Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
In the beginning, Fractal Design created the Define S chassis, and the world must have loved it. While in today's cases, it can still compete, but there was room for improvement. Improvements led to the Define S2 chassis, which in today's market is quite the contender for your hard earned dollar, with a feature-rich design, and plenty of room to jam pack it full of components and liquid cooling.
While all of that was going on, around a year and a half ago, we were also introduced to the Meshify C, where the front panel stood as an interesting signpost, that attracted the masses to the chassis upon first sight. If you look at the name of the chassis in the title, you can tell where we are going, and how the name plays to deliver the heritage, along with an addition that may spring more life into an aging line of case designs from Fractal Design.
Keeping just about all of the feature set that the Define S2 delivered, the new Meshify S2 has one noticeable change, and a couple not so obvious ones. Most importantly is the front panel. Just like in the Meshify C, the Meshify S2 delivers the attractive, artistic, angular mesh front panel, strapped to what is necessarily a Define S2 behind it.
Along with the new fascia, in the literature provided to us from Fractal Design to make this all happen, we saw that there is four version in total of this new offering. There is the standard model called the Meshify S2 Black, with a pair of steel panels. There is also the Meshify S2 Black -TG which offers a tempered glass side panel, with no tint in the glass. There is also a Meshify S2 Black Dark TG which we have and comes with a deeply tinted tempered glass side panel. Lastly, there is a Meshify S2 White, but at this time it only comes with a non-tinted tempered glass side panel.
With our heads firmly wrapped around what is going on with the latest design to leave Fractal Design, there is a lot here you may have seen before, but we do have to admit that the Meshify S2 is more attractive. Of course, that is our opinion and is subjective, but the actions were taken by Fractal Design to make this chassis reality, both cases that come together to create what we have for you now must have been successful.
Otherwise, there would be no need to carry on to make a chassis that is essentially the same as another currently sold in many e-tail settings, and adds to confuse us on where precisely the Meshify S2 sits in the minds of the masses. Is a new front panel worth all of the fuss?
The Meshify S2 that we have is black, and it comes with the Dark tempered glass side panel. The chassis is made mostly of steel for the frame, brackets, slot covers and suck, but there are things like the front bezel and the feet which are made of ABS plastic. All models have Bitumen sound deadening material placed inside of the side panels, and on the vanilla models, this goes for both side panels. For a mid-tower, this case is quite large, boasting dimensions of 233mm of width, 465mm of height, and 538mm of depth. Weight will vary between models, but on average, the Meshify S2 will weigh in at roughly twenty-six pounds.
Inside of the chassis, along with a motherboard tray that can support up to 285mm wide EATX motherboards, there are also three 3.5" or 2.5" drive cages found behind the motherboard tray, near the front of the case. On top of that, there is also a pair of dedicated 2.5" drive trays, which hang below the CPU cooler access hole or can also be placed on the top of the PSU cover.
At the back of the case, there are nine expansion slots in total, seven of the standard variety, plus a pair running vertically, but to use them requires the purchase of an extension cable kit for PCI-e connectivity. Outside of the chassis, connectivity has been reduced by a pair of USB 2,0 ports, but we still find a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, a couple of USB 3.0 ports, and HD Audio jacks.
Cooling has tons of options, but the chassis is shipped with only three fans in the nine locations. There is a pair at the front of the chassis, which are X2 GP-14 140mm 3-pin powered fans, and a match to the couple is also found in the rear of the case. Optionally, the front of the case can take on three 120mm or 140mm fans, as does the top. The back of the case will allow for a single 120mm or 140mm fan, but the bottom of the chassis has room for yet another pair of 120mm or 140mm fans.
As for liquid cooling support, radiators can go in all four locations, and the sizes can all be found in the chart. One thing to note, however, is that when populating the top of the chassis, the max thickness can be no more than 35mm to ensure it does not conflict with the motherboard.
Clearance is not an issue either. The PSU can be 300mm long and still offer ease of connectivity for modular cables. Without fans in the bottom, there is no real limitation at all. GPUs can be 440mm in length, which covers the market well, but this can be reduced if a radiator is used in the front of the chassis. CPU air coolers can be 185mm tall, which covers just about every cooler we have ever had our hands-on. In the back, when it comes to finding room for the wires, Fractal has provided 23mm of space there behind the motherboard to easy any burden there.
In the literature provided to us, we saw that with either version of the TG models, the Meshify S2 Black-Dark TG, the Black-TG or the White-TG, the MSRP is set to $149.99. If you want the panel on the left to be steel, you will save ten dollars. No shock on the price, as it is what the Define S2 was released at as well, and seems fitting that the slight changes to the newer model not take pricing over the top.
However, one wrench to the gearing is that currently, the Define S2 is considerably cheaper, so you will have to love what you are about to see to pay the $35 premium. That being said, we like what we saw, and we are taking you on a detailed tour to see if the Fractal Design Meshify S2 Black-Dark TG Mid-Tower chassis is a must have for your next build.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Code Z270 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB TF1D48G3000HC16CBK
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: Samsung XP941 256GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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