Fractal Design Node 304 Black Mini ITX Case $129 + Delivery (Free Pickup) @ Scorptec Computers

910

Been looking for a Mini ITX case for a NAS build that has a lot of drive space (6 drives) for a while and just been waiting for this to go on sale.

PC Case Gear also has it for the same price in case the delivery is cheaper.
The cheapest white version I could find was from JW computers for $134 + Delivery/Free Pickup

Technical specifications

  • Mini ITX, DTX motherboard compatibility
  • 2 expansion slots
  • 6 - supports either 3.5" or 2.5" HHD / SSD
  • ATX PSUs, up to 160mm in length (To fit in combination with a long graphics card, PSUs with modular connectors on the back typically need to be shorter than 160 mm)
  • Graphics cards, up to 310mm in length, when 2 HDD brackets are removed (Graphics cards longer than 170 mm will conflict with PSUs longer than 160mm)
  • Tower CPU coolers, up to 165 mm tall
  • Case dimensions (W x H x D): 250 x 210 x 374 mm
  • Case volume: 19.5 Litres
  • 2x 92mm front fans
  • 1x 140mm rear fan
  • Net weight: 4.9 kg

Fractal Design Page

Related Stores

Scorpion Technology Computers
Scorpion Technology Computers

Comments

  • How is the thermal?

    • I currently use one of these for a 9th gen core i3 NAS build with 4 drive bays occupied and temps are perfectly cool and acceptable for NAS purposes! I'm using a Gammaxx 400 CPU cooler but I swapped out the included fan for an Artic 120mm PWM fan and with a silent fan curve, the NAS operates silently under acceptable temps (max 67 when I peg the CPU to 100% transcoding 4k). I disconnected one of the front 92mm fans because it felt unnecessary to use it, and the 140mm fan and remaining 92mm fan are both operating at 5v so it's inaudible from where I sit (1m away).

      • I like the idea. Instead buying a NAS, you build an ITX box and turn it on when you need it?
        How many HHD can it take? What NAS software do you run on it?

        • Up to 6 Hard drives and I'm currently running OpenMediaVault 5 on my machine. Make sure you find a suitable ITX motherboard that has 6 SATA ports! Also some motherboards might disable one of the SATA ports if you decide to run the operating system on an M.2 SSD like my AsRock H370i. In which case you will only be able to effectively occupy 5 bays instead of 6 due to the disabled SATA port so keep that in mind. You could probably buy a PCI-E to SATA adapter to get additional SATA ports as well if you cannot find an ITX motherboard with 6 SATA ports. I liked the convenience of having all 6 SATA ports on my motherboard when I decided to go with the AsRock H370i.

          You can install OpenMediaVault on something like a USB flash drive so that you can use up all 6 SATA ports on the motherboard if the motherboard you decide to purchase does the same thing where it disables one of the SATA ports. OpenMediaVault is very easy to set up and there are plenty of tutorials and documentation online for help with getting started on it.

        • Check out Amahi for media centre features

      • May I ask how much it costs for the entire setup, excluding labour?

        • At the time when I purchased the parts for my NAS build, the total cost was $700 with shipping costs included.

          This total cost didn't account for the PSU which I had already owned from an older build, which costed $145 when I bought the PSU, or the hard drives themselves to populate the NAS. So if I did not have my PSU on hand, it would have been around $845 with another PSU purchase I guess!

          It would cost less than this if you were to build one now though as I built mine just a couple of months ago during peak COVID. For the cost of the hard drives themselves, it will depend on what you personally want to run in it, but the cost of my baseline system with a 120GB M.2 SSD included is $700 without PSU, or $845 with the PSU model I own (Corsair RM550x).

    • I have this case. Put a 6600K with an Noctua D15 and a couple of quiet fans out the tail. Can't remember the specific temps but the 6600K is steady at the same temps with the case open or closed.

      It's a smart design, making for a little wind tunnel front to back. The RTX 2070 is happy enough as well, though it was slightly quieter when I used onboard graphics and covered the GPU vent.

      • I built this for the wife about 6 years ago with an i5-4690K and Asus Strix GTX980, with the same cooler. I had to remove a fan from it to make it fit due to clashing with either the 140mm case fan i installed at the back, or the power supply in the front. Either way it's still got excellent cooling, I have the NH-D15, a 140mm Rear Fan, and 2x 80mm Front Fan, all Noctua PWM. It's like a wind tunnel in there. :) 6 years now and all's still well.

        I did remove all the included Drive Bays though, it runs off a 256GB m.2 and a 2TB 2.5" Mech drive for storage.

    • I'm running a 2600 // 1660 super // 16gb 3200mhz ram // 650w Corsair RMx // 500gb evo860 // 8tb Ironwolf // 12tb ironwolf, in mine.

      I've currently got 6 people streaming from Plex. 4 direct plays and 2 transcodes(1080p down to 720p- no idea why, but ive given up trying to get people to direct stream lol)

      Current temps - Max temps in the last 4 hours.
      Cpu - 33c - max 41c
      GPU - 28c - Max 30c
      8tb - 34c - Max 35c
      12tb - 31c - Max 31c
      SSD - 32c - Max 33c

  • +5 votes

    Fractal Design Node

    It looks like a very, very, very simple Fractal.

  • +13 votes

    For high performance builds I'd recommend the Nr200p.

    • Definitely agreed. This should just be for people that need the drive bays

      • I just finished my build in the NR200P…everything went fine, just cable management was a bit of a mess, i just ordered cable extensions, hopefully that will fix that problem.
        And i also ordered 2 Noctua slims to give me a bit more room…but i may need more.

        • How is putting more cables into a case solving anything? are the cables not long enough or what?

        • if you're talking about the a12x15 it's very loud if you're using it for exhaust due to turbulent flow. i had ot order one as the power right angle 3 pin plug from the sfx-l psu presses against the top panel.

          i have the nr200p and it's the loudest thing in the case.

          next loudest is the hard drives…

          and yes cable mgmt is a nightmare

          • @Gallifr3y: Definitely agree the top fans can get loud if you let them run wild. I just let them slowly exhaust at around 900rpm.
            The cable management was a joy for me since I came from a Dan Case A4 lol.
            For the PSU I had to move the SFX down to the lower mount to clear the top right fan from hitting cables.
            Great case except the power reset buttons look a little cheap

            • @BuIIy: have it on silent mode/tried manual mode too on my gigabyte mobo + have the LNA on which basically decreases the supplied current. at 998RPM, still loud due to the turbulent air, not the actual fan motor noise.

              yes psu, unfortunately i bought a bequiet sfx-l ages ago and had to move it to the lower slot,

    • Me and all my homies spend weeks trying to acquire a FormD T1

    • My nr200p just arrived pretty keen to get building in it. Not sure but I may have got the last one available in Australia atm i had trouble finding one. When I called them they said they had one in stock. Can't wait to get it built.

      • Where did you order from? Ordered one from Mwave around 20 Sep, meant to be in-stock 5 Oct but they kept pushing it back to sometime in late Nov. I wonder if they're dicking me around because I got free shipping on it or something.

        • Could be bro, I know mwave service has been terrible since covid hit. I got it from skycomp, literally the only place I could find that had stock. Wanted white but they only had black. Everywhere else has estimated restock in like November. Skycomp were very good I got it the next day. To be fair they are about 20mins down the road from me though.

    • +1, great case with proper fan setup.

    • As a nr200 owner i 100% agree.

      • What is the optimal airflow setup with a 280mm radiator ?

        • Radiator fans in pull position into the case from the side intake, 2x intake fans at the bottom for the graphics card and 2x exhaust fans at the top is what I would personally run with a 280mm AIO.

        • I have 240 rad pulling air in, side mounted, two 120 exhaust at the top. Also have 2 thin 120 for the bottom but had issues with them going at full speed if they were on the fan hub, they aren't pwm fans… Def get a mobo with 3 fan headers my x570 has only 2 and one for stupid pcie nvme fan (not usual fan header size connection) lol

          My build isn't done though waiting for the new CPU and gpus.. Just been mucking around with a 3200g and my old r9 270 gpu in the above orientation.

          Only gripe but this is itx standard is cabling will be messy so a massive amount of time needs to be spent on making it neat-ish…

          • @scud70: I just completed my build without any SATA drives and it was relatively easy to route the cabling, with the sleeved power cables that came with the Corsair SF750. It can be more challenging if you have 6 fans but I think it is manageable. I have a very short GPU which helps a lot.

            • @viirgon: Yeh unfortunately the Silverstone sx650 I got doesn't have sleeved cables, I'm more than likely going to use 4 fans and let the gpu sort itself out getting air from bottom of the case. I also have 1 sata ssd and an nvme… Anyway the nr200 hides it all since you can't see into the case…but because I know…it'll just keep bugging me haha

              I'm likely to have a 3070 or amd equivalent so it'll be 'normal' size gpu I guess… Lol

    • Take a look at the new Silverstone sg14. Would take that in a heartbeat over the nr200.

    • Look, I have watched all the videos (probably 20 of them with all the ones from Machines & More), great case, everybody is raving about it, they did a superb job. But what are you guys storing on top of it?

      More to the point, why do you need a small case that does not really take that much less desk space? For me the ITX cases that make sense are the Corsair One / NZXT H1 types, basically the ones that are tall with small footprint on the desk. I am not talking about how much it costs, those cases are hugely more expensive, just the layout.

      This particular case does not make any sense unless you keep it in a cupboard. The NR200 makes more sense at least it looks great, but how much space do you really save compared to an ATX case?

      • I keep it in a cupboard.

      • Nr200 saves me a crap load of space but you have to remember it allows for very powerful pc builds especially if your gaming, it sits only my sound bars subwoofer box (side by side it's smaller)… It is in no way comparable to an ATX.. NZXT h1 would have been my pick if it didn't cost a friking small fortune in Aus and if it was in stock… With a Silverstone 650psu and 240 corsair rad I still saved money and even if u include extra exhaust and bottom intake fans ( although I screwed up with my picks for the bottom intake lol) I'm still not at the $630 price point… To boot you can fit a 3080 in it no problems and no worries over thermals.

        Hands down best itx case I've built in.. Been building itx machines for a good decade now :)

  • Good case, using it for my NAS. Only buy this if you need the 6x 3.5" drives. Otherwise there are better options in terms of total volume.

  • I upgraded my main build to the NR200P, now made an Unraid server with the Node 304 and it has been fantastic.

  • This is my case of choice if I was to upgrade my pi nas… Pretty tempted to do it.

  • Been eyeing this case down but refuse to pay $34 postage.

  • Damn. I don't need this… But i want it. OK. I'll bite. Thanks OP.

  • I had one of these babies once, and kinda out grew it. Nice case though and kinda regret selling it on.

    I used one of these mobo's in it which will definitely give you 6 x sata + m2 slot. You just need some right or left angle sata connectors to be able to use all ports.

    https://www.gigabyte.com/au/Motherboard/GA-Z170N-Gaming-5-re...

    Used to be running with a i5-6500 + gtx1060 running Unraid. (highly recommend that btw)
    I changed over the stock winey intel cooler for a Cryorig M9i, which kept cpu temp much lower, quieter and it fit into this jam packed case

    Plex transcoding was palmed off to the iGPU whilst the 1060 was passed thru to the VM.

    I still have the above hardware sitting around if anyone is interested.

    • I wish I knew about this earlier. I was trying to find that exact mb on ebay and ended up over-paying because I did not take into account the import fees.

      Good to know that I have similar specs and it worked well for you.

    • I second Unraid it is great.

    • Plex transcoding was palmed off to the iGPU whilst the 1060 was passed thru to the VM.

      This is interesting. What was the benefit to passing the 1060 through to the VM?

      Which OS were you running?

      • Win10. You still get near bear metal performance passing thru nvme and gfx card. only thing you sacrifice is cpu cores. hence why i upgraded to a 3700x. But if you you just doing some general surfing, its fine.. check out spaceinvaderone videos on youtube

  • I wish techfast can do builds with this case.

  • Rosman Computers also have the white version for $139 but shipping only was $15 for me, so ends up being cheaper than JW + shipping.

    https://rosmancomputers.com.au/fractal-design-node-304-white...

  • I’ve got this currently with 4 HDDs for about 44TB as a Plex server. Lovely little case

  • Is 6 drives for a NAS really considered a lot? Asking for a friend.

    • Not particularly. I’m personally confused with all the 4 bay NAS’s out there. But then maybe I’m being a bit overzealous with RAID5+1 (or whatever two spares is called).

      I really wanted this case some time ago, but ended up getting an old HP server as the cases were so hard to come by :(

  • Good cases I have the slightly bigger one for my unraid server.

  • Note, the original tray design did not accommodate the newer screw spacings found on higher TB drives these days.

    The design was updated some time ago, but there still may be a chance that you have to buy new racks to accommodate the high TB drives screw spacing.

    More info here,
    https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/6zq0pr/fractal...

    Original design,
    https://www.fractal-design-shop.de/Node-304-HDD-Cage-Black

    Updated (adds 1 extra hole further back, allowing you to secure 3 of the 4 points on newer high TB drives).
    https://www.fractal-design-shop.de/Node-304-HDD-Cage-Upgrade...

  • Have a white one with a 3300x running 3 security cams and 4xHDDs (plex) + m.2. os, replaced my n36l and n54l.

  • What would be the minimum config/parts needed for a NAS + VM/Docker server, not needing transcoding? I've been looking at a NAS like Synology, but like the idea of trying to build my own (though I've never built a PC before).

    • I would say there is a 3rd option, buy an old workstation. They come with 6/8 cores and 12/16 threads, buy one with plenty of ram (they have 8 ram slots so you have plenty of room to add more) and then go nuts with VM/Dockers. There are HP z420/Z620 quite cheap, they can usually hold 3 HDDs to start and you can always just add more in the 3 x 5.25 bays they have. Just take out the coffee holder.

    • The gen 8 hp microservers are pretty great if transcoding isn't an issue. They'll be slower with the stock processor but much smaller, quieter and more efficient than an old workstation, and you can upgrade the processor down the line if needed.

      Asrock also make some nice embedded celeron itx boards, I'm building a nas with the j4105b-itx right now, in fact.

  • This or Inwin A1? thanks.

    Thinking Ryzen R7 3700X + x570 + GTX 2060

    • this one if you need lots of drives

      the inwin if you're just goin for a normal gaming build, but only if you can get it for <$200 or close to.

  • I have enough trouble Installing in big cases cut hands etc.

  • Whats the difference in this and a NAS ?

    • This is just the enclosure you would still need to put in computer parts (i.e motherboard, CPU, drives, etc) into it to make it a NAS. It is literally just a computer case.

    • this is just the case and power supply. nas is a full system. often times nas is built in cases like this as it has support for 6 hdds and itx form form
      factor motherboard (my previous nas also was built in this case).

  • Just got this case used a few weeks ago for a nas build, and noise levels are excellent. Fans basically inaudible on low and medium speed and plenty of airflow.

  • Interested in building…..what are the recommendations for a NAS config?

    • Depends what you want to use it for really. I've recently built a NAS using this case and the Asrock J4105B-ITX with goals of being a fileserver, doing some light self-hosting and having excellent HW accelerated transcoding support, while not using much power and being quiet. I'm just waiting on the drives now but it seems like it will handle those tasks nicely.

      It's pretty equivalent to a 6-bay synology unit (better in some ways), while costing me ~$500 diskless compared to $1200 diskless for the synology. That said I'm doubtless going to end up spending a fair amount of time setting it up compared to a prebuilt system.

  • excellent case. had my nas running from 2013 through 2019 without a hitch. may want to elevate feet if keeping on carpet as there is i take at the bottom.

  • Shame the NODE 804 is not on sale. That is a decent size for a NAS

    • You can use PC Part Picker to track the prices of the node 804. Looks like the lowest was around $160 beginning of 2019 and then $170 beginning of this year. Currently at $180 which is not that much of of a difference but could still wait for deals

      Took a couple of months to follow the prices of the 304.

      • Thanks but most of those are $100+ for delivery.
        I think about $190 - $200 is the lowest I could find

        • Most are $100 for delivery? I think its just newegg because its a US based company. Usually dont trust it to be the cheapest solely because of that.
          But yeah, I didnt account for shipping cause everybody's would be different depending on state. I guess $190 would be around cheapest

    • Depends on your needs I guess, but with the capacity of drives these days 6 bays can give you a huge amount of storage. Even losing some space to parity, I don't see many people needing more than 6x14tb. If you really need the mATX or the extra drives the 804 could be worth it I suppose.

      • I have 4x4tb drives plus 2x6tb purples for nvr.
        Looking forward to replace my old nas as it’s slow (ReadyNAS 104) and add 2 more 4tb’s from the aust post deal and consolidate in the same system as my nvr (BlueIris). Sure I could replace with larger drives but need at least 3 otherwise I feel I waste too much in parity.

        • True, if you already have a bunch of lower capacity drives it makes sense to get more bays.