Here it is, the latest version of the new Meshify series, the Meshify 2, so it basically just lost an S compared to its previous brother, which sounds like not a lot has changed, but of course that’s not quite the whole story yet. I was really excited to receive this case because I haven’t had a chance to check it’s predecessor, so let’s first go ahead and put a build in this chassis.
Although not a lot has changed design-wise from the outside at first look, we have that big mesh front panel, the top panel has some new angled shapes, while on the side… Wait, what is this? Can it be? A storage layout? Yes, that’s right, the Meshify 2 gets that famous Fractal’s storage layout option, as seen on their other high tier models like the Vector RS or Define 7, which is actually something that Fractal points out. And that’s actually what the new Meshify 2 is all about, a lot of sort of like hidden, but functional upgrades, transferred over from the latest iteration of the Define series. Expect for that, that sticks right out, it’s quite obvious. There will be three colors available, black, white and gray, the last two only coming with the tempered glass side-panels, while the black one will also have a solid panel option as well as the darker tempter glass, I have the light version here, and all of them will run you from 130 to 140 dollars, depending on the version.
Why does the Meshify 2 look so familiar?
So, Fractal once again decided to take all the best things from their current chassis lineup, plus the feedback and user experience from before, and dump that onto the next product. Right away you can see some of the element of the Define 7 series, one of them being that we finally have from panels interdependent and separated I/O front panel connections, with a set of two USB 3.0 port, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type -C port, audio in and out jacks, power on and reset switch, where you can now pull the top or front panel without worrying you’ll rip something right out. The top panel now also covers the whole length of the chassis, the mesh dust filter got separated beneath it, while the top mesh is fixed, and it’s much easier to pull it off even with everything else being on the chassis, because now we have this indent on the back, instead of a button, to grab onto and it pulls, although I wish it was just a bit more grippy or that the cutout was larger.
The biggest change in terms of the panels is at the front of the Fractal Meshify 2, where you don’t need to pull the whole panel off anymore in order to get to the dust filter because the mesh panel itself can be now opened up like a door as it has hinges, so you get access to the filters and fans… BUT, the thing is you can’t do anything with the front dust filter unless you pull the mesh doors out, and doing that feels like you’re going to break something and an added step on top of everything, so I’m hoping to see a solution to this in the future, maybe even add magnets for the latching door mechanism. Of course, you can also choose the pull the front panel off completely from the bottom, and here is where you can also access the bottom dust filter, being it with the panel on or off. Although the dust filter and the front mesh itself don’t seem to be different at first glance, the filter is actually less restrictive than the one before, while you can always completely removed it and rely on the mesh of the front panel to do some dust catching. The top fan bracket can again be completely removed for easier and maximal access to the main compartment, especially when you pull the glass side panel off.
Speaking of that, the very simple and straightforward latching mechanics for both the left and right side panel is still here, we have a tab that you just pull, pop goes the panel and that’s it. Since we’re already here, building in it was the same as in the aforementioned two, you have a lot of space at your disposal, especially if you don’t plan to use the storage layout. You can put to 285 mm wide E-ATX motherboard, almost half a meter long graphics card if you don’t use the front fans, and if you do, you’ll be limited to 467 mm, which just a bit below 30 mm more compared to the Meshify S2. Since we’re talking about limitations, maximal CPU cooler height is 185 mm, so the same, while the maximal PSU length is 250 mm, instead of 300 mm, but that’s with the HDD cage in its default position. If you want to you can move it a bit to the back or you can just completely remove it and free yourself of not knowing what to do with that cage in case you don’t have any 3,5” drives. We also got a removable inlay for the power supply, so it’s a bit easier to install it in there. I’m really glad to see that they dedicated to using that additional big plastic panel that completely covers the whole bottom power supply compartment, so you can just tuck everything in there if you’re in the mood for doing cable management. Oh, c’mon, who is going to see it.
Fractal Design Meshify 2 – this time bigger
Moving up a bit, back here there’s a plethora of space to do cable management, even if you go all-in with the cables, there’s a total of 5 Velcro straps plus additional tie-down points, 17 of them to be precise, together with around 30 mm of cable routing space. You’ll also get that tucked in slim designed fan hub with 3 4-pin and 6 3-p fan connectors, onto which you can hook up the already preinstalled three Dynamics X2 GP-14 fans already connect, two on the front, and one on the back.
I won’t go into details with the storage layout configuration, we’ve seen it all multiple times, if you decide to go for it you’ll get over 10 dedicate positions for the 3,5 or 2,5”, for which you’ll get one multi-bracket and a total of six of trays, four additional ones from the bundle, so if you plan to use more drives or need an extra bracket for the pump and reservoirs, you’ll need to purchase a few more. Of course, we have that two slots in the drive cage, plus that one multi-bracket so you can put another one vertically right next to the motherboard tray on the back, so you’ll have enough to get you going. I personally don’t have a need for it since I generally rely on M.2 SSD’s in my builds, and for any other big backup storage needs, I use this SilverStone’s super practical hard drive dock into which I just pop in the hard drive. Another thing you can also purchase and choose to use is a special bracket and PCI-express flex cable for installing the graphics card vertically, for which we have these two vertical expansion slot, but you can also choose to push it more towards the motherboard for more space, with another special bracket version for it that uses existing horizontal expansion slots.
Radiator and fan support are basically the same, up to 420 mm on the top, that is if you don’t use the storage layout and up to 36 mm tall RAM, or 360 mm on the front. There’s some space for a 280 mm configuration if you decide to ditch the drive cage, so really a lot of options in terms of that, custom watercooler builders should have a pretty good time in it.
For the temperature testing scenarios, I’ve had two different base setup, one with the front dust filter on, and the other one with it being off, while I also used three different fan speed configuration, full fan speed, 30%, and 60% of fan speed for all chassis fans, while the CPU fan on Noctua’s NH-U12S Chromax was set at 60% and the RX 5700 Pulse GPU had a default fan curve. Let’s first hear how that sounds, how good the Fractal Design Meshify 2 is blocking the noise with that mesh front, and without any sound insulation that its other brothers have.
Top pick for the best airflow chassis?
Checking out the temperatures, the components do see the benefits between the front dust filter being off, even within the same fan speed chassis fans. It’s not much, but there’s is some tangible difference. Since the Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans are really quiet, to begin with, putting them at 60% of their speed seems to be ideal noise and performance-wise, especially in terms of the graphics card, where its other crucial parts besides the GPU itself get to be cooled off just a bit more.
When you draw the line, what we basically got is Define 7 chassis with some subtle design and technical upgrades, and most importantly with that big air seeping, angular looking mesh goodness on the front, which is why the Meshify 2, and Meshify series in general, exists to begin with – to provide more airflow for those who really want or need it.
That’s it for this time, thanks for checking out my Fractal Meshify 2 review, if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!