Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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aurania
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Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by aurania » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:01 pm

Here's some new offerings from Fractal Design that debuted at Computex:

Node 304 Mini-ITX

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Node 605 ATX

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Full gallery and write-up is available at Anandtech. The Node 304 looks interesting but I'm not sure what the point is of the Node 605. How many TV stands or entertainment centers can accommodate a full height ATX case? The microATX Antec Veris Fusion barely fit in the last two IKEA TV stands I've had.

sp0n
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by sp0n » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:58 am

I am chomping at the bit to get this case, so I emailed Fractal Designs about availability and got this response:
Fractal Design wrote: The Node 304 should be available in the US at the end of September (MSRP $89.99) and the Node 605 will be available in October (MSRP $159.99). Both will be found at Newegg, NCIX.us, and Micro Center. Should you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call or email.
The Node 304 looks very sweet. Its exactly what I want in a HTPC ITX enclosure: Rear mounted 120mm, tall heatsink support (without being too tall for a TV stand), support for lots of harddrives, Full length video card support (for future upgrade path), unobtrusive support for ATX PSU (I will use a PicoPSU and I don't like the huge hole in cases designated for the PSU), and a clean look.

Downsides:
- No optical drive support, but I do not use one on my HTPC/Fileserver - 1 BDRom on my main rig does all the optical ripping for all of my devices.

- 2x92mm fans in the front may not be noisy. Luckily there is a fan controller, but I don't think I will even need the fans.

JazzJackRabbit
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by JazzJackRabbit » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:20 pm

To every man his own. I would like to get a nice looking full atx HTPC case. I like not being restricted to microatx form factor, being able to fit full atx motherboard is a plus to me. That way I can just reuse my main computer by putting it inside HTPC every time I upgrade. It also gives more space to full length video cards if I ever would like to play games on big screen, etc. Not to mention bigger case means bigger fans and less noise. Currently GD08 looks like best design. I like 605, but that "fractal design" logo up front is just too ugly, I won't be buying this case because of the stupid badge alone. Stupid is stupid.

mkk
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by mkk » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:41 pm

Fortunately that big logo was revised after Computex.
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Unfortunately I don't think that full-ATX HTPC cases are going to surge on the market. Then of course there is the Node 304 as well. Personally I'd have liked a white version, without Alu for the front if necessary. Also, SFX formfactor PSU's are getting better and performance graphics card consumptions have dropped. A little Node 203 for christmas 2013 perhaps? ;)

JazzJackRabbit
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by JazzJackRabbit » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:49 am

Good to see they dropped the ugly logo. I did read the full specs and it looks like it's going to be more expensive than GD08 and won't fit optical drives. Yes, I know optical drives are dying out, but they are still useful to have. So I guess GD08 it is for me. I don't really like "angle bracket" front face on GD08, I would have preferred to have it straight, but unfortunately I don't think there is full atx htpc case that has "straight front door", can fit optical drive, has hard drive damping, and has good airflow design with 120mm fans...

bluehat
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by bluehat » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:21 am

aurania wrote:The Node 304 looks interesting but I'm not sure what the point is of the Node 605. How many TV stands or entertainment centers can accommodate a full height ATX case?
Node 605 looks good and it fits perfectly to my Yamaha YTS-F500 tv stand. Depth only 349 mm. Most htpc cases suitable for gaming, like silverstone grandia, lian li pc-c60, hfx classic etc. are 43-45 cm depth and would extrude a few cm.

SST Guy
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by SST Guy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:35 pm

bluehat wrote:
aurania wrote:The Node 304 looks interesting but I'm not sure what the point is of the Node 605. How many TV stands or entertainment centers can accommodate a full height ATX case?
Node 605 looks good and it fits perfectly to my Yamaha YTS-F500 tv stand. Depth only 349 mm. Most htpc cases suitable for gaming, like silverstone grandia, lian li pc-c60, hfx classic etc. are 43-45 cm depth and would extrude a few cm.
Actually the Grandia GD04, GD05, and GD06 have depth of 323mm, 325mm, and 340mm respectively!

bluehat
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by bluehat » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:46 am

SST Guy wrote: Actually the Grandia GD04, GD05, and GD06 have depth of 323mm, 325mm, and 340mm respectively!
Node 605 can house existing hardware, like 180mm modular PSU, full ATX mb, 260mm graphics card + power connectors and 2 HDDs, even it is so small, only 349mm. Those smaller grandias and lian li cases can't fit such hardware and are good only if you are building a completely new matx or itx based system with a new psu.

bluehat
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Re: Fractal Design Node Series HTPC Enclosures

Post by bluehat » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:09 am

Yesterday I finally got the Node 605 case, it took 2 weeks to deliver. It looks very good on Yamaha floorstand, and fits perfectly. There is 170mm space under the dark glass plate (with 2cm thick steel frames) and case depth with cables installed is also perfect.

Also ordered Noctua SE14 low profile cooler and 3 x Gentle Typhoon 800 fans (for cooler, and 2 case fans). Fans and cooler already arrived 2 weeks ago. 605 has plenty of space for cpu cooling, and 14cm fans and low profile coolers fit well when all side fans are installed. For optical drive I use old usb DVD drive, which is needed maybe once per year. Generally I haven't needed ODD's since 2006. 605 has both usb2 and usb3 connectors for front panel ports, so usb2 mb's and devices also work.

8 mm thick aluminum front panel and heavy dampened top cover dampen hdd noise, gpu fans and asus mb buzz quite well. Now my PSU fan (Super Flower Platinum 550W, eu version of lzp-550) is clearly the noisiest component, and GT fans at 7V are much quieter. High pressure case fans are needed for this small and crowded case, and 7V GT:s are giving very good airflow. I didn't even try fractal or noctua fans on this case.
I also blocked back ventilation holes with tape, so that all fresh air enters from the left side and goes mostly directly to the GPU. No intake fan, and right side case fans are exhausting only hot air. Graphics card (asus 7850 at 1050MHz, fan speed always minimum 10% also at stress) is now 5C cooler, reached only 65C at stress, compared to my previous case (mid-tower Fractal), but CPU is 7-8 C warmer.

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