To the system builder the clearance inside a chassis is critical – it identifies any possibly limitations to hardware installation.
Starting with the CPU cooler – here there is approximately 180/190mm of clearance, allowing for the installation of a vast majority of CPU coolers available on the market. This presents some great possibilities and is very generous indeed.
It’s advisable to check other dimensions of the CPU cooler too before going ahead, because of the varying CPU socket placements on Mini-ITX it may obstruct.
Options for large CPU coolers
Although some may not even add a discreet solution to their HTPC setup for the purpose of detail I have added one into Prodigy. (Our motherboard the ZOTAC ITX Fusion already has integrated graphics and is more than capable of handling moderate tasks).
Installed within Prodigy is the XFX HD7970 Black Edition which is approximately 10.5” in length. As you can see from the picture there is still even more clearance for the higher-end solutions and they are fully supported because of the ability to accommodate up to 160mm PSUs.
If your graphics card does have the PCI-E power ports at the top of the card (as per picture) then it can be difficult to plug these in because of the optical drive cage. With some patience and cable manipulation it is possible to get those cables in.
Clearance for high-end graphics cards up to 12”+
Due to cable management being slightly different in Prodigy there isn’t anywhere to specifically measure. PSU sizes vary but it was nice to see the excess/redundant cables able to sit inside the PSU cage and tucked away.
An area within the PSU cage to tuck cables away
On the next page we will be observing how effective the thermal performance is within Prodigy.