Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When it comes to thinking about Fractal Design cases, two things immediately come to mind. First is the robust way in which these cases are built. Stronger than most, and could be used as a stepping stool for someone in the 300-pound range. The second thing that comes to mind is that Fractal Design always seems to have a knack for rounding corners and taking what could be rather boring and make cube form cases of any form factor attractive additions to any desk. While the structural aspect remains, it appears that Fractal Design is onto something new when it comes to aesthetically pleasing the discerning masses.
It is the time that it is, some of their older players have been left behind when it comes to the latest trends in case design, and Fractal Design has taken full advantage of most of what is selling cases today. Modularity is important, as are hidden drive bays. Not having a PSU shroud is almost sacrilege to a case design, tempered glass is hot right now as well, and many users want room for AIOs or multiple radiators, all packed into a mid-tower chassis, as not to need another desk just to place the computer onto. In all aspects, Fractal Design has taken these ideas to the drawing board and come up with their way of doing things, but the front bezel on this chassis is something we have never seen before.
As this review goes live, the Fractal Define Meshify C is releasing onto the planet. This mid-tower chassis has all of the bells and whistles, except for the push to RGB lighting. In fact, this chassis ignores lighting altogether, and with a unique approach to a full mesh front panel, does it in a way that is attractive, yet scientifically designed to also improve airflow. For those who are fans of Fractal Design, we do not need to entice you to read this review, as you are already here wondering what Fractal Design is up to now. For those of you who may not be so acquainted with this company, now would be the perfect time to have a look, as they are moving in a new direction with the Meshify C mid-tower chassis, and it is well worth a look.
The Meshify C is made primarily of solid steel components, has a few bits made of ABS plastic, and the left side of the chassis is covered in tempered tinted glass. The case is black, the fans are black, and the only bit of colored LED to see is the backlit power button which glows blue, and flickers a more intense blue when the storage device is accessed. The Meshify C eliminates optical bays but does deliver two trays which house 3.5" or 2'5" drives, as well as a new plate which holds a trio of 2.5" drives. At the back of the case, there are seven expansion slots, and they are internally accessed as they should be. The front I/O offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports and HD Audio jacks, but there's also the power buttons and a much smaller reset button there too. The longest the PSU can be with the HDD cage installed is 175mm including the wires. The max length of video cards is shown to be 315mm, and CPU coolers can be 172mm tall and still fit. The Meshify C is 217mm wide, 453mm tall, and 413mm deep, which also allows for 15mm of room behind the motherboard tray, and 35mm of room near the front.
Cooling the chassis, there is a pair of Fractal Design Dynamic X2 GP-12 120mm fans, one in the front, and one in the back. These fans are said to deliver only 18.9 dB(A) of noise but can push 68.4 CFM of airflow. The fan hub spins on a sleeve bearing; the fans are rated to last 100,000 hours, come with counterbalanced magnets, aerodynamic stator struts, notches in the blade edges, and use Trip Wire Technology, all to increase airflow without all of the added noise. Optional fan locations are everywhere. The front of the Meshify can house three 120mm fans or a pair of 140mm fans, which means 360mm and 280mm radiators fit too. The floor of the chassis has room for a single fan but is not shown to work with radiators. The back of the case will use the pre-installed 120mm fan and has no options for 140mm fans, but you could also use a 120mm radiator here. The top of the Meshify offers room for a pair of either 120mm or 140mm fans, and 240mm and 280mm radiators will work there.
Where other companies have been pushing the boundaries of what the majority of buyers will pay for a mid-tower, Fractal Design has their pricing based in reality. To us, once you cross the $100 mark, you better have sent us something spectacular, made of exotic materials, or be the best thing to hit the human race since sliced bread. Fractal Design has decided to play fair with the customers, and not only grab their attention with the new appearance but also by not grabbing gobs of money from your wallet. As stock arrives, you may be able to get an introductory deal, so keep your eyes peeled, but with the MSRP for the Meshify C set at just $89.99, we feel there is no need to wait it out for better pricing. Fractal Design has packed a lot into this mid-tower chassis, and the value is quite high as it is.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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