Fractal Design Node 804 Micro ATX Case Review
Packaging and Bundle
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The Node 804
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Fractal offer a wide range of cooling options in addition to the three bundled silent series fans. We can for example have 10 fans running in the case at once with mounts on most sides or opt for radiators. There are mounts on the top surface for dual length radiators (one supporting 280, the other 240) or alternatively we can use 120/140 single length models. Then there is also space to fit a 240mm unit on the front panel of the main chamber.
For our build we decided to push the case a little, adding in the largest PSU/240mm assembly we could in addition to the 295X2 and its 120mm radiator. The cooler used is Antec’s Kuhler h2O 1250 which features oversized assembly and we wanted to see if it could be mounted in the 2nd chamber with the stock pipes passing through to the main chamber.
Corsairs new AX1500i fitted without issue although space at the modular outputs was a touch limited which made tidy wiring an issue. Our radiators did fit without problem though but having said that we chose to mount the Kuhler slightly differently to normal, using some of the drive bay screw holes to give us a touch extra reach on the pipes passing through to the main chamber (something which wouldn’t need done with custom watercooling units).
Our 295X2 radiator mounted in the main chamber with no problems at all and the Node 804 supports 320mm graphics cards with no fan in the bottom, front intake (the default config) and with a fan added there the space drops to 290mm. As mentioned earlier mATX boards are the order of the day and we easily fitted in our wireless-ac card along with a high end PCIe based SSD in the slots below the graphics card.
In summary, in our time testing the Node 804 we were able to install unlocked AMD and i7 mATX based systems along with 16GB of DDR3-2666, the fastest consumer PCIe SSD, dual band ac Wi-Fi, AMD’s 295X2 dual GPU card with its 12cm radiator, Antec’s 2x12cm Kulher 1250 and Corsairs extended length, 1500w rated, AX1500i.
The results below were taken on the i7-4770K and 295X2 config:
Starting with the build quality of the Node 804 we have a chassis which feels very sturdy. There were no issues with ill-fitting sections and the flashier items such as brushed aluminium front panel and plastic side window were defect free. Design wise there is a lot to like about the Node 804 and Fractal Design have created a case which is hugely flexible for its dimensions (344x307x389mm). For those who want a system with massive amounts of storage drives, no problem. Those who want to create a wind tunnel, plenty of fan locations available. Then we have enthusiast users who can take advantage of the Node 804’s ability to take 330mm graphics cards and up to 3 radiators (including a 280mm unit).
Would we change anything? A few things could have been accommodated such as space for 3.5″ drives behind the front panel, or the ability to mount an SSD or two on the back of the motherboard tray. Potentially Fractal Design could have also added a cover for the back end of our PSU giving a handy way to hide wiring as that is the only real location to bunch it up in a tidy way.
These really are minor issues though and us being really picky about a case which has masses of flexibility and low noise operation for its £79.99 RRP.
|Where to buy…|
|Scan.co.uk – £79.99|