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Item#: N82E16811352027
Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
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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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  • Marcus H.
  • 4/16/2015 12:44:54 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsNearly Perfect

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

Pros: *Small Footprint
*Lots of Interior Space
*Understated and Stylish Design
*Good Airflow
*Dust Filters
*High Quality, Quiet Fans

Cons: *Screws
*Placement of PSU bracket

Other Thoughts: I've had this case for 2 years and 4 months now. Though I've occasionally looked into other cases to house my m-itx gaming build nothing else I've seen measures up to what I need. I took a long hard look at the Silverstone Raven but I could not get my CPU cooler in there. Also, I got this case on sale at it's current price when I originally bought it, so it was and is an exceptional buy in my opinion.

The things I really love about thing I really love about this case is that you can fit all high end components into it and it doesn't look cramped after you are done. It houses a full length GPU (mine is nearly the length of the case), a full sized ATX PSU, a tall air cooler, or water cooling with a 140mm radiator. My initial build took some planning mainly due to the limitations on the size of the PSU due to the placement of the mounting bracket. I tried 5 different modular PSU's before I got what worked best. 2 of the others fit with my graphics card installed but were a noisier than I liked. I settled on the Seasonic S12G 750W. This fits with plenty of clearance for a big GPU. That was the only real problem I had to solve with this case.

The screws included with the drive brackets are not good, but really are just a minor annoyance. There was one reviewer who trashed the case because he said he couldn't get the drive brackets off. I guess he never heard of WD-40. Better still is a few drops of Silicone lubricant applied with a Q-Tip.

I can not stress enough how well thought out the airflow is in the case. The two 92mm fans do a good job of bringin cool air into the case while the 140mm exhaust gets the hot air out. What is more is the thoughtful placement of an intake vent positioned next to the GPU slot, and it being full length in order to allow all of the GPU cooler fans access to cool air. Another nice touch is the bottom intake vent for your PSU and an exhaust vent for the exit of its heat as well.

The dust filters are another nice touch and they work great. The are positioned at all of your intake points and stop 99% of the dust in your environment from getting inside your rig. I've got 3 cats and a dog so that is a lot of dander, not including the stuff that the 3 other humans in the house generate. To this day when I open the case, as I occasionally do, for cleaning and component health inspection I find very little dust at all. A few blasts of canned air and a rinse of the filters and your done.

These days the box resides on a shelf in my media cabinet hooked up to an AV receiver via HDMI. It's a livig room Steambox now and all of this case's winning attributes suit it well there. It's quite, stays cool even behind a glass door and passes the wife acceptance factor because it's out of sight and unheard except for a whoosh of air when it is under load. I just love it!

Here's the current build:
i7-4790K
8GB G-Skill Trident DDR3 2400
Corsair H90 AIO Cooler
Asrock Z87-E Mini-ITX
Gigabyte GTX 970 4GB
SEASONIC S12G

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

  • Rajen W.
  • 4/6/2015 11:48:04 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat mini ITX case

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
- Intelligent layout
- capacity for 6x HDDs/SSDs!

Cons: - none so far

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  • Joseph R.
  • 3/31/2015 4:27:55 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsDOPE

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

Pros: -DOPE CASE
-VERY DOPE
-DOPEST

Cons: -Looks like mini fridge, but dosen't have mini fridge

Other Thoughts: -get this m8 i would r8 1234565421234564321/10 but cant so 10/10

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 3/31/2015 2:18:44 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsTwo years in retrospect - good case with minor issues

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

Pros: It's fairly durable. I move my rig around very frequently, and it's definitely withstood the test of time with respect to mobility and strength.
The dust filters are a huge plus. I'm going to dust out the inside for the first time in two years, and it's not even that bad compared to what I've seen in filterless builds.
Cooling is really darn good. The structure keeps all the hot air flowing really well.
It fits almost any supersized heatsink.
It fits a lot of long GPUs. Great for gaming rigs.

Cons: A couple minor gripes:
One of the two front fans doesn't seem to function properly and will only start spinning once I switch the power from low to high back to low. The fans themselves are amazingly quiet and they have really good power, it's just that one odd fan that requires an extra step to make it work.
The power button doesn't have a sturdy feel to it. Sometimes, it goes in at an odd angle and gets stuck, and if I don't notice it then the rig just shuts off, thinking I've held the power button down. A minor nuisance, but one worth mentioning nevertheless.

Also, the bottom filter is very loose and will slide off easily, but this isn't really troublesome to me since I don't slide the computer around my desk. Despite being really loose, there's never been a situation where it came off when I didn't intend for it to come off. Taping it is also a very viable solution if this is so problematic for you.

Other Thoughts: If it weren't for those two minor flaws, I would be completely fine with it. It's just a tad pricey, I bought it when it was on sale.

Manufacturer Response:

Hello Conners,

We're sorry to hear that you are having issues with one of your fans. Included with all of our cases there is a red piece of paper that has the contact information to our Technical Support Team. If you have lost that piece of paper you can contact us by submitting a ticket at:

https://support.fractal-design.com

You can also call our toll free number : 855-446-3722

Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm CT.

Please contact our Tech Support Team and they should be able to assist you.

Best Regards,
Fractal Design Support

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  • Derek L.
  • 3/20/2015 5:13:22 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAmazing Versatility - More than most reviewers out there realise.

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

Pros: I am using the Node 304 right now for my ITX, and it's truly amazing how much horsepower I could cram inside it.

With a tiny bit of modifications to the PSU bracket frame and one of the plastic plugs that help snap in the front fascia of the Node 304, you can easily fit a high-power ATX power supply (in my case, a Corsair AX760 ATX power supply). The rest of my build is as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k
- GPU: EVGA GTX 780SC
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3-1866 16GB
- CPU Cooler: Notcua U12S
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VI Impact
- HDD: WD Black

- Temperature: My room is generally around 20C. CPU and GPU both idle at about 32-34C at absolute silence. When I do need the horsepower, the PC can pretty much max all the games from minesweeper to Crysis 3, even the bad unoptimized Ubisoft games no problems. Max temperature I've ever seen while gaming for either the CPU or GPU never exceeded 70C.

- Temperature (Stress testing): Using AIDA64 for 72-hours straight, my CPU and GPU never went above 80C. HDD also never increased more than 2C over idle temp.

Cons: Designers of the Node 304 at Fractal Design obviously didn't realise how much more versatility they could have gotten out of this case by giving the internal PSU bracket and the plastic clip a small modification.

Right now, official specs indicate I "must" use a PSU under 160mm in order to use a full-length graphics card like the GTX780, 980, etc. However, with the small modifications (listed below), there is room to fit a *modular* PSU over 160mm in length and STILL put in full-length graphics cards. The modifications are so easy, took me maybe an hour tops:
1) shift internal PSU bracket up closer to the chassis door and closer to the Motherboard mounting area
2) shortening the plastic clip for front fascia near the PSU bracket so it still clips, but doesnt eat into the PSU mounting.

Other Thoughts: I think the Node 304 is really one of the best cases out there ever. Still amazes me how all the reviewers out there missed its versatility with two simple modifications.

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  • Anonymous
  • 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.

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

  • 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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