Description

This is the first version of my Bitfenix Prodigy daily machine for general use, along with vector graphics and video editing.

  • Starting with the processor, the i5 6500 was the most powerful I was able to find before the massive price increase of $50+. It has worked out well for me, and I only get lag when editing large graphics or 4K video. I am using the integrated HD 530 graphics, which are more than enough for my monitor and workload.
  • I decided on the Gigabyte motherboard mainly for built in Wifi and USB-C. The included antenna is slightly more reflective than I would have liked, but it does the job and rarely loses its connection. Be warned, however, that it only has 1 case fan header, so prepare to buy a fan controller.
  • With memory, 16 GB was definitely overkill for what I do. With Windows 10 Pro 1511, I am never using more than 5 or 6 GB, but it's nice to know the space is there in case I ever need to be doing many, many, many...many things at once.
  • The Samsung EVO drives are absolutely fantastic as boot drives! They cut my boot speed from 7 minutes with a 5400 rpm HDD to 3 seconds, and are worth every penny. The 250 GB is for Windows, and the 120 GB for Ubuntu Mate, which I'm required to use for certain school software.
  • The Cooler Master power supply could be better. Sure, it functions fine as an ATX power supply, but the fan is annoying. The ketchup-and-mustard cabling doesn't bother me, as the case is windowless.
  • Personally, I love the Prodigy. It's relatively small, has adequate airflow, and has the Mac style that I've come to appreciate. The included 2x 120mm fans included are okay, but I replaced them with Fractal Design fans, which in my experience are quieter. Also, I recently taped cheap craft foam to the walls of the case, and they have drastically reduced noise without compromising cooling.
  • The Dell S2715H is the best monitor I've ever owned! I do wish I would have purchased the 1440p version, but the borderless design is nice.
  • The mouse and keyboard are really only used out of necessity. The media center layout on the k410 is annoying for desktop use, and I will be replacing it and the m505 with the k750 and MX Anywhere 2.

Benchmarks:

I'm hoping I'll be able to keep upgrading this workstation and using it for some years, so if anyone has ideas for improvements, they would be greatly appreciated!

Part Reviews

CPU

This is a great mid-range processor. Performance wise, it lies just before Intel's massive price spike, so is good for budget builds. It functions great for complicated vector graphics and 1440p video editing.

Motherboard

A great motherboard with reliable Wifi and USB-C, however that port can only reach USB 3.0 speeds, and the motherboard only supports 1 case fan.

Memory

What can I say? This is reliable memory at a great speed for not that expensive.

Storage

Fast, reliable SSD with room for 32-bit Windows or Linux.

Storage

Fast, reliable SSD with room for 64-bit Windows.

Case

This is a great mini ITX case with room for all your components. Cable management is a bit of a pain, but the Mac look is great.

Power Supply

This power supply works fine, but the internal fan is noisy, especially upon boot.

Case Fan

Good, silent case fan. The white is not yellowish as in many others.

Monitor

Amazing monitor, although I wish I would have gotten the 1440p version. The borderless design is great for multi-monitor setups.

Mouse

Reliable Logitech mouse with the unifying receiver, but only supports a single device.

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Comments

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotta love the budget workstations +1

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

good build, the case looks cute XD.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Must be a real quiet machine there.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

It is, overall, a good silent build. As I said, the power supply fan is annoying upon boot, but it quiets down over time.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

When looking for a case for my mini ITX it was a hard to choose between this bitfenix case and the Hadron Air. Just wish they did the Hadron Air in that white look awesome.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I know - the white is awesome. Bitfenix's "Soft Touch" finish is really different; it almost feels like the rubber Otter Box uses on their cases, but smoother.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice simple build. A couple of changes i would make to your layout inside.

1 - Move both SSD out of the cages to the rear case door or the PSU cage (there should be room for both drives) and ditch the HDD cages - this will increase your airflow around CPU/mobo.

2- If you have the extra fans that came with the case may as well put both back on the front to push air around a bit more - im using them in mine and they are near enough silent.

Other than that great build.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

As a note - heres an example of another one using 2x SSD in that configuration i mentioned. https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/WMNNnQ

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the idea! I actually couldn't figure out what those slots were for, but it makes sense. I know I'm short on fans, but as my mobo only supports 1 and I want it automated, this was the best solution for now. I hope to get a Bitfenix Recon soon, and attach all my fans to it, including the current exhaust as well as 2 120mm versions of the same fan along the top filtered intake.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice :)

My Mobo only has 2 headers + the CPU so i used one of these to get all my fans connected the 2x BF fans are connected to one and the 230mm is connected to the other.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005FWXWPS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the link; I'll definitely consider it as an option for V2. Otherwise, I'll probably go with the Bitfenix Recon, which is much more expensive but includes a control panel that matches the case.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Hows the Dell S2715H monitor with the glossy glass treating you? I'm planing on buying three of these for myself but weary of the reflective screen it has. Also nice build.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Beware, this screen is about as glossy as they come. I personally leave it around 20% brightness, which is unusable in direct sunlight, but putting it back up to 100% is enough to become functional. It depends on your desk location.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

OK, thanks :D

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Although... stock cooler..?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I know, it's not ideal. I plan to replace it eventually, probably with a major upgrade like a GPU, etc, but for now, it doesn't seem to have that bad of effects. Especially with a non-K chip, temps usually stay around 70-75C.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, you may want to look into getting a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO cooler, it's only around $27. Great build though!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi

Does this motherboard has a XMP BIOS option?

Thanks

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Not that I'm aware of, although I've never tried. From the manual and searching the BIOS itself, I couldn't find anything.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!!