Fractal Design Node 202 mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal Design are one of the best chassis manufacturers in the world, having created a stunning range of products over the years, as well as branching out into the world of PSUs, CPU coolers and more. Today they look set to dominate the living room, with the release of their Node 202 mini-ITX chassis. What makes this one so special is that it is designed to house a high-end system, but maintains that slim form factor, allowing you to put it under your TV or on your desk with ease; perfect for a gaming system/steambox or a HTPC configuration.

“The Node 202 is the ultimate PC case for those looking for a beautifully designed, compact chassis that can house a capable gaming build. This small footprint is an intelligently built unit where extreme detail was placed into the design phase to get every line and spec in perfect harmony. With both horizontal and vertical orientation possibilities, the Node 202 can be placed anywhere in the house. The sleek design makes it very attractive next to the TV in the living room or on your desk in the office.”

With a small footprint and a volume of just 10.2 liters, it’s hard to belive that this chassis can house a pair of 2.5″ hard drives, motherboard, CPU cooler, PSU and more impressive of all, a pretty large graphics card.

Specifications

  • Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
  • 2 – 2.5″ SSD unit positions
  • 2 expansion slots
  • 2 – 120mm optional fan positions in graphics card chamber
  • CPU coolers up to 56 mm in height
  • PSU compatibility: SFX PSUs up to 130mm long
  • Graphics card compatibility: Maximum dimension of graphics card is 310x145x47mm (LxHxD)
  • Can be placed both vertical and horizontal position
  • 3 dust filters included (for CPU, GPU and PSU)
  • Case volume: 10.2 litres
  • Colors available: Black
  • Case dimensions – Horizontal (WxHxD): 377 x 82 x 330 mm
  • Case dimensions – Horizontal, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 377 x 88 x 332 mm
  • Case dimensions – Vertical, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 125 x 385 x 332 mm
  • Net weight: 3.5 kg
  • Package dimensions (WxHxD): 145 x 463 x 388 mm
  • Package weight: 5.2kg

To make the build even easier, the model we have today comes with that rather fantastic Integra SFX 450W 80 Plus Gold power supply pre-installed, meaning that you can get your system up and running a lot quicker, and that 450W delivery is going to be more than enough for even the most demanding CPU/GPU combinations.

“The Integra SFX 450W PSU that comes inclusive with the enclosure provides stable power to the most demanding systems. It comes with customized connectors and tailored cables perfectly fitted for use within the Node 202, contributing to hassle-free installation and cable management.”

  • 80PLUS® Bronze certification
  • 80mm, temperature controlled fan
  • Maximum operating temperature at full load: 50°C (50°C @ 100%)
  • Fully Intel Haswell C6/C7 compliant
  • 3 years warranty
  • Taiwanese capacitors
  • OPP / OVP / UVP / SCP / OCP Protection
  • Can be placed both vertical and horizontal position
  • 100,000 hours life expectancy (MTBF)
  • SFX 3.3 PSU specification compliance
  • ErP 2013 compliant (<0.5W system power draw)
  • Colors available: Black
  • Unit measurements (WxHxD): 125 x 64 x 100 mm
  • Net weight: 1.0 kg

So specs and things aside, let’s move on to the actual hardware. First up, we can see the packaging is fairly simple, with a big sticker on the front letting us know we’ve got the Integra SFX 450W included in the chassis, as well as a handy 3-year warranty.

Around the back, there is a fantastic technical breakdown of each component, showing you exactly which features you’re going to get from this build.

First things out of the box, a simple user guide, warranty booklet and general product information.

You’ll also find a nice little box of accessories.

This includes a bundle of cable ties, all the usual fitting screws, and some stick-on rubber feet.

One of the most important components is this adaptor for the PCI-E slot, allowing the GPU to lay parallel to the motherboard, allowing for a slimmer chassis design.

Finally, there’s a slot-in vertical mount, giving you another great way to display your system.

It’s very sturdy and comes with four rubber grip feet on the base to prevent it from sliding around.

Now onto the best part, the chassis its self! It’s certainly nice and slim, and should blend easily into your AV setup; if that’s where you wanted it at least. There’s a little bit of ventilation down the left side, giving some extra airflow to the graphic card area.

Down the right side, a lot more ventilation, giving air intake to the motherboard and PSU mounting area, with even more ventilation on the top for heat exhaust from any CPU cooler you’re using.

The finish is sublime, a mostly plastic exterior, but with a soft matte finish that gives it a premium look and feel.

Aside from the subtle Fractal Design logo, you’ll also find all the usual ports and controls down here. One little touch that I very much like is the black USB 3.0 ports, as they’re visually less distracting than the usual blue ones, and that can’t be understated for those wanting a clean-looking HTPC build.

Around the back, we’ve got the motherboard I/O cut out, two expansion slots, and the PSU pass through port.

The PSU actually mounts on the front right corner, but an internal cable means you only have to connect the PSU power at the back, where you can easily hide the cables out of sight.

On the base of the chassis, a lot more ventilation. There’s a small vent on the right, allowing airflow to the PSU, as well as a long vent on the left for the PSU air intake.

Enermax Announces the Revolution X’T II PSU

Enermax launched their Revolution X’T series of Power supplies a few years back and now they are back with the successor to the series, the Revolution X’T II power supply. The new line of PSUs is built with the best components such as 100% Japanese capacitors as well as quite a few awesome features.

The Enermax Revolution X’T II power supply will be available as 450W, 550W, 650W, and 750W models and all of them come with the 80 Plus Gold certification and part of that is thanks to the use of 105°C Japanese electrolytic capacitors for maximum durability and stability.

The flat and modular cables help you to run a neat setup where you can leave out all the cables that you don’t need. Fewer cables make for a better-looking build and it also helps to decrease resistance and allow for a better airflow in your system. Speaking of air flow, the Revolution X’T series comes with a 139mm fan made by Enermax themselves and utilizing the patented Twister bearing fan to offer low noise at the same time as a long lifespan.

Another feature that will help to prolong the lifetime of the Revolution X’T series is the patented HeatGuard, also known as Fan-delay. It will keep the PSU fan running for 30 to 60 seconds after shutdown to dissipate the remaining system heat and thereby prolong the system life. Enermax also added all the relevant normal protections such as OCP (3.3V/5V), OVP, OPP, SCP, and SIP.

The power supplies are rated for 24/7 usage at 40 degrees which again is a sign that the PSU should live a very long time due to the use of components. Enermax also backs the units with a 5-year warranty.

The REVOLUTION X’t II series will be available in the retail market in February 2016, so that will be any day now.

Sharkoon Announces Two New SFX PSUs With 80 Plus Rating

When you build a small form factor system then you’ll also need a small power supply and it’s great to see more feature rich PSUs arrive. Today it is Sharkoon that introduced two new SFX PSUs with 80 Plus rating and even include an ATX mounting frame for cases that don’t support these smaller PSUs. The two new units are the SilentStorm SFX Gold 500W and the SilentStorm SFX Bronze 350W, and the names kind off give away their specifications.

The SilentStorm SFX Gold 500W comes with an 80 PLUS Gold certification, a thing that’s not that common yet in the SFX form factor. Compact systems need effective and efficient power too, so this is great to see. The unit offers an outstanding efficiency of over 90 percent at 50 percent load and meets the strict requirements of the independent 80 PLUS Initiative.

The SilentStorm SFX Gold 500 PSU is a fully modular unit, allowing you to have an even better setup in your tiny case. You still get two 6+2 pin PCIe connectors, four SATA, two Molex and one Berg connector next to the obligatory CPU and motherboard connectors.

 

 

The quiet 120mm fan should reduce the noise output significantly over cheaper units while still keeping it all cool. It is compatible with Intel Haswell CPUs and backed by a three-year warranty. The suggested retail price is €79.90.

The second new unit isn’t quite as powerful, but it also costs about half of the Gold certified. The SilentStorm SFX Bronze can provide your system with 350W or 450W of power depending on version. It is only 80 Plus Bronze certified, but that isn’t without either. The unit offers over 85 percent efficiency at 50% load and meets the strict requirements of the independent 80 PLUS Initiative.

This unit only has one 6-pin PCIe connector, two SATA, two Molex and one Berg connectors next to the CPU and mainboard connectors. The 450W model comes with one more SATA connector and a 6+2 pin PCIe connector. The unit is kept cool by an 80mm fan and come backed by a three-year warranty.

The Sharkoon SilentStorm SFX Bronze series is available starting at a suggested retail price of €49.99.

The power supplies also feature over power, over voltage, under voltage as well as short circuit protection to keep all your components as safe as possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVm88oHixZQ

Antec Announced VPF Series Power Supplies

Antec has announced their new line of entry-level PSUs, the VPF series that is available from 350W to 650W and come with the 80Plus Bronze certification and up to 88% efficiency.

The new PSUs use a 120mm plain bearings fan that is built for maximum durability and an adjustable speed. Available as 350 Watt, 450 Watt, 550 Watt and 650 Watt, the VPF series comes with full range of protections: overcurrent protection (OCP), overvoltage protection (OVP), undervoltage protection (UVP), short circuit protection (SCP), overload power protection (OPP), overheating protection (OTP), surge and inrush protection (SIP), low-load operation (NLO) and protection against temporary fall of voltage (BOP) renders the new VPF power units reliable and stable power suppliers.

 

All models of the VPF series come with a three-year warranty and a worldwide 24/7 lifetime support. The recommended retail prize of the VPF350 is £36.99, VPF450 is £42.99, VPF550 is £49.99, and the VPF650 will cost you £59.99.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Koolance Releases Compact Chiller EXC-450

Koolance released the Compact Chiller EXC-450, a device that combines a pump, a 1 liter reservoir, and a radiator (chiller) into a single portable unit ideal for open-air benches. Measuring only 152 x 203 x 533mm, this coolant chilling unit works much like a refrigerator or water-cooler, chilling your coolant below room temperature.

At 25°C ambient, the chiller’s capacity is 450W, or 1,535 BTU/hr. Temperature options include liquid set-point (1 to 50°C), external thermocouple set-point (1 to 149°C), liquid and ambient delta-T (-50 to 50°C), and draws its power from an external 24VDC power source (250W power draw).

  • Cooling capacity: 450W (1535BTU/hr) @ 25°C liquid/ambient
  • Temperature options: liquid set-point (1 to 50°C), external thermocouple set-point (1 to 149°C), liquid and ambient delta-T (-50 to 50°C), external thermocouple and ambient delta-T (-50 to 50°C).
  • Select only values you want displayed on the front 2-line OLED display (fixed or rotating)
  • Adjust pump speed with 10 level increments
  • Show pump impeller speed in RPM
  • Show coolant flow rate in LPM/GPM
  • Show condenser fan speed in RPM
  • Adjust audio alarm based on temperature
  • Relay trigger can be configured as NO or NC and adjusted based on temperature
  • Refrigerant: R-134a
  • Power input: 24VDC, 250W or higher
  • Maximum power consumption @ ambient (approximate): 230W @ 25°C
  • Designed for an operational temperature range of 0-40°C (ambient and liquid)
  • Reservoir capacity: 1 liter
  • G 1/4 BSPP threads on back for fittings

Available now, the Compact Chiller EXC-450 is priced at £990.74.

Thanks to Koolance for providing us with this information

Thermaltake Reveal New TR2 Bronze Series of PSUs

Thermaltake have just announced their new TR2 Bronze series of power supplies. The TR2 range consists of a 450W, 500W and a 600W power supply that feature various high-quality components; which we’ve come to expect from premium brands such as Thermaltake.

All models in the new series feature 80 PLUS Bronze certification and are targeted towards the consumer who needs a strong balance between price and performance from their power supply. The TR2 Bronze Series complies with the latest ATX 12V 2.3 Standard, offering utmost reliability and compatibility, as well as ensuring support for start-of-the-art technologies.

All models come equipped with a 120mm silent fan and intelligent temperature control, a single +12V rail, extra long cables and Japanese main capacitors. Details on price and availability haven’t been released yet, but we expect these will be available very soon and that the prices will be highly competitive; we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

Thank you Thermaltake for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Thermaltake.

Thermaltake Launches New Power Supply and Smart Software

We have already had a little preview at the new power supply at Computex 2014, and now they are officially launched. The latest Toughpower DPS G Series is an innovative 80 PLUS Gold certified and digitally-controlled power supply, ranging from 450W and up to 1050W. It is also compatible with the DPSApp software.

After receiving favourable reviews and feedbacks from many friends of media and associates on DPS Series last year, Thermaltake decided to expand the series with a much more reasonable price.

The new DPS G series with the aid of DPSApp Software not only provides the system with clean and stable power, it also creates an intelligent platform that allows users to monitor and record the status of power consumption, voltage distribution and the electricity cost for advance usage.

Out of all the PSU monitoring software applications, Thermaltake DPSApp is the most powerful, flexible, universal and easy-to-use supreme monitoring tool to have on the market.

The power supplies use 100% 105°C Japanese brand electrolytic capacitors and are Haswell Ready. For convenience all cables are modular on all models, 450W, 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W and 1050W. No word on pricing yet.

Thank you Thermaltake for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Thermaltake.