Fractal Design Meshify C Case Review
Fractal Design has a highly recommended reputation. If you are in the market for a new mid-tower casing this is the brand to watch. They make high-quality affordable lightweight models.
In August 2017, the Swedish company Fractal Design released a new series of Meshify, presented so far only as the Fractal Design Meshify C.
Its main features, which the manufacturer emphasizes, are the effective cooling and original appearance of the case. They achieved this by giving the front panel a view resembling a black diamond, as well as the use of a sidewall of tempered glass with tinting.
Therefore, what makes the Meshify C special, let us find out?
What is included in the packaging?
You receive the Meshify C in a cardboard box. We found no special protective covering to protect the glass. The case has a neutral black color with the emblem found on the front and side of the casing. You get the all the hardware to complete the casing in a separate packaging. For cleaning the casing, there is a soft microfiber cloth and a Phillips screwdriver for screwing the hexahedrons (racks for the motherboard).
If you need a mid-tower that does not stand out against the background of your surroundings this is the one to have. The design of this model is very similar to Fractal Design Define C that has a modern touch.
As mentioned before there is nothing special about the looks. The black diamond shapes found on the front panel with a curved grid. However, when you look at the front panel there is no smoothness present. Instead, they angled it in different directions to increase airflow.
There is no additional noise-insulation coating on the sidewalls. The sidewall comprises tempered glass and attached with four screws and a rolling head. While the interior screws have a rubber, material overlay. The 2nd sidewall panels made with steel.
For ease of assembly, there are U-shaped rollers found above and below the panel. The panels fastened with two screws comprising rolling heads with anti-cutting thread.
The front panels made of plastic and have a glossy finish that might collect fingerprints. Further, there is a steel mesh structure with a pattern on it.
Unlike the Define C, in which the front connector blocks fixed to the chassis, the connector block on the Meshify Cs built into the front panel. This means all the wires spreading out to the buttons and connectors attached directly to the front panel. This is not very fitting.
The front control and switching elements include two separate USB 3.0 ports, standard connectors for connecting a microphone & headphone, a small reset button and in the center a square power button.
The rear wall does not represent anything of interest – a traditional place for a single fan, ample holes, and white plugs for the expansion slots. The bodies mounted on round plastic feet with rubber inserts.
The Meshify C is a mid-tower with a vertically placed ATX board (and a smaller one) and a lower-mounted power supply with horizontal placement.
In the lower part of the case, you find the power unit. You can install the fan both upwards and downwards. By installing the fan downwards, helps reduce the heat as the cold air moves through from under the housing. However, it will increase the dust protection as it has a special filter under the housing.
The casing acts as a stiffening element providing added stability for the motherboard. Fractal Design removed the compartments and made space for 5.25-inch components. The 3.5-inch drive bay is located under the BP casing near the front of the chassis, but it is present in a shortened form – with two disks.
Inside the case, there is no access to external hard drives and you can find the 2.5-inch drives behind the base of the system board. The drives mounted on a quick-release mounting plate, fixed with a thumbscrew.
The advantages of this layout offer you a large amount of free space on the inside of the case. Further, this allows you to work comfortably while assembling the system. Another standout is it allows you to place additional components, such as video cards and cooling systems, including liquid ones.
The disadvantage is it only has a number of drives, however, for a typical system, this is sufficient.
The Cooling System
In total, this casing accommodates up to seven fans:
- 3 on the front wall, supports 3 fans sized 120 mm or 2 fans at 140 mm
- 2 on the top wall, for fans at 120/140 mm
- 1 on the rear wall for fan size 120 mm
- 1 on the bottom wall below the basket for 120 mm fan drives
The casings outfitted with two fans sized 120 mm and installed on the back and front side. The place for fans not fixed and you can shift them by 3 to 5 cm vertically. This adjusts the features of the CPU and GPU cooling system. The screw holes not round but in the form of slits.
If you spend enough time and effort, you can install the 120 or 140 mm fan directly in front of the basket for a full-size HDD, which removes the issue with the heating of fast drives. You can even use a liquid cooling system, as there is a designated placed for it.
On the front wall, you can fix the radiator up to 360 mm high and pair it with up to a 240 mm radiator at the top. You can also mount an extra 120 mm heat sing if desired on the rear wall.
As for protection against dust, the manufacturer approached this issue carefully. The air only enters through the front panel, but before it hits directly into the body it passes through a foam filter. This is a convenient feature to have, as you cannot separate the filter from the front panel without using tools. The only way to clean it in this position is to use a vacuum cleaner.
The filter found on the bottom wall of the housing is made of a fine synthetic mesh. They enclosed it in a plastic frame and moves along the guides towards the front wall. You can easily access the guides without lifting or placing it on its side.
The filter for the top wall is larger and made with plastic mesh and the smaller dust particles will leak through into the casing.
Assembling the Unit
Both sidewalls fixed with knurled screws, with a different design.
The motherboard in the Fractal Design Meshify Cs installed on standard hollow hexagons. These you will have to install on your own.
There is a full-sized hard drive installed on a double basket. The disks attached to them with the help of four screws through soft silicone shock absorbers, which help to reduce the vibration transmitted to the case.
The skids fixed simply by snapping the attachment and you can strengthen them with a single screw under the crosshead. Note that these sleds are universal, they can be used to install 2.5 “drives, but without the use of silicone gaskets.
There is a steel plate fixed on the back of the motherboard to place a notebook format disc.
You need to screw each disc to the plate with four screws under the crosshead. Installing traditional hard drives with more than two plates here is not worth it. If you wish to install a front fan directly in front of the basket with 3.5 “disks do the following:
- Disassemble a part of the steel wall separating the main and lower compartments
- Loosen the basket with screws on the bottom wall
- Move it closer to the power supply and only then install the fan
Instead of installing a basket, you can install a fan or a single 3.5-inch hard drive, for which there are mounting holes in the bottom and a hatch with a cover above the basket.
To install the power supply unit:
- Remove the steel frame from the rear wall of the housing
- Four screws keep the power unit to the frame, and wound into the body, after which the frames screwed back using two knurled screws.
- The possibility of two-way installation of the PSUs provided by a 180° flip
- To accommodate unclaimed or unnecessarily long cables, there is a large enough stock in the bottom of the case just before the basket for 3.5 “drives.
All expansion card plugs are removable and fixed with 1 knurled screw. A monolithic 20-pin pad connects the USB 3.0 port on the front panel. Audio connectors are connected with a monolithic HDA connector without backward compatibility with AC’97. A set of wires for connecting buttons and indicators is present.
The in Fractal Design Meshify C has a hidden storage to lay the main cables of the motherboard and graphics accelerator as accurately as possible. However, there is a problem with laying the power cables to the plate with 2.5 “disks and can do the following:
To connect three drives at once, you will most likely have to use two” tails “with SATA connectors, because the manufacturers of power supplies mainly produce their products calculated on the placement of disks “stack.”
But not in one plane, and even very close (or vice versa – far away) from each other. The unused SATA connectors from the discs begin to interfere with the closing of the sidewall. With persistence, they can even break.
Measuring the Noise Level
The noise level measurement is carried out in accordance with our methodology with the Oktava 110A-Eco sound level meter in a soundproof room with a typical noise level of 20 dBA. During the measurement, all electrical appliances in the room are disconnected.
In previous designs of Fractal Design, the use of a solid front panel reproduced internal component noise in the casing. With the new design it might be a bit noisier, but with the intake fans not drawing air through thins slots found on the side of the front panel, might leave the inside running cooler. The new case might interest you if you want one with a glass side panel. The positive is the Meshify C has an excellent radiator support but not easy to keep the open-cell foam front filter clean.