Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case Review

Fractal Node 605 Exterior

Fractal Design Node 605 Exterior Front Closed

From the outside, the Node 605 is exactly what we've come to expect from Fractal design, but at the same time it isn't.  Of the sixteen odd cases in Fractal Designe's line, the Node 605 is the only one specificaly designed for use as a home theater PC.  What really sets this case apart from the rest of the is not only its compact stature but most notably, the pièce de résistance (highlight), the monolithic front panel.  Made from an eight millimeter thick billet of anodized aluminium which, after given a brushed finish, was colored black giving the void-like front panel the ability to catch and hold light, but not reflect it.  With the only splash of color on front panel coming from the blue backlight on the power button, while gazing at the front panel one can't help but contemplate the course of human's evolution.  Either that or how many cans could be made from that much aluminium...


Fractal Design Node 605 Fan Control Switch  Fractal Design Node 605 Exterior Front Open


We often go into detail on the small details that make or break and experience, and Fractal has gone over the Node 605 with a fine-toothed comb.  To ensure no unsightly fingerprints find their way onto the super-clean landscape of the front panel, notches have been added to the panel on either side to cleanly lower the front I/O cover.

Since the I/O panel was relief-cut into the aluminium block, it fits and looks fantastic, and not to mention it contains all manners of ports to make for a versatile media machine.  The standard front I/O panel comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm microphone and headset ports, a compact flash / SD /microSD reader, and, for the times when you want to stream video from a camera, a FireWire port.  Finally, there is a space for an optional slim optical drive on the left side of the panel, which will be discussed in more detail later. 

Fractal Design Node 605 Exterior Sides  Fractal Design Node 605 Exterior Rear

Since the Node 605 was designed to be part on an entertainment set, all of the fan grills are located on the sides and the back, out of sight and out of mind.  The three, side-facing 120mm grills and the PSU intake have removable dust filters, especially important in any system that resides in a cabinet or near the floor. Two Silent Series R2 fans come pre-mounted and are wired to a three speed fan control switch located on the the rights side of the case immediately behind the front panel.


 Fractal Design Node 605 Expansion Slot Cover Closed  Fractal Design Node 605 Expansion Slot Cover Open

To keep the case as compact as possible, all of the expansion port covers are accessible from the exterior of the Node 605, just like a case laying on its side.  To conceal the ends of PCI cards and any remaining expansion slot covers a hinged plate flips up and is held in place with a single philips head screw, shutting out anything that might appear unsightly (even if it isn't visible).

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