Author: Bob Buskirk
A Look Inside
Getting inside the Node 304 is rather easy. You remove 4 thumbscrews on the back of the case and pull back on the top panel and it will pop off. It is a single panel (top and two sides), which in the past I have not been a fan of. Mainly because when you go to put it back on it did would not go back on correctly. Once inside the case you can see how everything is laid out.
Your motherboard is going to be installed towards the back of the case and you power supply will occupy the front. There are three removable hard drive cages. Each cage supports two hard drive each, giving you the ability to install up to six hard drives in this case. All of the fans have 3pin connectors, which you can connect to the fan controller on the back of the case. The power connection coming from the back of the case is actually an extension as you will not be able to access the power connection on your power supply once it is installed in the case.
For full set by step hardware installation in the Node 304 check out our video below.
Some quick notes about installation. First Fractal Design does not pre-install the standoffs. Normally this is not a big deal but they did not include a tool to make installation easier either. Instead you have to install them with your hands, which may not work that great. I actually had to use pliers to get all of the standoffs installed correctly.
Once you have your motherboard installed there is actually quite a lot of room. So if you did happen to have a larger tower cooler there may be room for it.
While I was able to install my video card I could not connect power to it because the card itself blocked the modular connections on my power supply. Fractal Design does say that the Node 304 does support normal power supplies 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). So you are going to want to keep that in mind.
Other than those 2 things installation went well and I had my system up and running in no time. Also reinstalling the top cover went without any issues at all.