Fractal's double-wide Node 804 case can swallow a dozen drives

Fractal Design has added a new microATX case to its stable. Say hello to the Node 804, whose cuboid design splits system components between adjacent cooling chambers. The PSU and hard drives go on the right, while the motherboard and everything else sits on the left. This side-by-side approach gives the Node 804 reasonably large 13.1" x 12.1" x 15.3" dimensions, but I like the overall look. Check it out:

Yeah, I'm a sucker for cases with brushed aluminum front panels. There's more to the Node 804 than its nicely textured face, though. The front panel has plenty of ventilation along the bottom, and there's a slim optical bay tucked along the right edge. Filtered fan intakes? Check.

Inside, the case has room for some serious hardware. The main chamber can accommodate microATX motherboards along with graphics cards up to 12.6" long. It's also wide enough to fit CPU heatsinks up to 6.3" tall.

Three 120-mm fans are included: one up front and two in the rear. Mounting points are provided for three additional front fans and four spinners up top. Fractal also includes a speed controller, but it's limited to three fans. The others can probably be spliced in with splitter cables.

Liquid cooling is an option, of course. 240-mm radiators can squeeze into the front panel of both chambers. The top panel of each zone supports a double-wide radiator, too, though installing one on the right side requires removing the hard drive cages. There are also some limitations associated with running four radiators simultaneously, if you're into that sort of thing.

The dual drive cages are suspended from the top of the case. They're laced with vibration-dampening rubber grommets, and they put drives right in the path of airflow between the front and rear fan emplacements. Each cage can accept four 3.5" hard drives, priming the case for file server duties. The Node 804 also has two separate mounting points for 3.5" or 2.5" drives, plus two more limited to 2.5" units.

Fractal Design says the Node 804 will be available in May for $110. That's pretty affordable, but I'm not crazy about the larger footprint of the double-wide approach. What do you think?

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