Removing the thumbscrews at the back of the case allows for the steel panel to be detached from the chassis and gives us a good overview of what lies beneath.
With the outer shell taken away the inside of Node 304 reveals a very compact layout indeed. Inside such a tight enclosure, there are a considerable amount of cables to have to deal with. The two-tone black/white scheme which has been used inside Node 304 looks great and is a notable characteristic of Fractal Design.
A look inside Node 304
Towards the front of the case is an area for mounting the PSU. This area has rubber pads for the PSU to sit on and perforated mesh with a dust filter. Since the PSU will be located at the front of the case and the power cable will be plugged in around the back, an extension cable is supplied to plug directly into the unit once it is installed.
Node 304 can accommodate PSUs up to 160mm but size should be carefully considered if a discreet graphics card is also needed as the space is very tight. More on this later!
The PSU area towards front of the case
Hanging from the top of the chassis are three metal HDD cages which can accommodate six 2.5” or 3.5” drives. These cages can be individually detached to prevent obstruction for airflow. In the next section we will demonstrate how HDDs are installed within these cages.
Storage for up to six drives
In terms of cooling, Node 304 is well-equipped. There are a total of three cooling fans included with the chassis, a 140mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fan sits at the back of the case and is positioned to be an exhaust. Without being connected to the fan controller this operates at 1000RPM.
Behind the HDD storage dual 92mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans have been installed as intakes and will operate at 1300RPM if not connected to the fan controller.
140mm rear exhaust fan
Dual 92mm intake fans at front