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Fractal Design NODE 304

Darksaber

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#1
Fractal Design expands their line of cases with the NODE family aiming to provide unique enclosures to storage and HTPC enthusiasts. We take the little one - the NODE 304 - for a spin to see what scenario it is best suited for.

Show full review
 
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#2
I'd give it a 9,5. The contra's are all easy to solve, and price is low for such a good product.

Only gripe I see is too much vented parts, not good for a silent case for the living room.

The outsides of this brand could welcome a little classy touch of "design" as they are extremely anodine, well done, but just too much "volkswagen".
 
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#3
Thanks for the review. Looks like a really nice case.
I almost never use the reset button, so I wouldn't miss that one:)
 
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#4
Only gripe I see is too much vented parts, not good for a silent case for the living room.
Having owned this case for about 3 weeks, I can assure you the stock 92mm front fans (2 of them) and the rear 140mm are deadly silent at full RPM's.

They are silent from 3ft away so you wouldn't hear them at all from 10 - 20ft.




Really solid case for the money and the cable management options are pretty vast if you use your imagination.

I'd certainly recommend it and it'd get a real 9.5 from me too.
 
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#5
They are silent from 3ft away so you wouldn't hear them at all from 10 - 20ft.
I have only one very low noise Noctua fan in my HTPC, (which is the only source of noise in the system because everything is passively cooled, it boots from a SSD and the movies/games are on a NAS in an other room).
The setup is really silent, you need to put your ear next to the case to hear anything, but I can still hear that fan at late nights if there are no sound in the game/movie.

I'm really curious what kind of fans are we talking about here if 3 of them are are not audible and "deadly silent" for you?
 
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#6
I'm really curious what kind of fans are we talking about here if 3 of them are are not audible and "deadly silent" for you?
92mm fans used:
http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=77

140mm fan used:
http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=79

Good luck hearing (a quoted) 12.5dB & 18.5dB from any distance.... your Noctua, by those standards of noise, will be a jet.


I don't doubt for a second the actual dB from these fans to be higher than quoted, as always, but its certainly miles away from being annoying and is much quieter than most other fans I've had the pleasure (or not!) of using... even when sat next to the rig.

You wouldn't hear them if it were an HTPC rig any way.... not that mine actually is so noise doesn't much matter in the slightest ;)
 
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#7
92mm fans used:
http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=77

140mm fan used:
http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=79

Good luck hearing (a quoted) 12.5dB & 18.5dB from any distance.... your Noctua, by those standards of noise, will be a jet.


I don't doubt for a second the actual dB from these fans to be higher than quoted, as always, but its certainly miles away from being annoying and is much quieter than most other fans I've had the pleasure (or not!) of using... even when sat next to the rig.

You wouldn't hear them if it were an HTPC rig any way.... not that mine actually is so noise doesn't much matter in the slightest ;)
It rarely goes at full speed, (maybe it did when I was gaming on a very hot summer day), and the numbers are lower here.
Please don't get me wrong, I believe you that those are very quiet and good fans, but they are not silent for sure. Perhaps if the case would have been made out of noise dampening materials.. but even then, I'm not really sure if it's possible with 3 fans.
 
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#8
Do like A LOT. It should be a good contender for the Silverstone sugo SG-07/SG-08 cases. I prefer this case over the silverstone in looks but I think the silverstone has better functionality/practicality.
 
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#9
Comparing 92/120/140mm fans is like apples/pears/oranges really and isn't too easy... the two 92s shielded by the front face plate aren't audible at all... nor are they when they're in your hand... they need to be almost next to your ear to get any idea they are on, to a point where I thought I had defective units as they didn't make any noise at all with the first power on.

The 140 does what a 140 should; moves good air while being whisper quiet... the Samsung (Seagate! :shadedshu) Spinpoint in my system makes more noise while booting up/moving around (regardless of the rubber mounts) than the 140mm did.


I would break out the trusty ol' microphone and YouTube it for you to show the quiet nature of the fans in the chassis.......

HOWEVER... the stock configuration didn't meet my cooling requirements so the 140mm has been changed out in favour of a Corsair H40 (hey, it was cheap lol) and a pair of 120s so its become a whole lot noisier from that change alone. :slap: :laugh:


I didn't expect much from the Fractal fans.... I'm pretty much anti-Fractal anything to be honest as everything I've touched of theirs up until now has been sub-par or just died (built a rig for a friend with a PSU of theirs... 3 RMAs later I got one that worked)... this case, though, is shockingly good for its intended purpose and really shines... even the HDD 'caddies' are powder coated... a nice touch.



Hope I don't come across as a bit pushy or anything... I mean well and all that kinda stuff. :toast::toast:
 
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#10
Comparing 92/120/140mm fans is like apples/pears/oranges really and isn't too easy... the two 92s shielded by the front face plate aren't audible at all... nor are they when they're in your hand... they need to be almost next to your ear to get any idea they are on, to a point where I thought I had defective units as they didn't make any noise at all with the first power on.

The 140 does what a 140 should; moves good air while being whisper quiet... the Samsung (Seagate! :shadedshu) Spinpoint in my system makes more noise while booting up/moving around (regardless of the rubber mounts) than the 140mm did.


I would break out the trusty ol' microphone and YouTube it for you to show the quiet nature of the fans in the chassis.......

HOWEVER... the stock configuration didn't meet my cooling requirements so the 140mm has been changed out in favour of a Corsair H40 (hey, it was cheap lol) and a pair of 120s so its become a whole lot noisier from that change alone. :slap: :laugh:


I didn't expect much from the Fractal fans.... I'm pretty much anti-Fractal anything to be honest as everything I've touched of theirs up until now has been sub-par or just died (built a rig for a friend with a PSU of theirs... 3 RMAs later I got one that worked)... this case, though, is shockingly good for its intended purpose and really shines... even the HDD 'caddies' are powder coated... a nice touch.



Hope I don't come across as a bit pushy or anything... I mean well and all that kinda stuff. :toast::toast:
LOL, sounds like what I did to my sg-07. I took out the 180mm SS Penetrator fan and fitted a push-pull configured Antec Kuhler 620. Runs FAR cooler but it is a fair bit noisier. I'm surprised to hear about your previous poor experiences with Fractal Design though D:
 
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#11
There's a typo in the conclusion:
Watch the length of the PSU when installing a long PSU
 

ogharaei

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#12
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#13
Comparing 92/120/140mm fans is like apples/pears/oranges really and isn't too easy... the two 92s shielded by the front face plate aren't audible at all... nor are they when they're in your hand... they need to be almost next to your ear to get any idea they are on, to a point where I thought I had defective units as they didn't make any noise at all with the first power on.

The 140 does what a 140 should; moves good air while being whisper quiet... the Samsung (Seagate! :shadedshu) Spinpoint in my system makes more noise while booting up/moving around (regardless of the rubber mounts) than the 140mm did.


I would break out the trusty ol' microphone and YouTube it for you to show the quiet nature of the fans in the chassis.......

HOWEVER... the stock configuration didn't meet my cooling requirements so the 140mm has been changed out in favour of a Corsair H40 (hey, it was cheap lol) and a pair of 120s so its become a whole lot noisier from that change alone. :slap: :laugh:


I didn't expect much from the Fractal fans.... I'm pretty much anti-Fractal anything to be honest as everything I've touched of theirs up until now has been sub-par or just died (built a rig for a friend with a PSU of theirs... 3 RMAs later I got one that worked)... this case, though, is shockingly good for its intended purpose and really shines... even the HDD 'caddies' are powder coated... a nice touch.



Hope I don't come across as a bit pushy or anything... I mean well and all that kinda stuff. :toast::toast:
Thanks, You made me really curious about these fans, gonna check them out ASAP.

Thank you and fixed.
Oh man, I wrote this in my post above yesterday, but I deleted it out 5 mins later because I found a warning about lenght of the PSU during my second reading, and I decided it can't be a mistake:)
 
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#14
Put in a Supermicro X7SPA-H ITX Atom board and you've got a 6 drive NAS :rockout:

There're only two or three ITX boards with 6xSATA unless you add an HBA card.