Fractal Meshify 2/ Meshify 2 XL Review
Published: 11th November 2020 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
Conclusion - A Redefined Define 7
When we first looked at the Meshify 2 and Meshify 2 XL, we experienced a little bit of deya vu. We have reviewed these cased before, right? Nope, but we have reviewed their cousins, the Define 7 and Define 7 XL.
It is common to case manufacturers to reuse internal case layouts and utilise the same components across multiple products. The reuse of components helps to drive manufacturing costs down through mass manufacturing techniques, and engineers can focus on developing a stronger core which can be altered to suit multiple markets.
If you haven't already, read our review for the Define 7 and Define 7 XL. We have also included our Define 7 video below for those who want to watch it. For the most part, the Meshify 2 and Meshify 2 XL are the same enclosure, offering nigh-identical internal layouts and feature sets. To be clear, this is a good thing, as the Define 7 and its XL counterpart are excellent enclosures, both of which gained our coveted White Gold Award as well as TTL's personal approval.
While the Meshify 2 series isn't as groundbreaking as the Define 7 lineup was when it launched earlier this year. That said, it cannot be denied that these new cases sit at the same level as Fractal's latest Define models. Better still, they ship for lower launch day MSRPs and promise better airflow.
Internally, the Meshify 2 is almost identical to the Define 7, but with Fractal's redesigned front and top panels, the Meshify 2 achieves its own unique look and feel. While both cases are very similar, both models are distinct,
What makes the Meshify 2 series special?
Where Define 7 and its XL counterpart focused on workstation users and storage nuts, the Meshify 2 focuses more on gamers and performance enthusiasts. 5.25/optical drive support is dropped, and the Define's flat front panel is traded out for mesh. Those are the two main features of the Meshify 2.
For gamers without optical drives, these changes will increase internal case airflow and keep your components cooler under load. The lower retail prices of the new Meshify series will keep more of your precious pounds or dollars in your pocket. With the Meshify 2 costing £119.99 and £128.99 for its non-windowed and windowed models respectively, buyers will save £20-25 when compared to the Define 7. That's enough money to buy three months of Xbox Game Pass for PC, giving you three months of gaming bliss without any real sacrifice.
For the larger XL model, the Meshify 2 will retail for £165.99 and only ship with a tempered glass window. That's a lot cheaper than the Define 7 XL, which costs £189.99 and £199.99 with steel and tempered glass side panels respectively. If you want more airflow and don't care about optical drives, the Meshify 2 XL is for you. Buyers will get the same level of water cooling support and support the same ultra-large HEDT or server motherboards.
While the Meshify 2 lacks the "new factor" that the Define 7 had, we must remember that these new cases tick the same boxes. Storage nuts will also be glad to know that the Meshify 2 series also supports an insane number of HDDs and SSDs, offering the same mounting options as their Define 7 counterparts when kitted out with additional drive mounts from Fractal. Now, the Meshify series no longer compromises on storage options.
It is hard not to be impressed with what Fractal is offering with their Meshify 2 and Meshify 2 XL. These cases are clearly close cousins of the Define 7 and its XL counterpart. Still, they come with more attractive pricepoints and design changes which cater the enclosures more towards gamers and overclockers and less towards professional and workstations users. Both cases offer distinctive looks, and both offer users an excellent feature set.
Like Fractal's Define 7, the Meshify 2 is easy to build in and offers a level of build that's rarely matched within this industry. We are certain that we will see a few copycat designs in the future from other manufacturers, or a few features in upcoming cases which are "inspired" by Fractal's designs.
The main question that prospective Define 7 or Meshify 2 users must ask is these questions. Which case best suits your budget, styling, and hardware needs. If you need optical bays, you need the Define 7. If you don't want a flat front panel, use the Meshify 2. Do you prefer noise-deadening or do you prefer direct airflow?
Fractal's Meshify 2 and Meshify 2 XL are the Define 7 redefined. If you have read our review of the Define 7 and Define 7 XL, you will know that we think they are great cases, and the majority of those thoughts apply to the Meshify 2 series.
We loved the Define 7/Define 7 XL, and that love extends to the Meshify 2/Meshify 2 XL. The Meshify 2 series is cheaper, offers a nigh-identical feature set and offers users a completely new external aesthetic without compromising any of the things that made the Define 7 great. We said that the Define 7 was "on the cusp of perfection", and the same applies to the Meshify 2. For that reason, we have given Fractal's Meshify 2 and Meshify 2 XL the OC3D White Gold Award.
Fractal has set a high bar for all manufacturers to meet with its Define 7 and Meshify 2. We're looking forward to seeing other case manufacturers try to reach these new heights in 2020 and beyond.
You can join the discussion on Fractal's Meshify 2 and Meshify 2 XL on the OC3D Forums.
Given their nigh identical internal layouts, we have decided to embed our Fractal Define 7/Define 7 XL review below. A lot of this video reviews content will apply to the Meshify 2 series.