Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
As usual, I started my installation process by installing the power supply. In preparation for a potential new video card, assuming I can even get my hands on one, I decided to install the bigger FSP Hydro PTM Pro 1200W, which boasts a long 190mm length. As such, I removed the drive cage at the bottom of the Meshify 2 Compact. With the hard drive cage installed, Fractal Design does not recommend using units any longer than 165mm. Once you do remove the cage however, Fractal Design recommends a maximum 200mm unit, as this may start impeding with some other routing holes in the case. Once it was installed, I routed the necessary cables to the right place. Next, I installed my Patriot P200 512GB and OCZ ARC 100 240GB into the drive sleds at the back.
I proceeded then to remove the top panel of the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact to make installation easier. While this is not really a huge deal in larger cases, this is particularly helpful in more compact cases, where the open top makes it that much easier to work. For the most part, removing the top was a tool-less pop off of several metal pegs and unscrewing the mounting rails for cooling components. I also will be using this tray as part of my build, so removing it was just a matter of now or later. I plugged all of the necessary power cables and fans into the motherboard at this time. My ASUS Prime X470-Pro motherboard was mounted here with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and a set of Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600 2x16GB DDR4 RAM installed.
Next, I mounted the be quiet! Pure Loop 240mm radiator and fans to the radiator tray and installed the CPU block on top of my processor. It really makes it easier to mount the radiator outside of the rest of the case and then just slide it in afterwards. If you choose to go the air-cooling route, users can install a CPU cooler up to 169mm in height, which should fit tall heatsinks like the NH-D15 chromax.black. Finally, I installed my MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Titanium, which measures 279mm in length. As you can see, there is ample length and space for graphics cards up to 341mm in length with the front fan installed. Removing the front fan increases this clearance to 360mm. One thing I should mention is that once you do install the top panel back in, be sure to press down on all edges of the panel to ensure it is installed in the right position.
With some extra elbow grease, I organized the rest of the cables through the front valley, including the thicker 24-pin motherboard and two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors. I then created a second cable bunch by moving the included Velcro straps and grouped the CPU cable with some extra cables coming out of my AIO cooler. Overall, I was quite impressed with the amount of cabling space and how easy it was to organize the cables in the Meshify 2 Compact. There are many cable tie points at the back and the extra Velcro straps helped in this regard. It definitely was not as tricky as some smaller cases and I felt quite happy with my final cable organization. There still is a bit of a hidden nest of wires in the power supply shroud, but I think this back area looks neat enough.
With all of the panels installed back onto the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact, I plugged in all my necessary cables and peripherals and fired up the computer. My computer whirred to life and I was honestly just blown away by its final looks. I love the fact that my standard build fit in this case while still taking up less space than more traditional mid-tower cases. It was an added bonus to see the gray on the case matched with my drawer. In terms of noise output, our standard APH Networks sound scale ranges from 0 to 10, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud. According to this, I would rate the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact at around 3.5/10 under daily use. It is not necessarily the best at dampening noise, nor are there any intentional elements inside. However, I think the noise output is reasonable for an airflow focused case. I did notice one of the case fans started to make a bit of a clicking noise under some circumstances, but I only noticed it when I opened up the tempered glass side panel. While this speaks well for the noise suppression, I can only hope this is just a one-off issue with the Dynamic X2 fan I have.
As a sequel to the Meshify C, the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is everything great I remembered from the original, except now packaged in an updated 2021 version. This means we still have the superb build quality and attention to detail. The compact size and design are also very much present. Many of the updated features have come from other Fractal Design cases, such as its tool-less side panels or its bridgeless expansion slots, as well as the general layout of the internals. However, some Meshify specific updates include easier to remove, nylon mesh filters on the top, bottom, and front. Furthermore, we have two larger fans at the front instead of one. The front I/O has also been modernized with a Type-C port. Internally, I think Fractal Design has done a great job on keeping as much compatibility as possible for various components like cooling, graphics, and storage options. They also lengthened the entire case to provide more room for the longest of graphics cards. When it comes to using the case, I am happy to see all of the creature comforts to make the installation process a painless one. This includes sufficient cabling space, a cable valley, and many cable tie points around the back. However, I am most appreciative of the removable top panel for better accessibility for connections at the top of the motherboard, such as the CPU power connector. The cherry on top is the sliding tray for mounting cooling components. After finishing my inspections and build, the only suggestions I would make is to include an integrated fan hub here as well as using PWM-controlled fans for better speed control. At launch, the Meshify 2 Compact has an MSRP of $110 USD, which is a bit more than what the original Meshify C started at. On the other hand, I think this price increase is well worth the price for the updated feature set and additions. All in all, the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is perfect for users wanting an airflow-focused enclosure in an efficient size.
Fractal Design provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Recommended Award | APH Networks Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
-- Final APH Networks Numeric Rating is 8.0/10
Please note that the APH Networks Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other publications.
The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact is the remarkable 2021 sequel, incorporating the newest features into a breathable and space-optimized package.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion