The Fractal Design Node 605 is a chassis that has been designed for the home server and HTPC afficonado's in mind. As such is does cater to a rather specific audience. For these guys it however is a really solid product, it's decent in size, has great looks and it can function as a desktop PC, HTPC, server or a cool looking NAS/file server. Fact remains that you can fit any mother board (up-to ATX) in there, but please keep the CPU height limitations in mind though. The beauty obviously is that you can turn the system in a gaming freakfest just as well as pretty any videocard out there would fit. So yeah, from these perspectives the Node 605 is just great as it is elegant, simple and definitely feature rich for a Home Theater chassis. You get a matte black designed chassis with features wise options to put in four HDDs and devices. BTW I just LOVE the fact that a mini card reader has been built in the chassis as well as a very simple but effective fan controller.
Most of you will be using a chassis like this to build a HTPC, and that always needs to be quiet. Well, the Node 605 is great in that aspect, simply put the fan controller at low RPM and the included three fans will remain silent yet do create enough airflow to cool down the gear. So for the audiophiles, you got nothing to worry. And hey, if you need a little more airflow just up that fan controller or notch. It is good to have that choice for what is such a small chassis.
The inside of the chassis does what it needs to do and that is to create an environment for your component selection. Overall the chassis offers plenty of space for motherboards upto an ATX form factor, then pretty much any PSU and the 4 HDDs can be mounted as well as a slim ODD. As stated in the article, you can even insert a dual-slot dedicated graphics cards in SLI/Crossfire. If you want to use a more lenghty graphics card then there is a compromise to be made though, if you want to do that you need to remove one HDD bay. It will still leave you with another bay and thus two mounts for HDD/SSDs which obviously is plenty.
Cable management overall can get a little messy real fast due to the compact space though, but I guess that comes with the territory and considering the HTPC chassis is closed (no see through panels) it is as far as I am concerned just not an issue. Oh and please do bare in mind, there is no place for a 5.25" sized optical drive.
Personally I think the looks are just great, in fact it might be the one of the better HTPC chassis design I have seen in a while. The looks are just right, it's a little black box with an all aluminum front. Taste obviously differs per person though, but the word I tend to use with Fractal Design PC cases seems to be "subtle". So no screaming logo's, LEDs and mismatched colors. It's all done just right, but again... taste differs per person and thus makes this a subjective rating.
If you are in the market for a nice ATX compatible HTPC/Server/NAS chassis to house your ATX motherboard that has flexibility, features and great looks then yeah, the Fractal Design Node 605 propably should be on your short. It is normal in size, looks great and would make for an excellent PC thanks to the decent amount of HDD space. Pop in a AMD APU based motherboard like we did and boom, you just created yourself a fine Home Theater PC. Add in something a little more spicy and you can even insert a graphics card or two. Overall you are looking at a quality build, the Node 605 feels really sturdy as the metal top panel is of nice thick quality, so you can even stack HIFI components. Armed with a card reader, USB 3.0, a fan controller and two silent 120mm fans it is one of the better compact chassis we have ever tested. Definitely approved and recommended.
A small note to fractal Design, my apologies for taking this long to post the review :) It has been busy here at Guru3D.com
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