Mesh XGS PII 955R Inverness

The Mesh XGS PII 955R is a good value system available in Inverness. The Mesh includes a monitor, keyboard and mouse for much the same money with other processors in the market.

iTek Solutions Ltd
01463 725999
1, Cromwell Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
B S COMPUTERS
07745 056669
74, Highfield Avenue, Inverness
Inverness
 
Laing PC Support
07912 938019
3, Eastfield Avenue, Drakies
Inverness
 
ITP SOLUTIONS
01463 245 600|
4, Walker Rd, Inverness
Inverness
 
PC Warehouse Ltd
01463 250250
Unit 4, 23, Harbour Rd
Inverness
 
Solution X
01463 418264
Cromwell Road, Inverness
Inverness
 
Csrlaptops
01463 242483
5, Celt St.Inverness
Inverness
 
Sutherland Systems & Services
01463 234007
36, Tomnahurich St, Inverness
Inverness
 
PC World
0844 5610000
79A, Telford St, Inverness
Inverness
 
Computer & Network Specialist
07746 051085
23, Dellness Way, Inverness
Inverness
 

Mesh XGS PII 955R

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The Phenom II X4 955 is the most powerful processor that AMD produces, boasting four 3.2GHz cores, 6MB of L2 cache and a 2GHz HyperTransport. We were massively impressed with its balance of raw power and price when we first previewed the chip in April, and that opinion is reflected in the Mesh XGS PII 955R - the first desktop PC with the processor at its core.

In our application-based benchmarks the Mesh XGS PII 955R produced an impressive performance, gaining an overall score of 1.9, with a particularly good result of 2.31 in our multi-tasking test showing how useful a quad-core CPU can be when working with several demanding applications simultaneously. The overall score is still slower than some rival systems - the Yoyotech Water Dragon 3.6 and Chillblast Fusion Stinger scored 2.08 and a massive 2.33 respectively - but the power available here will be more than enough for most users, and enough power for any application, from video editing to 3D design.

The graphics card, ATI's Radeon HD 4770, is more of a mid-range offering, but don't let that put you off - it boasts a surprising amount of power for an £85 card. It completed our low and medium-quality Crysis benchmarks at a rate of 103fps and 65fps respectively, while in the high-quality test, run at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200, it scored a playable 33fps. Only when quality was ramped up to its highest settings did the HD 4770 struggle to cope, returning a score of only 20fps.

Elsewhere, Mesh has put together a decent specification. The Asus M4A79T Deluxe motherboard offers support for CrossFireX and has 4GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM installed with support for up to 16GB, and the terabyte hard disk provides a huge amount of storage for all but the largest of media collections. Blu-ray isn't included - the cheapest machine we've seen with a high-definition drive was the £797 (exc VAT) Yoyotech Water Dragon 3.6 - but you do get a DVD writer and there's plenty of space to add one in the future should you want to.

The exterior of the chassis is well-appointed too, with a small area on top for storing USB flash drives and the like, plus eSATA, FireWire, two USB sockets and a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks. The rear offers more, with eSATA and FireWire alongside Gigabit Ethernet, six USB sockets, an S/PDIF output and two PS/2 ports.

Inside, Mesh has done a good job of keeping wires tidy and unobtrusive, maximising airflow and making it easy to upgrade the XGS. There's room to grow, too, with two spare PCI Express x16 slots, a pair of empty DIMM sockets and numerous internal 3.5in and front-facing 5.25in bays lying empty. You'll also find a free PCI slot and PCI Express x1 slot, although the latter is blocked by the graphics card's heatsink.

Finally, topping the system off is a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS-1 monitor and a Logitech keyboard and mouse set. Both are of decent quality and, although the monitor didn't blow us away with its quality - there's plenty of backlight bleed at the bottom edge - and lighter shades tend to blend together - it's not that bad when you consider the overall cost of the system.

All is sweetness and light, however. Our primary gripe is with the noise levels - it's one of the noisiest PCs that we've come across in recent times, and a very annoying machine to use. This is mainly thanks to the Akasa heatsink, which spins up to intrusive levels whenever the machine is put under strain. There's also the styling, which we're not too keen on - at least there's no sign of LED lighting.

Despite that, we think the Mesh XGS PII 955R is a good value system. While the trio of systems in its category on the A List are all quicker than this machine, the performance gap between them is relatively slim - and, crucially, the Mesh includes a monitor, keyboard and mouse for much the same money. Only the noise levels prevent us from handing it an award.

System Specifications

3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM; 1TB hard disk ; DVD writer; ATI Radeon HD 4770, 1,920 x 1,080 Iiyama Prolite E2208HDS-1 TFT; 2 x DVI-I; S/PDIF out; 8 x USB, 2 x PS/2, 2 x FireWire, 2 x eSATA; Gigabit Ethernet; Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse; Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit; 1yr RTB warranty; 208 x 493 x 513mm (WDH)

Verdict

With plenty of power and good peripherals the Mesh is tempting, but beware - it's loud in more ways than one.

Author: Jonathan Bray

Mesh XGS PII 955R