Looking at a bare computer chassis only reveals one side of the coin and so its important for us to take a look at the Node 304 with a full system installed so that we can determine its strengths and weaknesses (if any!).
Being designed for Mini-ITX our system for this form factor is installed. Due to Node 304 being so compact its necessary to install components in a certain order. The PSU should be installed firstly (especially if its a 160mm unit like ours) and then the motherboard and other items. Earlier in the review we mentioned that there are a considerable amount of cables inside Node 304, with the PSU installed there are obviously even more and keeping these tucked away becomes quite a difficult task. There are very few places to store cables although Fractal Design do say that redundant HDD cages can be removed to assist with cable management, having the cables here is likely to obstruct airflow from the front intakes.
The overall installation went ahead without any hassle aside from cable management.
Installation complete Mini-ITX system within Node 304
A compact setup with little space
Installing a HDD inside Node 304 is easy first of all the HDD cage must be removed from the case. The cage can accommodate 2.5 or 3.5 drives, screws simply need to be applied to the undersides of the drive and tightened. Once fixed to the cage, the drive will suspend on its side. Each cage can house two drives.
2.5 and 3.5 drives can be installed to cages