Fractal design’s Define series of cases pretty much defined the silent case category for over 2 years, pun both intended and not intended. So when they told us they had a new case coming out, my ears perked with curiosity. Then the Meshify C arrived, sporting a minimalist case design WITH a glass side panel to boot, and, well heck, we got a case-review-worthy PC case right here. So let’s get into it.
So in case you forgot, this is the Fractal Design Meshify C. They didn’t tell us what the C stands for, or if there are other models in the line up, but we’re guessing it stands for compact. If you look at it from the side, you’ll notice that it’s a bit shorter, lengthwise than most ATX sized towers.
But Fractal didn’t cut down on practicality in their pursuit of a compact case. On the left side, you have a beautiful full glass panel, and on the front you have a multi angle mesh design that fits perfectly with their icey fractal themes. At the bottom of that, you have an actual case badge! Not just a sticker or a stamped logo, but an actual badge! So that’s how you know.
Let’s have a quick tour of all the features, then we’ll go in more depth about what we liked and didn’t like. For front IO, you have a power button, reset button, headphone and microphone jacks, and two usb 3.0 ports. The top, front, and bottom have removable fan filters, and the back has a removable power supply plate for installation in the back.
On the inside, you get 2 included 120mm Dynamic X2 fans, a full-length power supply shroud, and a huge cut out for the motherboard. For storage options, you can mount three 2.5” drives on the back of the motherboard and two 3.5” drives in the cage underneath the shroud. The cage is removable, leaving you with room for one 3.5” drive in it’s place.
Fractal Design has never let enthusiasts down with their water cooling support, and this is no exception. On the front there’s room for a triple 360mm or dual 280mm radiator, while the top fits up to a dual 240 or 280 radiator. You can fit pretty much any thickness radiator in front, but the top will be limited by your motherboard and ram.
Okay, enough about the boring details. How was this case to build in? An absolute joy. And no, Josh didn’t pay us to say that. Here’s all the parts we liked. The tempered glass is tinted, which generally makes lighting inside look way cooler. The entire pane sits on not just 4 rubber washers, but it’s also lined with foam for a perfect seal from dust and vibrations.
The bottom filter slides out from the front, and not the back. We’re willing to bet most people put their case up against a wall, so for those poor souls with a rear filter, good luck cleaning it without moving your system.
There is a ridiculous amount of room in the back for cable management. The parts closest to the front stick out more, and gives over 35mm of room in the back. Couple that with their velcro cable ties and we really spent literally 5 minutes cable managing.
The rubber grommets along the raised edge are also angled, giving some extra room behind the drive cage for management.It’s not the biggest deal in the world but it is THAT much better at hiding cables.
The top edge of the power supply shroud has three very strategically placed cut outs. One for your front panel audio, one for front USB, and one for your front IO. This is something we wish every single case with a power supply shroud had.
Okay now, what about the downsides? To be frank, we really only found one: the bottom drive cage. It’s mounted by some screws underneath the case, and in order to remove it, you need to remove an access panel on the power supply shroud. To remove that panel, you need to pop off the front panel in order to access two hidden screws. And if we really had to nitpick, then we’d like a SATA hub for powering 3 and 4 pin fans. We won’t blame them though, since most motherboards come with a million headers now.
And that about wraps up our review of the Fractal Design Meshify C. With an MSRP of $89 USD, we think it’s a very good starting point whether you’re a first time builder or a fully custom water cooled system.
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