Fractal Design Node 304 Case Review

Hardware Secrets Golden Award


Small form factor (SFF) computers usually require SFX12V or external power supplies. One of the highlights of the new Fractal Design Node 304 case is the support of regular ATX power supplies. Let’s see other features that this little case offers.

The reviewed case is available in only one color: black.

The Fractal Design Node 304 is very distinctive-looking, thanks to its aluminum front panel. Because of the support for regular-sized power supplies and the presence of two fans on the front panel, the reviewed case doesn’t have external 5.25” bays, so you can’t install internal optical drives on this case.

Fractal Design Node 304Figure 1: Fractal Design Node 304 case

Fractal Design Node 304Figure 2: Fractal Design Node 304 case

Each side panel has a mesh. The mesh on the left panel has an air filter, but the mesh on the right panel, which is an air intake for the power supply, doesn’t. However, we understand that an air filter on this particular mesh would block air flow for the power supply, an effect that is obviously not desirable. The holes of this mesh are small enough to partially work as an air filter.

On the lower right corner of the front panel there are two USB 3.0 ports, the traditional audio jacks, and the standby (a.k.a. on/off) switch. Curiously, this case doesn’t have a reset switch. The USB 3.0 ports use an internal connector, and they come with an adapter for you to use them as USB 2.0 ports in case your motherboard doesn’t have a USB 3.0 header.

Fractal Design Node 304Figure 3: Connectors and the on/off button

The Node 304 comes with two Silent Series R2 92 mm fans on the front panel (1,300 rpm/24.6 cfm/12.5 dBA). As you can see in Figures 1 and 2, the air intake for these fans is located at the top of front panel. These fans have an air filter, as you can see in Figure 4. The case comes with a three-speed fan controller, which you can use to control the speed of these fans.


Fractal Design Node 304Figure 4: Front fans

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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