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Lian Li PC-Q08 vs BitFenix Prodigy vs Alternatives

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January 8, 2013 10:34:08 AM

Pretty simple. I've given up on a small mATX case (theyre all pretty much a mid tower anyway) and begun looking at mITX cases. In particular, the Lian Li PC-Q08 or BitFenix Prodigy caught my eye. I'm just not sure which to get. I plan to use it a small NAS/Server build, and although I'm aware that the PC-Q08 has 6x3.5" bays while the Prodigy has 5, I prefer the look of the Prodigy and it seems to have better cooling.
Does anyone have suggestions or experience with these cases that may tip the scale, or perhaps an alternate case altogether?
January 8, 2013 10:58:33 AM

i like the cleaner look to the Fractal Design Array R2 but of the two u mention i like the BitFenix Prodigy over the Lian Li
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January 8, 2013 11:02:56 AM

the prodigy isnt that small
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January 8, 2013 7:11:55 PM

@tassietim: i'm still looking at alternates. Your suggestions are appreciated.
@TheBigTroll: you are right about the prodigy. But it is still smaller than an mATX. It can have 5x3.5" drives, and still leaves room for 4x2.5" drives (i'm not exactly keen on the 2.5" bays though, so cases like the Array R2 with 6x3.5 and 1x2.5 edge it out on this in my mind). It also leaves room for quite a lot of fans, which I don't know if I'll need, but its still one advantage that could be handy.
@Both: Both the Array R2 and node 304 still only support 6 drives. What other advantages do they offer?

Thanks for the input! Are there any particular reasons you'd recommend those cases? Better cooling, less noise, better looks? Any and all reasons you can think of are welcome.
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January 8, 2013 11:56:13 PM

a node 304 will hide more easily than a prodigy. plus, keep in mind that if you somewhat touch the prodigy, it will wobble. it wont ever tip but will wobble
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January 20, 2013 10:35:24 PM

I had a bit of a closer look at the node 304 vs Prodigy, and youre right. The prodigy is not a small case, especially next to that. The only issue I have with the node is that, at some stage, I would like my 6x 3.5's (which works) + a couple SSD's to run the server OS. As theyre SSD's, im happy to use some double sided tape, provided there is a flat surface to stick them to. Does anyone have a node 304? Is there room for such a setup? Also, how is its cooling? Our house can get quite warm, and although I know air cooling only ever gets the system to room temperature, I dont want something generating a lot of heat.
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January 24, 2013 4:12:03 PM

I just built a mITX gaming rig in Prodigy. While it isn't 'small', it definately doesn't take up a lot of space. I find there is plenty of space to work around in, unlike a lot of other mITX cases.
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January 24, 2013 5:43:47 PM

wasabi-warrior said:
I had a bit of a closer look at the node 304 vs Prodigy, and youre right. The prodigy is not a small case, especially next to that. The only issue I have with the node is that, at some stage, I would like my 6x 3.5's (which works) + a couple SSD's to run the server OS. As theyre SSD's, im happy to use some double sided tape, provided there is a flat surface to stick them to. Does anyone have a node 304? Is there room for such a setup? Also, how is its cooling? Our house can get quite warm, and although I know air cooling only ever gets the system to room temperature, I dont want something generating a lot of heat.


Unless your room temperature is like 60c, you're fine with air cooling.

The Node seems like the best one to me, looks nice with good cooling and is pretty cheap for what it is. Smaller than the prodigy too.
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January 24, 2013 7:23:56 PM

I've pretty much ruled out the prodigy and the Fractal Design Array R2. The prodigy is a bit big for my usage. If it was a gaming rig, I might consider it. The Array R2 I read quite a few bad reviews.

As for the 304 vs the q08: I've read that having all the drive bays full hinders the front cooling fan, especially considering it doesn't use front vents, but rather side and top vents around the edges of the fan. As for the q08, it has front mesh and doesn't have that issue. The only thing that differs would be that the 304 has a bottom mounted board, and supports higher coolers, than the q08 which mounts the PSU directly above the board (although its PSU installation means you can still draw air from the side of the case, rather than internally) and that the q08 has room for a 5.25" bay (which is likely where I'll end up taping those SSD's)

I don't mind the size of the q08, its a bit taller, but its footprint is smaller. I'm still looking at other components, so I havent purchased either of the cases, and am still welcoming input.
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January 24, 2013 11:08:53 PM

Well if your trying to decide between the Q08 and the Node, I'll add what little i know about the two.

Q08 is pretty quiet case, that has pretty good airflow. You should be able to fit five 3.5" drives. I have heard several cases of the case rattling however, and it doesn't have great CPU airflow, so a cooler will be the best bet.

Node 304 is pretty solid build quality and has plenty of place to tie down your cables. It has decent ventilation and dust filters for the fans (+1 in my opinion). On the down site it is a little more expensive and it doesn't have an external drive tray.

Hope some of this helps.
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January 25, 2013 4:35:12 AM

Thanks again for the input.
To be honest, I do like the node 304 a bit more, but I am rather concerned. Quite a lot of reviews mentioned that using all of the HDD bays (which I will) seems to block off the fans. I do like its PSU placement more, though.

Im torn. . . XD

EDIT: I had a look at where I was going to buy from, and the node 304 is actually $4 cheaper than the q08, coming in @ $125. Still pretty close. . .
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January 25, 2013 9:30:35 PM

Since you are making a server, and don't have to worry about GPU or OC'ing CPU's you should be okay with the Node 304. Just make sure you get a small form PSU around 140-160mm deep should work perfectly. As for the 6 HHD's immeding airflow, the drives have a space between them so the air will still travel towards the back of your case. :) 

My best suggestion is to get something like a Noctua NH-L9a for your CPU, its low profile and will keep the CPU Cool while also directing the heat upwards, then your back fan can just pul it out. You shouldn't have any heat issues, since you shouldn't have anything burning up in there. The biggest issue you need to worry about is cable management, but since you won't have a GPU hogging up space, you shouldn't have to many issues.
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January 26, 2013 12:10:41 AM

You seem to know a bit about it, Myyr. Wouldnt it be better to make use of the node 304's high clearance for better tower coolers, rather than use low profiles?
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January 26, 2013 2:59:48 AM

I have the PC-Q08 for my server and I really like it. However, I recently built a server for someone in the PC-Q25 and that was even nicer. It has a pseudo-backplane for the drives and doesn't have an optical drive. It's a little bit smaller.

If you pair it with an SFX power supply like the FSP GHS 300 which comes with an SFX-to-ATX mounting bracket (also what I have) there's plenty of room for a decent size cooler like a Scythe Shuriken. I have an ASUS E35M1-I in mine with 5 x 3.5" HDD, 1 x SSD, 4GB RAM and the aforementioned FSP GHS 300W PSU.

The server I buit in the PC-Q25 was an ASUS P8H77-I, i7-3770, 16GB RAM and 5 x 3TB HDDs with the Seasonic 300W SFX power supply (I bought the mounting bracket separately on eBay). I just used the stock cooler and it ran nice and cool.

Definitely look at the PC-Q25.

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January 26, 2013 3:03:48 AM

larger micro ITX is just shallower microATX anyway, so I don't much get the point. If it's 14" tall, then does it really matter if it's 8" deep or 12"?

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January 26, 2013 4:56:59 PM

You could easily get a larger cooler, SpinQ cpu cooler, i've seen in a 304. But since you are just running a server i wasn't sure you wanted to go that route. If you don't plan on OC'ing, the noctua i suggested will work fine. It was designed for HTPC'd and their ilk. However you can still pop in a larger on like a SpinQ or whatever you can fit too. They will both do their jobs of keeping the CPU cool. It just really depends on how cool you are you shooting for.

As for the Q25 above, it is a good choice if you don't mind settling for 5 HDD's (SDD's you can jam everywhere) vs. the six in the 304. It doesn't have a optical drive slot, incase that is a dealbreaker. You will also need to be careful when selecting a cooler, doesnt look like the Q25 will accomodate larger coolers with its PSU in that position. Also i would strongly recommend you get a smaller 140mm deep PSU to free up space.
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January 27, 2013 5:37:37 AM

Thanks for the help Myyr, and everyone else too!
I have 6 HDD's and two SSD's at the moment, so the q25 is out. Also, although it will be my "server", it's probably not just going to be HTPC and file server. I'm planning on an i3 to help run a few things on it as well. Probably going to run with the stock cooler and test out the heat, I can always add another one later.

Thanks again for everyones help, your suggestions have made a difference. I think I'm going to go with the node 304.
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January 27, 2013 5:39:31 AM

Best answer selected by wasabi-warrior.
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