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Item#: N82E16811352027

Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

  • Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower
  • 2 x USB 3.0 / Audio Front Ports
  • Side Air duct
  • 6 Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
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Learn more about the Fractal Design FD-CA-NODE-304-BL

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Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the Fractal Design FD-CA-NODE-304-BL

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  • Andre J.
  • 2/24/2015 6:26:39 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat Low
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsWhile I love this case...

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Slick design, good cooling, (relatively) portable

Cons: -Screws are a nightmare to deal with in some cases
-Removing things and trying to replace them back in can be absolutely frustrating
-Limited to a 600W non-modular power supply if you want to use the brackets provided and have a video card installed.
-This results in cable management becoming an issue.

Other Thoughts: While this case says it can accommodate up to 160 mm power supplies, you really can't if you want to use the bracket to SECURELY fasten your PSU in place. Besides, anything with more voltage does make for a near impossibly tight fit. Go with the Corsair CX 600. The non-modular version is far too wide with the location of the motherboard. As you can imagine, this results in tricky cable management in such a small space.
Additionally, I decided to remove the screws from the power supply extender just to see if I could manage cables better. Much to my horror, the thing absolutely refuses to screw back into place, regardless of what I do. It WILL NOT sit in place properly and is constantly falling out.
Honestly, how in the world do you design a case that one cannot fully take apart AND put back together?
Overall, working with this thing overall is a nightmare if you don't know -exactly- what you are doing the first time around. I suppose if you make sure to only remove what you -need- to you're fine. Other than that, this case is pretty solid, but I cannot simply let this nightmare of a tale go untold.
Buy this only if you're looking for a compact size and stability for moving purposes.

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  • Anonymous
  • 2/21/2015 11:15:54 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGood case except for a couple things..

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Great design, easy to take apart and work on. That is, once you've managed to unscrew the thumb screws. I am not kidding they must have taken a torque wrench to them!

Cons: Few things I dislike. The dust covers, especially the bottom one, slips out very easily. The hard drive mounts have thumb screws on one end yet on the other they have regular screws. Really?? Isn't the point of putting thumb screws on something to be able to take it out easily without tools??

Other Thoughts: Lastly, I really wish more manufacturers would start to consider putting a hole in the case for a PICO PSU. This is a mini-itx case after all. Things are getting smaller, more power efficient. We don't all use ATX power supplies in our builds!!

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  • OSCAR G.
  • 2/5/2015 4:36:21 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsGood looks, bad internal design, medium quality materials

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Looks good, supports6 hdd and large cpu coolers... but not both at the same time.

Cons: Some really questionable design choices, the fan in the back has no cage/grill so it is really easy for cables to touch the blades, the PSU is mounted in a really awkward place where you can only really use 2 screws, the plug that goes into the PSU has the cable coming out to the side, with my PSU it had to bend at 90 degrees just to go in, probably damaging the cable, I had to use a lever to plug it out once I had to replace it, since it was not modular there was no space for the cables in the case.

The door and buttons feel cheap, the fans make a lot of noise and the enclosure is really thin, so for the price I would say these feel really cheap, and it also makes the case a bit louder than I would like for a HTPC.

There is about 3mm of clearance from the PSU and the hard disk drives, so when doing any changes to the components you will most likely have to take 2 or 4 hard disks out since all the cables need to be on top of the cpu cooler, which means that you can use a really big cpu cooler only if you are not using 6 hard disks.

They could have included the connectors on the case and that would make this whole cable issue much less of a problem.

The included fan controler settings are Loud, Louder, and Loudest. When you set it to Loud, the front fans won't even turn on.

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  • Colin B.
  • 1/19/2015 12:47:46 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent for NAS/Server

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Bought this to build a home server in. I wanted an itx case that can fit 4+ drives and fit in with my entertainment system/TV stand. This case is elegantly simple in appearance and fits nicely with my other electronics.

Build quality is superb, and for an itx case its very easy to work in. No real cable management but not as bad as some atx towers ive worked in. A bit of a unique layout inside, but it works well.

Room for 6 drives, regular PSU, and MB/CPU/RAM. Id strongly advise getting a modular PSU with this.

Cons: Doesnt have infinite space inside like Felix the cat's magic bag of tricks.

Other Thoughts: i5 4430
ASRock Z87E-ITX
Kingston Hyper X Blu 8 GB 2x4GB KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX
Node 304
Rosewill CAPSTONE-450 PSU
Crucial M500 120GB mSATA CT120M500SSD3
2x 4TB WD Reds
1x 3TB Seagate

Everything fit nice in the case. Bought the non modular version of the CAPSTONE, and while its a solid PSU i wish i got the modular version.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • John C.
  • 1/18/2015 4:07:46 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat form factor for small server

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: This is nice case for a small server build. If one wants to build a small server with a miniITX board, this is the best choice. Both the interior and exterior are well designed. Of course, cable management will always be a challenge with a case this small. There is only so much real estate. Fractal Design uses the available space as well as anyone. The hanging brackets for the hard drives are well designed and make for easy installation.

Cons: None.

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  • Dylan H.
  • 1/15/2015 11:43:42 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat Case, deceptively big!

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: -Small foot print
-Included fans aren't the best but certainly good.
-Surprisingly spacious inside. I managed to fit a Noctua NH-D14 in this. ( That thing is monstrous )
-Great build quality.

Cons: -Wire management can be a pain
-included fan controller is out of place and annoying to route cables for.
-Power Supply cable is positioned weird for a few PSUs, It may be an issue for some but not all.
-The USB 3.0 plug could be slimmer.
-No Mobo standoff pin for easy alignment of Mobo.

Other Thoughts: If you have short enough PSU you can throw in some pretty big GPUs in here. You may even be able to fit some 2.5 slot GPUs in here.
I'd personally prefer if the harddrive mounting brace were moved back about a half inch or so and the two 80mm fans in front were raised up ever so slightly, but this is just me nitpicking.

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  • James S.
  • 1/14/2015 7:42:59 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSolid Quality Case

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Quality Components
Quality Black Finish
Quiet Fans
Dust filters
Large 140" Rear Fan
Rubber mounted drives to absorb vibration/noise
Sleek Design

Cons: 1. The PSU placement could be at least 1cm closer to the side of the case to allow more room for larger PSU's and cabling. I had to mod this myself to allow for my PSU and a long GPU, I moved it 1.9cm.

2. Sparse Instructions - I normally don't look at instructions much, but very little info was provided. You are left to experiment with drive placement etc.

3. Disk Drives - The mounts are a bit odd. SSD drives do not fit well because of poor small holes. Mine were slightly off, which resulted in having to force the screws in because the holes were barely the size of the included screws, but not precision drilled. Slightly larger holes would alleviate this problem with no adverse affects. This also may be the result of the thick white paint they used on the drive mounts for no apparent reason. You can't see them when installed, so why stylize them? Since everyone uses at least an SSD, an accommodation for a solid SSD mount would be nice, instead of a makeshift place on the 3.5" trays. Lastly it seems inefficient to have 3x trays (6x 3.5" Drives) in a compact build. I used one to mount 2x SSD and a Hard Drive.

4. White components - I don't care for the white fans and white drive holders. I prefer just an all black or all metal sleek design. You can't see these when in use so I'm not sure why they put in the cost to stylize.

5. While the fans are good quality, I question the need for 3 fans in a modern compact case, particularly one that's designed to be quiet. I bought a similar compact case that only has one fan, and it cools well. One large 120mm or 140mm at the front would be preferable. Also airflow through the front seems rather restricted. At the lowest speed setting (using the case switch), one of my fans wouldn't turn on.

6. Power cable angle wrong - The right angle cable that hooks up to your PSU goes the wrong direction, toward the front of the case. A minor detail, but I had to cram the cable in a loop against the front of the case.

7. GPU seating issues - The top of the PCI slots on the back of the case aren't open, after removing the L bracket that holds them in place. This makes it very difficult to seat the GPU, because the DVI connectors on your GPU prevent you from inserting directly down at 90 degrees. I had to force at an angle to squeeze the top DVI connector through. There is no reason this can't be left open for better insertion. Considering the GPU can be your most expensive component, it is unnerving to have to force it in due to a design flaw.

Other Thoughts: Overall this is a solid case, a bit larger than I expected. Volume wise this is about the same as a small tower. It has a cool hard drive LED on the front, but I'm not sure why anyone would need or want a HD light these days, I left my lights unplugged.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • John S.
  • 1/13/2015 3:41:56 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsWorks great for a Small 6 bay Nas

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Small size - ITX. It's about the size of two shoe boxes stack up together.
Fits 6x 3.5" drives (traditional mounting holes of the BOTTOM - won't work with Seagate 6TB drives unless you're willing to just DUCT TAPE it on).
QUIET - 3 case fans, there's a switch on the outside of the case for you to set to L/M/H.
Accepts traditional ATX PSU(easy for replacement/upgrades)
has 2 PCI-E slot covers if your mobo supports it. Mine only had one.
Front panel cover can be taken off, you can hide an SSD in there if you're savvy with wiring.

Overall - Love the small size especially able to fit 6 drives.

Cons: 1) ALL screws did not screw easily. It's as if the threads are slightly mal-aligned. I had to use screw driver for the thumbscrews! The mobo mounting screws were right under the support beam so if you have a long screw driver, you might not be able to screw them straight down(also thread has issues). Same is true of the hard-drive mount cage removal/install to the case itself. I had to force a couple of screws in.
2) Hard-drive mounting brackets - Using traditional mounting points but these were the mounting points of the bottom of the harddrive(typically most cases mount by the side mounting points) Since I have Seagate 6tb drives (the cheap ones), I could only mount one set of screws, leaving the head/tail hanging. My solution was to adhere a piece of TAPE around the drive to the bracket.
Another cool trick is you can try mounting SSD's anywhere... on top of PSU, within the front panel, or even on the external side of the mounting cages, I currently am doing this for one of my SSDs... hard to get to the screws though so be gentle.
3) GPU space - I do not have a dedi graphics card but if I had to place one... I wouldn't be able to fit anything given the mobo's closeness to the PSU. If you plan on dedi-gpu, plan on getting a modular PSU that has plugs all on one side(not spread out through the panel) to give yourself as much space as possible. Many people can fit a GTX 970 in there, but they have to use modular PSU. Google for pics.

with all the above neg, I only took away one egg.

Other Thoughts: tldr; Small, fits 6x 3.5" drives, very quiet, takes traditional ATX PSU and traditional PCI-E card heights. Be careful with the screws, they don't thread easily and might take a couple of hard screw driver turns to tighten. Modular PSU if going dedi GPU

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  • Anonymous
  • 12/31/2014 12:06:30 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsGreat if you dont need a full size gfx card

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Small form factor
pre-installed near silent fans
Great quality
Balanced

Cons: Odd PSU placement
wire management is tricky
cannot fit full-size / medium size gfx card

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  • William F.
  • 12/22/2014 7:44:27 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsNot perfect

This review is from: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: Small, utilizes space well, great aesthetics, fair amount of cable tie downs, easy disassembly. One thing that stands out is how sturdy the case is, currently have x4 3TB drives in the case on my desk, about 18" away, and when they kick on there's no vibration and very little noise. The feet on the case and dampers on HDD cradles are great.

Cons: My biggest problem with this case is the screw threadings. There were times it would take multiple attempts not to double thread while installing components. I'm not very confident in believing this case would hold up to multiple component swaps over time. The trouble areas for me were the HDD cradles and motherboard standoffs. The HDD cradles are the biggest concern seeing as I'm using it for a NAS and may need swapped multiple times in the future.

Other Thoughts: I'm using this case for my FreeNAS build and it's a very nice case. Outside of the con mentioned I'm fairly happy with the case.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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