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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  • zeeBomb - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    What's a good computer case under $80 guys?
  • dsumanik - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    I dunno but this one looks like an xbox to me
  • Murloc - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    The one you like most because there is a negligible difference between them for a midrange computer if they0re 60-80$.
    Cooler Master has many below that price, good bang for buck and with the most useful features included usually.
  • sarscott - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Enthoo Evolv itx is a great case. I purchased the case and was very impressed but decided I needed more space for water cooling, etc.
  • theduckofdeath - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link

    I have a Cooler Master Silencio 352, which I guess squeezes right in below that today. It's a mATX case with noise cancelling foam on the inside. No bling bling, just silence in a fairly compact format. There's enough space in it for a large water cooling thingy on the front, and they've put SSD mounts on most flat surfaces.
  • chenedwa - Sunday, July 3, 2016 - link

    Silverstone FT03-MINI and Lian Li PC-Q36
  • marc1000 - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    it's great to see some small case reviews over here. this seems a good design, but the older silverstone milo ml08 has a bit more usability, even if a bit less cooling capacity.

    could you compare both with the same hardware? BTW, why not use real components, instead of simulators?

    PS: only on a case review we can see the backside of a new GPU... lol
  • xenol - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    Heat is heat, no matter how you generate it. With Anandtech's setup, they can also repeat the test easily on a variety of systems.
  • meacupla - Monday, June 6, 2016 - link

    I'm pretty sure ML08/RVZ02 has ever-so-slightly better cooling capacity than Node 202.

    I have the ML08 and the dust filters cause a lot of heat to be trapped (easily +5c on a GTX960), but removing them allows the components to be cooled to reasonable levels, considering size constraints.

    Node 202 has dust filters that are much harder to remove.
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - link


    i'm planning on ML08 for the future, it has a bit more space for disks than this one. your info came quite handy. I will use a mid-range GPU with a 3.5 hdd on top compartment, so I will put one slim 12cm intake fan there (scythe one with 12mm only). I hope thermals stay good with that extra help.

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