Mesh Elite 3450-W8CS review
This inexpensive PC packs in a surprising amount of power for the price
Review Date: 28 Oct 2012
Price when reviewed: £602
Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides
The Mesh Elite 3450-W8CS may be a reasonably-priced PC, but this doesn’t come at the expense of specification; it's a Windows 8 PC with an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of fast RAM. The components aren't all top-of-the range, but they work together to produce a high-quality PC for a very reasonable price.
The Cooler Master case is cheap and generic, with slightly tacky-looking silver plastic highlights on its black mesh front. Inside, it's all plain grey metal, but the edges - if a little rough in places - are all properly finished. The case doesn't do much to block system noise, as there are large vents in the side panel and at the bottom of the case. There also aren't any fine mesh grilles to keep dust from getting in. There's only one fan currently installed, although there's space for plenty more.
There are seven 3 1/2in drive bays, one of which is occupied by a 1TB hard disk. One of the free bays is externally facing, so you could use it to fit an SSD. There are also four 5 1/4in bays, again with one currently in use for a DVD-RW drive. There's a generic 450W power supply at the bottom of the case, which we wouldn’t trust to power anything above a replacement mid-range graphics card.
The motherboard, a MSI B75MA-E33, is a compact affair with only one PCI, one PCI-E x1 and one PCI-E x16 slot. Both the PCI and PCI-E x1 slot are accessible, although a card in the PCI Express x1 slot may restrict airflow to the graphics card, depending on its size. The graphics card installed in the x16 slot is a compact Nvidia GeForce GT 640 with 1GB of memory and VGA, DVI and HDMI ports on the back. It's not particularly powerful, producing average frame rates of 11.3fps in Crysis 2 at 1,920x1,080 and Ultra quality. Dropping the resolution to High quality produces a more playable average frame rate of 26.8fps; it's still not great, but the card is capable of getting a reasonable performance out of any modern 3D game.
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