neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" - mATX in an ITX case

Discussion in 'Retail Cases' started by neilhart, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2012 at 4:58 PM #1
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    New Project: "The White One"

    I have completed the White and this is an update to the first posting with a photo of the final "White'.

    [​IMG]



    Components:


    Case -BiitFenix Prodigy ITX case in White

    Motherboard - MSI Z77MA-G45 (Micro ATX)

    CPU - Intel i7-3770K

    GPU - Sapphire HD 6870

    PSU - TBD

    OD - TBD - Slot Loader DVD

    HDD - 2.5" 500 GB, X4, RAID 0

    Backup and Recovery - 2 or 3 TB 3.5" hard drive - Seagate

    Rear Panel -TBD - Custom for Micro ATX motherboard


    Initial survey of the Prodigy, I am pleased with the design detail and quality of the case. It is unfortunate that the designers did not make it smaller or larger. For a "mini-ITX" motherboard, it could be narrower and maintain the visual attraction. If they had made is a little wider, "micro-ATX" motherboards would have fit… even a tenth of an inch would have helped.

    My go no-go decision was based upon having a Micro-ATX motherboard in the chassis (as shown in the photos) and being able to attach the side panels.

    Note today mini-ITX motherboards, that interest me, are z77 and none are complete (IMHO) as I need 6 or more SATA ports for the system that I envision. These mini-ITX MBs usually have a mini-PCIE slot with a WiFi card installed which is a nice feature but really not needed by most for a desktop system.

    The White Prodigy front panel, the black part is a full front cover and is held inlace with cast in clip/releases (see photos). The white front panel is attached to the black with 7 screws plus two screws for the OD opening. Around the inside permitter of the black plastic there are molded in mini air slots; conclusion is that this will be restrictive for quite hi-flow rate/volume of air;

    The sheet metal at the front is perforated in a pattern that allows for a larger fans. A single 120mm fan is installed at the front lower mount. I can envision mounting a 200 mm or larger fan, cutting out the sheet metal mesh and redoing the entire front panel for low resistance to volume air flow.

    The White and Black cases have different treatment at the front. The White as I described above and the Black with a mesh covering over a frame with large octagonal holes. I did know about the difference and would have held back for a black case. I will search around a see if I can find a "Black Prodigy" front panel before modding the white one.

    Anyway it is what it is and after hacking G4 Cubes, Power Mac and Mac Pro chassis, I really don't have a problem in concept to redoing someones design to suit my purpose.

    The motherboard mounting plate is the PSU enclosure bracket and it is held in place with 10 pop rivets. I drilled out these rivets to get at the bracket. Removed the existing 4 board standoffs. Replaced with PC type brass standoffs relocated to the MicroATX pattern and added expansion card tail slot. I am planning to reinstall with #6 Phillips flat head screws as this part may need to be removed a number of times.

    PSU mounting with the fan facing downward appears to be entirely rational. There are even 4 rubber blocks placed for the PSU to rest on. As with most small systems, the PSU wring will need modding, cut to length and re-terminated, to get rid of the excess and tidy up the install.

    The side panels are well constructed and finished. Each is held by 2 thumb screws at the rear and a mating flange at the front. The right hand side panel is has a plastic 2.5 inch 2 drive holder that is held by 4 small self-taping screws. This bit I removed immediately as it interferes with a Micro-ATA motherboard. The right side panel also has a switch board assembly attached that has the power and reset switches, USB3 ports, LEDs and Audio ports.

    There has been discussion concerning this case and shoe horning a Micro-ATX motherboard into it, and some do not approve. Well hold your water and let's see how this comes out in the end.

    Comments and questions are welcome.


    neil

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  2. Flybye

    Flybye

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    Aug 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM #2
    Flybye

    Flybye

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    That is an adorable little case. Should anodize it aluminum and call it the Baby Pro. :)
     
  3. minihack

    minihack

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    Aug 5, 2012 at 7:15 PM #3
    minihack

    minihack

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    Hi Neil,
    Looking forward to this one! Seeing the test fit in there with your mobo I cannot understand why bitfenix themselves didn't do it with a mATX layout. It looks ideal for a compact case and mATX.
    This could be awesome...as it does look a bit like a squished Mac Pro. That case looks good value and ripe for re-modelling into something special.
     
  4. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2012 at 8:52 PM #4
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    As it turns out, there is a forum on the Binfenix web site and they are being asked this same question. I am almost decided to purchase a black version but find it is out of stock again at Newegg.

    In the mean time I have the target motherboard installed onto the mounting plate and I am working on the IO plate. Have cut the material out to the edge of the case and this is what we have. The IO plate will need to be trimmed a bit.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    neil
     
  5. Str8klownin

    Str8klownin

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    Aug 7, 2012 at 10:45 PM #5
    Str8klownin

    Str8klownin

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    neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" work log started.

    I was waiting to get all my watercooling supplies in before i updated my thread on this exact same process. I hope this helps.

    [​IMG]

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    Not the best job but i had to cover that gap.

    [​IMG]



    Please let me know when you get that custom panel done from Front Panel Express. Im nowhere near technical enough to go that route.
     
  6. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Aug 8, 2012 at 2:53 AM #6
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" work log started.

    Str8klownin I am glad that you are back and you can spur me on. The hard disks and PSU that I had on order arrived today and I have made a little progress.

    The IO panel is trimmed and the fit is fairly good. I have been working on a PCI Slot rear panel design and took the plunge and cut away what can not be used and was in the way. This is a raw cut and will take some hand finishing before I can reload the motherboard.

    [​IMG]
    and the full rear ...
    [​IMG]

    more soon.
    neil
     
  7. Str8klownin

    Str8klownin

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    Aug 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM #7
    Str8klownin

    Str8klownin

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    neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" work log started.

    wow. i didn't have the guts to cut into the fan area for the first pci slot, so I'm just using the second even though its only x8. I don't really game much so its not huge issue for me. But it look like your ready to go full SLI/Crossfire. Now that they found a way to utilize 2 cards in osx i don't see why i wouldn't go this route either (waiting for the 660ti to come out).

    It looks like your going to need a new way to secure the gpu to the case now. I was thinking maybe find a way to mod this 4 slot motherboard tray.

    http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/info_2014.html

    ...hmmm actually, if you use the whole tray, shave off the sides, it would push the motherboard a little further towards the front but you'd end up with a complete and clean back panel, SLI ready Prodigy!
     
  8. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Aug 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM #8
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" work log started.

    I have made a little head way. I spent some time using CAD software and cutting paper patterns for the PCI Slot area of the rear panel. I keep coming back to this idea of patching in a portion of a salvaged rear panel instead. Here are some photos of where I am this evening.

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    Comments?

    More later.

    neil
     
  9. doctorevil30564

    doctorevil30564

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    Aug 10, 2012 at 1:11 AM #9
    doctorevil30564

    doctorevil30564

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    neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" work log started.

    If you can paint it to match the white of the case that looks like it would work perfectly
     
  10. Str8klownin

    Str8klownin

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    Aug 10, 2012 at 3:30 AM #10
    Str8klownin

    Str8klownin

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    neilhart's Prodigy "The White One" work log started.

    very nicely done so far. This whole process would probably have come out a lot cleaner for if we chose the black case.

    I think i have an old HP case with a similar 4 slot setup. If i can get some time next week ill cut it out.

    [​IMG]

    Use the whole I/O panel and slots, maybe keep about a 1/2" on top and bottom to bolt/epoxy it to the case.
    Thats if you havent already finished that Front Panel Express design. :)
     

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