Mesh Elite GTX 460 review

£799
Price when reviewed

PCs toting Nvidia graphics cards have been scarce this year, and Fermi has done little to change that. That’s until this month’s release of the GeForce GTX 460, however, and Mesh is the first to take full advantage with its Elite GTX 460 desktop system.

The GTX 460 is Nvidia’s mid-range reworking of the first failed Fermis, and it despite a lower price and much lower power draw than its bigger cousins, it performs admirably. After blasting its way through our Low and Medium quality tests at triple-figure frame rates, the GTX 460 powered this Mesh PC to an average of 59fps in our High quality test at 1,600 x 1,200 – as fast as we’ve seen at this price point.

Upping the settings to Very High still produced a 34fps average, and at the TFT’s native 1,920 x 1,080 resolution a score of 29fps is impressive. In comparison, the £779 exc VAT Chillblast Fusion Midgard, with its ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, scored a slightly higher 32fps. Nvidia is finding its feet again at last and the Mesh enjoys the benefit.

Sitting beside the new Nvidia card is an ageing Intel Core i5-750, but this 45nm processor certainly doesn’t perform like an old codger: Mesh has overclocked it from 2.66GHz to 3.6GHz for a benchmark result of 2.41. To get higher than that you’ll need to pay more – the £760 exc VAT Yoyotech Warbird i750X scored 2.7 by overclocking the same processor to 4GHz, for example.

Mesh Elite GTX 460

Mesh has fitted these parts into a Thermaltake V5 chassis. It’s a bit early to call it a trend, but we’ve seen several PC cases featuring carrying handles built into the roof, and the V5 follows suit. It’s a well-built chassis, designed for gamers at LAN parties but it has wider appeal. Along with the handle, the top of the case is home to a pair of USB 2 ports and audio jacks, and an eSATA port, while the rear has eight USB 2 ports alongside a pair of PS/2 inputs, an S/PDIF socket and Gigabit Ethernet. It’s a solid feature set, albeit with no USB 3 provision for the future.

There’s a decent amount of upgrade potential throughout. The five spare 5.25in bays and pair of empty 3.5in bays are all fitted with tool-free entry mechanisms, and the motherboard provides a vacant PCI Express x16 slot, as well as a single PCI Express x1 slot and a trio of empty PCI sockets. Mesh supplies 4GB of DDR3, with two empty DIMM sockets – although one is partially blocked off by the fan attached to the CPU cooler. A 1TB hard disk and DVD writer, with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit as the operating system, round off the spec sheet.

In other areas, though, the Thermaltake is more ordinary. There’s no motherboard tray, for instance, and Mesh hasn’t put much stock in keeping its system tidy: ugly, multicoloured cables snake out of the cheap EZCool PSU and, with little effort made to lash them together, trail untidily around the interior.

The Mesh grew a little noisy when pushed hard but it isn’t too bad, and such weaknesses are tempered by the low price. At £680 exc VAT, it remains affordable for a high-end base unit, but matches or exceeds similarly priced systems for performance and build quality, and the chassis is a particular strong point. With its brand-new Fermi graphics card and a well-overclocked processor, it’s an impressive all-round package.

Warranty

Warranty 3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size N/A

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 3.60GHz
Processor socket LGA 1156
HSF (heatsink-fan) Akasa Nero S

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P7P55 LX
Motherboard chipset Intel P55
Conventional PCI slots free 3
Conventional PCI slots total 3
PCI-E x16 slots free 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
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 1
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 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB
Hard disk 2 make and model N/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size 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 DVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model N/A
Resolution screen horizontal N/A
Resolution screen vertical N/A
Resolution N/A x N/A
Pixel response time N/A
Contrast ratio N/A
Screen brightness N/A
DVI inputs N/A
HDMI inputs N/A
VGA inputs N/A
DisplayPort inputs N/A

Additional Peripherals

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

Case

Chassis Thermaltake V5 BlackEdition
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 223 x 490 x 508mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply EZCool ATX-650 JSP
Power supply rating 650W
Power supply efficiency N/A

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 5

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 10
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel eSATA ports 1
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard N/A

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Software supplied BullGuard Internet Security

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 116W
Peak power consumption 301W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.41
Office application benchmark score 1.96
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.54
Encoding application benchmark score 2.00
Multitasking application benchmark score 3.15
3D performance (crysis) low settings 169fps
3D performance setting Low

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