The Fractal Meshify S2 is the new case in the Meshify range, how does it stack up and is it worth your time? Let’s have a look.
Now, we’re aware that the Meshify S2 has been out for a few months. However being the fresh-faced young tech site MEF Tech is, amazing products don’t simply arrive for us to check out. In this instance the Meshify S2 is my personal case, I did the research and decided it was suitable for me then purchased it with my own hard-earned cash.
Fractal Meshify S2 – Review
So, let me just share quickly why I wanted this case for my own gaming setup. Firstly, I was moving for an mATX case of a cube design. I enjoy the little case and form factor, however over time as I acquired more hardware, airflow and heat became an issue. As many GPU coolers have large fans and just push air over fins then off into the case there is often direct heat being applied to the motherboard and in my case a poorly placed M.2 SSD as well. Being an Australian and having summers hot enough to melt the road (this actually happens, think 48c), heat and poor airflow are simply not a great combination, especially for a gaming rig. So, I went on the hunt for a new case, something that looked clean, had good airflow and would provide me a good base to build in and even expand later on.
With some exciting new hardware coming out in the next few months, it was also time to move from my trusty mATX format to the standard ATX and above. I had enjoyed the looks of the original Meshify and was impressed with the airflow potential of the S2. I found the the additional space at the front a real premium, plus tempered glass panels with dark tint are just plain delicious and instantly, I was sold.
|3.5″/2.5″ Universal drive brackets||3|
|Dedicated 2.5″ drive brackets||2 included, 4 positions total|
|Expansion slots||7 + 2 vertical|
|Motherboard compatibility||EATX (up to 285 mm wide), ATX, mATX, ITX|
|Power supply type||ATX|
|Front ports||1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, Audio I/O|
|Total fan mounts||9|
|Front fan||3 x 120/140 mm (2 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)|
|Top fan||3 x 120/140 mm|
|Rear fan||1 x 120/140 mm (1 x Dynamic X2 GP-14 included)|
|Bottom fan||2 x 120/140 mm|
|Dust filters||Bottom fan + PSU Front fans Top panel|
|Front radiator||120/240/360 mm 140/280 mm|
|Top radiator||120/240/360 mm 140/280/420 mm (max 35 mm motherboard component height)|
|Rear radiator||120 mm|
|Bottom radiator||120/240 mm 140/280 mm|
|PSU max length||300 mm|
|GPU max length||Max 440 mm with front fan mounted|
|CPU cooler max height||185 mm|
|Cable routing space||23 mm|
|Cable routing grommets||Yes|
|Fixed velcro straps||Yes|
|Tool-less push-to-lock||Both side panels|
|Captive thumbscrews||HDD brackets, SSD brackets|
|Left side panel||Steel|
|Right side panel||Steel|
|Case dimensions (LxWxH)||538 x 233 x 465 mm|
|Case dimensions w/o feet/protrusions/screws||530 x 233 x 448 mm|
|Net weight||9.52 kg|
|Package dimensions (LxWxH)||535 x 325 x 650 mm|
|Gross weight||11.28 kg|
For me personally I enjoy a clean look to my case and the Meshify S2 delivers this while still being interesting. The front panel is the obvious place to start and with its stealth fighter jet lines and angles it seems to accent this case nicely while still being functional.
The tempered glass side panel is very nice, especially with the dark version and in the modern age of cases. I think some sort of glass is required to show off your setup or some nice lighting effects.
The overall shape of the case is reasonably classic, but it’s longer than you might imagine. Of course, this is how they are able to provide the extra space at the front for your water-cooling needs.
The top is nice and simple, has the flat mesh exhaust you would expect but under this is some subtle plastic reinforcement that keeps the same angular style as the front panel.
The back and side are standard pc case and there isn’t really much to say here, the bottom has some nice feet that help to lift the case for better airflow and do accent nicely with the black colour I have chosen.
The Meshify S2 is designed to be a solid choice with good airflow and it works as you would expect. The large open front panel provides excellent airflow and when combined with the bottom opening and the large vented roof, there should never be any heat related issues, unless you do not use fans. Even then, I feel like this case could surprise you (Hot air rises right?). The back is what you would expect form a pc case and works as you would expect, not much to say here.
The front I/O is an interesting point though. The buttons are nice and give a really nice feel when used, however the placement of the front panel is a little inconvenient in my opinion. When sitting at my desk the case looks great, but the USB ports and audio ports are all at the top of the case, mostly out of reach and where I cannot see them. I understand this design choice and think it is fine for power and reset buttons, however I would like to see the USB and audio on the front of the case somewhere, even if they were place low down in the surround and even in a small hidden panel at the bottom. This is me being a little picky, but I find myself getting up to use these ports or just ignoring them to use the one provided on my Corsair keyboard.
To start the case comes in a large box that gives the impression it is actually much bigger, and this had me worried. When you unpack the case you soon see that it is just very well packed and secured for transport and this is a plus due to the tempered glass panel. The way the case is packaged is also very intelligent as all of the components included (screws, brackets etc) are all inside a nice little box that is tucked away inside a drive cage, this means there is no chance any of this could come loose and damage your case before you can have a chance to break it yourself (more on this in a second).
So, the build process in this case was good, bad and disappointing, let’s start with the bad. Now this isn’t actually an issue with the case but more with me. You see that funny little booklet that comes with your new case and has a picture on the front, that has instructions in it? you may want to read them, I did not. Because I did not read the instructions, I had no idea how to open the top mesh cover and therefore I ended up pulling out and breaking one of the plastic clips that holds the side panel in place. After hanging my head in shame, I checked the booklet and found there is a big button on the back to pop off the cover (yep, feeling kind of silly right now).
Moving on the rest of the process was rather good, there is excellent room in this case, the internal layout is good, and the cable management is fantastic. I’m generally very poor at my cable management, but in the Meshify S2 I didn’t need to force the back panel closed and there were no struggles. The fan positions are all good and easy to adjust, the grommets between the motherboard tray and back section are great quality and I like the triangle looking design, as it is actually much more functional than the previous cases I have used.
The included fan hub is nice, but I wish there were more PWM points and less of the 3-pin connections. There are also a lot of front panel cables that need to be untied and then gently remove in order to the front panel fully but this is being picky again.
Now I said I was disappointed didn’t I? Well, here is why. In the bottom on the case you have a nice shroud that covers the PSU and extends all the way to the front of the case. Aesthetically, this is great, and for the sake of functionality they have designed in a panel that can be removed allowing for 3 fan radiators in the front. Now this sounds like a good addition, however for someone wanting to add only fans you even up with a gaping hole in this shroud or you must only use 2 fans in the front. In the age of RGB and silence, the extra fan would not only help to light up that amazing front panel but would also allow for more airflow and possibly slower fan speeds (more fans less speed required for the same volume). I think the panel is a great idea, but I would have loved a second smaller panel to be included to provide you the ability to choose your desired gap. This might not seem like much to some people but for me I invest in a case with the idea it will last me for a few builds and let me customise things as I wish, and this little panel really hurts me.
Having built in the Meshify S2 just last week and just in time for the new Path Of Exile: Legion league, I was able to give this case a solid testing. So far, I’m impressed. The case looks good and has more than enough airflow to ensure my components are kept cool, this fact means that the fans aren’t working as hard at lower temperatures (SpeedFan FTW). The lower fan speeds are great for noise and ensures my rig is much nicer to sit next to and it also helps to avoid the issue of family members sneaking up on you and causing various expletives and spilled drinks.
Overall, I enjoy the style of the case and it fits nicely into my study alongside my other components. I’m generally a clean person and my desk is very bare aside from the required items so next to my 34” curved screen and gigantic mouse pad. The Meshify S2 does not stand out, nor does it hide away, its just nice and compliments my setup.
MEF Tech rates: The Fractal Meshify S2
- AESTHETICS - 90%90%
- FUNCTIONALITY - 88%88%
- THE BUILD - 80%80%
- USABILITY - 85%85%
So, would I recommend this case? In short yes, I would. As I said at the top, I did buy this with my own money, and I intend to use it for a while. At the time of purchase, it was $239 AUD plus some shipping as I could not find it in Adelaide (this is a little sad). The case is a good size, not overly large but it will still take larger motherboards and a tonne of hardware. The layout is good and will allow for upgrades in the future. The idea of the Meshify S2 is to deliver good airflow and it does succeed on this front. For me there are some small details that I would change such as the shroud panel, front I/O location and the shortage of PWM points on the fan hub, but overall I like the case and I’m happy that i spent my own money on it.
For more on Fractal, check out our previous coverage.