Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review

Review Score:
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Overall we have generally positive feelings about the Fractal Design Node 304, however there are a few issues with the case which will need to be carefully considered before you buy.

The Node 304 oozes similar minimalistic style to the Define Range, making it ideal for use as a home theatre PC.  The low noise level of the case also makes it ideal for this purpose. Additionally, there is also room for a performance liquid CPU cooler meaning that there is plenty of potential for overclocking.

Our main issue with the case is the internal design which makes component choice quite difficult. More specifically, there isn’t enough room for modular power supplies when using a long graphics card, making cable management quite difficult. Not all non-modular power supplies would be compatible either, depending on the location of the cables protruding from the back.

The Fractal Design Node 304 is also quite expensive, costing £80 from CCL Online.

The Silverstone Sugo SG09 that we reviewed recently had most of the benefits of the Node 304 with none of the drawbacks and only cost £10 more.  The form factor isn’t quite as well suited to HTPC users, though.  We would like to see the price falling to around £60 before we would award it a wholehearted ‘worth buying’ award.

EDIT: 13th February 2013 – Fractal Design informed us that the price of the Node 304 has dropped to £70, and is available now from Ebuyer. You can buy it over here.

Pros

  • Attractive design.
  • Well built.
  • Quiet running.

Cons

  • Limited choice of compatible power supplies.
  • Expensive.

KitGuru says: A good first attempt at an ITX case from Fractal Design but it needs some tweaking before we would recommend it hands down.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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3 Comments
  • Joe
    January 23, 2013
    #1
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    Looks like quite a nice case, fair review.

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  • Drivechain01
    January 29, 2013
    #2
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    I was hoping to get one since it was released last year, but they are near impossible to find.
    I think it’s good to see more micro cases supporting your standard ATX PSU – I have yet to see a PC which has actually had more than 3 HDDs at a time.

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  • Drivechain01
    April 9, 2013
    #3
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    I bought one of these and have a couple notes to make: I put in a GS600 and it has to be fitted upside-down, there is virtually no room for the cables, screws on the back are not the same as screws for the HDD trays, the big fan at the back makes more noise than my laptop, and it looks extremely awesome next to my subwoofer!
    It is one headache to put together.

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