping links to check on current pricing; don't rely on the prices cited in non-linked text.

Building a high performance compact gaming PC isn't a cheap endeavor, with this particular configuration coming out to US$1420. Compared to the build we showed you earlier with the Rosewill Legacy W1, it's a bit cheaper and only slightly louder as a fanless power supply wasn't used. The end result is still an exemplary gaming machine that almost satisfies the requirements of an SPCR Certified Silent PC (noise levels of 15/20 dBA@1m or lower at idle/load). This PC is almost inaudible under idle conditions, and during gameplay, it produces a level and quality of noise that is easily tuned out unless the game sound effects are muted.

The core design of the BitFenix Prodigy case is sound and it deserves much of the praise it receives from enthusiasts and gamers. The layout and interior construction gives it some versatility that many mini-ITX cases lack, though it is larger than most. Unfortunately the plastic portions that form the top and bottom aren't worthy of the chassis sitting between them. The top makes a convenient handle for transporting the machine and the bottom gives the power supply vent plenty of clearance, but they're both shockingly weak. One of the tabs on the top piece cracked very early on during our examination, even before assembly began, and the wobbly bottom fills us with trepidation. Even if it's strong enough to support the weight of a fully configured PC, it likely amplifies any vibration generated by the case. We would love to see an all-steel version of the Prodigy, even if it meant bumping up the price at bit. The non-black versions should also incorporate the less stiffling front bezel design.

Many thanks to ASUS, BitFenix, Intel, ASUS, Kingston, Seasonic, and Scythe for sponsoring the components in this build guide.

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Articles of Related Interest
Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition
Journey to a Silent MicroATX Gamer
Quiet Mini-ITX Gamer Build Guide
Quiet ATX Gamer, R5 Version
SPCR's Quiet ATX Gaming Build Guide
Case Basics & Recommendations

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