We could go on and on forever with the things we like in this design. Not having the Define S2 in hand before this, we don't feel we have missed much, as, at the bottom of it all, this is the S2 with a new face.
When testing the original Define S, we do not recall any issues with the amount of ventilation the slits around the full aluminum fascia proved for intake of air, however, using the Meshify front Bezel, it does improve on airflow without a doubt. The chassis is well built, robust, and heavy, which for us is perfect to protect the thousands of dollars that could be inside of it, which is the most basic job of a chassis.
It is roomy inside, it is more than capable in the water cooling department, there is a built-in PWM fan hub, and with a fair amount of cooling capability out of the box, things can only get better with optional cooling components, however, the chassis is quite good under PWM control of being seen and not heard. Speaking of being seen, it is the looks that got us.
There is something special about the way the angles, all the mesh, the mix of finishes, and that large amount of nearly obsidian-like glass on the left side, it keeps things dark and mysterious. All of this, and we still didn't touch on the use of sound deadening materials, the way the side panels attach, in nearly every corner, or any area of the chassis, there is something to appreciate and attempt to figure out how to use it to your advantage.
There is some bad we have to discuss, but it is mild to many potential customers, but things that need to be mentioned. Staring with the front bezel. While we love the look, the move away from the Define S2 and the IO panel being attached to the chassis is something sorely missed in this version.
However, the mesh insert is removable for cleaning without the need to pull the entire bezel, although fan mounting can be a bit of a pain with the panel bouncing off your hands. We also lost a pair of USB 2.0 ports, which is not a huge deal, but Fractal does sell themselves short here in two ways. Not only do you have two fewer ports for device connectivity, but the users with older gear may not have use of USB 3.0 let alone USB 3.1. We also feel that adding four to six inches of length to all of the fans is not out of the realm of reasonable asks.
Offering such well thought out channels to manage the wires, then making us have to cross the motherboard tray to get to the fan controller seems like something that slipped past them and could be quickly addressed with minimal cost added. Many of these things may not bother the average Joe, and we can appreciate that, but if these things were to be changed, it only perfects a chassis that is well thought out and appointed.
Pricing for the Meshify S2 in most cases is the same as what the Define S2 sold for initially. Right now the Define S2 is on sale, which sort of leaves the value of the Meshify S2 in an odd place. As far as we are aware, the differences are a pair of ports; chassis mounted IO panel and a different front bezel in a side by side comparison.
The only things we think may be new are the reservoir brackets and the cleaning cloth, but they may have come with the Define S2, we cannot confirm it with specifications and site information. Our rule of thumb has always been that to ask $150 in the mid-tower segment; you have to deliver a chassis with every bell and whistle, up to the standards of the day. At $149.99, the Meshify S2 delivered in spades.
A chassis strong enough to last the test of time, and is a chassis that will make many a build a cozy home, no matter your cooling needs or configuration of components. Aside from the lack of USB 2.0 for those on older systems, there is no reason not to give the Meshify S2 Black-Dark TG a chance, unless you are eyeing another of the Meshify S2 variants.
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)
|Overall TweakTown Rating||95%|
The Bottom Line: Feature-rich, solid enough to stand on, aesthetically and airflow improved, the Meshify S2 is nearly perfect. Current pricing will make you take a hard look at whether you want the more affordable Define S2, or the new hotness, the Meshify S2 Black-Dark TG like we have!
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