Mesh Hush i7 980X review

£1999
Price when reviewed

We were introduced to Intel’s first six-core “Gulftown” processor last month, with the Core i7-980X offering blistering performance and a typically ludicrous Extreme Edition price. Now Mesh has won the race to produce a full review system using the chip, and the resulting Hush i7 980X is as wallet-unfriendly as you’d expect.

It does pack quite a punch, though. The six cores and 32nm die grab the headlines, but the Core i7-980X also offers Hyper-Threading technology to handle a dozen processes simultaneously, and there’s a massive 12MB L3 cache. Turbo Boost has also been enhanced: the i7-980X can dynamically adjust individual cores from the standard 3.33GHz, down as low as 1.6GHz and up to 3.6GHz as required.

Mesh Hush i7 980X

Mesh has paired this monstrous CPU with 6GB of 1,600MHZ DDR3 memory, which together produced stunning levels of raw power. In our 2D application benchmarks, the Hush i7 980X roared to a score of 2.48. That’s the best result we’ve seen from a processor running at its stock speeds, beaten only by overclocked monsters such as Chillblast’s Fusion Mustang with its souped-up Core i7-920.

The Mesh is a powerful gaming machine too. The best match for the CPU would have been a dual-GPU graphics card, but Mesh has opted for an ATI Radeon HD 5870, which is the next best thing. Our High-quality Crysis test was brushed aside with an average framerate of 72fps, and even at Very High settings and a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 it managed 38fps.

The rest of the Hush i7 980X’s internal specification is of suitably high quality. Windows 7 Home Premium comes installed on a 64GB Kingston SSD to boost boot speed and keep core processes running as smoothly as possible. There’s also a 1TB Samsung SpinPoint hard disk for data storage and a Blu-ray reader.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,064
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Screen size 24.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 3.33GHz
CPU overclocked frequency N/A
Processor socket LGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan) Intel stock cooler

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P6T SE
Motherboard chipset Intel X58
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 3
Memory sockets total 6

Graphics card

Graphics card ATI Radeon HD 5870
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
Graphics chipset HIS ATI Radeon HD 5870
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 64GB
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model Iiyama ProLite E2407HDSD
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 2ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Screen brightness 300cd/m2
DVI inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers N/A
Speaker type N/A
Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis NZXT Hush
Case format Full tower

Power supply

Power supply X-Power ATX-700TW
Power supply rating 700W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Logitech Deluxe 660 Wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Windows disc

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.48
Office application benchmark score 2.08
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.69
Encoding application benchmark score 2.09
Multitasking application benchmark score 3.08

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