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Trying out the Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL Black Full Tower Case (2024)

My thoughts on the Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL: bold design, modular interior, great cooling, easy building.
Brad Cheston

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 6, 2024


I recently had the chance to assemble a PC using the Meshify 2 XL case from Fractal Design. This case has gotten great reviews for its unique design and the vast space it offers for high-end PC components. As someone who enjoys building and upgrading computers, I found the Meshify 2 XL to have quite some standout features, as well as a few areas that could be improved.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Fractal Design Motherboard Compatability Extended ATX
Case Type Full Tower Recommended Uses For Product Gaming
Color Black TG Light Material Tempered Glass
Cooling Method Water Model Name Meshify 2 XL Black TG Light Tint
Item Weight 14.1 Kilograms Product Dimensions 25”D x 22.6”W x 11.2”H


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Design and Aesthetics of the Meshify 2 XL Case

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In the realm of PC cases, the Meshify 2 XL stands out for its bold, stealth-inspired design with bolt-free, flush tempered glass, offering a premium look that’s sure to catch any enthusiast’s eye. The black TG light tint is sleek yet non-obtrusive, maintaining a professional appearance while showcasing your build.

Here’s my take on the aesthetic appeal of the Meshify 2 XL:

  • Aesthetically Appealing: The stealthy exterior coupled with tempered glass strikes the perfect balance between flash and sophistication.

  • Modest Branding: Fractal Design has a subtle approach to branding, which is ideal for users who prefer a cleaner look.

  • Premium Materials: The use of quality materials such as tempered glass adds to the overall sturdiness and value.

  • Considerate Design Tweaks: The USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C on the front panel and the easy-to-access interior due to its fully removable top are beneficial features that influence the overall design positively.

However, with every design choice comes pros and cons:

  • Sheer Size: The expansive space is a double-edged sword, perfect for high-end builds but could be cumbersome for those with limited room.

  • Accessory Costs: Certain additional accessories, especially for an elaborate setup, can add to the cost, which might deter budget-conscious builders.

Handling this case, I appreciate the thoughtful ergonomics—the hinged removable mesh and tether-free bezel simplify access to the front fan mounts. The case type of full tower means a large footprint but it’s a trade-off I’m willing to make for the exceptional expandability and ease of installation it brings to the table.

I must mention, though, while the case is undeniably attractive, its massive dimensions might not appeal to everyone, especially those struggling with desk space. Moreover, the high-quality materials lead to a substantial weight of 14.1 kilograms, which might not be ideal when you need to move it around.

In terms of functionality meeting form, the clear tempered glass side panel offers durability and a window into your rig’s inner workings, emphasizing the case’s utility-centric design. The color, “Black TG Light Tint,” adds a touch of elegance and is less prone to showcasing fingerprints and dust.

This case accentuates the beauty in building PCs—a physical canvas for your technological creativity. The stylish, minimalistic vibe coupled with the practical design means the Meshify 2 XL is more than just a shell; it’s the backbone of a powerful, well-ventilated, and aesthetically pleasing PC.

While some might see the Meshify 2 XL as an overkill due to its size and potential for unused space, for those of us who dream of extensive storage and cooling options, its form factor is a true asset, representing the pinnacle of modern-day PC case design.

Interior Layout and Modularity Features

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The Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL has made a lasting impression on me, particularly with its expansive interior layout and modularity. When I first got into the case, here’s what stood out to me:

  • The case supports full-sized E-ATX and SSI-EEB boards, which was crucial for the dual-processor SuperMicro motherboard I planned to install.

  • With the default Storage Layout, it’s possible to fit up to 18 HDDs and 5 SSD mounts, a dream come true for my storage server requirements.

  • I appreciate the Multibrackets included, which proved to be versatile, converting any unused fan position into extra mount points for drives or even a pump.

However, it wasn’t all perfect. The case is undeniably massive, which is excellent for building complex rigs with massive cooling setups, but it can be overkill for some. Also, while working on the build, I found the space between the motherboard backplate and the case cover to be a tad too narrow for my comfort; thicker cables were quite the fight to manage.

On a more positive note, the option to reconfigure the case layout from Storage Layout to Open Layout and vice versa set my mind at ease, knowing that regardless of the components I add in the future, there will be room to accommodate them. As for the front panel design, the hinge and tether-free bezel were user-friendly, making access to front fan mounts a breeze. Something as simple yet as important as the quality of the tempered glass also didn’t disappoint, proving both durable and offering a clear view inside the case.

Even the USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C front I/O was a hands-down winner, positioning the Meshify 2 XL at the helm of current technology trends, and paving the way for quick access to fast data transfers. Although I had issues with the stock fans performance, I found them to be an easy fix by replacing them with PWM ones, a slight inconvenience but manageable.

In terms of configuration, there’s indeed a learning curve. Pricing for additional accessories like the 2.5” drive trays seemed a bit steep to me, impacting the otherwise flexible customization of the case.

To round up, for anyone who is looking to invest in a spacious, modular full tower, the Meshify 2 XL is a serious contender. Its strengths in motherboard compatibility, extensive drive support, and convertible layouts are undeniable. Yet, as with any product, it is not without its few minor quirks, such as cost considerations for certain accessories and space constraints for cable management behind the motherboard. But if you’re after a case that can grow with your needs, this might just be a match.

Cooling and Airflow Capabilities

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When assessing the cooling and airflow capabilities of the Meshify 2 XL case, several features immediately stand out to me:

  • Iconic angular mesh design that promotes airflow while filtering out dust.

  • The capacity for 9x 140 mm or 11x 120 mm fan positions.

  • Exceptional water cooling support with radiators up to 480 mm, front or top.

Starting with the airflow, the angular mesh isn’t just for show; it’s a functional design element that helps keep components cool. These carefully thought-out mesh panels do a remarkable job channeling air where it’s needed the most. As for fans, having the option to fit up to 9x 140 mm fans is frankly overkill for many builds, but the versatility is appreciated. I especially like the freedom this case gives to experiment with fan configurations without having to worry about space constraints.

Water cooling is another area where the Meshify 2 XL excels. Many cases claim to support large radiators, yet often run into compatibility issues with other components. This isn’t a problem with the Meshify 2 XL, as it accommodates up to 480 mm radiators on the top or front panels, which is a boon for anyone interested in setting up a custom loop or using large AIO coolers.

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind. The case’s vast size can make it challenging to create a sufficient exhaust for those who prefer air cooling. The GP-14 fans included are adequate, but for those who crave top-tier performance, upgrading to premium fans is advisable. Moreover, while the case boasts numerous fan positions, filling all these spots is likely unnecessary and could lead to diminishing returns in terms of cooling efficiency.

Despite some of the minor drawbacks, such as potentially excessive size for smaller builds or the need to invest in better-performing fans for those seeking the upper echelon of thermal management, the strengths far outweigh any negatives. The Meshify 2 XL’s airflow design and support for substantial water-cooling setups mark it as a case that not only understands the demands of high-performance components but also respects the desire for a stunning visual presentation of the hardware within—those seeking a spacious, versatile chassis that doesn’t skimp on cooling potential won’t be disappointed.

Building Experience and Cable Management Options

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Building my rig in the Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL Full Tower Case was a refreshing experience with plenty of room for maneuvers. From a cable management perspective, here are a few key observations:

  • Ample room behind the motherboard tray: I had a great time routing cables without the usual squeeze, thanks to the abundant space provided.

  • Tether-free design for easy access: Removing panels was a breeze, offering unrestricted access to all corners of the case, which is a big plus when you’re dealing with a tangle of cables.

  • Sturdy Velcro straps and cable routing channels: These options hold the cables in place neatly, ensuring the interior looks uncluttered.

My personal takeaways from the case’s building and cable management aspects:

  1. Ease of Assembly: The spacious interior made it straightforward to install my components, especially the E-ATX motherboard. I appreciate how tool-less access simplifies the process.
  2. Cable Management: The Velcro straps and ample space hide cables nicely, maintaining a clean aesthetic. However, thicker cables did require some finessing to fit behind the back panel.
  3. Modularity: The flexible arrangement of HDD/SSD mounts and brackets helped me customize storage configurations without a sweat.
  4. Attention to Detail: The included Multibrackets are a genius touch for converting unused fan positions which is handy for unconventional builds.

Despite the positives, I discovered a couple of minor drawbacks:

  • Premium on Space: While the case has plenty of space, it made me wish for a bit more clearance between the motherboard and the back cover for those thicker cables.

  • Sturdiness of Removable Parts: Some plastic components felt a bit too flexible, stirring a fear of breakage during removal.

As a conclusion to exploring the Meshify 2 XL, it’s a builder’s paradise with a few small caveats. It embodies what one would want in a high-end case: versatility, spaciousness, and thoughtfulness in design. The hurdles are few and far between, largely overshadowed by the convenience this case brings to the building experience. Whether it’s the ease of installation or the plethora of cable management options, the Meshify 2 XL provides an accommodating canvas for both seasoned PC builders and newcomers alike.

All in all, assembling a PC in this case was more pleasure than chore, and seeing a neat and tidy build at the end was certainly rewarding. Its drawbacks are far outweighed by the multitude of features, and having built with it, I’m resigned to the fact that future upgrades will be hard-pressed to match this level of satisfaction.