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Fractal Design Node 804 Micro ATX Case Review

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Fractal Design Node 804 Detailed Features

The interior of the Node 804 is where it really starts to get interesting, so let’s take a closer look.

Node804_FrPanel

The front panel (alongside the split-chamber design) is one of the most interesting parts of the Node 804.  Two 240mm radiator (or fan) mounts, the plastic cage for the two 2.5″ drives and the slim slot-load optical drive mount are all visible.  The front panel removes with an easy application of force like the Node 304 and doesn’t seem to be in danger of breaking anything with multiple removals (Fractal Design’s cases generally fit together nicely, I’ve never felt like I was going to break a peg or snap something when removing a panel).  If you look closely at the inside top edge of the front panel, you’ll see a series of three posts.  The two outer posts are a bit shorter, but act as anchors for the top mesh panel in its normal position – a short slide rearward, and those posts will allow the top panel to be removed without removing anything else other than two thumbscrews.

Node804_InsideL

The left (main) chamber has just enough room for a micro-ATX motherboard and PCI expansion cards.  The included fan controller (with SATA power connector) will need to be connected to each of the three fans.  The floor has a filtered mesh intake too, but strangely there aren’t any mounting holes for 120mm fans here – but any fan that can fit on or between the raised mounting holes for the drives can just sit on the mesh (Fractal Design’s promotional material shows two 92mm/80mm fans sitting in the bottom location).  There are two 3.5″ drive mounting points in this location along with the two 2.5″ mounts if you need some extra storage that doesn’t get in the way of radiators.

Node804_InsideR

The right chamber houses the removable 3.5″ drive cages and the power supply.  Another 120mm Silent Series R2 fan is mounted as an exhaust fan, providing some active cooling for a drive array.  The Corsair Carbide Air 540 didn’t include any fan mounts on the “storage” side of the cube, so this is a welcome decision in the Node 804.  Of course, the front contains two filtered 120mm fan mounts (along with the 2×120 / 2x140mm locations up top).

Node804_TopRemoved

The top fan configurations that are possible become much clearer by viewing the top of the Node 804 with the mesh filter panel removed.  Both sides are essentially duplicated, although the “motherboard side” offsets the 120mm mounts more than the “storage side” to clear motherboard components.  It’s also pretty obvious that you’ll need to remove a drive cage or two if you want to use the top fan mounts on the storage side of the Node 804 – there’s still the two 2.5″ mounting points in the front panel, and two 3.5″ mounting points located on the motherboard side if you do want to use this space for fans or radiators instead.


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1 comment

  1. Johnniedoo

    Great review, almost missed the part covering the front panel and optical drive. I still use one for blu ray and dvd movie back up to NAS, home cloud products. I am glad to have seen this option for another or next project. Fantastic possibilities and all this in a more manageable size.

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