Customer Reviews


21 Reviews
5 star:
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little case, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
I long wanted my next build to be a mini ITX pc and wasn't disappointed by this at all.

Pros:
- Build quality fantastic
- Clever drive cages
- Included fan controller, low setting is inaudible and air flow great
- Size
- Can fit a full length GPU inside (with 1 drive cage removed and careful PSU choice)

Cons:
- No ODD (I have an external Blu-Ray but rarely used and I'm sure I'm not the only one in this position)
- Short PSU is a must, modular a bonus. Manual suggests 160mm maximum length, be careful with modular cable slots and GPUs.

I have my node 304 running a Core-i5 3470S (low power 65W TDP which idles at 25 degrees) @2.9GHz, Gigabyte H77N-WiFi and 8GB memory. I've used a Fractal Design Integra R2 500W as it is just 140mm in length, despite having a few extra cables they all extrude from the far side well away from any possible GPU issues. I will be adding a GPU at a later date and do not see any problems with length and PSU clearance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well built, and almost silent, 17 Jun 2013
By 
C. J. Richardson "foop" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
I bought this case to construct a small home storage server. It houses a Fractal Design Integra R2 500W power supply, an ITX motherboard, Intel i3 processor, three conventional 3.5" disks and a 2.5" SSD. The processor has a large fanless heatsink (a Prolimatech Megahalems Rev C). With the case fans set to slow/quiet the server is almost silent; you have to be quite close to it to hear any noise, and even then it's the gentle hum of fans.

Externally, the case looks quite stylish although it's mostly an unadorned black box.

Internally, the build quality is good. The disk brackets are robust and easy to use. As with all small cases it can be a little fiddly to get things inside but its design makes assembly relatively straightforward.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent case, build-/maintenance-friendly, 6 April 2013
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This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
I bought this for a home media and data server. I wanted a miniATX case that fits at least 4+1 drives, as small and quiet as possible.

I think this case fits the bill. By design it is very easy to open and access all the parts/add drives/..., main cover and drive bays are secured by thumb screws (plus one additional phillips screw per drive bay - a shame). The fans are near-inaudible (I have the included fan controller on medium setting). The layout seems logical in terms of airflow. It comes with all the cables to connect fans and front panel in just the right length and with a solid feel, and with all necessary installation hardware (spacers, screws, cable binders).
And it is pretty! Not just outside, but the black-and-white design inside as well - a joy for tinkerers!
I'm using it headless, but there is ample space and a specific air grille on the side so quite high-powered graphics cards could be fitted as well.

There is not much that could make this case any better. If the drive bays were hot-swapable ones accessible behind the front panel, maybe, but that'd require a redesign in terms of cooling... The HDD LED (pointing DOWN under the front panel) is very bright, but it doesn't bother me much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice - one star off because I had to go to B&Q, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
So basically this is brilliant, however I installed with a Seasonic M12II-520 Semi-Module 520W ATX12V Power Supply Unit - Silver PSU. If you look at the picture of this product you'll see when the writing is the right way up the core plug is on the left. The cord to the PSU wants to go left - into the side of the case - and there isn't enough room to loop round sharply enough without severe pinching.

So I had to install the PSU 'upside-down'. Because of where the screws are only two could be used and there was a little over a millimetre lifted from the case floor. Would have been rattly.... solution, the fabric side of a velcro strip attached to the PSU. Because I had to go to B&Q for this, and pay another few quid, and waste a bit of time I'm knocking a star off.

Other than that a very nice case - discrete and lots of space for drives so makes an excellent server.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Discrete, stylish and makes for a good storage server case, 24 Aug 2014
This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
I'm using this case to hold 6x4TB HDDs plus 1 x 128GB SSD and Nas4Free acting as a storage server. It's discrete, stylish with plenty of room to provide airflow. I have a fanless Seasonic PSU and couldn't be happier. It was easy to build the server as the top and sides of the case are all one unit so can be removed providing easy access throughout the case. The screws can be undone by hand and are located at the back of the case.
The fans, one year down the road, are still very quiet. I don't run the server all day, every day although I will use it nearly every evening and sometimes run it throughout the night so the fans get a fair bit of use.
I find it hard to criticise this when it's so good for the job I intended it to be used.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good quaility, but careful with CPU heat sink choice, 21 Sep 2014
This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
The case is very well made, with a quality feel to it. There are a couple of things to watch out for though : (i) the instructions are very sparse and (ii) the amount of space for cables is small. I bought the case to hold 5 disk drives and ordered a heat sink that was close to the advertised limits. The heat sink fitted within the box, but did not allow enough space for the power supply cables. While this case can hold a ATX power supply, one has to be careful with total cable lengths. In the end, I put some of the spare power supply cables within the sixth disk space and had to switch to a smaller heat sink on the CPU.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great shoebox case, 26 Aug 2014
This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
This is a great looking case, if you choose power supply correctly it will happily take a 160mm PSU with a long graphics card. It's quiet too, in normal use my system is inaudible, games make the graphics card spin up but that's to be expected.

It gets 4 stars instead of 5 because I suspect it could be a little bit smaller, there is no real need for 6 drive bays in a small form factor system. But overall recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good., 11 July 2014
This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
The cooling is amazing. The size is better than expected and the build quality is pretty good. Would recommend this case for any mini-itx builder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Small HTPC/Server Case, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
Fractal design cases are very well designed in general and this is no exception.

Can be a bit fiddly when your cramming in 6 3.5" drives and all the associated cabling but your efforts will be rewarded to get your server into such a small footprint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally happy, 9 Dec 2013
By 
L. Zhong (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 Case (Accessory)
Probably the most logical design for a potentially multi purpose ITX case. I used it as a file server with 4 HDDs and one SSD. Everything is kept cool with fans at low setting. Great room for cpu cooler and tall RAMs, too.
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Fractal Design Node 304 Case
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