Fractal Design Node 804 Case Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on February 18, 2015 9:00 AM EST
Fractal Design Node 804 Exterior
In terms of appearance, the Node 804 stands true to all that Fractal Design proclaims; it is a minimalistic, simple design, lacking anything that would have the case profanely standing out in a living room. Measuring 307mm × 344mm × 389mm (H×W×D), it has a volume of 0.041m3, which is not among the smallest cases of its league. As we mentioned in the introduction, the Node 804 is externally very similar to the much smaller Node 304 that we reviewed years ago. There currently is only one color variant (black) of the Node 804.
The Node 804 has a straight, clean faceplate with intake vents covering about a quarter of its surface and a left side panel window. The power button and the front I/O ports can be found on the right side of the faceplate, hidden from direct view. There are two USB 3.0 ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks, with the power button in between them. A long, narrow opening can also be noticed across the right side of the front panel; that is for the installation of a slim, slot loading optical drive. The Node 804 has no 5.25" bays, so this is the only option for an optical disk reader. Still, it is an option that most of the cases in this category do not offer at all.
The faceplate can be removed by simply pulling it off, revealing two long filters covering the front air intakes. In what we consider it to be a serious design flaw, the filters can only be removed towards the bottom of the case, not upwards, forcing the user to roll the case on its side or back if it is not near the edge of a desk. The faceplate is also home to two 2.5" drive bays. Yes, that is where Fractal Design placed the slots for SSDs, which fit inside a thin plastic frame formed behind the faceplate. It saves space from the inside of the case and keeps the system a little bit cleaner, but it is not very convenient when it comes to cable management.
The metallic right side panel is completely flat and plain, while the top panel is one huge metallic mesh held on a thick plastic frame. The rear of the case reveals the split compartment design of the chassis, with the motherboard/system on one side and the PSU/disk drives on the other. We can also see a small switch that acts as a basic fan speed controller with three settings (High, Medium and Low). At the bottom of the case are two dust filters covering the bottom intakes of both compartments. The left filter can the removed towards the rear of the case, but the right filter that covers the PSU intake can only be removed by lifting the case and pulling it towards the front.