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Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review

For our tests we will be using an Intel Reference Cooler to cool the Intel Core i7 3770K CPU.  Our test system also features an AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card.  We overclocked the system to 4.4 GHZ for our tests using a voltage of 1.25V.

Test System:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX
  • Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
  • Thermal Paste: Arctic Cooling MX-2
  • Memory: 4GB (2x 2GB) Kingston HyperX Genesis
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • Power Supply: Corsair GS800
  • System Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB
  • Monitor: Viewsonic VX2260WM
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • CPUID Hardware Monitor
  • Prime95 64-bit
  • Furmark V1.9.2

To test the thermal performance of the Fractal Design Node 304 we loaded our test system for 15 minutes using Prime95 and Furmark and recorded the maximum temperatures reached using CPUID Hardware Monitor.  We then restarted the system and left it for 15 minutes before recording idle temperatures.

Room temperature was maintained at 16 degrees C for the duration of our tests.

The temperatures recorded are fairly impressive, especially considering the limited room for airflow within the chassis.

To conduct our noise level tests, we replaced the graphics card in our system with a AMD Radeon HD 5550 Silence which was passively cooled.  We also momentarily disconnected the fans on the CPU cooler so we were only taking into account the noise generated by the fans in the case.

As expected, the Fractal Design Node 304 is fairly quiet.  It’s not quite as close to silent as the noise-deadened Define R4 but this isn’t really surprising.

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  • Joe

    Looks like quite a nice case, fair review.

  • Drivechain01

    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.

  • Drivechain01

    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.