with the Mesh Matrix II 5870XT
has picked up a second award - this time from PC Pro
giving it an A-List rating. Check out the full review below from PC Pro
reviewer Mike Jennings.
It may be a mere six months since ATI launched the Radeon HD 4890 as its single-GPU flagbearer, but the HD 5870 wasted no time in usurping it last month. The new card deservedly won a place on the A List on its PC Pro debut, and Mesh is the first manufacturer to include it in its Matrix II 5870XT
The HD 5870 certainly boasts impressive credentials: it’s ATI’s first desktop 40nm part, the world’s first DirectX 11 GPU and boasts 1,600 stream processors, 2.15 billion transistors and a core clock speed of 850MHz, alongside 1GB of 1,200MHz GDDR5 memory.
This tantalising specification resulted in excellent gaming performance. In our 1,920 x 1,200 very high quality Crysis test, for instance, the Mesh returned an impressive average framerate of 39fps. More demanding tests didn’t faze the card, either; in fact, only a mammoth 2,650 x 1,600 test at very high settings caused the HD 5870 problems – it only managed 24fps – but you'll only reach that resolution if you shell out a lot more on a huge 30in TFT. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent performance that’s only marginally bettered by recent PCs we've reviewed with dual GPUs.
Partnering this groundbreaking GPU is a 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X4 965 processor, one of the most powerful quad-core parts in AMD’s range. It may not be as revolutionary as the graphics card, but the Mesh still delivered an excellent result of 2.03 in our suite of application benchmarks.
This score may not see the Mesh challenging its A-Listed competitors for raw power – the Wired2Fire Hellspawn XFire used an overclocked Intel Core i5 chip to score 2.45 in our benchmarks – but the Matrix II is still one of the fastest AMD-based systems we’ve seen and offers more than enough speed to cope with demanding applications.
Mesh has packed 4GB of RAM, a 1TB hard disk and a Blu-ray drive into the Matrix II 5870XT, to ensure there’s plenty of space for large media collections, as well as the capacity to play high-definition movies.
It's all crammed into the popular NZXT Hush case. It may not look as sleek or feel as sturdy as other favourites such as the Antec Nine Hundred Two, but the Hush’s main strength is noise prevention: layers of sound-absorbing foam and dozens of rubber washers keep vibrations and hums to a minimum.
The result is a system that, while far from silent, is relatively quiet for such a powerful beast. The Akasa Nero CPU heatsink and that graphics card cooler mean there’s a constant whirr from the side of the chassis but, thankfully, it’s kept to a manageable level and is unlikely to prove distracting.
The chassis is neat and tidy elsewhere, with bundles of cables lashed together and out of sight, although the bulky components mean working inside is tricky. The two spare DIMM sockets are very close to the Akasa Nero, for instance, and adding a new hard disk into one of the four empty, tool-free bays will likely require removal of the graphics card.
Outside the case, Mesh has included decent peripherals. The Iiyama ProLite E2407HDS offers a full-HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, with solid image quality, especially when handling lighter tones –although we did notice backlight bleed at both the top and bottom of the screen. The choice of Logitech Deluxe 660 wireless keyboard and mouse is good, although perhaps lacking the precision demanded by serious gamers.
With all the power inside, we assumed the Mesh would tip the scales above £1,000 but it comes in at a reasonable £912 exc VAT. This looks good value when stacked up against its A List competition. The £869 Mesh Elite Ice 5 Pro can't match the Mesh for gaming prowess, while the two graphics cards of the £1,199 Wired2Fire Hellspawn XFire proved barely faster for that wedge of extra cash.
It’s this combination of price and performance that makes the Mesh so tempting. It may fall slightly behind some rivals in our 2D tests, but it's still a very fast machine, and its gaming performance is top class without resorting to a giant graphics card that sounds like a Hoover. If you’re searching for a cutting-edge gaming rig that doesn’t break the bank, the Mesh Matrix II 5870XT is flavour of the month.
Labels: a - list, mesh computers, pc pro, review win