Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Style Case

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Fractal Design Node 605:

March 7, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Fractal Design Node 605
microATX Case
Manufacturer
Street Price
US$150

Since bursting onto the scene three years ago, Fractal Design has primarily focused on improving the vertical tower style case design used by the majority of PC enthusiasts. The Core and Arc are fairly popular amongst noise conscious users but the Define series remains their most well-known, their bread and butter, having gone through several iterations over the years in the quest for perfection.

The Node line hopes to translate their previous success into smaller, more niche form factors. The Node 304 is a Shuttle-style mini-ITX breadbox while the Node 605 we're looking at today is Fractal's take on the classic desktop media center. It's a case type that's been around for a long time but every model we've encountered has been lacking in one way or another. It will be interesting to see what Swedish engineering can do for the genre.

Fractal Design Node 605: Product Details
(from the product web page)
Key Features
Solid aluminum front panel
Supports full ATX motherboards
Noise-dampening material
4 HDD/SSD slots
Integrated card reader
Two Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans included
Supports graphic cards up to 280mm in length (180mm with all hard drives in place)
USB 3.0 and FireWire front connectors
Technical specifications
ATX, microATX, Mini ITX, DTX motherboard compatibility
7 expansion slots
4 - supports either 2.5" or 3.5" HDD / SSD
1 slim-line ODD (only supported with mATX or smaller motherboards)
PSU compatibility: 180 mm (including any modular connectors) with both hard drive cages mounted or 190 mm (excluding cables and any modular connectors) with one hard drive cage mounted
CPU cooler compatibility: Approx 125mm with side-mounted fans - For coolers with top-mounted fans, Fractal Design recommends that you add at least 30 mm clearance for decent airflow
Case dimensions (W x H x D): 445 x 164 x 349 mm (excluding front panel - 440 x 162 x 341 mm)
Net weight: 6,0 kg
Cooling / ventilation
ATX, microATX, Mini ITX, DTX motherboard compatibility
5 (3 - 120mm + 2 - 80mm)
2 – 120mm Silent Series R2 fans included
Removable air filters for side fans and PSU
Integrated three-channel fan controller
Graphics card compatibility
180 mm with both hard drive cages mounted
255 mm with one hard drive cage mounted
290 mm in the top two ATX expansion card slots with two hard drive cages mounted
280 mm in the top four ATX expansion card slots with one hard drive cage mounted, containing one 3.5" HDD and one 2.5" SSD
Front interface
2 - USB 3.0
1 - FireWire (IEEE 1394)
1 - 3.5mm audio in (microphone)
1 - 3.5mm audio out (headphone)
Power button with LED
HDD LED

The Node 605 weighs 6.0 kg or 13.2 lb and measures 44.5 x 16.4 x 34.9 cm or 17.5 x 6.5 x 13.7 inches (W x H x D). Its footprint wouldn't be out of place in a typical home theater cabinet but it is rather tall, equivalent to 2 or 3 cable/satellite receivers or Blu-ray/DVD players stacked on top of one another. The 605 is an ATX case but with a total case volume of only 25.5 liters, it's quite compact. It's even a bit undersized compared to a typical microATX tower.


The Node 605.

The boxy shape and brush aluminum face is reminiscent of SilverStone's Grandia series though the exterior has a more attractive design, taking minimalism to heart even further. A discrete flap at the bottom hides the front ports and optical drive bay; when closed, the only things visible on the bezel are the power button/LED and the pleasing Fractal branding underneath. 120 mm fan grills are found on either side, two on the right and one on the left, while the top of the enclosure is completely featureless. Usually some form of ventilation is found on the case ceiling with this type of chassis.


Accessories.

The accessory box contains the usual assortment of zip-ties, screws, and standoffs, as well as mounting brackets for the slim optical drive bay. The user manual is surprisingly brief, only listing all the contents and a diagram of how it all goes together with no extraneous descriptions or notes. It's a far cry from the manual from the recently reviewed Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 which had full-sized color pictures and text espousing the benefit of each and every feature and design element.



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