Excerpt: Fractal Design is no stranger to Legit Reviews, we have taken a look at many of their cases. As a Swedish company that specializes in designing computer hardware keeping with the Scandinavian minimalist viewpoint. They currently have four case lines each focusing on a different aspect.
Summary: The Node 304 has a clever design that maximizes its cooling potential. It begins with two 92 mm intake fans pulling in air from the top and bottom of the well-ventilated front bezel and blowing it through the hard drives toward the motherboard.
Conclusion: If not without some flaws and these are only minor in my opinion the lack of cable management space could be issue for some people, but I found there to be just enough room. As with buying any popular brand of computer case there is always a price to be paid.
Summary: The Fractal Design Node 304 delivers everything promised on its feature list for the most part. But we don't like to be limited by the selection of hardware. As PC enthusiasts, we often reuse or re-purpose components when building the kinds of specialized builds the Fractal Node 304 is design for,...
Pros: Sleek and stylish design, filters on all intakes, support for a full-sized graphics card, support for ATX power supplies, support for tower CPU coolers
Cons: Various systems interfere with each other, Cleaning filters requires opening case, No external ODD slot, Power plug can be difficult to connect, Only 3 zip ties in the bag!
Summary: The Fractal Design Node 304 obviously caters a very specific audience. The guys and gals that need something small and sexy for that functions as a simple net-top, HTPC or the coolest looking NAS/file server ever.
Conclusion: When we dug into the Node 304 , I was seriously blown away by its styling. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we had another Mini ITX case in from Fractal Design called the Array. I (Wes) was impressed with that case and still keep it around for use to this day.
Summary: Final Thoughts
The Node 304 is coming into a very popular market right now and after taking a look at it I can tell it is going to be a top choice of consumers. It has a very elegant design, it is something that you can sit on your desk and it is not going to look out of place.
Pros: – Great build quality, – Support for up to 6 hard drives, – Supports normal ATX power supplies, – 3 fans included with fan controller, – Elegant design, – USB 3.0 support
Cons: – Motherboard standoffs are quite hard to install correctly, – Modular power supplies will not work with longer graphics cards, – No 5.25inch drive bays
Conclusion: Where the Fractal Node 304 lacks in terms of cable management or other niceties, it makes up for by just getting out of the way—both internally and in external style. It’s also very solidly built and shows no sign of flex or bend anywhere in the structure.
Summary: As with anything else Fractal Design has delivered in chassis design in the past, the Node 304 is very sturdy, and even when empty, it is surprisingly weighty. Once you get through the build process and go to move this compact chassis around, the weight is even more of a surprise.