Description

I needed a fast affordable computer with excellent price to performance ratio for development and media entertainment that I could use at home and maybe take with me when I travel.

Processor: The 4770k was the first part that I purchased and I was extremely lucky to get it for $150 after a Staples price match and coupons. Well...not as lucky as those who qualify for the Intel Retail Edge program. Stock Intel cooler is only temporary until I install a liquid cooling system.

Motherboard: I didn't have too many options for the motherboard as I was limiting myself to the BitFenix Prodigy mini itx form factor and support for Hackintosh. I thought about getting the Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI which is usually the motherboard of choice for Hackintosh, but there were a couple things I didn't like about it. Namely, the cheap four phase power design with high power consumption at load, inferior wifi chip, less SATA ports, VGA in place of DisplayPort, etc. The Z87e-itx has better specs across the board. One of the few things I don't like about it is the placement of the 24 pin ATX and EPS connectors. It makes cable management harder and blocks my beautiful Kingston X ram logo. In the end, I got the motherboard to work pretty stable with Mountain Lion, but had some weird issues with multiple monitors on the Intel Integrated Graphics. Who ever thought disabling virtual memory would black out one of my monitors.

Memory: I had bought 16 GB of Patriot Viper ram at ncix for $70, but they cancelled it since it was a price mistake. Dang, ncix needs to automate their shipping like Walmart so I get lucky next time. Then I bought 16Gb of Kingston HyperX for $89 on Amazon, and my brother covered the cost as my Christmas gift. I lowered the CAS timings to 9,9,9,24 and had zero issues with the ram, memtest86 went through the complete 40 minute test with no errors.

Storage: I picked up the Kingston HyperX 120Gb SSD from TigeDirect about a year ago and finally put it to good use. It really helps speed up my compilation times. Also, I added a 2.5 inch mechanical HDD for more data storage so I don't wear out the SSD prematurely. The mechanical drive was gutted from a Sony external usb 3.0 hard drive which I got for free.

Case: I fell in digital love with the BitFenix Prodigy the first time I laid eyes on it. I paid $32 for it from a scratch & dent sale at performance-pcs. It kinda looks like a Mac and will look even more awesome once I install the custom liquid cooling loop.

Power Supply: I left the power supply last for a reason. I made an impulse buy with the power supply because I needed to test the system out and make sure I had no defective components in before return policy expires. Let's just say I am not happy with the purchase. The unit is extremely heavy and could probably be used as a multi-purpose boat anchor that electrocutes fish to kill them and make them float up to the surface. It is a very tight fit inside the psu bay and I had to bend the cables in all kinds of ways to achieve clean cable management. Also, I have a defective unit as the fan is always spinning at maximum rpm even when the system is completely idle. I will send it back to XFX once I have another PSU I can use.

Oh and I am definitely getting a video card once the Litecoin craze dies and the market is flooded with cheap video cards.

Comments

  • 72 months ago
  • 4 points

+1 just for the litecoin thing. I really hope it dies and doesn't become a major form of currency.

  • 72 months ago
  • 3 points

Same here lol

  • 72 months ago
  • 0 points

Amen brother! The price of litecoin dropped to around 20 dollars after the heart warming news of China banning Bitcoin. Then it closed at 13 dollars on the 18th, went back up to 19 the following day, now its back down to 16. I am not sure how much extra profit AMD is making from the current retailer markups, but perhaps they could use that money to lower the price on the not so good for cryptographic hashing cards. Steam box needs cheaper cards for the entry level configurations :)

  • 72 months ago
  • -1 points

Why?

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

Cause it makes card like the 280x(that i wanted to get till this **** happened) more than $100 more expensive.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

good point

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Worst case is I'll have to go with an Nvidia. There's no GeForce market forces at work ;)

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

I love the white prodigy builds, I was going to get this case but I decided on a full atx instead :)

  • 72 months ago
  • 5 points

I would have saved around 50 dollars on the motherboard had I gone with a full ATX, but I really like the aesthetics of the prodigy so it was worth it for me. I took a bit of a gamble buying a scratch & dent prodigy given that the item description said it was missing the hardware pack, but it actually came with everything except the manual (who needs that anyway lol) and the little pci express retention bracket. And it doesn't hurt that girls think it's cute :) It's like the Pikachu of computer cases.

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

nice little build. i was thinking of doing something like this for my next build, but potential temps worry me. Are you not going to bolt down your SSD?

  • 72 months ago
  • 2 points

I didn't bolt it down yet since I need to remove the psu to ship back to xfx. I wouldn't worry about temps too much. The case gets ample airflow and has crazy cooling options. Front supports 1x (120mm - 230mm) intake fan, rear supports 1x (120mm-140mm exhaust fan), top supports 2x 120mm fans or a huge 240mm radiator!

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

When is it going to be finished? Sounds like you're still using your brother's RAM and are waiting for the water cooling system.

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

I love this case's configuration, very neat and unique. Looks like the airflow is astounding!

  • 71 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I recently added a NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller to the drive bay. I will upload pictures of it when I get a chance, as well as the new Kingston HyperX red RAM.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

looks like you can get good air flow... but you should really get a gtx 780 or a titan

  • 72 months ago
  • -1 points

Oh and I am definitely getting a video card once the Litecoin craze dies and the market is flooded with cheap video cards.

That explains the 650 Watt PSU...

Great build! +1 just because you have a Prodigy case :D