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Fractal Design Node 304 mITX Compact Case Black 6X3.5INT No PSU Front Audio 2XUSB3.0

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Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Computer Case
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Product Reviews

Fractal Design Node 304 mITX Compact Case Black 6X3.5INT No PSU Front Audio 2XUSB3.0
56%
Excellent
44%
Very Good
0%
Average
0%
Below Average
0%
Poor
Rating: 9.12/10
With 16 User Reviews
TheBigTroll1226@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 04/04/14
Cons: sometimes things get cramped.

Pros: -solid case to work in-runs cool for the most part-modular hard drive bays
Comment:
great case for a HTPC build or anything tiny
frank_r@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 02/23/14
Cons: Why not give it the sound deadening of the Define R4. Same price point.

Pros: Very well thought out case.
Comment:
Finally, a case with the USB and audio outputs exactly where they need to be. Room for 6 hard drives, although SSD's can be located almost anywhere now. Room for a descent CPU cooler and airflow to compliment it. 2nd build with a Fractal case, and again impressed with their product.
philw@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 02/20/14
Cons: None.

Pros: Sleek, roomy, yet small enough. Comes with 3 fans.
Comment:
Bought this for a demo PC build for the office. Absolutely beautiful to work with. Lots of space. Amazing potential for HTPC/NAS box. able to handle 6 hard drives. very solid.No cable management, but thats sort of a given when you have such a small case capable of a full size ATX PSU and 6 Hard drives.Definitely one of my top picks for a NAS build where you need high capacity storage with mediocre to low processing/graphics power.
Ryan_M13@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 02/01/14
Cons: A little tight for space if using 4+ drivesCable management is a nightmareModular PSU is a must

Pros: Great small footprintNice designGreat airflow
Comment:
Absolutely love this case! Purchased this from another retailer (sorry NCIX) for a little cheaper and have been using it for my NAS build since summer 2013. This thing has been a fantastic small little machine for me and as proud as I am of the performance of my NAS - this case was what allowed me to pull it off while still keeping the footprint on my desk in my office to a minimal size.My only real issues with this case is that in having 4WD Red's and a single SSD for the OS, this thing is TIGHT and impossible to really work with or squeeze more HDD's into. Based on that I took off a star because short of using 4TB drives, I'm pretty limited in storage capacity for my media. Also the fact that even with a modular PSU there is like zero wiggle room and cable management is a bit of a mess, it kinda take a hit. But all things considered, it's hard to argue that this wouldn't be a best case for NAS in it's price range.Highly recommended for anyone - especially those looking to piece together their own media server/NAS.
Ryan_L@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 12/02/13
Cons: no removable back plate

Pros: Well designed, Looks cool, ITX, HD Hangers, Dedicated video
Comment:
Wonderful case, looks very good, fits my ASRock Z87E-ITX with an H90 cooler and MSI 7850 video card. HD hangers are very cool and innovative design. I have 1 mSATA SSD installed and 3 HD, with room for 1 more HD. Everything installed fine.Only flaw with case is there is no removable back plate.1) Forgot to install H90 back plate first. Didn't actually notice until I tried to install the cooler. Had to take everything out and start all over again.2) Installed a mSATA SSD. It installed on the bottom of the MB. That thing is going nowhere. If it ever fails, or I want a larger one, too bad. As to get at it I would have to tear everything out to get at it. Getting all the components in there in this first place is a challenge. May consider elective dremel surgery if it ever comes to it.
Golem@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 10/17/13
Cons: Not the best QC.

Pros: Tiny, Quiet.
Comment:
Replacing a mid tower with this case. I love how it looks on my desk and how it will make room for my chair by replacing the tower. SFF FTW. The case came with the cover not attached properly and one of the crews was crooked.
csiguy@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 09/28/13
Cons: No space for a DVD drive.

Pros: Good looks. Good component layout. Good construction. Nice size.
Comment:
I purchased this on 2013-09-25 as I required a second server for source control and archiving (I am a professional software developer and IT).The build includes: Node 304 case, ASUS P8H77-I, i3-3240, 8GB Ripjaws CL7, Seasonic G 450W, WD Velociraptor 300GB (OS), 2x WD Black 2TB, 1x WD 320GB Blue, Silverstone SATA cables, Windows Home Server 2011 (Server 2008 R2 x64).The server is fast and a pleasure to use.I have a couple of other systems with ITX cases, and this Fractal case is by far the best looking and the best internal layout of the lot.If you missed it in the case specifications, be aware that there is no space for a DVD drive, so you will have to take this into consideration when installing the OS.Since this is being used as a server there will be no secondary video adapter, so installing all components and laying out clean cabling was simple and easy.Assembling the system and mounting all of the components was a breeze.The only slight two negatives are that the front screw on each of the drive hangers are not the best (the heads were even a bit stripped from the factory) so use a high quality phillips driver with them, and the power supply AC extension cable has to be literally bent sharply and forced to fit into the power supply socket.The case screws and hanging drive mount screws were very snug but still easily removed with a high quality phillips driver.The motherboard mounts were easy to install, use a small socket screwdriver.I like the hanging drive mount setup, it made installing the hard drives and cabling them a breeze.The Seasonic power supply includes a 4-SATA power cable and it easily connected from drive to drive along the line.The Silverstone SATA cables were a bit long for the case layout but I just pushed the extra cable length into the hangers alongside the drives.Definitely my favorite ITX case at this time.
DavieBoy@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 07/25/13
Cons: Supplied screws are very flimsy and sometimes stripped, thumb screws can be hard to remove, internal power cable to PSU

Pros: Small, can take 6 3.5inch hdds, perfect for a NAS, good airflow, solid construction
Comment:
Bought for a FreeNAS / NAS4Free build because it can take 6 3.5inch HDDs. The case is well packaged, and is actually a lot smaller than I was expecting - it really is pretty small, only a little larger than a Shuttle SN95 case. Overall the construction is solid, with dust filters on most of the fans and includes a fan controller.As some other users have said, the screws that are supplied seem to be very flimsy and easily stripped. I had difficulty removing the Phillips screws that hold the caddies in place. I also had problems with the thumb screws - everything seemed to have been overtightened.Installing the motherboard mounts was very frustrating as there is little room to get a good angle on them. I had to use a pair of needle nosed pliers to turn them (hopefully I did not damage the stands).I used a Seasonic M12II 620W PSU and had a tough time mounting the internal power cable as the Seasonics power outlet is very close to the edge of the case and the internal power cable is single sided - it does fit though.On the plus side, there is plenty of room for the drives, it has 3 bundled fans and a fan controller and I found out that it is possible to mount 2.5 inch drives to the outside of the caddies so you can (in theory - I only tried on one side) it is possible to mount 2 additional 2.5 inch drives on the outsides to give you 8 HDDs. You end up with a caddy with 2 3.5 inch drives in the standard mounts and then the 2.5 inch (has to be mounted first) on the outside. You can only do this with the outer most caddies though.Overall, and despite some niggles with the screws I really like this case. I was genuinely surprised by how small it was. I hope that Fractal Design will improve the types of screws they use as that is a short-cut a little too far.
Jason_V@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 05/24/13
Cons: Some screws were cross threaded, difficult to removefor HTPC, not 5.25" bay for DVD drive.. could always get external thoughAnodized aluminum case, scratches easily

Pros: CompactIntelligent DesignQuietEasy Maintenance
Comment:
Packaging:Case arrived well packed in the shipping box, box has easy lift handles cut into itInstructions are easy to read with exploded case view, has several languages.All hardware came in package, screws for everything you could possibly mount;mother board stand offs x4motherboard fasteners x43.5" HDD fasteners x24 (special for rubber mounts)2.5" HDD fasteners x24power supply fastners x4Features:Case fan speed select  switch; plug molex connector into fan control board, than hook all case fans to it, once case is together you can control the fans via toggle switch on the back of the case, very convenient rather than software switching.I fit a full size atx power supply in the case (130mm), not a whole lot of room for cabling but im not the best at cable management... would recommend smaller PSU if mounting a large video card, there will be interference.capacity for 6x3.5" hard drives OR 6x2.5" drives (HDD or SSD) or mixture of the two, modular hard drive bays so you can remove from case than remove from holder. Also, the 3.5" drive holders have rubber mounts to stop vibrations.All case fans are exceptionally quiet on low speed mode, case also has rubber feet to stop vibrations. This review was modfied by poster @ 05-24-13 12:18 PM
Brian_B@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 05/22/13
Cons: Hard drives mount opposite directions, so even/odd connectors face opposite way if mounting 6 drives.

Pros: TinyExcellent ConstructionHard drive rubber grommetsLooks great
Comment:
Great little case. Used it for an itx storage server, keeps everything cool and has lots of room for such a small case. Hard drives get great airflow and have rubber mounts to keep them quiet.
Steven_B@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 03/26/13
Cons: Allows for full sized video cards, and ATX psu's, however, care is required to match the components.

Pros: A well designed and attractive mitx case. A great compromise between small size and functional space
Comment:
In building some new SFF builds for my customers, I was immediately attracted to the Fractal Node 304. It seemed to be the perfect balance in size, in between something like an Lian-Li PC-Q08, yet much smaller than a Bitfenix Prodigy. The larger volume of this case allows for full sized components and conservative overclocking.So let's see what fits in well with this beautiful case. To start, obviously, you are going to have to select  a m-itx motherboard. I will neglect integrated atom based boards as I feel they are better suited in truly tiny sff cases like the Silverstone SG05/06.Intel Platform:On the Intel side, there is a wide select ion of mitx boards, based on the latest H77, and Z77 chipsets. If you are planing to run stock and without a discrete graphic card, I would suggest starting at the Intel i3-3225 cpu on a H77 Board. This is the starting point for Intel 4000 graphics, and while trailing the AMD trinity APU's in terms of 3D graphics, offers much better CPU performance. Either the ASUS P8H77 or Gigabyte H77N-WIFI would be excellent choice. Since neither the H77 chipset or the 3225 allow for overclocking, the stock cooler is acceptable, or could be swapped out for an entry level air cooler. I don't see the need for a huge 120mmm cooler in the application. Something as simple as an Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro Rev 2, will maintain good temperatures, lower fan noise and has an excellent warranty.Really at this cpu TDP, anything goes, and the node 304 and intel based itx boards will allow for most air coolers up to 120 mm. I have to admit that on occasion, I will select  a particular cooler based on visual aesthetics as well as performance, but since this is a closed case design, with no windows, no need for something flashy like a Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R, even if its on sale. Slap in a SSD and/or some traditional hard drives, and a entry level modular power supply, like the Corsair CX430M and some 1600 DDR3 ram, and you are all set. The modular PSU will keeps things a lot cleaner inside your build.If you are looking for more performance out of the SSF build,and may want to overclock moderately, staying with Intel, then the next logical step up would be something like a i5-3570K and the addition of a discrete video card. Your obvious choice with a unlocked "K" processor would be the Intel Z77 chipset. Again there are several excellent choices here, including offerings from MSI, Asrock, Gigabyte and Asus (in increasing cost). A mild overclock would be easily achieved with the lower price z-77 boards from MSI and ASrock, and if you are looking at getting every drop  of performance and the utmost in reliability, then the top of the line Asus would be your choice.This is where the select ion of components becomes an issue, even on the more diverse intel platform. Say you are looking at entry level gaming performance, and you select  7700 radeon card, and plan to overclock to 4.3 GHz well, your still ok with something like the cx450m, but now bump up the cpu cooler to a full 120 size ( there are many to choose from) or you may even consider a single 120 closed water cooled solution, like the Corsair H60 or the well priced Zalman LQ-310. Just pay attention to clearance issues with the tiny itx layout, check the orientation, and ram clearance especially.Finally, on the Intel side of things, if you are going all out, and want a pocket rocket, and you move up to say a 7970 graphics card, you are going to have to select  a different power supply, and it comes down to a very limited choice. Because the 7970 is so long, it will actually cross in front of the power supply. In this case, staying modular of course, there really is only one PSU that will fit the bill, namely the Silverstone Strider ST60F-PS 600W. The wattage is adequate for a single gpu configuration in a sff case, and its the only 140mm (depth) modular supply I know of.AMD Platform:If you are considering an integrated graphics solution, or possible mild hybrid solution, want to keep costs down, or just want to be able to play some games at lower resolutions, then you are an ideal AMP APU candidate. Unfortunately, with AMD platforms, the select ion of motherboards is limited, and the compatibility of cpu coolers is important, but at least the psu issue is not challenging.If you are planning on upgrading someday to a powerful graphics card, and you have select ed an AMD A8 or A10 APU, then you have already made a mistake. So in terms of power supplies, we're back to an inexpensive CX430M from Corsair. The APU's I would suggest would be the A10-5800K or the A8-5600K. Now for the motherboards, there are only a few FM2 itx motherboards on the market. The ASRock FM2A85X-ITX FM2 AMD A85X, the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX R2.0 FM2 AMD A75 and the MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 FM2 AMD A75 are the only one's that I have seen on the market.The AMD APU's are excellent value processors, but they come with horrible coolers, that are barely acceptable at stock, and certainly do not allow for any overclocking that the K series APU's are really excellent at. So, with that said, one would think that it's simply the case as with the Intel boards, of swapping the cooler for an after market version. Nope!, not at least with the ASrock boards, due to some chip placements on the backside of the board, they will not allow for any kind of back plate to be installed. That virtually eliminates the majority of air and water cooled solutions.As with the PSU issues on the Intel, I have found a solution for the APU heatsinks. Arctic Cooling offers a few FM2 friendly coolers, namely the Alpine 64 Plus for stock settings, and the Freezer 13 or the Freezer 13 Pro. All these coolers do not require a back plate, and mount directly via a small clip to the existing mounting system. They range from 100, 200 and 300 watt cooling capacity, and should therefore offer a solution to stock, mild and aggressive overclocking options on the A10-5800K and A8-5600K APU's.The AMD APU's greatly benefit from higher Ram timings, so remember as you overclock, you can go easily up to DDR3-2400 .I realize that this will undoubtedly set the record for the longest review ever, but I wanted to share my mistakes and what I have learned from them, when dealing with what I consider one of the beautiful and most functional mini ITX cases on the market, the Fractal Node 304Cheers...Steve
HappyGuy no.6@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 03/06/13
Cons: Nothing so far

Pros: Quiet, well designed, good layout. Easy for people with big hands to manouver
Comment:
Using this case as a NAS with my Zotac ION. I don't need an ATX Power supply, but nice to know I have the room for one if I upgrade the board in the future, so there's some storage space to put stray cases.I really enjoyed the blades for the drive setup. It made installation really simple.Even in a closet, the board is still running at decent temperatures.I've only got the rear fan going and the mobo is passively cooled.Core1 is 79C, Core2 is 78CnForce chipset is 41C and 54C All are within tolerable rangesThe drives are running at 37C, 33C and 28C
jeff_s@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 02/26/13
Cons: Screws are on way to tight.

Pros: Great size for 6 disk server
Comment:
Nice case. Good cooling options for its size. Really good look to it with plain black front. The one issue I have so far is that the screws attaching the drive cages on mine are crazy tight. I still can't remove the middle bay after 35 min of fighting the screw. For the thumb screws on the drive bays (2 of them) I had to use a wrench clamped to the screws and whack them with a hammer to loosen them... Hopefully it's just my case
dtt2000@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 02/08/13
Cons: none

Pros: 1. absolute quiet, it's silent just as Anandtech's review. I can not hear any noise away from 50cm, btw, no graphic card, just IGP2. build quality is good
Comment:
I have compared some of cases by reviews, and finally chosen it, it's a best choice so far.I5 3570KASUS P8H77-IKingston Hyper black 1600 8GBx2Corsair CX430 80 plus BroneKingston Hyper 3K SSD 120G
Vinh_N@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 01/30/13
Cons: There could be some improvements, though nothing worth to mention if you are a casual user

Pros: A very good product, worth the pricing
Comment:
This product is worth your money, I really recommend it, never regret buying it!
jeltok@NCIX
Rating:

Review Date: 11/27/12
Cons: Cable management is not as neat as with larger modern cases.

Pros: CompactCan fit 6 hard drivesBuilt wellGreat coolingConvenient to work withUSB 3.0Looks great
Comment:
Used it to assemble a 6 disk file server. Works great for that purpose. Great design approach for hard drive mounting system. I only use rear fan plugged into motherboard for better speed management for now.
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Product Features


computer case mini itx
fans usb 3.0
bays fans

The Node 304 is the latest compact computer chassis from Fractal Design featuring a unique modular interior for outstanding configurability.

The Node 304 accommodates up to six hard drives. Unused mounting brackets can removed to allow for long graphic cards, additional airflow or more space for organizing cables. Additionally, it is equipped with three hydraulic bearing fans, easy-to-clean air filters in all intakes and two front USB 3.0 ports.

Featuring hybrid functionality, the Node 304 case is ideally used as a cool-running file server, a stylish and quiet home theatre PC or a powerful gaming system highlighting minimalistic and stunning Scandinavian design and maximum functionality.

What It Is and Why You Need It:

  • Compact, modular interior
  • Minimalistic design with an elegant aluminum front panel
  • Unique new modular mounting system that accommodates up to 6 hard drives
  • Accommodates tower CPU coolers and single-fan water cooling systems
  • Filtered air intakes ensure a dust-free environment for internal components
  • Three Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans included
  • Excellent cooling for all components
  • Accommodates ATX power supplies
  • Fan controller for all fans included
  • USB 3.0 for fast file transfers

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 slots (1 HDD hanging bracket total) 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 system

  • 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
Package contents

  • Node 304 computer case
  • User manual
  • Accessory box

Downloads

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Product Specifications

Model
BrandFractal Design
SeriesNode 304
ModelFD-CA-NODE-304-BL
Spec
TypeMini-ITX Tower
ColorBlack
Case MaterialAluminum / Steel
With Power SupplyNo
Power Supply MountedBottom
Motherboard CompatibilityMini ITX, DTX
With Side Panel WindowNo
Expansion
External 3.5" Drive BaysNo
Internal 3.5" Drive Bays6
Expansion Slots2
Front Ports
Front Ports2 x USB 3.0, AUDIO
Cooling System
80mm FansNo
120mm FansNo
140mm Fans1 x 140mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fan
Side Air ductYes
Physical Spec
Dimensions9.84" x 8.27" x 14.72"
Weight10.8 lbs.
Features
FeaturesCompact, modular interior

Minimalistic design with an elegant aluminum front panel

Unique new modular mounting system that accommodates up to 6 hard drives

Accommodates tower CPU coolers and single-fan water cooling systems

Filtered air intakes ensure a dust-free environment for internal components

Three Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans included

Excellent cooling for all components

Accommodates ATX power supplies

Fan controller for all fans included

USB 3.0 for fast file transfers

1 x 140mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fan (included), 2 x 92mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans (included)
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