Fractal Design had been consistently manufacturing Meshify cases for around a few years now, and they’ve recently released something better. Today in our Fractal Design Meshify 2 review, we’ll be tackling what’s been upgraded and how it compares to the previous model.
The Meshify series aims for excellent airflow and filtering dust, hence its name. But if you’ve been buying Meshify cases before, you might notice that the naming scheme of the original Meshify C or Meshify S2 seems to create a large confusion among buyers.
But with the newer model, it looks like this is about to change. There’s also an XL version if you need larger space, but the product sample we have is a regular version in white colour. In our opinion, you can even set up an excellent workstation build inside the regular-sized Meshify 2.
On paper, the differences between the Meshify 2 and Meshify S2 are significant. To be specific, the Meshify 2 can fit more storage inside, and the front panel isn’t tethered anymore.
The Fractal Design Meshify 2 has five different variants, mostly focusing on the glass’s tint level. You can also opt for a completely white version with clear tempered glass. At $139.99, is the Meshify 2 worth your budget?
Before we stick some parts and dig in with basic benchmarks, let’s talk about the packaging first here on our Fractal Design Meshify 2 review.
Fractal Design is widely known for continuously rebranding their products. Meshify 2’s box design comes with updated visuals that introduce a new design.
There’s an image of the chassis at the front, while the back reveals a 3D diagram. Both sides of the box don’t contain much information, but there’s a sticker that indicates which variant you’re getting.
If you’ll focus on the exterior of the box, it’s excellent. Fractal Design opted for a better design, which adds up to overall product quality. Now, let’s check how it’s packed inside.
Inside, the Meshify 2 comes with plenty of Fractal branding. But if we’re talking about how well it’s packed at first glance, it isn’t bad. The accessories included are also packed in a pretty large package.
Moving on to the package contents, you’ll get two styrofoam spacers that are thick enough to keep the chassis in place, as well as a plastic bag. You’ll also see all the individual parts arranged pleasantly inside.
If you’re that type who likes to keep their tempered glass clean, there’s microfibre cloth included. Other contents include four separate 2.5/3.5″ trays, zip ties for cable management, and an assorted set of screws.
At the very bottom of the packaging is the multi-language manual that guides you on putting the included accessories together. Let’s now move to the design and functionality section of our Fractal Design Meshify 2 review.
Fractal Design Meshify 2 Review – Design and Functionality
Fractal Design did an excellent job with how the Meshify 2 comes with crystalised front mesh design. When comparing it to its previous cases, this is what a high-end chassis with front-mesh should look like.
The Meshify 2 uses a clean tempered glass window as a side panel. There’s also a wide variety of tint contrast you can choose from, depending on your personal preference. Lastly, the other side covers the chassis completely, which is typical.
At the front, there’s a metal mesh that doesn’t seem to look like what we’d expect in traditional cases. There’s a Fractal logo at the bottom-left corner, indicating what brand of enclosure it is.
But if you look closely, it can be swung open to easily access the fans for cleaning purposes. You may also pull the mesh off completely using the logo and detach its dust filter for cleaning.
Over time, the mesh filter clogs a lot of dust, and it’s a good thing that Fractal made it easier to remove. If you’d like to change the fan setup or install an AIO radiator, you can pry off the entire front panel frame, revealing all the screw-mounting placements.
At the back, the PSU shroud uses a metal frame that is held in place with two thumbscrews. This way, you can easily slide the PSU into the chassis from this side.
You’ll also see seven horizontal expansion slots, while on its side are two vertical expansion slots with covers that make it easier to access when you place thumb screws.
Vertically-mounted GPUs are a standard today, and you can use this configuration if you purchase the appropriate PCIe flex cable. You’ll first have to make sure that it sits properly.
There are also holes and screw holes for 140 mm or 120 mm fans on top of the expansion mounting holes. The Meshify 2 comes with a pre-installed retail-grade 140 mm fan as exhaust.
At the back, you’ll see two pull tabs on each side. With these, you can safely secure each of the side panels without having to remove screws. Be careful holding onto this area if you’re lifting the case.
As for the I/O of the Meshify 2, it’s slightly different when comparing it to Define 7. While it doesn’t have the typically-used USB 2.0 ports, it offers two USB 3.0, as well as a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port and the common audio plugs for your headset.
As the name says, this case comes with a lot of mesh for filtering dust. There’s a removable dust filter on top, which requires you to pull the top cover completely. Underneath the dust filter are mounting brackets for three 140 mm fans or a 420 mm radiator.
There’s also a long dust filter located at the bottom for easy cleaning. Overall, the Meshify 2 should keep your system cleaner than with other cases. But even if you’re not using your PC that much, you should still maintain the filters.
As mentioned above, you can pull each panel tab off to gain access to the interior. Fractal also included a metal shroud on the bottom, which allows you to place two SSD trays if you’re someone who’d like to showcase your solid-state drives.
The two plastic covers should provide any liquid-cooling setup, even if you’re going to be occupying the chassis’ full height. It should also have very little impact when it comes to the maximum length of your installed GPUs.
Cable Management Options
On the other side, there’s a flexible plastic shield that can easily be removed to reveal every element hidden underneath the shroud. It should certainly help you with cable management.
To add up to the cable management, you’ll see lots of velcro strips for easy, clean cables. Overall, this should reduce any clutters on the other side of your case. It should also help you easily swap out hardware components.
Storage Expandability, Radiator Placements, and Fan Placements
Moving on to the front side, you will find a metal plate with rows of mounting holes for your 3.5″ HDD cages. We’ve also seen this before on Antec cases, and it’s great that Fractal Design opted for this kind of mounting configuration.
You’ll find two more hard-drive trays at the front, and it’s in a detachable cage underneath the shroud. Out of the box, you should be able to put a total of seven 3.5″ drives inside the Meshify 2.
While you only get four cages, you can buy additional cages. We’ve also mentioned that the case should fit up to nine units, should you remove the 5.25″ bay.
The Meshify 2 also allows you to install either hard drives, a reservoir or a pump through the universal mounting plate. There’s also the option to buy additional plates to go even further than the maximum storage capability.
Take note though, that you should place them on 120 mm fan-mounting locations. You’ll also see a fan hub PCB called “Nexus+ 2” included. They decided to fully get rid of Molex connectors and use a SATA power connector instead.
This hub can provide power for three PWM and six 3-pin fans. Lastly, a PWM cable should allow your fans to pass a signal from the motherboard to the three fans.
On top, you’ll find two dedicated larger bays and metal 2.5″ trays near the CPU cooler bracket underneath the large opening. These are held in place by individual thumb screws, which also help in easily removing it.
You can place any fans or a radiator at the ceiling while still maintaining plenty of space to work around. All the cables that are in the Meshify 2 case look standard and sleeved in black colour.
Adding up the two 2.5″ trays sums up to nine storage drives. If you’ll look above it, there’s an area for air intake or liquid cooling configuration. With that, you can put a 360 mm radiator if you don’t need the 5.25″ slot.
Power Supply Unit Shroud
The PSU shroud has a wide spacing, which is enough for almost any power supply form factor that you can buy. But if you’d like to keep your PSU compact, we strongly suggest removing the HDD cage. Besides, you can install two 140 mm fans or a 280 mm radiator.
Fractal Design Meshify 2 also comes with a detachable PSU cable shield and integrated cable guides to get you through with managing all the thick cables in one place.
Newer and Better Front Panel Design
A front panel design upgrade ensures that you can remove it easily without removing front panel wires.
Included Fans and Fan Hub
Bundled with three 140 mm fans and Nexus+ 2 fan hub, Fractal Design Meshify 2 should save your budget.
Now that you’re familiar with the key features, let’s move over to the specifications section of our Fractal Design Meshify 2 review.
The Fractal Design Meshify 2 supports E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards. There are seven expansion slots at the back, with 2x 140mm front intake, 1x 140mm rear exhaust fans included.
For the fan mounts, you’ll get 3 120 mm or 140 mm at the front, 3 120 or 140 mm on top, 1 120 mm or 140 mm at the rear, and finally, 2 120 mm or 140 mm below.
You’ll also get 280 mm or 360 mm radiator mounts at the front, 360 mm or 420 mm on top, 120 mm at the rear, and 240 mm or 280 mm below.
Since this is a modern case, there’s no option for 5.25-inch optical drive bays.
As for the internal drive bays (6 are included), you can put up to 11 pieces of 2.5 inch or 3.5-inch bays, and four pieces for 2.5-inch only bays (2 are included).
Lastly, the Fractal Design Meshify 2’s dimensions are 474 mm in height, 542 mm in depth, and 240 mm in width. These are all the things you should know about the specifications.
Fractal Design Meshify 2 Review Summary
We’re almost done with our Fractal Design Meshify 2 review, and it’s time for our closing thoughts.
While we have the white version of the Fractal Design Meshify 2 case, it would look better to pair it with white versions of our parts. But in general, Fractal Design has done an excellent job with Meshify 2.
They offered a better design, excellent cooling performance, good airflow, and storage expandability. It should surely benefit enthusiasts and gamers, and they’ve got nothing to lose, but that’s if you can afford it.
The Meshify 2 is suited for people who don’t prefer RGB, but you can still put some in depending on your personal preference. If you want to ensure cooling while also avoiding cleaning routines, then the Meshify 2 is for you.
As a mid-tower case, you’ll get a lot of benefits. These include a huge number of fans and radiators, a ridiculous amount of storage drives, and a vertically-mounted graphics card. Of course, the Meshify 2 case isn’t just for gamers and enthusiasts.
The Meshify 2 is also for individuals who don’t always have the time to clean their system or for someone who’s setting up a server/workstation. If you’re interested in Fractal Design’s Meshify 2 case, click here.