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Case And Its Accessories

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2013: $2500 Performance PC

Case: BitFenix Prodigy

Most small cases suffer from limited cooling, and this build was going to pack one of the hottest video cards on the market. Nvidia's GeForce GTX 690 vents from both ends and draws air from the side, so the perfect case would have vents up front and back, along with air inlets next to the card.

Read Customer Reviews of BitFenix's Prodigy

Cubitek’s all-aluminum Mini-Tank
is no longer an option, but BitFenix carries the same layout into a cheaper plastic-and-steel model with similar cooling capabilities and a few upgrade tricks. The side panel air inlet is plainly visible from the left side, making this a good start towards my cooling goals, but what about the front vent?

Face Panel: C-PRO-300-KRFXA-RP

I normally don’t go for brightly-colored cases, but white was the only other available option on the day I ordered my chassis. And white-framed mesh face panels were out-of-stock.

Read Customer Reviews of BitFenix's Custom Front Panel

Typically this is an accessory. Today, however, BitFenix’s mesh-covered front panel upgrade becomes a necessity when a graphics card blows hot air out of both ends. Then again, that panel is only used for exhaust if I reverse the case's airflow.

Front Fan: BFF-SCF-14025WW-RP

The Prodigy’s stock 120 mm intake fan is mounted to the lower face panel, blowing through its hard drive cage into the power supply. Its second 120 mm front mount crosses over the optical drive tray, requiring tray removal. Between those two, a third set of mounting holes supports 140 mm fans exclusively. Not knowing this, I didn’t order one.

Read Customer Reviews of BitFenix's Spectre Pro 140 mm Case Fan

Fortunately, BitFenix saw fit to send me a couple fan samples for a previous review. Those samples were still current models at Newegg, and those samples were still sitting in a cabinet of unused parts. Turning it around as front-panel exhaust completes the airflow-reversal required to keep graphics-card heat away from the CPU. Surprisingly adequate for that intended purpose, I added it to the build sheet.

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