Fractal Design Node 304

If there were such a thing as the “Swiss Army Knife” of computer cases, I think the Fractal Design Node 304 would be in the running for that label in the ITX case realm. With room for six(6) hard drives, the Node 304 could easily be used as a NAS or media server. Removing the hard drive caddies gives you about 25% of the case to do whatever you want with. There is good airflow with two(2) 92mm fans in the front and a large 140mm in the back. Mounting a 120mm AIO cooler, or custom loop radiator, would be a breeze in the back of the case.

More images and features can be found at Fractal Designs website:

http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/node-series/node-304-white

Specifications from Fractal Design

  • Mini ITX and DTX motherboard Compatibility
  • Two(2) Expansion slots
  • Supports Six(6) 3.5” or 2.5” drives
  • ATX PSUs, up to 160mm in length (To fit longer GPU’s, a shorter PSU may be required)
  • Graphics cards up to 310mm when one hard drive caddy is removed (GPU’s 170mm and longer will conflict with PSU’s longer than 160mm)
  • Tower CPU coolers up to 165mm tall
  • Case Dimensions(WxHxD): 250x210x374 mm
  • Case Volume: 19.5 Liters
  • Weight: 4.9 kg
  • Available in Black or White

About Mosquito

10 thoughts on “Fractal Design Node 304

  1. Great review Mos. While the PSU switch doesnt bother me, the length of the PSU cable does. My PSU is mounted with the plug in on the other side and there is still a ton of slack. Same with the front panel connections. Now i know that they had to design the cables with enough slack to cover a huge amount of component options, but they could take a couple inches off almost all if the cables and still fit just fine. Those are just a couple of the cons that I’ve found. Though none are enough to make me not want the case.

  2. I could have sworn I typed something up at one point, regarding the length of the PSU cable. It’s a fair point, and one I had thought of too. It’s a little too long, but given its position, it’s not too bad to hide (and it’s just one cable).

    The issue with the front I/O cables, though, is a tough one with this kind of case (no where to hide cables, only tie them up). It’s a tough balance to find, too short is obviously bad because then I might not be able to connect them, but too long and “where the hell am I going to put all of this”.

    In the first 2 pictures on page 4, you can see how I dealt with it. I just doubled them back on themselves twice. Little bit bigger bundle, but better than nothing. Maybe some slightly taller motherboard standoffs (and adding that much space to the height of the case would have to be done too), would allow for wires to be routed under the motherboard, to keep excess hidden.

    Thanks for the comment ZoPHaR, it brings up a good discussion point (even if you did post it 3 times :P)

  3. This is a nice little case and I could see people putting a window in the top or some other unusual treatments.  Paint definitely would be an easier task with the way it’s built.  The relocated power supply is a good idea and certainly is something they can tweak in the future without too much hassle.  Nice :)

  4. Nice review Mos, it’s interesting to read another person’s perspective on something you’re reviewing yourself.  I’m not sure I’ll have a chance to do a full build becasue of hardware availability but I’ll be sure to check out some of the stuff you and Zophar pointed out.
     
    As always a very through review and great photos.  That reflection is classy ;)

  5. Having done a build in this little big case, its surprising how much stuff you can pack in there. Everything fits nicely, no issues what so ever. And Fractal Build quality is always awesome so no issues there.
     
    As always a great review Mos. 

  6. Great review.  You nailed it.  Definitely needed more cable tie loops in this case.  After a lot of thought and planning I manged to get my cables in the way I like it.  Didn’t help that the power supply that I was using in my review was mad old.  I totally agree with some sort of power switch located on the back of the case.  I didn’t have any trouble with the filter on the bottom, but I know what you mean.  It does come quite easily.  Maybe they could have the filter slide out the front. Once again, a great review. Great pics!!! Peace!

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