We review the Fractal Design Node 304, an all black all cool and all silent PC housing for Mini ITX and DTX motherboard. For this Mini-ITX ready chassis can you'll be surprised about storage, style, USB 3.0 options and an integrated three-speed fan controller. It's cute, tiny and probably the best looking Mini-ITX chassis we have tested to date.
The Node 304 is a new and very compact PC chassis from Fractal Design. Though you may only house small mini ITX form factor motherboards it offers space for a good six 2.5"/3.5" HDDs. It can house normal sized ATX power supplies, and heck there's even space for a normal sized dedicated graphics card. Oh did I mention already that it's only sized (W x H x D): 250 x 210 x 374 mm ?
Next to rather cool small and compact design, the looks are just great. An aluminum front bezel, USB 3.0 connector, it even has a three step fan controller for the included three fans. You'll receive two front mounted mounted 92mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans rated at 1300 RPM as well as a rear mounted 140mm silent fan. But let's have a look at some of the specifications first.
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
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 brackets 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
Cooling / ventilation
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
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
Now should you not utilize six HDDs and can life with only four then you can remove a mounting bracket that allows long graphic cards, additional airflow or more space for organizing cables. Featuring hybrid functionality, the Node 304 case is ideally used as a cool-running file server, a stylish and quiet home theatre PC.
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