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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randomlinh - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkThis is mostly not knowing how to photograph products. I know this isn't dpreview, but this is AT, not some run of the mill review site. My expectations for this site are that they do things professionally. Or, at least try to.
chlamchowder - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkHonestly this is not bad - they're not cell phone pictures, and (along with the text) got the job done in that they showed me I wouldn't want this case.
Building with it seems a bit messy, and I'm not a fan of having front ports on the right side (if I sit to the left of the case, it's awkward).
The pictures could be stunningly good with more effort, but few review sites can consistently deliver that. While it'd be nice if AT could do that, I'm here more to look at what products offer, and the pictures meet the "good enough" standard. Past a certain point, getting better image quality takes more time/effort than it's worth, anyways.
just4U - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - linkI've never really noticed it.. pictures on here have seemed fine. They haven't taken a step back anyway... at least not that I can tell.
Stuka87 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkAhh, so I wasn't the only one to notice. Proper lighting is a must for a product review like this.
wffurr - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkHow does it compare to the Bitfenix Prodigy?
lewisl9029 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI know this might be slightly off topic considering this review is for a mATX case, but personally I'd like to see more cases like the Silverstone ML08, RVZ01 that use PCI-E riser cards to minimize volume while supporting full-size GPUs.
The gains a riser card makes in terms of sheer volume can make the difference between something that I can throw into a suitcase and bring with me anywhere vs something that I'd have to pack up and ship separately.
Silverstone's new FTZ01 looks very promising on this front: http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=533
But I'd like to see more companies attempt these kinds of designs.
mpribe - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI own this case and use it for a gaming rig with an i5 4690k and a Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 970 in it, which is a very long card with 3 fans. The thing is very quiet even at full load running BF4 maxed at 70+ fps at 1200p.
One crucial difference between this case and the Air 240 is that this one will accommodate lengthy graphics cards, while the Corsair case will not. Also, with space for 5 PCI Express cards, you can put in 2 video cards with room for each to breathe, while the Air 240 will have them mushed up against each other.
PPalmgren - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI had this on my short list for cases when I builty my living room PC, but ended up going with the Corsair Obsidian 250D instead. The 250D is quite large in terms of mini ITX cases, but it is smaller than this one and the 250D barely fit inside the cubbyhole on the side of my entertainment center where my old 360 was sitting.
Has anyone who purchase this case ended up with size problems when used in a living room setting?
dave_the_nerd - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkI use this case for a home server. It works fine and runs fairly cool, even with ten hard drives in it. I'm not looking forward to my first HD failure (what with the lack of hotswap bays and all) but otherwise I am a very satisfied customer.
Also, it doesn't look like a gaudy gamer case.
nissefar - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - linkDisagree. The window certainly screams mad gamer.