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

Warranty3 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,000
RAM capacity4.00GB
Screen sizeN/A

Processor

CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.60GHz
Processor socketLGA 1156
HSF (heatsink-fan)Akasa Nero S

Motherboard

MotherboardAsus P7P55 LX
Motherboard chipsetIntel P55
Conventional PCI slots free3
Conventional PCI slots total3
PCI-E x16 slots free1
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free1
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 free2
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX 460
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX 460
Graphics card RAM1.00GB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskSamsung SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ
Capacity1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity931GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size32MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/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 technologyDVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A

Monitor

Monitor make and modelN/A
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

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

Case

ChassisThermaltake V5 BlackEdition
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions223 x 490 x 508mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyEZCool ATX-650 JSP
Power supply rating650W
Power supply efficiencyN/A

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays5

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)10
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Modemno
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel eSATA ports1
Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardN/A

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Software suppliedBullGuard Internet Security

Noise and power

Idle power consumption116W
Peak power consumption301W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.41
Office application benchmark score1.96
2D graphics application benchmark score2.54
Encoding application benchmark score2.00
Multitasking application benchmark score3.15
3D performance (crysis) low settings169fps
3D performance settingLow

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