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Fractal Design Node 304 - Black - Mini Cube Compact Computer Case £75.98 @ Amazon
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Fractal Design Node 304 - Black - Mini Cube Compact Computer Case £75.98 @ Amazon

£75.98 Free P&P FreeAmazon Deals
24
Posted 2nd May
Probably the best price delivered at the moment.

Great for small file severs, NAS, Plex or even a compact gaming system.

Featuring a unique modular interior for outstanding configurability. The Node 304 accommodates up to six hard drives. Unused mounting brackets can removed to allow for long graphic cards, additional airflow or more space for organising cables. Additionally, it is equipped with three hydraulic bearing fans, easy-to-clean air filters in all intakes and two front USB 3.0 ports.
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I have the white one of these. Lovely case for a console replacing PC under the telly and not too bad to build in
24 Comments
I have the white one of these. Lovely case for a console replacing PC under the telly and not too bad to build in
I've had one in the white for a couple of years, great for a NAS with Plex on. Highly recommended it.
Good quality case, I have one as a gaming PC.
Excellent case and comes with dust filters and fans. I'd definitely recommend it!
Highly recommended. I built a small-factor gaming PC using it. Plenty of room compared to some other ITX cases.
Stupid question:

Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something in a smaller size, if you were to game on this, would it make crazy fan noises like a PS4 does when playing triple A games?

Or would this not be suitable
Edited by: "MMT786_" 2nd May
MMT786_02/05/2020 13:49

Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something …Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something in a smaller size, if you were to game on this, would it make crazy fan noises like a PS4 does when playing triple A games?Or would this not be suitable


Depends what you put inside it, what fans you use and what game you are playing.
MMT786_02/05/2020 13:49

Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something …Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something in a smaller size, if you were to game on this, would it make crazy fan noises like a PS4 does when playing triple A games?Or would this not be suitable


I have an 8400 with a cheap Artic cooler and a reference 5700xt and under load it's a lot quieter than a PS4 even though I haven't used parts known for being particularly quiet
MMT786_02/05/2020 13:49

Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something …Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something in a smaller size, if you were to game on this, would it make crazy fan noises like a PS4 does when playing triple A games?Or would this not be suitable


Wow, we're getting to that point where people have never had a PC before. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, just simply indicative or of progressing technology. My first proper pc was a 200mhz Pentium, 32mb RAM, with a 2gb HDD running Win 95. I had one AMD Athlon PC after this and then went to laptops, and have never owned a PC since.
Here is my first PC. Cost over a grand which is probably 3 grand in todays money.
Became obsolete in a year. 1992 I think it was.
I remember the days when 1 mb of RAM cost over £100. (~£250 in today's value)
40614962.jpg
Edited by: "AbuG" 2nd May
MMT786_02/05/2020 13:49

Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something …Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something in a smaller size, if you were to game on this, would it make crazy fan noises like a PS4 does when playing triple A games?Or would this not be suitable


I wouldn't.

fractal-design.com/pro…ck/

That's basically the same chassis, but with more ventilation and extra fan mounts. It makes far more sense for a gaming PC. And it's around a tenner cheaper. The Node 304 is primarily intended for file storage, swapping ventilation and fan mounts for hard drive bays.

Alternatively, there's Silverstone's SG13 (the mesh fronted version; don't buy the one with the solid panel - I made this mistake), which is a lot smaller and even cheaper. Cooling is better in this case than the Core 500. But there's a lot less space.

Or there are console-style cases like Fractal Design's Node 202 and Silverstone's Raven RVZ03. Both of those are even better for cooling. Among mass-produced ITX cases, the RVZ03 is the benchmark against which the rest are tested. It's that good.
Edited by: "satchef1" 2nd May
Hmm tempted, would love this for my unraid server...
MMT786_02/05/2020 13:49

Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something …Stupid question:Never had a PC before and always wanted to build something in a smaller size, if you were to game on this, would it make crazy fan noises like a PS4 does when playing triple A games?Or would this not be suitable


It's complex. Most fans are dumb, they take 12V in and they spin at whatever their maximum speed is. Some devices will have a way to control the voltage sent to the fan, maybe they'll reduce it to 7V to reduce the speed and noise. Some devices will change the voltage to the fan in response to some other factor, like the temperature of the CPU and GPU. On a PC that control is common for fans on the CPU and GPU but not for fans in the case itself. Fans in the case can still be controlled because they're dumb devices but usually through manual fan controllers built into the case. For instance my case has a low/medium/high switch hooked up to three case fans. My case also has sound dampening foam so the cpu and gpu fans are less audible.

The best part of a PC is all of this is configurable. When the system gets hot you can choose to leave the fans off, but you will lose some performance. If you have headphones on and can't hear your PC you can choose to run the fans at maximum speed, even when the PC is idle.
Been looking at running a NAS and some Game servers in one of these with a 3400G, thanks for the post!
Gordon_Bennett02/05/2020 15:06

Wow, we're getting to that point where people have never had a PC before. …Wow, we're getting to that point where people have never had a PC before. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, just simply indicative or of progressing technology. My first proper pc was a 200mhz Pentium, 32mb RAM, with a 2gb HDD running Win 95. I had one AMD Athlon PC after this and then went to laptops, and have never owned a PC since.


It is strange the way we're going in circles since in many years past we had central mainframes and dumb terminals which allowed a user to access the computing systems on the mainframe then gradually we've had self contained devices that grew more powerful. That meant more businesses had PCs, then homes might have a single PC then laptops got better and individuals starting having PCs and now we're onto people mostly using mobile phones and tablets much the same as the original dumb terminals with servers in data centres doing all the heavy work.

I'm working on sorting out a PC for a friend that has been hit by multiple tech support scammers, a very old Inspiron 1720 (Core 2 Duo, 2GB ram, 320GB HD) still in daily use and I've realised how rusty I am with this type of work which used to be a frequent occurrence but now is very rare as I think far less people are using PCs much these days.

I've had my eye on this case for a while to replace an original HP Microserver, I've looked at the newer models they offer but I feel they're very expensive and nothing great for the price. I'm having difficultly finding a suitable low power systems to fit in it though. I'd like to be able to fire up a few VMs for testing but it doesn't need anything high performance. Something like an Intel NUC would be ideal but I'm struggling to find anything like that. This is similar to what I'd want but it seems to be very limited on ram and not much CPU power:

asrock.com/mb/…asp
I got this case for my nas build in 2014 and I'm still happy with it. Just looked up old emails and I paid around the same price for it back then. Heat added
I use the node 804 because this wasnt big enough for my needs but its a good case and definitely on my list if i need something smaller in the future.
Same. I have 804 as main PC running Plex. At the moment 3*3.5" drives installed (+1 temporary removed) and one 2.5" for system. Happy with FD and most likely will buy this small one to build a PC for my daughter.
Nice case but it's way over priced for its size and what it is. How can they charge that for this when you can buy that NZXT 510 Elite (ATX one) with tempered glass front and side panels, RGB lighting, RGB smart Lighting controller, X2 large RGB fans, X2 normal fans, multiple filters and a good quality build for just £15 more than this.
CampGareth02/05/2020 15:48

It's complex. Most fans are dumb, they take 12V in and they spin at …It's complex. Most fans are dumb, they take 12V in and they spin at whatever their maximum speed is. Some devices will have a way to control the voltage sent to the fan, maybe they'll reduce it to 7V to reduce the speed and noise. Some devices will change the voltage to the fan in response to some other factor, like the temperature of the CPU and GPU. On a PC that control is common for fans on the CPU and GPU but not for fans in the case itself. Fans in the case can still be controlled because they're dumb devices but usually through manual fan controllers built into the case. For instance my case has a low/medium/high switch hooked up to three case fans. My case also has sound dampening foam so the cpu and gpu fans are less audible. The best part of a PC is all of this is configurable. When the system gets hot you can choose to leave the fans off, but you will lose some performance. If you have headphones on and can't hear your PC you can choose to run the fans at maximum speed, even when the PC is idle.



PWM fans are very common now, and you can get them cheaply and easily from decent manufacturers. If you don't want to invest in Noctua fans, then both Fractal and Arctic make good ones at reasonable prices.

Most motherboards will have decent fan control built in, fan controllers are primarily for where you want easy access to manually adjust fans yourself or where you want to have more fans than you have headers on the motherboard(or simply want a tidy cable run).

Fan controllers built into modern cases are usually just pwm controlled from your motherboard, the old fashioned ones with physical controllers are a lot rarer now.
ukez02/05/2020 18:35

Nice case but it's way over priced for its size and what it is. How can …Nice case but it's way over priced for its size and what it is. How can they charge that for this when you can buy that NZXT 510 Elite (ATX one) with tempered glass front and side panels, RGB lighting, RGB smart Lighting controller, X2 large RGB fans, X2 normal fans, multiple filters and a good quality build for just £15 more than this.


You had me at glass panels and RGB lighting, and the number of fans. I think this product is aimed at a different audience
AttilaB02/05/2020 18:43

You had me at glass panels and RGB lighting, and the number of fans. I …You had me at glass panels and RGB lighting, and the number of fans. I think this product is aimed at a different audience


Oh for sure, I have multiple small form factor builds so I hear that and get it, but I'm just wondering why and at which point we all decided that it's okay to keep spending more just to get less in return.

Socks, pants, ties spring to mind as other good examples of other things you spend more on just to get less material back in return.
I have literally just finished building a new HTPC using this node 304 as the build case. It is a beauty and I cannot recommend it enough. The new PC is to replace my aging/dying HP Microserver I built in 2013 with Windows 8 lol, which I use exclusively as a media streamer. Parts I used

AMD Athlon 3000G
MSI B450I GAMING PLUS AC Mobo
16GB Corsair DDR4
500GB WD M2 drive
4TB Segate ironwolf HDD
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4
Seasonic 450W Fanless PSU

It runs beautifuly and is DEAD silent. I switched the case fans to the lowest setting (3 speeds) and when watching movies the temps barely rise above 35 C. Yes its a gaming mobo and I know I can swap in a much better CPU later if I want and add in a proper GPU but for now, size of the case and features its a winner!
Been running a Gaming/HTPC with a gtx 970/i5 4690k using the node 304. Still hooked up to my TV for about 6 years now and love it. Just recently bought the node 804 for my desktop pc as I like the understated look of FD cases.

If you're looking to build an itx build I highly recommend it. For a server there's room for 6 drives and extra SSDs. With larger GPUs you'll lose a bay, I've removed it down to one bay for airflow, two drives and an SSD in there!
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