The outside panel is removed by four thumbscrews on the back panel (2x at the top, 1x on each side). With the outside panel removed, we can take a look at the interior components of the Node 304. The first thing that is noticed is the three large metal brackets, with the Fractal Design name on them; these are the three hard drive cages.
The three hard drive cages inside the Node 304 is held in place with a screw and two thumbscrews. Each cage can support two hard drives, either 3.5″ or 2.5″. No matter which size of drive you install, screws are necessary. For 3.5″ drives t here are anti-vibration guards in place for the screws to go through; 2.5″ drives are secured directly to the metal cage.
Withe the drive cages removed the interior is easily accessible. At the front is a large vented area for the power supply, which will rest on two rubber feet to reduce vibration. At the back of the case is a three fan controller for the three integrated fans; 2x 92mm front intake, and 1 140mm rear exhaust. In addition, as the power supply is mounted at the front of the case, there is an extension from the back to the power supply power connect or.
As space is at a premium inside the Node 304, the power supply is held in place with only three screws as the bottom left screw would be very difficult to get to behind the front bezel tab and the corner metal of the case.
The plastic front bezel can be removed by pulling it away from the case. With it removed, the two 92mm intake fans are visible. It is nice to see a filter on these fans, even though the front bezel has to be removed to do any type of cleaning. The large rectangle hole in the lower left corner is for the front I/O cables to pass through.
The large side panel air vent is filtered, which while there are no fans attached, if a large video card is installed it will pull air through the vent. It is held in place by tiny clips around the edge, which makes it so it could be removed for cleaning if necessary.