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Fractal Design Node 202 with Integra SFX PSU Mini-ITX Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Small Form Factor Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 1, 2016 1:17 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Fractal Design

Case Build & Finished Product

 

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After placing the motherboard and drives into the chassis, the manual shows that the expansion slots and part of the center support needs to be removed to address the GPU installation. Just three screws and a bit of wiggling allowed for this brace to come free of the chassis.

 

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At this point, you need to grab the riser cards. Screw the larger one to the steel via the standoffs, and once that is secured, you plug the smaller riser into the other side.

 

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You then remove the expansion slot covers, install the card to the riser, and secure the video card with screws where the slot covers used to reside. It is at this point that you may install this as one unit, back into the Node 202.

 

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With wire tie points near the PSU and along the outer edge, keeping the wiring tidy and free of the CPU is easy to do. This chassis is designed for stock coolers, but any down-flow style cooler that is less than 56mm tall should suffice as well.

 

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Part of why PSU length can come into play is that the Node 202 has tie points, and with the Integra SFX 450W PSU, we are left with a handy space to bundle what extra wiring we did have to deal with. We also found no issue removing the drive cage, nor getting our SSD installed into it.

 

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While we have said many times that the longer GPUs will fit, all of our choices have custom coolers and were slightly too long, and is why we opted for the MSI in this chassis. It is easy to ascertain that we found plenty of room for power connectivity, but with cards powered on the end, it may be a bit tricky.

 

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After snapping the metal frame back into the lower section, being mindful of the front I/O connectivity while doing so, and then replacing the top cover, we are back to where this review started. A low-slung, understated, yet sleek chassis which can house a ton of power.

 

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Fitting a dust shield is easy enough, and since the GPU installs from the top, there were no issues with it aligning in the back of the chassis. At this point, we just need to power up the Node 202 and see what we get in testing it out.

 

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Once powered, depending on your component choice, the only way you can tell it is on is by the white, power LED, being lit to the right of the power button. Of course, opting to use an Intel stock cooler inside of this chassis, it was fairly noisy, but the Node 202 is fan-less in design, so we cannot fault it for the noise we did have.

 

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Don't forget. You can also run this Node 202 in the vertical orientation. This way, the video card, PSU, and CPU all draw air in from the sides, and the large side vent is now up top. This allows convection to take place, and all of the heated air should come right out of the top.

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