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Help me mod the heck out of a Bitfenix Prodigy?

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a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 6:44:04 AM

So... I'm kinda insane. Here's my rig:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.4 GHz & 1.18V
MB: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H [To be replaced by one of these three: http://goo.gl/nFWO1 ]
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X @ 1600 w/7/8/8/24
GPU: GeForce GTX 670 2GB FTW edition, @ 1246 MHz
PSU: Corsair HX750 [Gold certified model]
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 on a 6GB/s line
HHD: Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black

Now then. I want to shove this into a mini-ITX case. This one, to be exact:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811345016

And I want to water cool it.

For those of you who are still here, and haven't abandoned me to my idiocy, help me plan some mods here, would you?

Here's what I'm looking at.

1) Removing the front panel of the motherboard stand / PSU cage. My power supply is too long for it and cables to fit in there. Any advice on how to support the structure?
I don't think leaving just the corners would do the trick.

2) Removing everything in the front so I can fit a 200mm square radiator and a reservoir, as well as a 240mm radiator up at the top. That shouldn't be a problem, as it only takes a screwdriver, but it makes the next couple things interesting.

3) Mounting a slim DVD-RW drive vertically along one side of the case. I have no idea how to go about doing this, and would love the advice. I was thinking to mount it on the side panel.

4) Finding somewhere to throw my 3.5" drive after removing all hard drive bays. I was thinking possibly lashing it down on the floor of the case with the reservoir on top of it. Wouldn't be too bad unless the reservoir broke...

5) Trying to fit watercooling for the graphics AND an intake fan between the PCIe slot and the side panel. (Because of the reservoir, my intakes will be at the back and side, both filtered.)

6) Doing something with the space above the motherboard; possibly a reservoir. If not? A disco ball.

7) Removing the bottom handles and putting on rubber feet. Still not sure if I want to do this one or not - it'd make the case more portable, but slightly ruin the aesthetics.

8) This is the hardest... Moving the front I/O panel to the 5.5" bay slot. If there's a way to do this, I'd be ecstatic, but it's the hardest to do as far as I can see.

9) Standard stuff such as custom sleeving my cables, throwing a light in there, ect.

Any suggestions for other things to do to this case? Any way you can see of accomplishing the mods I'm worried about?
a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 9:42:50 AM

Just saying right now, I have no clue on case modding. I'm just flagging the thread as this looks interesting if it pans out.
Bit of advice. Contact Motopsychojdn and amuffin, they are fairly prolific modders and Moto knows his stuff when it comes to modding + watercooling.

Best of luck to you.
a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 10:56:22 AM

Uther has also built a AIO watercooled with one of those.
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a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 1:07:38 PM

Hey there, I'm no modding expert but I might be able to help as I own two Prodigy cases and have attempted to tweak them a little.

DarkSable said:


1) Removing the front panel of the motherboard stand / PSU cage. My power supply is too long for it and cables to fit in there. Any advice on how to support the structure?
I don't think leaving just the corners would do the trick.


I don't think you need to remove the entire thing, just cut a hole in it for the PSU to stick through. The case is pretty wide so theres a reasonable amount of clearance. You could pack the topside of the PSU with something (rubber or something) to support any potential bow in the middle, make it structural.

DarkSable said:

2) Removing everything in the front so I can fit a 200mm square radiator and a reservoir, as well as a 240mm radiator up at the top. That shouldn't be a problem, as it only takes a screwdriver, but it makes the next couple things interesting.

I think it's possible (think I saw a picture of it somewhere) but you'll need to be careful as it doesn't leave much space for any pipes coming out at the same places. Also, the front panel cables (if left in the standard location) get in the way quite dramatically.

DarkSable said:

3) Mounting a slim DVD-RW drive vertically along one side of the case. I have no idea how to go about doing this, and would love the advice. I was thinking to mount it on the side panel.

Tried doing this myself but ran into difficulties. It's definitely possible but you need a reasonably elaborate mounting system because the corners of the case are curved so you can't put it at the bottom easily. Also you can only put it on the left side of the case (if the front panel remains static) which means you run into problems with the graphics card clearance. I bought a smaller graphics card to avoid this, but the bracket I needed to make was proving too complicated (slim drives don't have screw holes).

DarkSable said:

4) Finding somewhere to throw my 3.5" drive after removing all hard drive bays. I was thinking possibly lashing it down on the floor of the case with the reservoir on top of it. Wouldn't be too bad unless the reservoir broke...

Cable management is an issue in this case because there's a lack of places to tuck things, they just float around in the side gaps. I considered using these side sections more productively, but again there isn't much space. There might be enough room for a HDD (or two) mounted in the side channels alongside the PSU, it's not something I've tried.

DarkSable said:

5) Trying to fit watercooling for the graphics AND an intake fan between the PCIe slot and the side panel. (Because of the reservoir, my intakes will be at the back and side, both filtered.)

On an ITX motherboard, your graphics card overhangs quite a lot. I know with watercooling you'd remove the big cooler, but I still think you'd struggle for clearance.
This picture http://ssd.thessdreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/... shows what I mean.

DarkSable said:

6) Doing something with the space above the motherboard; possibly a reservoir. If not? A disco ball.

Approving the installation of a disco ball.

DarkSable said:

7) Removing the bottom handles and putting on rubber feet. Still not sure if I want to do this one or not - it'd make the case more portable, but slightly ruin the aesthetics.

My biggest annoyance with this case is the wobble. Worst thing I've done is unplug my headphones from the front panel, wobble the case, slightly dislodge the PSU cable, and shut off my PC. Thankfully I didn't loose any work. The handles themselves are pretty filmsy but if you remove them there are runners that are left exposed and it makes the side panels look like they don't fit. http://cdn.overclock.net/d/d4/d4f9a054_Prodigy.jpeg
If I had enough tools, I'd probably make some aluminium strips to cover the bottom section and then put it on proper feet.

DarkSable said:

8) This is the hardest... Moving the front I/O panel to the 5.5" bay slot. If there's a way to do this, I'd be ecstatic, but it's the hardest to do as far as I can see.

As I've already mentioned, a few things above are hard to do if you don't move the front panel. Its a nuisance to be honest.
Almost impossible to fit it in the 5.5" bay area because of your radiators. I was intending to move it to the front bottom left but again it's really awkward to mount. Also considered the roof, but that's got even more issues.

Sorry if all that seems really negative, it's not supposed to be. I wish you the best of luck. Hope some of that stuff will help.

a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 8:06:59 PM

manofchalk said:
Just saying right now, I have no clue on case modding. I'm just flagging the thread as this looks interesting if it pans out.
Bit of advice. Contact Motopsychojdn and amuffin, they are fairly prolific modders and Moto knows his stuff when it comes to modding + watercooling.

Best of luck to you.
No worries, thanks for the response. If I end up figuring out how to do a full thing, I'll probably do a mod log.

Rammy, I appreciate your reply, and will respond to it when I have a minute.
a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 10:53:31 PM

Rammy said:
Hey there, I'm no modding expert but I might be able to help as I own two Prodigy cases and have attempted to tweak them a little.

I don't think you need to remove the entire thing, just cut a hole in it for the PSU to stick through. The case is pretty wide so theres a reasonable amount of clearance. You could pack the topside of the PSU with something (rubber or something) to support any potential bow in the middle, make it structural.
Thanks for the help! I like the idea of using the PSU for support as well, I'll look at that. As for just cutting the holes for the modular cables, that's basically what I was going to do - just making a larger cutout that was uniform.

Rammy said:
I think it's possible (think I saw a picture of it somewhere) but you'll need to be careful as it doesn't leave much space for any pipes coming out at the same places. Also, the front panel cables (if left in the standard location) get in the way quite dramatically.
Hmm, didn't think about the pipes. That could be a problem. I was also looking at what other people had done with it, and you nailed it with the front panel. Hmm... Perhaps just a 240mm cooler, then, or would that cause just as many problems from the height?

Rammy said:
Tried doing this myself but ran into difficulties. It's definitely possible but you need a reasonably elaborate mounting system because the corners of the case are curved so you can't put it at the bottom easily. Also you can only put it on the left side of the case (if the front panel remains static) which means you run into problems with the graphics card clearance. I bought a smaller graphics card to avoid this, but the bracket I needed to make was proving too complicated (slim drives don't have screw holes).
Hmm, hadn't thought about that... I'm sure I can find somewhere to slide it, though. Not too worried about the bracket needed.

Rammy said:
Cable management is an issue in this case because there's a lack of places to tuck things, they just float around in the side gaps. I considered using these side sections more productively, but again there isn't much space. There might be enough room for a HDD (or two) mounted in the side channels alongside the PSU, it's not something I've tried.
I love the idea of mounting a HDD by the power supply - I'm going to have to toy with that. As for cable management, I plan on resizing and resleeving all my cables. That'll help immensely, right?

Rammy said:
On an ITX motherboard, your graphics card overhangs quite a lot. I know with watercooling you'd remove the big cooler, but I still think you'd struggle for clearance.
This picture http://ssd.thessdreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/... shows what I mean.

Approving the installation of a disco ball.
Oh... yeah. Ahh well, that's no biggie. Makes it slightly harder to cool the other parts of the GPU, though.. hmm...
And if I end up having room, and can find one, I'll put it in there. (At least to take photos with, anyways.)

Rammy said:
My biggest annoyance with this case is the wobble. Worst thing I've done is unplug my headphones from the front panel, wobble the case, slightly dislodge the PSU cable, and shut off my PC. Thankfully I didn't loose any work. The handles themselves are pretty filmsy but if you remove them there are runners that are left exposed and it makes the side panels look like they don't fit. http://cdn.overclock.net/d/d4/d4f9a054_Prodigy.jpeg
If I had enough tools, I'd probably make some aluminium strips to cover the bottom section and then put it on proper feet.
I've heard people complain about the wobble on this case before - is it really that bad? I could do feet, but I like both the height and look of the handles. Perhaps if I could reinforce them somehow...

Rammy said:
As I've already mentioned, a few things above are hard to do if you don't move the front panel. Its a nuisance to be honest.
Almost impossible to fit it in the 5.5" bay area because of your radiators. I was intending to move it to the front bottom left but again it's really awkward to mount. Also considered the roof, but that's got even more issues.

Sorry if all that seems really negative, it's not supposed to be. I wish you the best of luck. Hope some of that stuff will help.
I was planning on taking out the 5.25" bay itself and just make a slim mount there. Would that not be viable size-wise?

And no, thank you! I really appreciate someone with experience with this case coming along and telling me where my problems are going to be. :) 

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a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 11:15:44 PM
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DarkSable said:

Hmm, didn't think about the pipes. That could be a problem. I was also looking at what other people had done with it, and you nailed it with the front panel. Hmm... Perhaps just a 240mm cooler, then, or would that cause just as many problems from the height?


DarkSable said:

I was planning on taking out the 5.25" bay itself and just make a slim mount there. Would that not be viable size-wise?


This picture kinda illustrates the problem, 2 rads kinda fills up most of the space. http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/539301_10...
Just found that googling, there are more pics here that might help. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151087043161...

DarkSable said:

I love the idea of mounting a HDD by the power supply - I'm going to have to toy with that. As for cable management, I plan on resizing and resleeving all my cables. That'll help immensely, right?


Yeah partly, the problem is that most cases these days have a false floor section under the motherboard to run cables. In this case they are just going to be along the floor. If you have anything in the standard optical bay, the cables get pretty messy. Thankfully I really don't care that much, as long as everything works fine.


DarkSable said:

I've heard people complain about the wobble on this case before - is it really that bad? I could do feet, but I like both the height and look of the handles. Perhaps if I could reinforce them somehow...

It's far worse with an empty (new) case. Once you put a PSU in the bottom it makes it much less top heavy. I don't really mind the wobble too much (I'm hardly shaking it around), it's just something that it didn't really need.


DarkSable said:

And no, thank you! I really appreciate someone with experience with this case coming along and telling me where my problems are going to be. :) 


Yeah no problem at all, sorry I'm not more positive :)  I think if you are determined enough to do something, you'll manage.
My plan was to mod a 2nd drive bay into it, so I could have a fan controller and an optical drive. It sounds simple, but due to the quirks of the case it proved a lot more frustrating than I'd imagined. Thankfully I had a spare shell to experiment on, as I was one of the people who got a case with broken handles. They sent me a replacement, but I kept the original.
a b ) Power supply
November 25, 2012 11:52:06 PM

Fair enough. I've already modded my fan controller to slip pretty much anywhere, so that'll be fine.

As for the front, I don't know that I was clear - I intend to use the 5.25" bay cover as the cover for my front panel PCB. I don't need any space depth-wise, so it'll be perfect.

a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 12:20:49 AM

Yeah you might be ok, the cables coming out of it are a bit awkward though. You might need to remove them and reattach them at the correct angle.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 12:23:43 AM

Awkward? How so? (Don't have the case yet, so I can't really tell.)
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 12:34:18 AM

Just so happens I have the front panel assembly from my spare case lying around. It has a metal bracket that is attached to the case. If you remove that, you are left with this -
http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/9870/20121126022647....
(Sorry about the envelope, easiest thing I had lying around to stick it on)
The PCB is 6inches long without the metal bracket, if that helps. It should still fit if you can line it up.

Most of the cables easily bend to 90degrees, but the USB3.0 ones are less willing. However you look at it, you need at least 30mm clearance between your radiator and the front of the case, which based on those pictures I think you should be fine with. Awkward bit will be where to take the cables from there. They aren't long enough to be routed down and around the bottom of the case (my front audio cable really struggles to reach in the stock position).
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 12:48:44 AM

Hmm, that's not to horrible... I appreciate the picture - that was exactly what I needed!

That is... somewhat complicated. What's the PCB's purpose, do you know? Because I was thinking of simply disassembling it and re-mounting the usb, audio, and power alone. I know I can get cables that are just that, but I'm hoping these might also work.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 10:04:01 AM

Not really sure what it's purpose is. If I had to guess, it's a standardised thing that they use to save costs, and just change the button section. There's a cutout for a 3rd USB port that isn't used.
As far as I can tell, it's purely for mounting purposes, and each individual element isn't connected. Separating them should be totally possible, if a little awkward.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 10:36:28 AM

Hmm, that's very very good news for me, thanks!

Not sure what I'll use to fill the gaps - I have a second front panel port from a different case I could use. What do you think, do you think 4 audio jacks, 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, and an eSATA as a front panel is a little excessive? ;) 

This IS very good news for me though, thank you! I went ahead and ordered my black edition Prodigy, an AsRock motherboard, some bloody amazing samsung low profile ram, and a heatsink that won't cover my PCIe slot like my beloved Hyper 212 + would.

Super excited to start work on this thing. :) 
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 10:57:07 AM

DarkSable said:
Hmm, that's very very good news for me, thanks!

Not sure what I'll use to fill the gaps - I have a second front panel port from a different case I could use. What do you think, do you think 4 audio jacks, 2 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, and an eSATA as a front panel is a little excessive? ;) 

This IS very good news for me though, thank you! I went ahead and ordered my black edition Prodigy, an AsRock motherboard, some bloody amazing samsung low profile ram, and a heatsink that won't cover my PCIe slot like my beloved Hyper 212 + would.


I dunno about excessive, but it might spoil the aesthetics a bit. I quite liked this - http://lamptron.com/products/view/Fan_Controller_FC10 but I didn't think it would suit the case, so I got this-
http://lamptron.com/products/view/Fan_Controller_FC9
Looks very cool when installed, but for now I'm still using a standard black DVD drive in the slot.


Got the ASRock motherboard myself, and its really good quality, but the positioning of a few elements is a tiny bit awkward. The CPU slot is a bit close to the PCIe slot etc. Kinda limits the coolers you can use, fine if you are water cooling.
My setup is nowhere near as fancy as yours but I want it to be silent, so I use a cheap Antec Kuhler thingy and low speed fans.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 11:04:19 AM

I love the look of that first fan controller, and the purple on that second is amazing. Sad thing is, I've got an internally mounted fan controller, and with the way my tower has to sit, I desperately need the front i/o panel to, y'know, be in the front.

Yeah, I'm hoping to upgrade to water cooling at some point here - I just don't have the money to do so yet. (One question, though, if anyone knows... I've heard you can't take a water cooled computer on an airplane. Is that true? Because it could cause me problems.)
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 7:15:29 PM

I imagine there would be issues due to changing air pressure which could cause problems, but that could easily be fixed by just draining the loop beforehand. If you do, make sure to build a T-line into the loop, makes draining it a lot easier.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 8:01:20 PM

Best answer selected by DarkSable.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2012 8:02:33 PM

Ooh, good advice on that one, thanks. I hadn't even thought about that, but it seems like it would make maintenance a lot easier.
!