The completed install of the Node 304 goes pretty much like a standard computer install. There are differences though, mostly due to the size of the case and how hardware is installed. The Mini-ITX motherboard selected for the Node 304, takes up a large portion of the case but doesn’t have any unique installation issues. However, I would recommend installing the motherboard, then the power supply to make things a bit easier.
A Gigabyte HD 7870 is installed taking up both of the PCI expansion slots. The power supply installed in the Node 304, is modular and poses an issue with long video cards as the video card covers up the modular connections on the power supply, while the hard wired connections are fine. Also, keep in mind that using a long video card will require the hard drive cage to be removed. A video card up to 10.5″ can be installed without any issues, otherwise a smaller video card no longer than 6.7″ will be necessary.
A 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard drive is installed in one of the hard drive cages. As previously mentioned, different screws are used for each type of drive.
For the final part of the build the hard drives are installed. As on-b0ard video will be used no additional video card is necessary, so all six hard drives can be installed; five 3.5″ hard drives, and one 2.5″ hard drive. One thing that was noticed is that the drive connectors do not line up, which might make cabling a little tricky. If a dedicated video card is going to be used, the drive cage on the right might need to be removed, or modified.
The power supply, is installed internally and the long power extension cable reaches without any issues. The cable is longer than necessary, which isn’t a bad thing as it lets the power cable be twisted and routed as necessary.