Fractal Design Node 804 Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on February 18, 2015 9:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Fractal Design
Many European companies that manufacture PC hardware were founded during the past few years, and the vast majority are basing their business model on European quality and design prowess. Fractal Design is one of these companies. The Swedish manufacturer of cases, cooling, and power supply products quickly became globally known for their minimalistic, simple, and functional designs. Today we are looking at their latest cubic Micro-ATX case, the Node 804.
AnandTech has reviewed several Fractal Design cases in the past, from ITX cases to super-tower behemoths. A loyal reader would find it hard not to notice the striking visual similarity between the Node 304 and the Node 804, but these two cases however are nothing alike. The Node 804 is designed to house a powerful Micro-ATX gaming system, placing it in direct confrontation with cases such as the Corsair Carbide 240 Air. Is the Swedish minimalistic design that retails for $92 capable of facing the competition in the North American market? We will find out in this review.
12oz Coke can for size reference
|Fractal Design Node 804 Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||Slim Slot-Loading Optical Drive|
|Internal||8 x 3.5" (internal drive cages) 2 x 2.5" (front panel) 2 x 2.5"/3.5" (chassis bottom)|
|Cooling||Front||4 x 120mm (one included)|
|Rear||1 x 120mm (included) 1 x 140/120mm (one 120mm included)|
|Top||4 x 140/120mm (optional)|
|Radiator Support||Front||240mm (both chambers)|
|Top||240mm (both chambers), 280mm (right chamber only)|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|GPU||320mm (290mm if intake fans are installed at the front)|
|Dimensions||307 mm × 344 mm × 389 mm (H×W×D) 12.09 in × 13.55 in × 15.32 in (H×W×D)|
|Prominent Features||Highly effective dual chamber case layout for best possible cooling. Minimalistic design with an elegant brushed aluminum front panel Three Fractal Design Silent Series R2 fans included All intakes feature removable dust filters providing a dust-free interior. Featuring a window side panel to show off your set up in style. Fan controller included. Five expansion slots that allows for multiple GPU setups.|
|Price||$92 at the time of this review|
Packaging and Bundle
The packaging of the Node 804 pretty much resembles the focus of the company – minimalism. Externally, it is just a brown cardboard box with a simple schematic of the case printed on it. Inside the box however, the case is protected by oversized Polystyrene foam pieces, providing more than ample protection during transport.
The bundle is frugal as well, limited to just the hardware necessary to install components inside the case, a few small cable ties, and a manual. All of the provided screws are black and the manual is very well written.
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SkyBill40 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkGet at it, modder!
DanNeely - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkIf you're building a medium size mITX server, the CHENBRO SR30169T2-250 is worthy of consideration. It's a similar style but only does mITX with 4x3.5 and 2x2.5 drives so it significantly smaller. If I had any complaint, it would be that the hot-swap bays are mostly a gimmic (consumer mobos don't support sata hotswap), and orienting the drive bays to make hot swap easy via the front panel made the case significantly bigger than it needed to be.
I've been using it for my home server for the last 2+ years; without complaints. Best of all no stupid window!
lewisl9029 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI've been using the Silverstone DS380 and ASUS P9A-I for a few months now. 8x hot-swap bays and 4x fixed 2.5 bays on the DS380 is a perfect match with the 2xSATA + 4xSAS ports (16 sata) on the P9A-I.
I have 2x SSDs for the OS and 2xSSDs + 6x4TB HDDs for my storage cluster so far. Runs like a dream.
DanNeely - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkLooks like a nice case if you need something a bit bigger than I do.
I'm currently using 2x3TB HDDs and a small SSD for the OS; at current fill rates I may or may not need to add a 3rd drive to my pool before my server reaches retirement age and is replaced.
The only thing I wonder about is the backplate space for a 2nd expansion card. Aside from GPUs I'm not aware of anything else that would need to be 2 splits tall; and a GPU in whats obviously a server case seems rather weird.
sweenish - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkTalk about potato pictures.
A decent case for the price. I just don't want to have to fight a case, regardless of the size.
randomlinh - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI know it's just a case, but yeah, these shots are terrible for a site like AT. It's not even a bad camera, just don't know why they are shooting product at ISO1600
Zak - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI agree. Disapointing. While many cameras these days produce clean shots at ISO1600 this is not the case. Very unprofessional and reek of laziness. I've seen eBay product shots that look better.
E.Fyll - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkThis is mostly lack of proper lighting and enough space. When you cannot even set a tripod, high ISOs are necessary. I need to hold the camera.
Of course I could use better photographic equipment. Ironically, I have already ordered the parts weeks ago. Things will be changing after a few more articles.
When criticizing, do take into account that things can be more complicated and time consuming when something requires your own space and funds. It rarely is as simple as typing a five sentence comment.
Then again, people complain about a coke can, so I guess that I should be grateful for a useful comment, even if it is somewhat rudely voiced...
chlamchowder - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI'd just like to say thanks for the review. I've been looking at case options for a while, and case reviews are always insightful to read.
I feel that for a lot of things, including computer cooling, overclocking, and photography, past some point increasingly ridiculous amounts of effort/money are required for small gains. Don't take this stuff in the comments section too harshly - we tend to exaggerate.
chlamchowder - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI agree that the product shots could be better. It's a combination of missed focus and heavy noise reduction that makes the pictures look blurry.
But this isn't Dpreview. The pictures do get the job done, albeit in a very unsatisfying way. If you guys at Anandtech have time, I'd suggest using a tripod (or just putting the camera on a box of the right height), and using a long exposure for lower ISOs. Also check focus with magnified live view before taking the shot. After all, cases don't run away.