Mesh 7 review

£2748
Price when reviewed

The PC inside has clearly been assembled to match the monster chassis. Intel’s Core i7-920 processor has been bumped from its stock 2.66GHz speed to 3.6GHz, and a benchmark score of 2.56 indicates the level of power available. The only recent PC to beat that was the Chillblast Fusion Eyefinity, which scored 2.8.

It’s also aided by 6GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM and a 64GB Samsung SSD, which keeps Windows 7 Home Premium feeling sprightly. The extra 1TB hard disk and Blu-ray drive complete a tempting enthusiast specification.

Gamers will be pleased with the ATI Radeon HD 5970. Our original review revealed it to be the fastest card we’ve tested, and the dual GPUs proved themselves again here: the Mesh 7’s score of 56fps in our 1,920 x 1,200 Very High quality Crysis test shows a level of headroom that should cope with the top new games for some time to come.

Unfortunately, these powerful components fall prey to the system’s rudimentary cooling. We found that the processor peaked at a temperature of 91ûC in a stress-test, with the GPU running just 6ûC cooler. Both of these figures may be slightly lower than each chip’s maximum operating temperature, but it’s still hardly encouraging, and we wouldn’t want to add a second graphics card into this stifling environment.

Mesh 7

Thankfully, the peripherals are better. The Iiyama Prolite E2407HDSD is a perfectly serviceable TFT with decent colour reproduction and sharpness, and the Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse are basic but extremely comfortable. It’s a little disappointing, though, that Mesh couldn’t find room in its extravagant budget to include even a basic set of speakers.

For all of the Mesh 7’s strengths, though, the inclusion of Thermaltake’s chassis – which costs £442 exc VAT on its own – pushes the price of the whole package to £2,339 exc VAT, which looks ludicrous when compared to rival machines.

The A-Listed Wired2Fire Hellspawn XFire, for instance, comes with a traditional ATX tower chassis, but the Antec Nine Hundred Two remains a well-built piece of kit. It’s also a quick machine, with its benchmark scores impressive, even though it can’t quite match up to the speed of the Mesh. Crucially, it’s also over £1,000 cheaper, provided you don’t mind trading form for function.

So the Mesh 7 may be a fast PC, and it certainly looks stunning, but its sky-high price – along with occasionally suspect build quality and design issues – keeps it far from a PC Pro recommendation. Unless you’re the kind of person who buys a PC to make a style statement, you can find similarly specified machines for a whole lot less cash.

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base N/A

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,064
RAM capacity6.00GB
Screen size24.0in

Processor

CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.60GHz
Processor socketLGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan)Akasa Freedom Tower

Motherboard

MotherboardAsus P6T SE
Motherboard chipsetIntel X58
Conventional PCI slots free2
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free2
PCI-E x16 slots total3
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total1
Internal SATA connectors6
Internal SAS connectors1
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free3
Memory sockets total6

Graphics card

Graphics cardATI Radeon HD 5970
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 5970
Graphics card RAM2.00GB
DVI-I outputs1
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Capacity1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity931GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size32MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelSamsung SSD
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity64GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity59
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A

Drives

Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A

Monitor

Monitor make and modelIiyama Prolite E2407HDS
Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,080
Resolution1920 x 1080
Pixel response time5ms
Contrast ratio1,000:1
Screen brightness300cd/m2
DVI inputs1
HDMI inputs1
VGA inputs1
DisplayPort inputs0

Additional Peripherals

SpeakersN/A
Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardRealtek HD Audio
PeripheralsN/A

Case

ChassisThermaltake Level 10
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions318 x 614 x 666mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply rating850W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)10
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports2
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Modemno
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports4
Front panel eSATA ports1
Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardLogitech wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption172W
Peak power consumption545W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.56
Office application benchmark score2.28
2D graphics application benchmark score2.68
Encoding application benchmark score2.10
Multitasking application benchmark score3.16
3D performance (crysis) low settings186fps
3D performance settingLow

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