Mesh Matrix Vector Pro review
Mesh’s Matrix Vector Pro delivers a knock-out blow on the performance front. At this price, we expected decent speeds in everyday applications, but not playable frame rates in the latest games.
The reasons are both installed onto the Asus A8N-E motherboard – a 2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3200+ CPU and a GeForce 6600 GT graphics card. It’s a formidable combination for the price, and with the help of 512MB of PC3200 memory the Matrix produced a decent 2D benchmark score of 0.88. It isn’t the fastest here, but you won’t notice any difference between the Mesh and NEC in practice.
You will, however, notice the power of the GeForce 6600 GT graphics card. It’s the fastest 3D card here and provides the opportunity to play the latest games at high-quality levels, as 30fps in Far Cry at our tough settings demonstrates.
Power isn’t Mesh’s only focus with the Vector Pro, though. It also adds a wide range of features, including a 160GB hard disk and a dual-layer DVD writer. True, you don’t get a second DVD drive or a media card reader, but Mesh has spent its budget on the great TFT.
ViewSonic’s VP171b is more versatile than Evesham’s VX715. It’s the only monitor here with height adjustment, three inputs (two analog D-SUB ports and one digital DVI) and a portrait mode, where the display rotates 90 degrees for better viewing of A4 documents. The fast response time makes it ideal for gaming and watching videos too.
A similarly high standard is reached with the Logitech accessories, with a particularly nice rechargeable cordless mouse and a cordless keyboard sporting plenty of extra function buttons.
The chassis itself combines very easy access with upgrade potential (there are four free drive bays and two memory sockets), and the installation is neat and tidy.
We rarely see perfection in a PC, and the Vector Pro is no exception. It was the second-noisiest on test – 43.9dBA when idle – but there are some simple changes you can make to reduce this. Two other niggles are the lack of FireWire and that the stereo speakers are a little basic considering this system’s 7.1-channel audio processor and dual S/PDIF outputs. It’s also worth noting that Evesham outscored Mesh in our Reliability & Service Survey.
The warranty is good, though: a single year of on-site cover is followed by two years’ collect-and-return. If the noise doesn’t bother you, the performance and great peripherals make the Mesh a bargain PC.