Fractal Design Node 804 Interior

For aesthetic purposes, Fractal Design enriched the black interior of the Node 804 with white accents. The blades of the cooling fans, the five expansion slot covers, and the HDD drive cages are glossy white, creating a striking but clean contrast with the rest of the case.

The motherboard tray can hold up to Micro-ATX motherboards. Instead of multiple small holes, the motherboard tray has just two openings – a massive opening behind the motherboard for the seamless installation of coolers and another to the right for the cables. Note however that the HDD cages will most likely need to be removed in order to reach the back of a motherboard for the installation of a cooler. The vents at the bottom of the left compartment cannot be used for the installation of fans, but two 2.5"/3.5" drives can be secured there using decoupling rubber rings.

The right compartment of the Node 804 is clean and straightforward, with a slot for the PSU at the lower right corner and two cages for up to eight 3.5" drives. The two white drive cages at the top of the cage are removable and can hold up to four 3.5" drives each. Decoupling rubber rings are used at every screw hole to minimize noisy vibrations. 2.5" devices cannot be installed on those two drive cages (without an adapter), limiting the SSD installation options to either the faceplate or the bottom of the left compartment. We should note that 3.5" drives are installed vertically, which makes cable management a little bit difficult, especially with the right cage that brings the drives very close to the PSU.

Vents, vents and more vents. No matter where you look, almost 85% of the whole chassis' exterior surfaces are vents. There are three 120mm fans in the Node 804, with slots for several more if necessary. Fractal Design also boasts that the Node 804 can hold up to four liquid cooling radiators simultaneously; what kind of systems exactly they assumed that would be installed in this case, we cannot imagine. There is a catch though – there are limitations on what radiators can fit and something needs to be sacrificed for each one of them.

For example, 280mm radiators can only fit at the top of the right chamber, but that requires the removal of the HDD cages. If that happens, only one HDD cage can be relocated to the bottom of the compartment and secured using the straps that normally are for cable management. At the top of the left compartment, only 240mm radiators will fit and they will also limit the height of memory modules to 48mm (and removing/installing RAM will require the removal of the radiator). Installing radiators at the front of the chassis limits the length of the expansion cards and prevents the installation of fans at the first slot of the top panel.

Black cables and parts are easily hidden inside an all-black chassis; therefore, for visual clarity, we are using an AX760i PSU with a red cable pack and white SATA cables for our pictures. Building a system inside the Fractal Design Node 804 is a fairly easy – as long as the system is relatively simple, without too many components. The addition of liquid coolers, too many drives ,and/or dual GPU setups could easily cause a stressful mess of things inside such a small case. Most of the time required to build a system should be for the routing of the cables. There are no sharp and or dangerous points about the Fractal Design Node 804 that we could locate during our experience with it.

As exhibited in the pictures of our test build, all of the cables are routed through the opening near the front of the case. This calls for a bit more careful planning regarding the cables near the bottom of the motherboard, but a few cable ties and patience can work marvels. The CPU 12V cable can go through a small opening at the top left side of the motherboard tray. Graphics cards up to 320mm can fit but cards longer than 280mm will partially block the opening for the cables and restrict the installation of an additional intake fan. Also, remember that CPU coolers taller than 160mm will not fit – and that is just about every top performance air cooler available today.

Fractal Design Node 804 Exterior Testing and Results
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  • Samus - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    I tried to sell a bookcase on craigslist awhile back, and all people commented on/emailed about was how big my Maine Coon was (she was intended to be used for scale, but after what happened, that backfired in making the bookcase look tiny)
  • just4U - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    (GRIN) thanks for sharing Samus,

    My girlfriend and I also have one. Great cats!
  • Murloc - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    my maine coon is quite small. But she ticks all the other maine coon boxes.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    Except coke cans vary in size based on region. Especially regions that use metric units.
  • E.Fyll - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    That's true; the cans in the US are 355ml (12oz) while most of Europe and Asia is using 330ml (11.2oz) cans. The one pictured is a 330ml can.

    The difference however is small, it is just 0.54cm shorter and 0.15cm narrower than its US variant.

    It is not easy to find something readily available to everyone globally to use as a scale. And I'm allergic to kittens too.
  • romrunning - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    Love having the Coke can there - it's really easy to see at a glance the relative size of the case.
  • barleyguy - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    The caption below the picture says it's a 12 oz can. If it's a 330 ml one, the caption is wrong.
  • Murloc - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    what about a BIC pen?
  • CaedenV - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    Ya, it is nearly impossible to find something that could be used for scale. It would be great if we had international bodies dedicated to making measurement instruments that we could use to compare things. Maybe we should start such an organization and make a set of 'rules', and then we could make a measurement tool called a 'ruler' so that we no longer have to deal with regional differences. Heck, we could even make these 'rulers' things with multiple comparative standards on the same device to help multiple audiences make good understandable comparisons.

    We have some smart people in this community. Somebody get on that!
  • Kjella - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - link

    We've tried that:

    Do you see one country who just *has* to be different?

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