Fractal Design Node 304 case review

lmorchardlmorchard {web,mad,computer} scientistPortland, OR Icrontian
edited February 2013 in Science & Tech


  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    I want this case for my HTPC so badly.
  • SodaMatthew Soto Ann Arbor, MI Icrontian
    For a living room PC, I would REALLY like to see better fan speed controls. Of course this led me to go with a mini tower and micro ATX motherboard to ensure generous fan headers on it, and pretty much no other compromises. Not quite as elegantly small...but not obtrusively large.
  • @Soda - I was going to say something similar about the size. I think this is the case you buy for a lan box, I don't see it as a great option for HTPC, because it's a little too big. If I were going to build an HTPC, I don't need a full ATX PSU, I don't need space for extra long graphics cards, I just need a mini itx case with enough breathing room for an A6-5400K. Now, if I were to build a lan party box, this is what I would choose.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    Guys, the real value for this case is that it's mITX with support for a shitload of 3.5" HDDs. This is the only case like it, and is amazing.
  • I think it's a really cool design too. I'm not interested in building a video server personally, but I see that as a practical application.
  • BuddyJPeter Gill Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    My Thermaltake seems inadequate now. Well done Fractal Design.
  • OhmecksOhmecks Orlando, Florida Member
    I just purchased one of these last week and put it together over the weekend. I went with a passively cooled Radeon HD 7750 for my graphics card, so the loudest component in the case is a 1 TB WD Black drive which isn't even that loud. It is indeed a great little box.
  • SodaSoda Ann Arbor, MI Icrontian
    I agree with @Thrax about it being unique, but with the easy availability of network storage, that particular advantage is not really relevant to me. That's why they make different cases for different people though =P.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    Why would you spend an extra several hundred dollars for a multi-bay NAS when you could put all of that storage right in the PC? Those economics, my friend, doesn't make sense.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    File/backup server elsewhere to keep your HTPC as silent as possible by not shoving 4-6 HDDs in it?
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    If you're using the right, low-RPM drives for your htpc, you'll never hear the drives over background noise.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    All at a higher price and, in most cases, a larger case dimension. :)
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian
    Putting your media in your HTPC is folly. The HTPC should by as tiny as other requirements permit and your files should live on another computer in the house. Gigabit or Wireless N are perfectly capable of handling 1080p streaming requirements.

    If you've got your media on the HTPC, now you've gotta worry about attaching backup drives to it unless your media library is expendable.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited February 2013
    or you use a cloud service...

    I mean my setup at home is:

    Server w/ 10TB Raid5
    Gaming PC with some fancy RevoDrive PCIE ;)
    HTPC with 64GB SSD which has Windows and XMBC basically in this case
  • lmorchardlmorchard {web,mad,computer} scientist Portland, OR Icrontian
    edited February 2013
    I wouldn't mind another of these cases and a spare $1000 or so to build a DIY-Drobo with a pile of drives. Basically our house looks something like:

    * WDTVLive streamer, XBox 360, & TiVo on the TV
    * 2 macbook pros for wife & me
    * Misc other gadgets like a transformer tablet, a chromebook, phones, chumby
    * 1 new gaming PC (using the Node 304 case)

    And, all the above backs up to or otherwise uses data from:

    * Synology DS210j NAS w/ 1.5TB storage

    And that synology also does things like serve music to my phone while I'm out, occasionally fly the pirate flag for obscure TV shows I can't find on DVD, give me a VPN to home LAN, etc. That little synology box does a crapton, but it could use an upgrade.
  • Look at the e-peen contest generated from this itsy bitsy case! I love it! I guess I should not tell you all I'm still using a DVD player and streaming netflix from a 1st generation Wii all in glorious 480P?
  • lmorchardlmorchard {web,mad,computer} scientist Portland, OR Icrontian
    My epeen is actually pretty small and in lots of pieces.
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