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.

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle Fractal Design Node 804 Interior
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  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    You made a error under Specs, it does NOT support ATX. Just mini/micro atx.
  • stlouis1 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    I actually built an i7 right with dual GTX 970's in one of these cases for a friend recently. My friend picked the case which I was skeptical about, but although I wouldn't buy it for myself, it's lived up to my expectations of a Fractal Design case, and I admit, it grew on me during the build process. I would recommend it for anyone interested in its aesthetics.
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    12" high seems too tall for an HTPC to fit in most A/V shelving (standard components are 7" or less).

    Thanks for the review; I have the Node 304 (firewall / UTM) and really like it.
  • romrunning - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    In regards to fan filters, how hard is it for mfgs to build in filters for their cases that are externally accessible? They should all be simple pull-outs, with a small tab as your handle to pull them out. I don't want to have to disassemble my case or pull off the front cover just to clean a filter.
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    Not sure why Fractal didn't just go with a pair of standard 4x 3.5" drive cages with trays they use on their larger cases, and mount them to the roof.
  • Biln3 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    This review makes me want to buy 4 cases of coca cola
  • AnnonymousCoward - Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - link

    So uhh, where are the fractals? Just a name I guess.
  • spe1491 - Thursday, February 19, 2015 - link

    I'm interested in this case, but I'm curious about what optical drives would work with it. Doing a quick check on Newegg I don't even see a slim slot loading drive available.
  • neo_1221 - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    It looks like a mini-fridge...
  • piasabird - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    How about putting things in inches if this is an article or a product in the USA? I would consider it a courtesy to the country you are doing business in.

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