The Exterior of the Fractal Design Node 202

Physically, the size and design of the Node 202 strongly resembles that of an old school VCR. It is a minimalistic design, made of straight lines and basic geometric shapes. It can be placed both horizontally, using the provided rubber feet, or vertically, using the provided plastic support frame.  Most of the case has been sprayed with a matte black paint that is highly resistant to fingerprints. The lower part of the Node 202 is the one exception to this; it's glossy and highly reflective, and hence will pick up fingerprints.

Measuring 8.2 cm tall, 37.7 cm wide and 33 cm deep (3.25 × 14.85 × 13 in), resulting to a volume of just 10.2 liters, the Node 202 is much smaller than any ITX gaming case that we have previously tested, such as the Cougar QBX (19.9 liters, 95% larger) and the Corsair 250D (28.2 liters, 177% larger).

At first sight, the Node 202 appears to be just another slim HTPC case that forbids the use of full size expansion cards, a design that effectively negates the installation of any high performance video card, making it useless to gamers. That however is not true, as the Node 202 can accommodate a full size video card up to 310 mm long, comfortably over the roughly 280mm average for high-end cards..

The I/O ports can be seen to the left of the simple faceplate. From left to right, we can see two 3.5 mm headphone jacks, two USB 3.0 ports and a rhomboid power button.

The rear of the Node 202 is interesting, as we cannot see a place for the PSU but only a receptacle, hinting that Fractal Design moved the PSU compartment to the front of the case. There are also two white expansion card slot covers. There are no slots for fans and no vents above the motherboard’s I/O panel.

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle The Interior of the Fractal Design Node 202
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  • Murloc - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

  • extide - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link

    I don't think it is a new GPU. That is an nVidia GPU of some sort (see the SLI connector) and it is using a single 6-pin, so I am thinking like a 950 or 960 ish type card. If it weren't for the SLI connector you might think it is an RX 480, but it's not. Also, I have only typically seen a cutout in the PCB for the blower to suck air through both sides like that on nVidia card, not AMD ones.
  • Drumsticks - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Nice review. I have a friend looking for something just like this - as small as possible with the ability to hold a mid range GPU. Might be just what he was looking for. Thermals aren't amazing, but it's mid range so he should be okay.
  • meacupla - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    I would recommend silverstone ML08 or RVZ02 over the node 202.

    approximately the same size, but I think it's a lot easier to build in and a lot easier to maintain.
  • Lonyo - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    I have an ML07. A bit of a nightmare to get everything in, but I had an HD290, 2x2.5" HDDs, optical drive, 3.5" HDD in there. Basically everything it's possible to fit. Plus fans in every fan space (3).
  • meacupla - Thursday, June 9, 2016 - link

    ML08 is a totally different case from ML07/RV01.
    I had the RVZ01 and yeah, it's a nightmare to build in.
    ML08 is a breeze to build in, even for a case of this size.
  • lmcd - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Was gonna say, this sacrifices a lot for a meager 2L of space reduction.
  • sarscott - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Not as good looking as fractal's cases imho.
  • romrunning - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    This review says those two 3.5mm jacks on the front are headphone outputs. Wouldn't that be a headphone output & a mic input?
  • romrunning - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Yet the page 1 chart says it has 1 x headphone & 1 x mic input. So I guess the body text doesn't agree with the chart.

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