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Fractal Design Node 304 Case Review Featured

We have been planning a Mini-ITX concept build here for about 6 months and there was a little internal debate around the components because we wanted this build to pack some power that would rival our Stryker build. The whole idea was that we wanted as smaller footprint as we could get but it had to be able to cope with a high end graphics card, an overclockable Ivy Bridge CPU and at the same time, be quiet and cool - yeah right...

The generous team at Fractal Design provided us with a Node 304 Mini-ITX case for the project - so this is a review sample but from a retail batch. We have used Fractal Design cases before and been impressed with the build quality and acoustics. Our Define R3 and Define R4 builds are good and consistent examples of our prior experience with Fractal Design gear - and the Node 304 continues this trend.

The Node 304 is a small form factor case with a very unassuming front panel. On first inspection, we thought it looked like a HTPC or piece of home theatre equipment - maybe a NAS at a stretch but not really a high end gaming demon. How wrong we were. News just in: It's also now available in WHITE!

The gallery below is the professional photos from Fractal Design

And our umm.. "less professional" shots can be found below (iPhone 4 used to help with scale):

Technical specifications

  • Mini ITX, DTX motherboard compatibility
  • 2 expansion slots
  • 6 –  supports either 3.5" or 2.5" HDD / SSD
  • ATX  PSUs, up to 160mm in length (To  fit in combination with a long graphics card, PSUs with modular connectors on  the back typically need to be shorter than 160 mm)
  • Graphics  cards, up to 310mm in length, when 2 HDD brackets are removed (Graphics  cards longer than 170 mm will conflict with PSUs longer than 160mm)
  • Tower  CPU coolers, up to 165 mm tall
  • Case dimensions (W x H x D): 250  x 210 x 374 mm
  • Case volume: 19,5  Liters
  • Net weight: 4,9  kg
  • Colors available: Black and White

Cooling / ventilation

  • 2 - Front mounted 92mm Silent Series  R2 hydraulic bearing fans, 1300 RPM speed (compatible with 80mm fans) –  included
  • 1 - Rear mounted 140mm Silent  Series R2 hydraulic bearing fan, 1000 RPM speed (compatible with 120mm fans) –  included
  • Removable air filters for front  fans and PSU
  • Fan filter for graphics card
  • 1 -  fan controller for all 3 fans included

Front interface

  • 2 - USB 3.0 (Internal 3.0 to  2.0 adapter included)
  • 1  - 3.5mm audio in (microphone)
  • 1  - 3.5mm audio out (headphone)
  • Power button with LED
  • HDD  LED

Retail package content

  • Node 304 computer case
  • User manual
  • Accessory box

Additional Information

  • EAN/GTIN-13: 7350041080978
  • UPC: 817301010979
  • Product code: FD-CA-NODE-304-BL

 

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Last modified onMonday, 23 December 2013 00:40

Comments  

 
0 #2 Phil 2014-02-28 00:40
Quoting chantal2013:
Graphics cards, up to 310mm in length, when 2 HDD brackets are removed . - James Cullem


You only have to remove one of the three hard drive brackets to fit a graphics card but you do lose 2 hard drive slots because each bracket holds 2 drives. I managed to fit an SSD between the PSU and the motherboard for a trade show build so I guess you could really load it out if you wanted to.
Quote
 
 
0 #1 chantal2013 2014-02-20 00:45
Graphics cards, up to 310mm in length, when 2 HDD brackets are removed . - James Cullem
Quote
 

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