The GPU installation:
The hardest part of the build is to actually get the GPU in place in the prodigy. The middle rack has to be removed in order to make the card fit. Also, since this card has a backplate, that backplate is touching the ODD tray which makes installing it quite hard. There is only one way to install the card. Most of the time you can install the card correctly, but can't screw the backplate. The card itself is heavy so be careful when you try to put it in place. If someone is thinking will the card fit, it does, but just. Lengthwise is not the problem. It is the whole back plate is the problem. Pics below:
The Asus AI Suite 3 is actually very useful. I found that I don't need some fan controller since it auto-corrects the speed. I did not try the Turbo boost or any OC as that was not the point. On the HTPC part, the pc is quiet with stock cooling. I was advised by the retailer against going with the 212 Evo. Also since the Prodigy Japan comes with the 230mm Spectre front intake fan, the PC is quiet quiet. Its on the floor, and I am about 3 feet from it. Unless I open some futuremark software, I can barely hear a thing. I did leave the pc on overnight to backup my work, and I can't hear a thing. I was about 9 feet from the PC.
One annoying thing that does happen is that the Prodigy Japan comes with the 120 mm rear fan with blue LED's but without the LED loop thing to kill the light. Also, the 770GTX has blue lighting coming from the back of the card. The msi logo lights up blue. Those two aside, the case was fine. I also have an unused Prodigy side window which I'm going to sell off. It came with the Prodigy Japan set.
Forgot to mention, for the HDD: I recycled a 2TB WD Black and SSD, OCZ Synapse 64 GB.
On the sound side, there is better sound quality coming from the ALC1150 codec compared to the ALC898. However, in order to hear the difference, you need a good speaker/headphones and good music to begin with. Most people will not notice the difference. The sound is more neutral/cleaner compared to the ALC 898. The ALC898 is slightly warmer. That is with a Panasonic RP-HTF600 which is slightly warm/bass heavy in the first place. I thought my speakers were wrong until I tried the headphones out. I have not fiddled with the EQ setting and left everything on default.
On the Gaming side:
I've tried Sonic Generations, max settings, everything was fluid. XCOM is still being downloaded by steam. I'm guessing the same.
I have not tried my CPU stress/work software yet as the PC is still updating. This will stress the PC for 3 days at 100% load doing math calculations. I want to enjoy the other stuff first before the work bit
Is it me, or the pics appear to be thumbnail/very small?