Inside the Fractal Design Node 304

To open the Node 304, you must remove its top cover, which is attached to the chassis using four black thumbscrews. This case only supports Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards. There are several clips for fastening cables with cable ties on the bottom panel. The case comes with three hard drive “hangers” (the white parts in Figure 8). Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws.

Fractal Design Node 304Figure 8: Overall look

Fractal Design Node 304Figure 9: Overall look with the hard drive “hangers” removed

On its default configuration, the Fractal Design Node 304 supports video cards up to 6.3” (160 mm) long. For installing longer video cards, you need to remove the hard drive “hanger” that is in front of the expansion slots. If you install a power supply that is deeper than 6.3” (160 mm), you can only fit video cards up to 6.7” (170 mm) long. (You have to take into consideration the length of the power supply’s modular cabling system, if available.) With a power supply that is up to 6.3” (160 mm) deep, you can fit video cards up to 12.2” (310 mm) long.

The Fractal Design Node 304 supports CPU coolers up to 6.5” (165 mm) tall.

As explained before, one of the highlights of this case is the support for regular ATX power supplies. The power supply is installed sideways, at the front part of the case, with either its bottom fan facing inside the case or facing outside the case, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As already shown, there is an air filter for the power supply fan.

If you don’t have a video card, you can install a power supply that is up to 7.1” (180 mm) deep. With a video card, you must follow the guidelines already explained above. Keep in mind that the 6.3” (160 mm) limit is for the total depth of the power supply, including its modular cabling system. Therefore, you can install a power supply without a modular cabling system up to 6.3” (160 mm) deep, but for power supplies with a modular cabling system, you should pick a unit with a nominal depth of 5.5” (140 mm).

Fractal Design Node 304Figure 10: Power supply compartment

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.