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Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior

Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior


The inside of the Node 304 is a much more interesting place. The main feature or features are three large 3.5in drive cages that rest on their sides, supported by the front of the case and a lateral support bar and thumb-screwed in position. Each supports a pair of 3.5in or 2.5 hard disks/SSDs, secured using anti-vibration grommets. They sit just above the PSU at the front of the case and make routing cables around a little easier as your drives are easily reachable instead of hidden in the depths somewhere.

Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior
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In front of these are two 92mm fans, which, combined with the front PSU mount, mean that installing larger fans or a water-cooling radiator here isn't going to be an option without extensive modding. The rear 140mm fan however does have some room around it, but if you're looking to add a custom water-cooling kit, the roof would be your best bet, if you're prepared to cut the necessary holes and do away with the hard disk mounts that is.

Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior
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You could then mount a combined pump and reservoir near the PSU. There are options if you're handy with a Dremel, but the Prodigy is king when it comes to mixing mini-ITX and water cooling. That said, using single-fan all-in-one liquid coolers should be simple - the rear fan is located right next to the motherboard.

Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior
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Cable tidying is never easy in small cases, and while the Prodigy has an enlarged PSU cage, the Node 304 doesn't leave you with many options other than cable ties or using one of the drive cages to tuck things away. Other than this, installing hardware isn't too tricky, although due to the extremely close proximity of the motherboard, PSU, graphics card ad hard disk cages, you'll probably need to install things in a certain order, cable tidying as you go, especially if you're be using a long graphics card.

Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior
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Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior Fractal Design Node 304 review Fractal Design Node 304 - Interior
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As you can see, there's plenty of room for tall CPU coolers, although the rear fan and hard disk cages will mean there's not a whole heap of room for wide coolers, especially as you'll probably want to combine the rear fan with those on your own cooler for a wind tunnel effect through the case.