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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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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the Fractal Design FD-CA-NODE-304-BL

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

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

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  • Tyler S.
  • 4/29/2016 1:27:00 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat home server

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

Pros: Lots of room for drives
Devent ventilation
Front-side mounted USB useful depending on orientation

Cons: Front-side mounted USB un-useful depending on orientation
Nothing really

Other Thoughts: Using it as a home server with 1 SSD as the OS drive and 3 HDDs for data storage. Is on 24/7 and seems to stay cool.

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  • Mathieu L.
  • 3/27/2016 8:25:15 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat NAS/HTPC case

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

Pros: -Included fans are silent and move a lot of air.
-The case looks good.
-You could put 6HDD + 2 SSD (Even if it's described only as 6HDD)
-Outside paint of the case and HDD Rack paint is great.
-Include a fan controller.
-Gpu clearance up to 12 inch (6 inch if you use all HDD Mount)
-Support standard ATX PSU

Cons: -The bundle is poor, only some screw and 3 tie-wrap.
-The build quality of my unit was pretty poor for a case of this price.
-Inner paint of the case was already damaged
-Thumb screw was way too tight, some of them was broken in the case.
-The side dust filter is loose.
-The plastic pin who retain the frount panel of the case are not deburred.
-HDD rack are not bend enough to fit correctly.

Other Thoughts: Overall it's a well designed case, i'm just disappointed with the assembling quality.

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  • Douglas L.
  • 3/27/2016 10:46:51 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat case for a discrete home server

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

Pros: - I purchased this for a home server and wanted something small and dead quiet. I think it's doing a reasonably good job at that.
- The pre-installed fans are all very quiet, even at higher RPM (there's a L/M/H fan control switch build into the back).
- Great-looking case.
- Room for 6 SDD/HDDs.
- Good air flow if you're using standard fan-based air cooling. Also comes with 3 fans (2 front, 1 rear).

Cons: - Case doesn't dampen all noise, as I can still occasionally hear the CPU fan.
- Very little space between motherboard and PSU, making it difficult or impossible to connect cables to any headers on the side of the motherboard (see comment below in Other).
- I had to purchase a separate C13/C14 right-angle adapter to make the PSU pigtail connect with the Seasonic X650 PSU I purchased for this machine (see comment below in Other)

Other Thoughts: Do some detailed planning ahead of time for how the connectors in the case will work. This will save you a headache during your build! I had 2 specific problems that weren't insurmountable, but did take a little examination to work around. I also recommend reading an "unboxing/building" review of this case. It'll help you better decide whether this case is right for you.

- Get a motherboard that routes connectors from the face of the motherboard, not the side. If your motherboard routes connectors (e.g. SATA, ATX, ATA, etc) to the side, then you may not have room to connect the cables because of the slim space between the motherboard and the PSU.
- Pay attention to where your PSU places its C13 connector and at what orientation. If the C13 ends up at the front edge of the case with the ground (center) plug toward the bottom of the case (e.g. Seasonic X650 PSU), then you'll need a C13/C14 right-angle adapter to make the PSU pigtail fit. The PSU pigtail also has a right-angle to it, but in such a way that it won't fit if the PSU's C13 is too close to the front and oriented with the ground plug toward the bottom.

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  • Rob A.
  • 2/17/2016 8:24:53 AM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsPretty good

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

Pros: Case design made for a fairly easy build. All three of the drive cages are removable, giving easy access to the floor for placement of the motherboard and power supply. Plenty of spots to tie down cabling.

Pretty decent multi-purpose case. Supports up to six drives if you want a NAS box, has room for a full video card and a fairly beefy CPU cooler if you want something gaming-oriented, very low key appearance if you just want something to shove into your entertainment center for living room purposes.

Drive cages have rubber grommets on them to dampen sound from mechanical drives, and case fans can be regulated with a switch in the back.

I greatly prefer understated appearances in cases I use. That means no gaudy colors or designs and no LEDs. This case checks just about every box in that category.

Cons: Some of the parts inside were painted white. That doesn't bother me since they aren't visible unless you have the case open, but the paint on the drive cages chips/flakes off quite easily around screw holes. Just seems cheap.

The drive cages are these U-shaped brackets where you mount your drives to the walls, but when you do that, the drives are facing in opposite directions rather than facing the same way. When you go to connect the power cables, the plugs have to be twisted around in an awkward manner.

With motherboard manufacturers putting most of their SATA ports on the edges of their boards, facing out rather than up, it seems like a curious decision on Fractal Design's part to leave so little room between the board and the power supply for plugging SATA cables in. Especially with NAS being one of the feature applications of the case. An extra centimeter wouldn't have hurt.

Other Thoughts: Arrangement inside the case may require some creativity if you want to use a full-length graphics card and a modular power supply, or a power supply deeper than six inches. I originally intended to carry over my Corsair AX750 power supply for this build. There ended up being no room between the power supply and the video card to plug in all the various power cables. Even with the power supply mounting bracket taken out to gain back an extra half- or three-quarters inch of clearance, the whole operation seemed tenuous at best with the cables firmly jammed up against the back of the video card. After about an hour of finagling with things, I threw in the towel and put a CX430 in there instead. Perfect fit, even if I now have extra cabling to tie down.

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

  • Glen M.
  • 1/20/2016 3:07:22 PM

5 out of 5 eggsPerfect for a modest NAS or video surveillance

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

Pros: Nicely designed and easy to work on. Lots of room for drives. Plenty of room for a Corsair H90 140mm radiator on the rear fan. Good cooling generally.

Cons: As another reviewer mentioned, this case desperately needs some way to direct cooling air down to the mobo. I fitted an H90 liquid cooler, so there is no fan on the cpu. This leaves a dead space for airflow across the ram and mobo surface. While burning in with foldingathome, the various heatsinks were pretty warm. There is good flow from the front fans, so I might jury rig a deflecter at rear of hard drive brackets.


<b>Jan 20 Update:</b> I took one of those cardboard sleeves that a 140mm fan came in, cut it up a bit, and used the thumbscrews at the rear of the hard drive cages to hold it in place. This redirects the cooling air that comes through the drives, down to the mobo surface. I'm now getting about 4 degrees cooler according the the mobo sensor, after running flat out for a few days. Easy enough fix, I spent more time thinking about it than doing it.



Another issue is the orientation of the power cable. The case takes a normal ATX PSU, mounted forward of the mobo. An extension cord interior to the case brings power from an external rear power socket to the PSU. With a PSU mounted with 12cm intake fan pointing down (to suck air through the case opening with convenient filter), the socket direction on the PSU means the supplied extension cable runs forward and needs a *sharp* bend due to proximity to front panel. It works, but can't be good for the cable.

I'll knock 1/2 egg off for those two points. Since I can't do half points, I'll generously round up. ;)

Also, as delivered, the top/front screws on the hard drive brackets were overtightened, so they'd broken the white paint around those screw holes. Extremely minor nit, but if you care about pretty ...

Other Thoughts: Minor weaknesses aside, I do like this case a lot. I used it for a video surveillance build, 5 drives. It was about the smallest formfactor I could find that would hold all the internal drives and space was critical for this installation.

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  • Anonymous
  • 1/10/2016 5:16:44 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsPerfect for what I need.

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

Pros: Small, stylish, and, paired with the right components, it runs almost completely silently. Really, the Fractal Silent Series fans are all but noiseless. I built this system with a fanless PSU, and a Noctua NH-L9a CPU cooler, and with the fans set at medium speed (the case has a built-in three speed fan controller), it is noiseless. Even on high speed, you barely hear a thing.

Cons: The drive bays, while being a creative, even brilliant, solution to the problem of building in such a small space, are still kind of hinky. The thumbscrews don't do the greatest job of keeping the drive holders locked down. There are what look like traditional screw holes to allow you to really tighten the drive holders in, but no screws to do it.

If you're going to use a longish GPU, then make sure your PSU is short enough to accomodate the back of the GPU.



Not really "cons," but read the other area below for the downsides of building in these small boxes.

Other Thoughts: If you've never built in a mini-ITX box before, be aware that it takes a lot of pre-planning. I was expecting this to be an hour-long build; it took me four, as I had to tear down, re-plan, and build over to correct for mistakes I made. Twice. And I'm a fairly experienced builder, just not in these tiny things. Cable management is challenging, even though the box has tie-downs in most strategic places. The box is supposed to be able to hold six hard drives, and it will, but ... I'd hate to see the rat's nest of cables you'd end up with. My system as built uses three hard drives, allowing me to use one of the hard drive "bays" to hold the extra cabling that you end up with when you mix cables that are long enough to fit in a full tower case in a case that's little bigger than a shoebox. As people build smaller and smaller systems, some of these PSU companies might want to consider including short cables with their modular units. Not the fault of Fractal or this box, just an observation.

Another observation: if you go down the mITX route, I can't overstress how important planning is, not just on the build, but on choosing the parts that go into the build. Understand what parts you'll need, and thoroughly understand what fits where on your MB, and make sure the case you buy is compatible with your plans. For example, I noticed the MB I have has the HD audio header right in front of the PCI slot -- if I had planned on using a GPU, it wouldn't have fit with the HD audio turned on. That wouldn't have been a big deal for me, but some people still use the HD audio ports . Again, not the fault of the case, just an observation.

Overall, this is a great case. Most of the observations I made are more to do with the challenges of building in a small case, rather than this case in and of itself. If you're looking for a moderately-priced, cleverly-built, good-looking case that could sit in your living room and have no one be the wiser that it's a computer, this is a case for you.

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

  • Brian C.
  • 12/28/2015 8:17:56 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent case, everything fits. Worked very well

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

Pros: Everything fits
Very well built
Hardware looks good
Fans are very quite

Cons: Removing the cover would usually snag on my power cable braided sheath.

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  • Andre D.
  • 12/24/2015 5:40:37 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Little case

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

Pros: I needed a small case so I could travel with it to Ecuador in my carry on. This was the smallest case I could find and it does fit perfectly. Building it was easy and routing cables from my 550W EVGA Modular PSU was time consuming but easy. I used a Gigabyte ITX GTX 960 video card which went in nicely. For cooling I used a Noctura NH-14-S with only one fan although another fan would fit and at idle my temps are 34 - 35c. This is a nicely built case.

Cons: I have two chassis fans plugged into my Asrock M/ITX board and these work fine. I have the third fan plugged into the controller and it does not seem to spin properly. I haven't troubleshot the problem yet but if it is the fan, I will buy two 92MM Noctura fans to replace the Fractals before I return to Ecuador and change them there. No need to return the case. Plus I have no time (lol)

Other Thoughts: This is my first M/ITX build and it went very well using a Skylake I5 6600K. I expect to get many hours of gaming with it. 12/24/1015 All I had to do to get all the fans working properly was to adjust the voltage switch.

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  • Jimmy G.
  • 12/19/2015 4:06:43 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAmazing looking, performing and fits a lot of high en gear!

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

Pros: - Fits full size gpus pretty well (so long as your psu allows enough clearance)
- Great airflow (still fairly quiet on high)
- Looks great

Cons: -My 150mm fully modular psu was too tight with gpu and the cables made the graphics cards slant which made pc not boot.
-I removed the bracket for the psu and used velcro to move the psu back. It gave about another half inch of room and could now fit very well.
- Not much room to do cable management. (Zip ties very handy)

Other Thoughts: - Immediate buy for people that want a clean looking system that will fit in your living room.
- Also an immediate buy if used for gaming.

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  • Amir J.
  • 11/29/2015 12:23:50 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat NAS case

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

Pros: - Great built quality.
- Least expensive case with many HDD capability.
- I love that they pre install all the fan slots with great fans and built in fan controller!
- Sturdy hard drive mount + two PCI expansion insures massive expansion capability.
- Inside mechanism mostly are removable by Phillips screws.

Cons: - One gripe I have with this case is that there is no place to securley tuck away cables. Top of the motherboard area is wide open however there is nothing in place to help you manage the cables. After all, your sata,motherboard cable, and cpu cable pass around that area, I would have liked to seen that space utilized to mount cables.

I see that , the big area allows the install of AIO or big tower however having an option to screw in a metal bar and zip tide tables securely to this optional bar would have been great.

Other Thoughts: - Blackfriday deal of 60 bucks , I am very happy.
- This case is best bang for the buck for those seeking at lease 5 slots for a raid 5 + OS.
- My hard drive cases had two rubber grommets missing.
- I ended up routing zip ties from top bar to sides to create my own cable management system.

A+ over all.

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

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Item#: N82E16811352027
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