Fractal Design Node 304 review: the best ITX-supporting cases we’ve seen
8 March 2014
Excerpt: One area that has seen substantial growth over the past 18 months is the mini-ITX case market. The realisation that these mini-motherboards can be the basis for some pretty powerful PCs has started to dawn on people, not least the chassis manufacturers.
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.
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!
Fractal Design Node 304 mITX Case Review: Paving the Way to the Future
14 March 2013
Conclusion: Reviewing the Fractal Design Node 304 is actually a somewhat layered experience, which is interesting given the fundamental simplicity of the design. Probably the first angle to attack is its thermal and acoustic performance, and on those fronts I feel Fractal Design has a success here.
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.