So this was a build I planned for and built with my friend, to act as a portable PC for lan parties, something that he can easily move to the next room over for VR, something he can bring to uni, and of course something he can use every day. The Companion Cube was a name I suggested and he loved it. Even though it's not a cube.
We originally looked at the Node 304 and the Corsair 380T, but when I showed him the Bitfenix Prodigy M he fell in love with it. It's also mATX instead of mITX, so that's pretty nice for upgradability. The handles are wonderful, but needs a certain grip to stop the handles digging into your palms. Unfortunately the version with the side panel was out of stock everywhere, so we had to buy it separately. An extra £27 for a window really sucks, but he really likes it and it was within budget anyway.
His old PC tower had a 3570k with a stock cooler, and he didn't particularly like the noise from it. Given we were moving down a form factor, we decided a cheap aftermarket cooler would be worth it. And it definitely was, the TX3 evo keeps the 6500 well cooled under load, while staying whisper quiet which is rather impressive for such a small cooler.
This was designed to be a purely gaming machine, so we stuck with a speedy 275GB M.2 SSD. The M.2 form factor was a godsend when cable managing, as it completely eliminated a power and data connector from the process. All in all the MX300 is nice and speedy, and 275GB is plenty for his games. He's considering going SSD only if he needs more storage, and there are two slots for SSDs/HDDs at the bottom of the case. We were briefly considering putting a large fan at the bottom of the case, but decided not to to keep this option open for storage.
He ordered a 550W GS, but ended up getting a 650W version. So thanks Amazon, we sure ain't complaining.
The wifi adaptor is tiny, and does its job fine. When the PC is at its home base on top of his desk, he uses ethernet, so the wifi adaptor is only really for convenience when he's moving around.
The 1060 was an easy choice within the price range. We originally looked at mini single fan cards since the GPU clearance isn't great. Eventually we saw the Xtreme Gaming and he absolutely fell in love with it. Against my better judgement, he convinced me to run the numbers and I figured out it would fit fine, but would overhang the PSU which would make cable management a bit difficult. His response to that was "Well I have a bag with a *** ton of zip ties so we'll be fine" and it turned out we were. The cable management looked great until we added the PCIe power cables, which made it look a little bit messier in the end than I would have liked. But fitting such a huge 2.5 slot card in the Prodigy was incredibly satisfying.
Finally the lighting. Since the name was the companion cube, we added blue and orange fans to replace the stock fans that came with the prodigy m. The Blue lighting looks great, but unfortunately the orange comes out as a weak yellow.
Great motherboard, all the features we needed for a good price and a good aesthetic.
Airflow is good, PWM works fine, but the lighting is quite weak and much closer to yellow than orange.