REVIEW Fractal Design Node 804 Case Review

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by trevor68, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
    First up I would like to thank Lihan from Fractal Design APAC for choosing OCAU to run the competition to review the new Node 804, and also of course for choosing my name as one of the ten reviews to be done. The case arrived via courier in our driveway whilst we were loading the furniture truck to move house, so apologies that this review has been a little while in the making.

    For the people not familiar with Fractal Design, they are a Swedish based company bringing Scandinavian designed products to the PC world.
    Full details for the new Node 804 can be found here.

    It is a dual chamber design Micro-ATX case so basically a cube, and can no doubt serve as HTPC, File Server or even Gaming Station quite comfortably, given it is very much on the large side as far as Micro-ATX cases go.

    First Impressions:

    After unboxing and ripping all the panels off the case, which took about 2 minutes, I really was quite astonished! This case is a monster, and would put some dedicated gaming cases to shame. it can hold up to 12 hard drives comfortably, and if you wanted to build a jet turbine you can with 10 fan positions provided as well. There are also 5 possible locations for 240/280mm Radiators.

    The finish of the case is really quite beautiful, with the aluminium front panel, full mesh top cover, and included window, it really does look very stylish. The front panel pops off easily and can hold 2xSSD's and also a slimline DVD player. The top cover is plastic, fits well and has an all mesh insert holding a foam dust filter in place. Speaking of dust filters, there are 2 on the front, and 2 underneath as well, and those are quite easily just slid out for cleaning.

    In fact the attention to details is really good, things like 8 included rubber grommets for mounting hard drives to the floor of the case, and the included three fan controller with 3 speed settings are great touches, especially seeing a lot of smaller motherboards have limited fan headers.

    Overall I could not wait to rip into the build, and see what this case could provide. The design brief for this build is basically my Wifes first ever new PC, as she has always just inherited my hand me downs in the past. So a general duties PC, with the ability to game as well.

    Parts Used:

    New Parts purchased for the build included

    Intel i5 4690K
    Asrock Z97 Pro4
    Transcend SSD370 256G
    GSkill Sniper 8G Kit(4Gx2) DDR3 2133
    Coolermaster Nepton 140XL AIO Cooler

    Parts I had lying about included

    Sapphire Radeon R290
    Antec Tru Power 650W PSU
    Hitachi 320G 3.5 Drive

    The Build:

    My initial plan was to mount the 140mm radiator to the top of the case, exhausting heat through the roof. This was however thwarted by Coolermaster using massive heads on the mounting screws, almost like allen key heads. These prevented the top cover from clipping back on, so that plan was abandoned.
    At this point I realised I could use a 120mm fan on the radiator to mount it to the front of the case as an intake, and thats where it ended up, as the fixed length hoses just neatly reached through the central divider, over the RAM and onto the CPU. I then removed the included fan from the rear of the PSU Bay and utlised it in front of the GPU, replacing it with the spare Coolermaster JetFlo Fan.

    As a side note, those JetFlo fans were insanely noisy, but that was fixed by setting the BIOS settings to SILENT, ah, peace returned! Next in went the Antec TruPower 650W PSU and that was the PSU bay completed, after using the included straps to tie down a few cables.

    The Asrock Z97 Pro4 fit beautifully after fitting the included M/B Standoffs. The case can also take a Mini-ITX board, but really why would you with this much room. Fitting the Transcend SSD370 and Hitachi Hard Drive to the floor of the case was a snap with the included screws and grommets, thereby leaving room for another six hard drives, even with the radiator removing one Hard Drive cage. I was concerned about fitting the Radeon R290 given I had just put a fan in front of it, but should not have been as there was plenty of room to spare.

    Everything looks pretty neat in the M/B Bay now, and I especially like the white highlights provided by the 3 included 120mm fans, and also the white PCI-e slot covers. Still on the black and white theme, the white HDD led under the bottom right hand corner of the case shines directly down onto your desk and looks way cool too.

    At this point the build was pretty much complete, I just tidied up a few cables and installed Win7 Pro 64bit from a borrowed DVD drive, as I was too lazy to setup a USB stick for the install. I have to say that if Coolermaster had supplied normal screws for the 140XL, then this build would have actually taken next to no time at all.
    Everything fit, everything just worked, and the finish, plus included fittings and fans were perfect. In fact with the fan controller set on low, this case is near silent, even with six fans running under high load.

    The CPU runs Folding@Home for OCAU team under boky's name, and the 140XL does a mighty job of holding the temps around 65 degrees, but is actually the noisiest part of the case, as this load ramps the pump speed up a bit. By no means actually noisy, but turn off Folding and the case becomes dead silent, so you can tell its working hard, just. My wife doesn't notice its on at all sitting right next to her, maybe I'm just attuned to PC noises.


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Conclusion:

    The Node 804 is by far the most stylish, and well thought out case I have ever had the pleasure of working with. The included extras of 3 fans and a fan controller make perfect sense for a Micro-ATX case and also work well.

    To be honest I am really struggling to think of anything that needs improvement, except maybe for the fact that you can only use both 140mm fan slots or none in the roof of the PSU Bay due to the Hard Drive cage rails all being double sided and blocking the fan holes unless you remove them all. A minor quibble really, you could either cut the end ones into single sided, or just use the front mount as I did.

    If you are after a cool Micro-ATX case with loads of room, and have the space (it really is quite large) then I have to say it would be well worth considering the Node 804, even at its $160AUD price tag, as its the super deluxe version of Micro-ATX!
     
  2. AmB

    AmB Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,859
    Location:
    ZZ9PluralZAlpha
    nice review Trev, and congrats to Mrs. Trev on her new PC:D
     
  3. OP
    OP
    trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
    All I have to say about that is thank god my PC just nudged over the line as slightly higher scoring in 3DMark, or I never would have heard the end of it! :p
     
  4. Lihan

    Lihan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    30
    Thank you~~Trevor ;)
    This is amazing!
    Hope you enjoy the NODE 804 and all Fractal Design's products.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
    No, thank you, my wife loves it, and you know what they say about happy wife. :thumbup:
     
  6. t8y

    t8y Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    4,199
    Location:
    SA, 5011
    was gonna comment about the fan setup on the HDD/PSU/Rad side of the case all apparently being set up for blowing air out of the case, but then noticed the top grille there is meshed. so i guess that probably works fine :)

    though negative air pressure will bring in the dust bunnies
     
  7. OP
    OP
    trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
    Well there is 3x120mm intakes on the front, and 1x120mm + 1x140mm on the rear exhausting, so not too sure if its negative or not TBH.

    I can say that after a few weeks use the 3" of grille across the bottom front of the case is definitely sucking up dust bunnies though, even sitting on top of her desk. :lol:

    The top of the case is still as clean as new, so I'm going with it must be slightly positive. :thumbup:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
    I thought I should revisit this now the rig is watercooled.

    Gear used

    XSPC Raystorm
    EK 280mm Rad
    Alphacool LightTower
    Phobya DC-260 pump.

    First up the EK280 only "just" fit, fairly neatly, but I had to leave one screw out in the back rear corner as that hole did not line up. Be very cautious with your measurements if you plan on a 280 in this case!
    The other 280 I have seen used is the XSPC 45mm, be aware with any 280 the hoses can ONLY go at the front.

    All fittings are Barrow except the 2x 90 degree swivels from XSPC, thank god they are small as the pump and res just fit pretty snugly.

    Eventually I will add one of my R290's to this loop, and if the 280 is insufficient, I will add another EK 240 on the top main chamber.

    All up pretty pleased with how it turned out for a little case, here's some pics.


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!
     
  9. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    8,188
    Location:
    Cheltenham East 3192
    I used a 280mm Alphacool XT45 in my build. It fit pretty well, but agreed that although some configurations are possible, they are very much dependent on which hardware you choose. Measure first, order components second :lol:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
  11. OP
    OP
    trevor68

    trevor68 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    4,260
    Location:
    Canberra
  12. necron66

    necron66 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Sydney
    Have one of these for my HTPC. It sits under my TV in the entertainment unit, and jsut hides in so well, with it's unobtrusive design. If it was a little bigger I would use for my main case, as I really love it.

    Nice review, and nice to see the water cooling in them.:thumbup:
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: