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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link

    External USB Bluray drive?
  • Scootiep7 - Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - link

    If you're adding peripherals all you're doing is defeating the purpose of a small, elegant, stand alone box which is what an HTPC should be. One of the main function is to be completely self contained and maintain a look as though it belongs with other media centric items such as an amplifier, AV receiver, etc.
  • AbRASiON - Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - link

    Silverstone SUGO08 - beautiful piece of kit, love mine, very nice looking in the HTPC arena too. I'd say it would classify as "wife proof"
  • Scootiep7 - Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - link

    Definitely a nice and very functional case. But I've never been fond of the "box" style. They don't fit well with some of my other slim AV equipment.
  • Scootiep7 - Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - link

    Oddly enough, I ended up going with an In Win BP671 mini ITX case back in 2012. Took the PSU out and installed a PICO PSU in an enclosure I made from the supplied PSU. Only fan running in the entire case is the PSU heatsink so for all intents and purposes it's silent. Works wonderfully for my kids games and plays all videos (disc or stream) flawlessly. Cheap little thing, but it looks like it belongs with the rest of our AV equipment.
  • YukaKun - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link

    I actually love the concept, but it's a rough execution still. Too bad is miniITX only. I would have loved some mATX support.

    It needs more front USB ports and there is wasted space next to the GPU. I know there's not much room still, but you can fit some cases and all shifting everything a few millimeters.

  • zunido - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link

    Can you make a comparison with the silverstone ftz01?
    Good quality mini itx cases that have an understated (non juvenile) look are a rare breed. I would like to see how they stack up.
    My setup:
  • Madpacket - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link

    Spend the extra on a Silverstone FTZ-01. It's aluminium and radiates heat better than the cheaper Raven models. Plus the FTZ-01 accomdates 2.5" wide cards with no problems. The fractal is limited to 2 slot cards only. I currently have a 4790K + MSI 390 and Raid Strip dual 480GB drives with an SFX-L power supply. A 256GB M.2 SSD fits underneath the AsRock Z97 board. It's a beautiful, functional and sturdy case and the aluminium really separates it from these cheaper designs. Plus you can jam a small CLC water cooler in it if careful. It also supports a slim drive bluray if that's on your list. All dust filters are external and removable for easy cleaning. I stack mine vertically to save desk space.
  • santiagodraco - Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - link

    This is a perfect HTPC case, not sure why this article would suggest otherwise. I've had a half-height case with an optical drive for a couple of years and have not used the drive a single time. Most HTPCs will (or should!) stream media from a media server or DAS/NAS. I can understand that there may be some wanting to play their DVD/Blu-ray discs but I'd be surprised if they aren't already using a separate player for that. Worst case you can use an external drive.

    The big win for this case is being able to use a full height graphics card... makes me consider switching from my Moncaso to this at some point.
  • RodIT - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    Looks like a great case for a Steam box.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now