PC Cases / Accessories

Fractal Design: Meshify C Mini – Tempered Glass Edition

I Shall Call Him Mini Me[shify]

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A Closer Look at the Meshify C Mini

The tinted tempered glass panel and a handful of glossy parts of the front bezel of the Meshify C Mini were covered in a sticky plastic film to prevent it from getting scuffed or scratched. The core of the case is manufactured from lightweight steel, and painted black inside and out. The case’s iconic front panel is only slightly less angular than Willem Defoe’s face, and it consists of metal mesh painted black, and backed with a sound-absorbing foam and ABS plastic skeleton. The frame around the front panel is ABS plastic, though its matte-finish and color closely match that of the steel frame and right-side panel.

The top of the case features a magnetic fan filter that extends the entire length of the top panel’s vent. The rather basic front panel I/O resides on the top edge of the front panel. We would have liked to see a USB 3.1 Type C option, but to be fair, not many motherboards currently support this. The Power and Reset buttons have a good tactile “click” feel to them and the power and HDD activity LEDs are blue.

The tempered glass panel that shipped with our Meshify C Mini is tinted darkly enough that it’s hard to tell what’s installed in the system unless that case’s interior is lit. There’s a blacked-out frame around the edges of the glass panel, which gives the side panel a very clean look. We also like the sharp beveled edge of the glass.

The steel that the case frame and right-side panel are constructed from is sturdy, and every exposed edge we encountered was rolled, so we avoided opening any veins while building inside this case. There are two captive thumb screws holding the right-side panel in place, so you don’t risk losing them whenever you pull the panel to tweak the wiring.

The tempered glass panel attaches to the left side of the case via a quartet of wide flat thumbscrews. As you can see, there’s a surprising amount of room inside the Meshify C Mini. Highlights of the main compartment include the rubber grommeted cable ports, a full-length PSU bay, copious cooling options.

The Meshify C Mini ships with two fans pre-installed, one in the front panel for intake, and an exhaust fan on the back panel. These 120mm fans feature a 19.4 dBA sound output, 52.3 CFM airflow capacity, high-grade Long Life Sleeve (LLS) bearing, noise-reducing aerodynamic stator struts and notches on the blade edges, and a Trip Wire bead on the blades that Fractal claims increases blade efficiency and decreases noise. Best of all, these fans have a 100,000 hour MTBF rating. The fan mounting holes throughout the case are oblong, letting you mount them anywhere along the holes to ensure everything fits properly.

The front panel’s mesh core is removable, making it easy to clean. The removable PSU bracket made it easy to flip the power supply over when we realized that the 24-pin ATX power cable wouldn’t reach the motherboard in the orientation we initially tried.

The front panel secures to the chassis via the typical plastic pegs, and popping it off is a simple matter of pinching and pushing. This makes it easy to reach key areas of the frame when installing a front-mounted radiator or fans.

You can mount up to a 280mm radiator in the front panel, and up to a 240mm radiator in the top panel. If you’re dedicated to strictly air cooling, the front and top panels support up to three and two 120mm fans, respectively, or up to two 140mm fans each. Remove the HDD/SSD bay toward the front of the PSU bay and you can install a bottom-mounted 120mm fan there for even more airflow.

 

Behind the Meshify C Mini’s full-length PSU shroud is a large space that’s capable of housing a power supply up to 6.9-inches long. The dual 3.5/2.5-inch HDD/SSD drive bay is mounted approximately 8.5-inches from the rear panel, so you could fit a slightly longer than recommended PSU in here. One thing to keep in mind with the Meshify C Mini is that the PSU shroud is riveted to the motherboard tray, so you won’t be removing it easily.

 

The rear panel exhaust mount on this case is limited to a single 120mm fan, and again the screw holes let you mount the fan directly adjacent to the motherboard’s rear I/O, or up to an inch higher up the rear panel. Being able to align the exhaust fan with your CPU cooler’s fan(s) is just plain satisfying. The giant CPU cutout is handy, but Fractal has included a dual-SSD mounting bracket that runs from one side of the cutout to the other.

Routing cables inside the Meshify C Mini was simply a joy. For such a compact enclosure, there is a good amount of room behind the motherboard tray (up to 15mm) for routing cables. Adjacent to the motherboard is the main cable channel, which features three Velcro ties and up to 35mm of space for routing a majority of the system’s power lines. All told, there are 26 tie down points peppering the motherboard tray. The plastic chrome case feet feature soft rubber pads, ensuring the case doesn’t slide or vibrate, regardless of the surface it resides upon.

The removable plastic mesh filter on the bottom of the case runs the length of the enclosure and slides out from just below the front panel. The bottom of the chassis is essentially one large vent.

The wide flat thumbscrews that hold the tempered glass panel are knurled around the sides, but smooth and rounded at the top edge. There is rubber around the mounting points, and on the undersides of each screw, ensuring the glass is held snugly and securely, with little risk of minor flexing resulting in a shattered pane. Front panel connectors include two USB 3.0 ports, line-out and mic in jacks, HDD and power LEDs, and power and reset switches.

The accessories box that comes with the Meshify C Mini is tied to one of the two 3.5/2.5-inch HDD/SSD trays. Inside you’ll find zip ties, an assortment of screws and standoffs, and a convenient microfiber cloth for wiping fingerprints from the tempered glass panel.

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Andrew Leibman

Andrew Leibman is a freelance writer with more than 14 years of experience writing about hardware and tech industry trends. In addition to Modders-Inc, he has written for Computer Power User Magazine, Smart Computing Magazine, and PCMag.com. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing video games, listening to ‘90s era electronica, and arguing in favor of the serial comma. You can follow him on Twitter @Leiblander.

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