We are glad to see that the small form factor is increasing in popularity and we have more and more options in this regard.
Today we have a very interesting micro ATX case from Fractal Design – The Node 804.

First, about Fractal Design.


A Swedish company founded in Göteborg, Sweden in 2007.
They take pride in creating products with a minimalistic, elegant and simple design, with influences from Scandinavian elements, embracing the motto ‘less is more’.

Price when reviewed : £ 75Via

Fractal Design Node 804 Case for Computer – Black




It’s impressive on paper, a lot of hardware support and versatility, clever design and good features.

Key features

  • Highly effective dual chamber case layout for best possible cooling.
  • Minimalistic design with an elegant brushed aluminum front panel
  • Unique hard drive mounting system, fitting up to 8 x 3.5″, 4 x 2.5” or up to 10 x 3.5”, 2 x 2.5″ drives HDD/SSD
  • Three Fractal Design Silent Series R2 fans included with the case and space for an additional 7 fans.
  • Excellent water cooling support with space for up to 4 radiators simultaneously.
  • All intakes feature removable dust filters providing a dust-free interior.
  • Featuring a window side panel to show off your set up in style.
  • Additional space in the front to mount a slim slot-in ODD, optical bay drive, and 2 x 2.5″ drives.
  • Fan controller included.
  • Five expansion slots that allows for multiple GPU setups.


  • Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
  • 8 – 3.5″ HDD positions
  • 2 – 2.5″ dedicated SSD unit positions
  • 2 – Extra positions for either 3,5″ or 2,5″ drives
  • 5 expansion slots
  • 1 additional space in the front for Slot-In ODD
  • 10 – Fan positions (3 x 120mm Silent Series R2 fans included)
  • Filtered fan slots in front, top and bottom
  • CPU coolers up to 160 mm in height
  • PSU compatibility: ATX PSUs up to 260 mm deep
  • Graphics card compatibility: Graphics cards up to 320mm in length. Graphics cards up to 290 mm in length may be installed if a fan is installed in the lower position in the front.
  • Velcro strap for easy cable management
  • Clear Window side panel included
  • Colors available: Black
  • Case dimensions (WxHxD): 344 x 307 x 389 mm
  • Net weight: 6 kg
  • Package dimensions (WxHxD): 370 x 468 x 412 mm
  • Package weight: 7.7kg

Cooling system

  • Front: 4 – 120mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 120mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Rear: 1 – 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 120mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Rear: 1 – 120mm fan slots (included is 1 hydraulic bearing 120mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Top: 4 – 120x140mm fans (not included)
  • Fan controller: 1 – Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included)

Water cooling compatibility

  • Front (right chamber) – 240 mm radiator configurations up to 60 mm thick (with fans) and 278 mm tall are allowed.
  • Front (left chamber) – 240 mm radiator configurations up to 60 mm thick (with fans) and 278 mm tall are allowed. Using a radiator in this position prevents the use of a fan in the top position just next to it.
  • Top (right chamber) – 240/280 mm radiators up to 130mm thick (with fans) may be fitted if the HDD drive bays are taken out or placed elsewhere. No limitation to thickness.
  • Top (left chamber) – 240 mm radiator configurations up to 130 mm thick (with fans) will fit. Radiators in this position limits the height of memory modules to 48 mm tall.
  • Maximum radiator configuration: 1x240mm,1x280mm and 2x120mm radiators simultaneously.

Front interface

  • 2 – USB 3.0
  • Audio in/out
  • Power button with LED (blue)
  • HDD activity LED (white)

Package contents

  • Node 804 computer case
  • Accessory box
  • User manual

Additional information

  • EAN/GTIN-13: 7350041082019
  • UPC: 817301012010
  • Product code: FD-CA-NODE-804-BL-W
  • Available for System Integrators




Self explanatory details on the box.


Well protected inside via two large polyurethane foam spacers and a plastic cover




Visual examination


First we see a minimalist brushed aluminium front panel with a small logo and LED in the corner and the mesh section below it.
And the clear windowed side panel protected with a clear plastic film on both sides.


From the top, mesh all-around.


The side of the front panel has a shielded opening for slot-loaded slimline optical drives and the usual setup audio dual USB 3.0 and power button, but no reset switch.


To the back we see 5 video cards expansion slots, the PSU cutout (with dust filter), included R2 120 mm fans and the fan control switch with 3 options.




And underneath there are big rubberized feet mounts that ensures the case is very stable … and more dust filters.
So we can conclude that it’s a “fortress” regarding the “war” on dust, on all sides it’s protected by a small army of removable dust filters. Very nice.


Let’s open her up.

All panels are secured via thumb screws.
The top one (also with a filter) slides off to the back.


Inside we see the included 3x R2 120 mm fans – 2 at the back and 1 at the front, after we remove the front panel.
Speaking of, we see the 2x SDD support and 1 optical drive.



And behold the clever design employed – the dual chambered case.
Motherboard (mATX and miTX support), CPU cooler up to 160 mm in height and video cards (up to 320 mm) are in the main side and on the other side we have the PSU (up to 260 mm), support for a lot of 3.5″ drives and cable management with Velcro straps.
Good positioned cable holes.



Continuing, here are the SATA powered fan controller and support for the 3x include 3 pin fans.



And the usual HDD LED, Power LED+, Power LED-, Reset SW, Power SW connecter, USB 3.0 and audio plugs.
All are long, black and quite flexible, excellent for better wire management.


Finally, the accessory box.
– 1x metal adapter for mounting a slim DVD Writer
– 5x black zip ties
– 8x rubber grommets for mounting the HDDs
– 1x screw for easier installation of the motherboard standoffs
– Various screws for mounting the system.


Safe to conclude so far that with this clever design it will result in a good ventilation, great liquid cooling support (up to 4 simultaneous radiators installed of different sizes) and very good cable management.
Definitely an all around win.


The Build


Hardware used:

Processor: Intel E8400
CPU Cooling: Cooler Master Silent
Motherboard: MicroATX Foxconn G31MXP-K
Video card: MSI N9800 GX2 – 10.5″ long
Memory: 1 GB Crucial DDR2 667 MHz
HDD: WD 3.5″ 640 AKKS
SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 500W We installed a non modular ATX PSU specifically to test the wire management capabilities


Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
MSI Control Center v2.5.06
Crysis 1 – 20 minutes gameplay session

First, in goes the motherboard.


Then our non modular 140 mm long ATX PSU.


The HDDs use this sliding bracket where they ‘hang out to dry’ and are secured via the included screws and anti-vibration rubber grommets.



All the cables reached perfectly with help from strategically cut outs, for example here, with the 4/8 pin 12V for the motherboard.



In the PSU ‘room’ we secured the unused cables via the supplied 2x Velcro straps.
Take your time and the end the result will be very good.
Don’t forget that most of today’s users have a modular power supply, so things will be even better regarding WM.


In the main room, our 10.5″ long MSI 9800 GX2 video card had no fitment issues and with a lot of space to spare, for example for a radiator.


From the top we can see that there is no problem installing a video card with extra tall aftermarket cooling.


You can mount up to 2x SSD in the front panel and/or 2 more on the bottom, in the ‘main’ chamber.


And the finished build.









Sound output

We tested the sound output of the fans with our sound meter – Pyle PSPL01 – positioned 1 meter from the case (+/- 2-3 % margin for error and with ambient noise level of 25-30 dB/A.)

Low – < 25 dB/A
Medium – 29 dB/A
High – 38 dB/A

The results are good, only on high you may hear it depending on how close you keep the case but usually they are muffled by other sounds in the case.

Cooling performance

Using only the 3x stock included fans, with our testing components, this is what we got in idle and in a 20 minute gaming session in Crysis 1.


We didn’t measure the sound output here because of the GX2 which is as load as a jet airplane and that’s why we measured the fans separately for that.
To mention that a GX2 is old tech and they are hot no matter what, although if the stock fans influenced by a few degrees, then if you fill up the case, you can still keep things under control even with a power hungry and hot video card.
We can affirm that there shouldn’t be any problems cooling anything that you put in this case.



The good

– excellent build quality
– plethora of hardware capability from HDDs, liquid cooling and fans – versatility that can be compared to full tower cases
– leg room for high end components, both in performance and in size
– included fan controlled switch and 3x 120 mm fans
– no shortage of included dust filters
– great minimalistic and elegant design with nice assorted color scheme (black and white)
– good price compared to its direct rivals like the Corsair Carbide Air 240, but here you get much more options and versatility for the extra money

The bad

– maybe subjective, too wide to use on a table near you but that’s a matter of personal preference.


Many thanks to Fractal Design for sending us this sample !


Globetrotters “Great Design and Features” Award – 5 out of 5


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