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Mesh Matrix II 920 Nero review

Alan Lu
18 Mar 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
649
inc VAT

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Specifications

2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X4 920, 4.000000 RAM, 20in 1,680x1,050 display, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

The second of the three Phenom II-equipped £650 PC on test this month is Mesh's 920 Nero.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it's one of the fastest PCs in this entire Labs, and is beaten only by the other Phenom II machines: Eclipse's Andromeda AP92n98GTX and Mesh's £800 Matrix II 940 CS.

The mini tower case supports only micro-ATX motherboards but is deep enough to accept a full-length PCI-E graphics card, which provides plenty of scope for upgrades. For now, the 1GB ATI Radeon 4670 is a capable graphics card with an HDMI port as well as DVI and VGA connections. It didn't quite manage 30fps in Call of Duty 4, so it won't play the latest games at the highest quality settings. However, only Eclipse and PC Nextday's £650 PCs were significantly better for games.

Like the other PCs in this category, the Nero lacks an eSATA port, although its nine USB ports provide ample scope for attaching external storage drives. There are also six SATA ports, four of which are unused, so there's plenty of potential to use some of the three free 3?in bays and two free 5?in bays to add more storage or extra optical drives.

A useful card reader occupies one of the 3?in bays, and those who like a tidy desk will appreciate the cordless Logitech mouse and keyboard. The 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium is noteworthy because the motherboard supports 8GB of RAM and there are two free memory slots, so you're free to take advantage of them.

Although the 20in Iiyama ProLite monitor isn't the biggest in this group, it has the best image quality and the same 1,680x1,050 resolution, so you won't have to sacrifice any desktop space. The brightness and contrast are good and the backlight is even.

The Matrix II 920 Nero is an excellent all-round PC. The one-year RTB warranty is a weak area compared with the onsite and collect-and-return cover from PC Nextday and PC Specialist, but the Nero's specification makes up for it. It's a deserving award winner.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X4 920
Processor external bus200MHz (1.8GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx14
Processor clock speed2.8GHz
Processor socketAM3
Level 1 cache4x 128KB
Level 2 cache4x 512KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardAsus M2N68-CM
Motherboard chipsetnVidia nForce 560
Power consumption standby3W
Power consumption idle134W
Power consumption active168W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD502IJ
InterfaceSATA/300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB ATI Radeon HD 4670
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundVT1708 High Definition Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsCF, SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, SmartMedia, xD
Optical drive modelTSST SH-S223F
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size20 in
Screen modelIiyama ProLite E2002WS
Native resolution1,680x1,050
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardLogitech Deluxe 650 Cordless
MouseLogitech Cordless Optical Mouse RX 650

Software

Software includedMicrosoft Works 8.5, Cyperlink Video Editing Suite
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£649
Detailswww.meshcomputers.com

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