Fractal Design Meshify C Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

If you somehow skipped the introduction, I talked about how the Meshify C is a design shift for Fractal Design. While you can see it has similar elements to the last Define case we reviewed, the Define C, there are some notable differences too. Fractal Design, whether through user feedback or self-reflection, realized there is a desire for unobstructed airflow in their cases. While their solid front panels did allow for air through the edges, it definitely still hindered. In response, the Meshify C shows off a meshed front panel with holes to allow air to flow directly through the case. Combine this with the Define C's smaller footprint, and you have the Meshify C. Not only is the front mesh, but it is also non-uniform with some angular protrusions on the mesh surface. It may not be the clearest in the photo, but it is visible in person. We also have a glossy edge framing the mesh area, which again is a departure from the conservative Scandinavian looks we have become accustomed to. Taking a step back, this is one of the first Fractal Design cases we have seen where I will say it does not look like a fridge. Overall, I like the approach they took with the Meshify design and while I still like the iconic Fractal Design look, it is nice to see some change here.

Moving around the Fractal Design Meshify C, you can see another change, which is the tempered glass side panel. Held on by four thumbscrews, this glass is tinted and looks nice. Glass is often tinted so it can hide some small details, such as a messy cabling job or mismatched colors. I have to say though, it is really nice to see tempered glass finally. The side panel on the other side is made up of a ferrous metal, which is likely steel. It has a nice feel with only a small amount of grit to make the panels easy to hold. At the top, there are the front I/O connectors in the same location as previous Fractal Design cases. However, the I/O here is attached to the front panel, so you should be careful when removing it. Finally, a clear but clean Fractal Design name can be found on the front mesh.

While the Fractal Design Meshify C is classified as a mid-tower ATX case, it shares the same internals as the Define C, and thus is a bit smaller than other mid-towers we see here at APH Networks. This is because they have reduced the depth by quite a bit. At a height of 440mm, width of 212mm, and depth of 395mm, this chassis is pretty slim all around. Even so, the internal space is still quite adequate for larger components, as we will see later on. At a weight of 6.5kg, this is surprisingly lighter than the Define C, but you will understand when we explore the internals later on.

As the front is where the major differences lie, removing it is a slightly different process. To remove the front panel, you must first remove the bottom air ventilation filter by sliding it out the front. Next, from the bottom you will find a small inserted area, where you can pop off just the mesh front for cleaning. If you want, you can also remove the frame around but, but I did not need to do so. As this area is intended to allow air through, we do not have any of Fractal Design's sound dampening material. Instead, you will see the mesh front panel is filtered by a finer mesh to ensure minimal dust enters at this point. Behind this mesh and filter panel are where you can place some intake fans. A maximum of three 120mm or two 140mm fans can be installed on the rails here. Fractal Design has included a Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 fan at the front for intake purposes.

While the attachment may be different, the top-facing I/O is the same set as the previous Define cases, albeit in a modified layout. On the left side, we have a small reset button and two 3.5mm audio jacks; one for headphones and one for a microphone. In the middle is a large square power button. Finally, we have two USB 3.0 ports. While they are not marked with the standard blue connections you see on other cases, I can assure you these are USB 3.0. Unfortunately, there are no new connectors like USB Type-C, which would have been a nice addition. Instead of having a power indicator here, a slim LED is located on the front panel, illuminating to show power status. Finally, at the top you can see a mesh filter covering the top ventilation system. Rather than including the standard ModuVent system, you get airflow through here all the time. As we have already seen, airflow is the main name of the game for the Fractal Design Meshify C, and this makes sense. This is one of the first trade-offs between silence and airflow you will see on the Meshify C.

The backside of the Fractal Design Meshify C is pretty standard. On the left, we have the motherboard shield cutout. Beside it is the air exhaust area, where a single Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 sits. This place is capable of holding a 120mm fan or radiator. As with the Define C, the exhaust fan is slotted on bars, so you can slide the fan up or down, depending on your clearance from other components. Underneath the fan area are seven expansion port covers held in by thumbscrews. By now you can tell this is a bottom mounted power supply case, so at the bottom we have an ATX-size cutout for the power supply. Like the Define C, this ATX-size power supply cover actually comes off, as users need to install the power supply outside of the case and then connect the bracket to the case. The bracket is held on with two captive thumbscrews.

At the bottom of the case, we can see how the Fractal Design Meshify C stands up. Four silver feet in each corner protrude from the bottom, with rubber padding on each of them. This reduces the vibration created between the floor and the case. These feet are not tall enough to ensure adequate airflow in comparison to some other solutions on plushier carpets, but they should be fine on flat surfaces like tables or wooded floors. As already mentioned, you can see the full mesh air filter. Spanning from the front to the back of the case, it is intended to protect the power supply and the rest of your computer parts from dust particles entering here. It is conveniently removable from the front, as alluded to earlier. In addition, a sticker containing the serial number of the Meshify C can be found on the air filter.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion