|Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Tom Jaskulka|
|Wednesday, 26 December 2012|
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Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Fractal Design.
Everything is getting smaller. With today's emphasis on efficiency and mobility, and processors that do even more with much less power consumption, it is a trend that will probably continue. With the success of enclosures such as the BitFenix Prodigy and Coolermaster's Elite 120 Advanced, it is great to see other manufacturers embrace this trend and put their own innovations and ideas into the small form factor market. Choices are always a good thing for a customer, and Fractal Design brings their own blend of ITX with the Node 304. In the following pages, Benchmark Reviews will take a closer look at the ideas featured in the Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Mini-ITX tower computer case.
ITX and small form factor cases have always intrigued me. It is fascinating to watch different manufacturers take on different thermal and layout challenges that are always a result of cramming lots of performance into a very small space. The question for me (and for most enthusiasts) becomes "how much power can I cram in this thing?" While Fractal Design imagines the Node 304's purpose to be a file server, HTPC or powerful gaming system, my first question when looking at SFF enclosures is "what's the biggest graphics card I can fit in that thing?" followed quickly by "will it keep everything cool enough?" Given my experience with a Silverstone FT03 Mini, I can say I'm already excited by the big open filtered intake on the side and its benefits for cooling a powerful GPU. Let's take a closer look at what else can fit in the Node 304.
Although many reviews for small form factor systems cover thermals and features quite well, I'll only touch on those - my main focus on this particular review will be what can actually fit in the Node 304 and the lessons I learned building a system into this chassis.
Node 304 Features
Node 304 Specifications
Cooling / ventilation
Source: Fractal Design