Fractal Design Meshify S2 Case Review
The Fractal Design Meshify S2 has definitely taken inspiration from Fractal’s other offerings, most notably the Define S2. There are also several models being released. There’s is a black model with no window, if that’s your thing, but in this day and age, when you’ve got a whole host of customisable options on the market to make your case look awesome, you’d probably go for the tempered glass option for sure. They also come in black and white, and I definitey favour the sharp look of the diamond patterned black front and white chassis, which we were kindly sent by Fractal Design.
So, the Fractal Design Meshify S2 – It’s a decent enough case, but our build was not without some pain, but we are not sure who and what to blame for the one hassle we had with this Fractal Design Meshify S2.
Worst things first, as we should get them out the way quickly. The motherboard IO shield was so hard to fit. And the stand offs didn’t quite match the motherboard holes. Now, was this a fault in manufacture with Fractal, or with my Asus Prime Z370-A II motherboard? We will never know, but I have never had such an awkward time doing the most basic job. One of the stand offs is a locating pin, and I had to remove that in the end to help with alignment.
And that’s it for faults. The rest of the build was super smooth, just like all the edges on this case. SO many times I have pulled my hands out of a case only to nick the skin on a sharp edge and then bleed over everything. Nothing like that here.
The S2 is the big brother of the C, perhaps for compact. The Meshify part of the name comes from the stealth bomber style mesh on the front and top panels that allows loads of air flow. This is pretty fragile too, so careful when lefting it as we found that it dented slightly if picked up in the wrong place. It popped back into position though, but be warned. One tip I do have is remove the full length bottom filter first.
Somewhat annoying with that front cover is that the power button, reset and LEDs etc are fitted to the top edge of the panel. So when it came to installing the 240mm radiator from the Corsair XXXXXX on the front to draw cold air in, I had to prop up the front panel because it was essentially still connected to the main case by all the wiring. Fitting these switches and lights to the steel part of the case would make life so much easier. Not a deal breaker, but just awkward. And odd as Fractal has done exactly that on another case in the Meshify family.
There is a power supply shroud – I love those – hides so many wires. The power supply is held in place by one of those rear adaptors you fit to the PSU first, and then screw it all into place. Handy when you have forgotten to fit a SATA lead to your semi-modular PSU and need to just slacken it off and get your hand inside.
We used a M.2 hard drive directly on to the motherboard, but there are three ‘cages’ for more traditional SSDs and HDDs hidden on the back and held in place with thumbs screws. Take one off, fit your 3.5 hard drive with the supplied screws and dampening grommets and screw the cage back in to place. Do watch for orientation if you plan to use right angled SATA plugs at this end.
Three 140mm fans are included – two at the front and one on the rear but finding the end is a pain as they are tucked away with the cables for the front connections. We mounted the front fans to the radiator, as there is so much empty space as we weren’t interested in water cooling, so that area of the case remains dark. We used a set of LL120 RGB fans – two at the top and one on the rear – to illuminate our setup. The effect works quite well if I do say so myself.
The case top is also mesh style and pop off at the push of a button which can be located on the rear of the case. Replacing just means pushing down until it clicks into place. Not sure why there is a filter on it, though – tops are for exhaust, generally, so why slow and filter the air getting out? I know it’s for dust protection though for when the computer is switched off. The fitment holes are off-centre to pull stuff away from the top of the motherboard.
There is now a big chunk of empty space between the motherboard and front filtered panel which provides room for a full water cooling system, with a number of spaces to be able to mount a decent sized pump. Or if you’ve got for a monster graphics card for your build, there is enough space to compensate and still provide some wonderful airflow. One annoyance is the fact there is a bracket at the back to vertically mount your graphics card, but no adapter was included in the box. I would have liked to have utilised this for the review, but I wasn’t given one, so missed out.
The tempered glass side and back cover ‘snap’ on and off our white bodied case with black interior, but there are thumb screws to really secure it, which we found we needed on the back, especially as we introduced custom sleeved white cables into the build. The space for cable management isn’t the best for such a chunky case, but there are some velcro straps that you can use to tighen your cables to the case itself and keep them as flush as possible. The pass-through grommets are rubber and subtle – smaller pass-through holes are just that, no rubber protection, but that’s fine. But once we were using several SATA connections for the Corsair RGB node, several hard drives, and even the gross ketchup and mustard 24-pin motherboard cable, space became a little sparce.
Inside at the back is an included fan hub again which needs powering with a SATA as well as connecting to a fan header on the motherboard, and room for two 2.5 inch drives which can also be brought around to the front and be shown off in the window. Why anyone would show off their hard drives in that space is another question though, as most SSDs can be quite boring, especially my Crucial drives.
In closing I would have another minor moan, and that this case is fairly heavy, but it is substantially built with a quality feel costing around the £140 mark at the time of writing. I would have one if I had a big enough desk – it is so pretty, putting the Fractal Design Meshify S2 case on the floor is just wrong. For more information, head over to the Fractal Design website.