ReviewsPC CaseFractal Design Meshify 2 Review: Best Mid-Tower Case?

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Review: Best Mid-Tower Case?

Let's go over the Fractal Design Meshify 2 in-depth. In this review, we will cover everything from unboxing to building a PC and testing it.

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Fractal Desing Meshify 2 Review Summary

Summary

Fractal Design has changed the game when it comes to a mid-tower that is so feature-rich that it is hard to ignore the proposition and an open challenge to the competition. The case can be converted into a Storage layout from the default open layout without needing any extra bits and tools. This case has an excellent build quality with attention to detail in every department. It comes recommended by us.
Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
9.5/10
9.5/10
  • Design - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Build Quality - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Features - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Cooling Provision - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Dust Protection - 9.5/10
    9.5/10

Pros

  • Spectacular Design
  • E-ATX Support
  • 420mm Radiator
  • Includes 6 HDD/SSD Trays
  • Includes 2 SS Trays
  • 14+1 Positions for Storage drives
  • Open Layout
  • Superlative Storage Layout with 21 drives
  • Dust Filtration all around
  • Removal of the Top Panel for wide access to inside
  • Hinged Front Panel with removable mesh
  • The tether-free bezel on Front Panel
  • Ultra-slim Nexus+ 2 fan hub
  • Up to 9x 120/140mm fans
  • Comes with 3 140mm fans
  • Outstanding Cable Management
  • Versatile Multibracket
  • Ventilated PSU shroud with two-part removable
  • Tool-less, top-latching side
  • Bridgeless expansion slots

Cons

  • None

When it comes to PC Case manufacturers, Fractal Design needs no introduction. Meshify 2 is a mid-tower PC case with a bold and stealth-inspired aesthetic. It comes in multiple configurations, one of which, the Black TG Dark Tint, we are testing today. Let’s dive in.


Key Takeaways

  • The Meshify 2 suits general users and water-cooling enthusiasts due to its versatile layout, but its limited height might not accommodate taller configurations optimally.
  • It may not be the best fit for those requiring excessive height in their PC cases or who prioritize extensive HDD cage customization.
  • Stand-out features include its adaptable storage layout, toolless panel handling, extensive cooling support for various fan and radiator configurations, and a well-designed cable management system, all contributing to an easy and user-friendly PC assembly experience.

Specifications

ProductMeshify 2
TypeMid-Tower ATX
Power supply typeATX
Motherboard compatibilityE-ATX (max 285 mm)/ ATX / mATX / Mini-ITX
Expansion slots7 + 2
Dedicated 2.5 drive mounts2 included, 4 positions total
Front interface1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, Audio I/O, Power button, Reset button
Front fan3x 120/140 mm (2x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)
Top fan3x 120/140 mm
Rear fan1x 120/140 mm (1x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)
Bottom fan2x 120/140 mm
Dust filtersTop, front and bottom
Case dimensions (LxWxH)542 x 240 x 474 mm
Net weightSolid: 10.1 kg TG: 10.5 kg
RGBNo
PSU max length250 mm (with HDD cage installed)
GPU max lengthOpen layout: 476 mm (451 mm w/ front fan) - Storage layout: 298 mm
CPU cooler max height185 mm

Packing Box

Meshify 2 is shipped inside a standard brown color cardboard box.

Accessories

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — Accessories
Accessories (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Other than the HDD caddies, Fractal Design has provided a plethora of various screws, zip ties, micro-fiber cloth, and rubber washers.

Design

It is time to dive deep and see what this case offers to the user. The unit we have got is Meshify 2 TG Light Tint Tempered Glass. This case has a dimension of 542x240x474mm (LxWxH) and 541x240x454mm without protrusion/feet/screws. 

Front

The front of this case features an angular and geometrical design that not only provides dust filtration but also carries a bold and aesthetical view. There is a Fractal branding towards the base. The case is completely black in color.

PRO TIP: Regularly clean these filters to prevent dust buildup and maintain optimal airflow.

We can easily open the front angular mesh cover, revealing a removable dust filter—a great design feature. If the cover seems to limit airflow, the filter can be removed without impacting the front’s appearance. Additionally, there are 2x 40mm fans already installed.

The above picture was taken after removing the front cover. This cover is hinged and can be easily taken and put back in on the slots on the right side of the fan bracket. The fan bracket is not removable. Fractal Design has provided 2x Dynamic X2 GP-14 fans on the front.

The following cooling configuration is possible on the front:

  • Up to 3x 120mm Fans
  • Up to 3x 140mm Fans
  • Up to 360/280 Radiator

This is not all, as we can also completely remove the front panel. It can be popped out by placing a hand at the base of the case and pulling it out. However, you would need to remove the bottom dust filter as well before pulling the front panel. We can see an inner view of this panel, as shown in the picture.

We’ve got a clear view of Meshify 2’s front side now. Notice the six highlighted holes or screw mounts in red circles. By default, this case secures the side panel on the right and is intended for server or regular PC builds, especially emphasizing water cooling. To implement the Superlative Storage design, we’ll have to move the side panel to the left, using these red-circled mounting holes for that purpose.

This case has a rail mount design for fans and radiators. This is a wise design that allows the users to adjust the position of fans/radiator where possible. 2x 140mm fans are already there, and they are installed on the inner side of this case.

Rear

The Meshify 2’s rear layout follows a standard design, featuring notches on the top left and right for easy panel release, no screws needed. There’s a cutout on the top left for the motherboard’s IO panel and a slotted fan grill on the right supporting 140mm and 120mm fans.

A 140mm fan comes pre-installed, and the user can adjust both fan sizes’ height. It accommodates a 120mm radiator too. The center has 7 removable, vented PCIe slot covers—a bridgeless design I particularly prefer.

The Meshify 2 has two PCIe vertical slots, which have reusable slotted covers. As you can see, the top screw is holding the cover of these slots. Slightly unscrew it so that cover can slide up or down, and remove those covers if needed.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — PSU area
PSU area (Image by Tech4Gamers)

The PSU area shows a standard ATX PSU design. Fractal Design has provided a PSU bracket. A user would need to take this bracket out, install it on PSU and slide PSU inside its chamber in this case. Finally, use the two captive screws to secure the complete assembly on the frame of this case.

Top

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — The case on its side
The case on its side (Image by Tech4Gamers)

There is a dense mesh on top of Meshify 2. We can see the IO panel towards the left or what should be called the front side. We have a dark black color frame all around. The top left side shows an angular touch which is quite pleasing. What is more plausible is that this top panel is fully removable.

We are showing the removed panel. It has 6x tabs to secure this panel on the main frame. Mesh is a permanent feature and can’t be removed. This is not it, as we have another layer of dust filtration.

There is an aesthetically designed mesh on top. To remove this filter, simply slide it toward the rear, and it will unlock. Then pull it, and the mesh is off.

The left image shows the complete mesh after we removed it from the top of this case. Now, on the top, are left with a fan bracket. If you think we are done with the top, then no, sir, we are not. This bracket is also modular, meaning we can remove this bracket, install fans/radiator on it, and put it back on the case. That simple!

The complete top portion is not removable. Additionally, the area towards the backside of the case is fixed. Take note of a circular hole. This is to provide access to the fill/refill port on your reservoir if doing DIY cooling in this case. Clearly, Fractal Design was way ahead of its game when it came to giving due attention to the design elements of this case.

Also, take note of another red-circled screw. This screw is among a total of 5x screws that are holding the side panel or bracket of this case.

On the top, we have support for up to 3x 120/140mm fans or a 360/420mm radiator.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — Front IO
Front IO (Image by Tech4Gamers)

We have two Audio Jacks, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps) port, two USB 3.0 ports along with a Power and Reset Button.

Now let’s turn our attention to one of the unique features of this case which is a complete removal of the top panel.

The left picture shows the top panel and nylon dust filter are removed. What remains is a fan bracket, and we are off. The fan bracket is secured using two Philips screws. We have red-highlighted these screws in a picture for easy reference. Unscrews these and take off this bracket. That is it.

Behold the new Meshify 2. Pun intended! Fractal Design means business when it comes to doing a build with utmost convenience in this case.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — Another view of the case with the fan bracket removed
Another view of the case with the fan bracket removed (Image by Tech4Gamers)

The above picture shows a better view of what we are talking about here. We can easily assemble any build and then bring on the fan bracket. However, take note that if you are installing a radiator on this fan bracket, then this fan and radiator assembly will obstruct your access to the top two cutouts. Better connect all required cables beforehand. You have been informed!

Bottom

Looking at the bottom of this case, we can stylish 4x feet, which gives enough lift to this case from the surface. There is a full-length dust filter here. A serial number sticker is also placed. Quite a strange area, they decided to put a sticker, but it hides well, not ruining the overall aesthetics.

The image on the right shows the removal of the dust filter. The filter needs to be pulled from the front of this case which is a wise design.

Removing the filter, we have a fully exposed, properly slotted area visible on the bottom. We have a spacious length for PSU and HDD cage.

This design offers flexibility with the HDD cage position, allowing adjustment and full removal from the case with 4 screws securing it at the base. You can install either 2x 120mm/140mm fans or a 240mm/280mm radiator at the base, but removing the HDD cage is necessary for this setup.

Glass Panel Side

This variant of Fractal Design Meshify 2 comes with a light-tinted tempered glass panel roughly 4mm thick. This panel is not hinged, and it is not using screws for mounting. It is based on top-latching. The panel sits fully flushed with a frame of this case. There is a warning sticker cautioning to handle it with care.

WARNING: Be cautious during handling of the tempered glass and installation to prevent accidental damage or shattering.

We are showing the mounting mechanism of this glass panel above. This panel has bolts, as can be seen, and extenders to catch up with the frame of the case. Please keep in mind that as soon as this panel is pulled using a thicker handler on the rear of this case, one would need to hold this panel else it will fall.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — Side panel removed
Side panel removed (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Check out the Meshify 2 with the glass panel off. You’ll find a sleek full-length PSU cover, angular in design, featuring Fractal branding towards the back. The motherboard tray showcases embossed markings indicating hole types for various motherboard sizes like ATX or mATX. It’s an all-black interior.

The motherboard tray has a large cutout for easy CPU cooler installation, but Fractal Design advises installing it outside the case. On the right side, we have two large cutouts with rubber grommets in a vertical layout, plus two small ones on top, also with grommets. I think there should be at least three or ideally two more large-size cutouts for better accessibility.

We mentioned above about the side cover or bracket on the motherboard tray. This is a key feature of Meshify 2. This bracket is used to convert an open layout into a Superlative Storage layout. In an open layout, this bracket provides a clean and aesthetically pleasing look inside this case.

We can see that 8x standoffs are pre-installed in this case. If you are wondering why not all 9, then it is because the center has a raised tab or stud to catch the motherboard. Personally, I like this design better than having 9x standoffs.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — PSU ventillation
PSU ventilation (image by Tech4Gamers)

The area facing PSU is slotted for effective ventilation. Take note of mounting holes. A user can install two 2.5” drives here on the brackets. Fractal Design has provided only such brackets, and they are on the back side of the motherboard tray.

There is a large size cutout below the motherboard tray on the PSU shroud. It has a rubber grommet. A user can pass cables through this cutout for bottom connectivity with the motherboard. There is another small size cutout on the far left side. I appreciate the attention to detail from their design department.

There is a 140mm Dynamic X2 GP-14 fan on the rear. Fractal Design has provided a total of 3x 140mm fans in this case which should suffice for a majority of users’ needs.

This case features 7+2 PCIe slots with removable vented covers for efficient heat dissipation. Though they lack captive thumbscrews, it’s a bridgeless design, my top choice. This means no supporting beam between PCIe slots, offering a completely unobstructed area when all slots are removed.

In this case, we have a fixed fan bracket upfront with a rail design and two pre-installed GP14 fans. The base is black in color, and there are two plastic covers in front that can be removed. This allows for various setups, such as installing a pump and reservoir using a multi-bracket or clearing space on the far right for thicker radiators.

We can see Dynamic X GP14 fans above. These fans feature 7 blades with a rounded stepped inlet design on the frame. These are rated for up to 1000 RPM at 19dB(A) sound.

We are showing plastic covers after removing them from this case. One is wider than the other, and it is another attention to detail from Fractal. In case of a slim rad or relatively less thick radiator, we can remove the less wide cover to still give us concealed design.

Without the plastic covers, can see the exposed HDD cage and the rest of the fan bracket area.

Backside 

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — The back panel
The back panel (Image by Tech4Gamers)

The back panel is made of steel and is quite sturdy. As usual, it is also black in color and is quite a fingerprint magnet. It has a similar mounting as we have seen on a glass panel.

We’ve unveiled the back of the Meshify 2 by removing the side panel, revealing a sleek plastic cover that neatly hides cables, the HDD Cage, and the PSU. This clever design eliminates worries about clutter at the base, shifting focus solely to managing cables at the top. With a spacious 30mm cable management area, it offers ample room for a tidy setup.

Removing the cover exposes the entire setup. On the left, there’s a versatile multi-bracket for mounting 2.5” or 3.5” drives, or a pump housing. Behind the motherboard tray, there are two 2.5” drive brackets in this dual-chamber layout. The lower chamber houses the HDD cage and PSU bay.

The HDD cage can house up to 2x caddies and is made of steel. It is a solid build and does not flex. We mentioned that it is secured on the base using 4x screws. You would need to pay attention to removing or adjusting the position of this cage, and you would need to access the bottom of this case.

Fractal Design has provided 4x more caddies in the accessory box, making a count of 6x. We can install a 3.5” drive or a 2.5” drive on this caddy. In terms of storage provision, this case provides:

  • Up to 14 positions for 3.5”/2.5” with 6 included.
  • Dedicated 4x positions for 2.5” drives with 2 included.
  • 1x Multi-bracket in addition to above

14 positions are quite some figure. We can see that this case can easily be used for a Storage server with a superlative layout. All storage brackets have captive thumbscrews, and Fractal Design gets my thumbs up for this.

You can move the HDD cage by unscrewing the 4 screws at the bottom. Put the HDD where you want and screw it back in. Keep in mind, shifting the cage towards the PSU bay limits the PSU cable length to 250mm. If you move it forward, it’ll affect radiator placement. You also have the option to remove the cage entirely.

The PSU bay has a clearance of 250mm, as mentioned above. There are 4x raised surfaces or feet with cut-to-size anti-vibration pads on them. PSU is placed on these feet. The bottom area is vented with a nylon dust filter underneath. This bay has a length of 310mm, excluding the HDD cage.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — Lower chamber with the HDD cage removed
The lower chamber with the HDD cage removed (Image by Tech4Gamers)

We removed the HDD cage and take a long and spacious area of the lower chamber. As mentioned above, we have the option to install either 120 or 140mm fans or 240/280mm radiators here.

Fractal Design includes an ultra-slim fan hub, the Nexus+ 2, in this case. It accommodates up to six 3-pin fans and three 4-pin PWM fans. Powered by SATA, it features a 4-pin PWM connector cable that links to the motherboard’s 4-pin PWM header, allowing control of all connected fans. But notably, in our case, this connector doesn’t read the GP14 fans’ RPM. It appears to receive a speed signal from a 4-pin connector rather than a 3-pin one.

PRO TIP: Take advantage of the ample cable management options provided in the case to keep your build tidy. Use Velcro straps or tie-offs to organize cables neatly.

Another key feature of this case is integrated cable guides with velcro straps. There are 3x of these, which are evenly spaced out. They simplify cable management behind the board and provide what we can call a probable best way to route your cables with a clean outlook.

Let’s look at the different connectors available.

So far, we have discussed an open layout of this case. It is time to convert this into a storage layout. But first, let’s discuss the side bracket/cover.

Storage Layout Conversion

The steel bracket, black in color and adorned with Fractal branding, encases a multi-bracket. Inside the case, we observed the plastic opposite side. There are red circled tabs that, when pinched or pressed, release the plastic cover. Unfortunately, this design lacks user-friendliness. Removing this cover is essential as it’s the prerequisite for removing the multi-bracket, which is fastened from the opposite side.

Take a look at the side bracket with its back cover removed. The red circled mounting holes are where the drive caddies will be installed. Similarly, the yellow circled screws are holding a multi-bracket with this bracket.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — The Multi-Bracket
The Multi-Bracket (Image by Tech4Gamers)

The Multi-Bracket can house a 2.5” drive or a 3.5” drive. It can also house a water pump. Given its standard 120mm spacing, it can be placed anywhere in the case with a 120mm mount.

Take a look at Meshify 2 with a frame converted from open to storage using a Superlative storage style. Since we had 6x caddies, we have used them to showcase what is meant by storage layout. We have to remove the side bracket from the back of the case and install it on the front side. That is all that is needed for this conversion.

Switching the Meshify 2 frame layout from open to storage affects cooling. We’re limited to using 25mm thick, 120mm, or 140mm fans at the front, but can’t install a radiator there. The graphics card’s length gets cut to 315mm. Doing a custom loop becomes tricky, but using standard 120mm pump/reservoir combo units remains feasible.

One thing I really appreciate is that even in the Storage layout, we get a clean and aesthetically pleasant look.

Test Build Experience

Assembling a simple PC in Fractal Design Meshify 2 is convenient and super easy.

Let’s look at our test build after everything is set up.

Thermal Testing

We have used the following configuration for testing:

We have used Alphacool Sub-Zero thermal paste. Testing was done using CINEBENCH R23.2 to stress the CPU. HWInfo64 was used for monitoring sensors. Fans and the pump were set to run at their full speed. GP14 fans were set to run at full speed.

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X was set to 5.2GHz on all cores using Auto Voltage. This actually helps in lowering overall temps. CPU was stressed for 30 minutes. Idle and Load temperatures were recorded. A gameplay of Cyberpunk was used, and thermals on a graphics card were recorded by MSI Afterburner.

Testing was done on the default configuration of Meshify 2 without removing any dust filter or panel.

Let’s take a look at the results.

Fractal Design Meshify 2 — Thermal Performance
Thermal Performance (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Testing was done at an ambient of 12°C. Winters are here, and we love lower temperatures without doing much during this time. Reported temperature values are absolute. No delta values are shown. We have a good performance all around. Even if there would somewhat airflow restriction from the front, we can remove the inner nylon-made dust filter to improve that airflow but nothing significant.

Should You Buy It?

The Fractal Design Meshify 2 is an amazing chassis, but is it the right choice for you?

Buy It If:

✅ You Prioritize Versatility: If you desire a case that offers extensive configurability, especially for storage solutions or water-cooling setups, Meshify 2’s open layout or superlative storage variant is a perfect fit.

✅ You’re Seeking Cooling Flexibility: For users who aim for robust cooling capabilities, whether it’s accommodating multiple fans or installing various radiator sizes (up to 420mm on top), Meshify 2 offers ample cooling potential.

✅ You Value Quality Build & Design: Those who appreciate premium build quality, toolless panel handling, ample cable management space, and sleek design with functional elements will find Meshify 2 a worthwhile investment.

Don’t Buy It If:

❌ There Are Space Constraints: If you’re restricted by space limitations or prefer compact cases, Meshify 2’s larger footprint might not align with your preferences.

❌ You’re Budget-Focused: For individuals seeking a budget-friendly option, especially considering the current pricing, Meshify 2’s higher price point might be a deterrent. Check out our Best Budget PC Cases guide for more suitable chassis.

❌ Height Is A Concern: If your build necessitates extra height clearance, as Meshify 2’s 474mm height might limit certain component choices or configurations, it could pose an issue.

Final Words

The Meshify 2 is a mid-tower PC case that packs a punch with its versatile design, offering more space than your average mid-tower. It’s available in various configurations, and I tested the Black TG Dark Tint version, which boasts a sleek black interior and exterior. The case ample length and depth, although I wouldn’t have minded a bit more height.

What’s intriguing about the Meshify 2 is its adaptability: it comes in an open layout suited for general users and water-cooling enthusiasts. Plus, it can transform into a storage-focused setup called the Superlative Storage, allowing for a versatile usage as both a standard PC case and a storage server.

The case flaunts a sleek front design with an angular mesh panel, housing a removable nylon dust filter. Handling the panels is a breeze, with a toolless mechanism for the tempered glass and solid steel frames. This case supports various motherboard sizes, cooling setups, making it a comprehensive choice for PC builders. Retailing at USD 159.99 (NewEgg pricing), it’s a premium investment for those seeking versatility and quality in a PC case.

Awards Received By The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Case

This case has received the following Tech4Gamers Awards:

Recent Updates


  • December 22, 2023: Few text changes to improve readability. Also added image galleries.

 

 

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