Fractal Design Node 304 Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅31-01-13
Packaging & Exterior

Node 304 is packaged within an eco-friendly cardboard box. The illustration on the front alludes to the case which is concealed within. As is usual, fundamental features and specifications can be found on the sides. Within the box, Node 304 is covered in a clear plastic sheet and held in place with dual polystyrene pillars for a safe arrival.

Packaging for Node 304

In typical fashion, Node 304 adopts styling which we have seen on other Fractal Design products. The overall look is minimalist and will be ideally situated beside any home entertainment system or office environment. The prominent side panel has a large ventilation panel with a dust filter attached this area works in coordination with a discreet graphics card, should the user decide to install one, allowing cool air to enter into the case.

The alternate side also has a ventilated area too; this is positioned by the PSU. Over on this side, the front panel controls are accessible. Both side panels and the top section are a single piece of steel which wraps around to form the sides and roof. Thumbscrews at the top and sides secure this piece into place.

Minimalist styling, suitable for different environments

Steel outer shell

The front of Node 304 features a brushed aluminium panel with activity LED at the bottom right and respective Fractal Design logo. There is no support for a 5.25 drive which will come as a disappointment to some but to others a relief.

Around the back of Node 304 there is a power socket which has an extension cable attached because the actual spot the PSU sits is towards the front of the case, above this there is a 140mm Silent Series R2 rear exhaust fan and a convenient fan controller which can feed three cooling fans and adjust the speed between low, medium and high settings. Last of all, there are dual PCI expansion slot covers which both feature ventilation holes.

The rear IO ports will sit at the bottom of the case once the motherboard is installed.

The front and back of Node 304

The front panel controls run along the right edge of the case and sports a power button, dual USB 3.0 ports (via internal motherboard header) and headphone/microphone jacks.

The front panel controls include dual USB 3.0 ports

The underside of Node 304 features four rubber pads to prevent the chassis from slipping on smooth surfaces. The underside where the PSU sits also has a removable dust filter which can be detached and cleaned.

Dust filter and rubber pads on underside

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