Mesh Titan GT Pro review

£661
Price when reviewed

While the dearest computers will always have an aspirational appeal, the more modest end of the market can be just as fascinating. A year ago, for instance, you wouldn’t have put money on a 3.16GHz processor, 9000-series graphics card and 750GB of storage space being available for a mere £575.

Mesh Titan GT Pro review

How times have changed, though. The Mesh Titan GT Pro serves up a tempting core specification that serves to highlight the inevitable drop in component prices: Intel’s Core 2 Duo E8500 – which also boasts a 6MB L2 cache and 1,333MHz FSB – sits alongside an Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT graphics card, 750GB hard disk, 4GB of RAM. Mesh has also included a 22in TFT.

Accordingly, the Titan GT Pro lived up to its name by delivering some impressive benchmark scores. An overall 2D score of 1.82 indicates that even the most demanding of applications won’t phase it, and lightning-quick results in our graphics and multi-tasking tests indicate where the Mesh’s strengths lie.

These results look even better when the Mesh is lined up against rival systems. The Eclipse Zenith i82n98GTX, with its Core 2 Duo E8200 processor, could only manage 1.4 in the same tests. The Titan GT Pro is even quicker than systems which are significantly more expensive – the PC Specialist Apollo Q8200 GTX+ could also only manage 1.4. The Mesh is also quicker than all but one machine in our recent Do-It-All PC Labs test, in which the cheapest system cost £680.

There’s a modest amount of gaming potential, too, thanks to the GeForce 9600 GT graphics card. Our Low and Medium benchmarks didn’t trouble the GPU, but our High-quality Crysis test proved too much – the Mesh only managed a juddering 19fps. It’s a sign, perhaps, that the 9600 GT is getting a bit long in the tooth – ATI’s Radeon HD 4850 or HD 4830 cards, for instance, both cost little extra cash but provide better performance.

Elsewhere, the specification is extremely capable. Intel’s P43 chipset is a relatively modern part that undoubtedly contributes to the decent benchmark score, and 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium means that every bit of the 4GB of RAM can be used effectively. The 750GB hard disk guarantees plenty of storage, too.

All of this is wrapped in a familiar Mesh chassis. The slightly bland looks and uninspiring build quality are the signs of the Titan GT Pro’s reduced budget, but it’s a functional case that offers a reasonable amount of upgrade potential. Three PCI slots and a PCI-Express 1x slot are available, as are several 5.25in and 3.5in hard disk bays – ideal for extra storage or a Blu-ray drive should you want to expand later on. The only thing really lacking is a spare PCI-Express 16x slot that could be used for a second graphics card.

The neat cabling inside the system and frugal use of components – the reasonably small graphics card and low-profile Intel cooler take up little room – mean that tinkering with your PC is relatively easy, too. It’s also worth noting that the Mesh is a quiet machine – the barely audible hum increased to a slight whirr when we pushed the CPU, but it certainly wasn’t intrusive enough to prove a distraction.

As befitting the Mesh’s budget status, the range of peripherals is more modest than some of the components. While the 22in Hanns.G Hi221D TFT provides plenty of desktop space – certainly more than the 19in panel included with the rival Eclipse system – it doesn’t offer great quality. While it’s decent enough for working and surfing the web, the pale colour reproduction and poor contrast mean that it’s not the best for watching movies or playing games. You don’t get any separate speakers, although there is a mediocre integrated set on the TFT.

Warranty

Warranty 1 year(s) return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 750
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size 22.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core 2 Duo
CPU nominal frequency 3.16GHz
CPU overclocked frequency N/A
Processor socket LGA 775
HSF (heatsink-fan) Intel low profile cooler

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P5QL Pro
Motherboard chipset Intel P43
Conventional PCI slots free 3
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 0
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
Internal SATA connectors 6
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR2

Graphics card

Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting High
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT
Graphics card RAM 512MB
DVI-I outputs 2
Number of graphics cards N/A

Hard disk

Capacity 750GB
Internal disk interface SATA
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 disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model Hanns.G Hi221D
Resolution screen horizontal 1,680
Resolution screen vertical 1,050
Resolution 1680 x 1050

Additional Peripherals

Sound card Realtek HD audio

Case

Case format Midi tower
Dimensions 180 x 430 x 380mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 9

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 3
Front panel FireWire ports 1
Front panel memory card reader yes

Operating system and software

OS family Windows Vista

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 98W
Peak power consumption 167W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 1.82
Office application benchmark score 1.81
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.95
Encoding application benchmark score 1.51
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.02
3D performance (crysis) low settings 19fps
3D performance setting High

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