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Node 202 Game Dev Workstation

by Hiyougami


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

March 3, 2016

Date Built

Feb. 25, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

75.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.098 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

81.0° C


A re-packaging of a BitFenix Prodigy build from early 2014 - reflected by the 4th gen Intel CPU and GTX 770. My aim was to make my case more compact and travel-friendly. Plus, the Prodigy had suffered one too many plane flights and I no longer trusted its flimsy, cracked carry handles.

Graphics Performance

Runs my favourite games, Battlefield 4 and Elite: Dangerous fine. Can only run the latter at QHD - the 2GB VRAM of my GTX 770 just doesn't cut it for running at ultrawide 3440x1440 - the moment you make the resolution a pixel too wide it becomes an instant slideshow as it runs out of virtual memory. Same goes for the Unreal Engine 4 editor viewport with large textures loaded. Playing Elite downscaled to 2560x1080 at ultra settings is fine however, and it can run the game consistently in VR on Oculus DK2 (1920x1080 @ 75Hz), though not on planet surfaces where terrain is computed on the fly.

The Case

Noticeably sturdy. Wiring is tough to do, especially the SATA power connections. The hardest part was just figuring it out - a lot of planning is involved, mixed with trial and error. You may think you have it sussed out from watching hardware reviews but there are little things that make you re-think yourself - where should the rerouted power cable go, how many front i/o headers can I squeeze behind the drive cage, and so on. Has unofficial support for up to 58mm tall CPU air coolers (listed as 56mm). Good access to motherboard/CPU areas, downside is the support for only two 2.5" drives in an awkward position. Graphics card installation is a little more complex than usual but still quite manageable.


A brilliant system for the size, but I will be upgrading to a Pascal card as soon as they become available for that extra VRAM.

Comments Sorted by:

fatihalt 1 Build 3 points 35 months ago

First of all, great build. I like how colourful the desk looks.

One important thing that got me worried about your build is, IF you are using it in the vertical position just like in the first two photos, you are essentially blocking the most important exhaust path for the hot air of the CPU/mobo section, since the GPU and CPU segments are separated and the PSU has its own mesh at the bottom of the case, which the CPU/mobo air has no access to. Otherwise, the mesh above the CPU is where CPU draws air, and the air would have to be forced to exit there as well which it could not efficiently, resulting in hotter temps in my honest opinion (at least in theory). What you should do is to place it the other way, where the front I/O panels are in the bottom side and the fractal design logo is at the top. I do know that the side exhaust does not have any dust filter, so it is probably best to use it in the horizontal position.

BTW LOL at the censored can xD

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Ahh okay! Thank you :) I'll see how it affects temps!

gorkti200 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Well I'm convinced. I need to retool my LAN/Portable rig to use a slimmer/more compact form factor case. This and a couple other recent builds in the Node 202 have convinced me.

Great (re)build! +1

Jerome54 1 point 36 months ago

The ML08 is also a great choice for compact portable rigs.

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Was torn between the two, but this one says 'workstation' in its look a lot more, so I went with it :)

Jerome54 1 point 36 months ago

I have to admit that you are right! ;-)
I really dig its black minimalistic look too.

The only thing that keeps me from using it (for the HTPC I'm planning to do) is the lack of optical drive. :-(

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Thanks, and best of luck!

Jerome54 1 point 36 months ago

Nice SFF (re)build!! Easy +1 for me! :-)

But pleeeaaase... more photos!! ;-)

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

I'll see what I can do! :)

Jerome54 1 point 36 months ago

Woohoo!! :-)

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

There we go!

Jerome54 1 point 35 months ago

Hell yeah!!! Now we're talking!!! :-D

Great photos!! I like it! :-)
And great build and workspace too!

CrazedGunner 2 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

I saw MaximumPC use this case I think, or something just like it.

xDisabledxTacox 1 point 35 months ago

Nice build, you even blurred out the brand of soda for some reason. +1

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Hen_Ree 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

I know this a weird request but because I am travelling a lot could you measure the dimension of the node 202 box for me?

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

Hi! Do you mean the case itself, or the cardboard box it comes in? The case dimensions are, as on the website:

Case dimensions - Horizontal, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 377 x 88 x 332 mm

If you want the dimensions of the cardboard box I can give them to you in a bit, I'm not home at the moment though

Hen_Ree 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

I was talking the dimensions of the cardboard box if that is not too much trouble!

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

The dimensions of the box are:

Vertical standing WxHxD: 38.5 x 43.5 x 14 cm

It's barely bigger than the case itself - however I have heard of people taking their Node 202 PCs with them as carry-on baggage on planes, without taking the box.

Hen_Ree 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

Yeah, it's more train travel, I am university and would like to take my PC with me and obviously an atx Is way too big. Just deciding what case to get, thank you so much for your help!

Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

No problem! The Node 202 would be perfect for that - there's a user on here who can even fit it into his backpack :)

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Dehriz 1 point 26 months ago

Everything is beautiful...

...Except for the cable managment, regardless it is a stunning setup and I am jealous of you and your PC

[comment deleted by staff]
Hiyougami submitter 4 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

I know right? It's just as nice in person as in the manufacturer photos, and hard to blemish.