Mesh XGS 965BE review
A fast processor, Full HD display and plenty of room for expansion make the XGS 965BE seem a decent choice, but Eclipse's Fusion A925R575 offers even more for the same price
Review Date: 21 Jul 2010
Price when reviewed: £700
Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa
With an imposing Thermaltake tower case and a 22in Full HD monitor, the Mesh XGS 965BE looks like it means business. Powered by an AMD Phenom II X4 965 processor, it fared well in our benchmarks, scoring 109 overall. It's also one of the first PCs we've seen with USB3 ports so you can attach fast external hard disks.
The Asus VH222T monitor is a 22in display with a 1,920x1,080 resolution. Image quality was good, although colours were slightly over-saturated, even at the default settings. Asus's image controls are heavy-handed and - as with most monitors these days - it's best to leave dynamic contrast turned off. You'll appreciate the amount of desktop space it affords, however, and it's an excellent choice considering the budget.
Oddly, Mesh has installed a low-end Radeon graphics card. The HD5450 may support DirectX 11 but it doesn't have the power to run the latest 3D games, managing a paltry 12fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. It's powerful enough to play back HD content however, and applications that support GPU acceleration, such as the latest version of Photoshop, will benefit from a slight boost in performance. In fact, with its quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM, the XGS 965BE is well suited to image and video processing, and the 500GB hard disk provides plenty of room for multimedia files.
If you wanted to add more storage, there are ample free drive bays and SATA headers inside the case, plus two USB3 ports and an eSATA port. The latter is rather pointless, unless you already own a disk with an eSATA interface, as USB3 drives are noticeably faster. The USB3 ports will also accept USB2 disks and peripherals, which is a good thing as there are only six USB2 ports.
The Logitech keyboard and mouse set is adequate. The keyboard has enough feedback but it's narrower than normal so the page navigation keys have been squashed into two columns. The mouse is comfortable, and its batteries give it some weight, but the scroll wheel feels loose and it lacks any buttons on the side.
The XGS 965BE is powerful enough for most tasks and has a decent monitor; however, Eclipse's Fusion A925R575 has a faster graphics card, a larger display and a bigger hard disk for the same price. Mesh offers a better warranty than Eclipse (three years' RTB as opposed to just one year), so bear this in mind if peace of mind is a bigger priority than the hardware specifications.
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