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Mesh Turbo 530 OC4.0 review

Seth Barton
29 Jun 2010
Mesh Turbo 530 OC4.0
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
600
inc VAT

Overclocking makes this dual-core PC very quick, but for a little more you could get a quad-core processor, or a PC with a shiny new bundled monitor.

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Specifications

4.0GHz Intel Core i3-530, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The stability of Intel's latest processsor range, means we've be seeing more-and-more overlcocked PCs in our regular labs tests. This standalone base-unit from Mesh follows the same trend, and is one of the company's first sub-£1000 overclocked PCs.

As the name suggests the Turbo 530 OC4.0 uses an Intel Core i3-530 processor, the cheapest of Intel's current line up but still with a respectable stock speed 2.66GHz. Here Mesh has pushed the core clock speed up from 133MHz to 200MHz, factor in the 20x multiplier and you end up with a £600 PC running at a fairly staggering 4GHz.

The Core i3-530 is a dual-core processor, and at stock speeds on our reference rig it scored 105 overall in our benchmarks. The overclocked i3-530 shot past that total, with a massive overall score of 140. That's a touch quicker than a Core i5-750 at stock speeds, though of course you could always tweak that processor to get more performance. Mesh has provided some fancy-looking Corsair 1,600MHz memory to aid overclocking too.

The processor is kept cool by a massive heat-sink, in fact this barely fits in the fairly uninspiring compact chassis that Mesh has selected. Airflow through the case is thanks to a 120mm intake fan at the front and an 80mm exhaust fan at the rear. Everything stayed nice and cool, though all those fans make it louder than most Core i3 or i5 PCs we've seen.

One of the first problems we noticed was the power consumption, with the clock speed locked at 4GHz you don't benefit from the usual power management. This meant it idled at a whopping 88W, compared to 53W from the last Core i3-based PC we saw from Mesh. This may not bother some people, but it's a lot of power to be using when you're just browsing the web or even simply playing a game. A 550W power supply in the bottom of the case provides plenty of power, but it's not a flashy modular design.

Overclocking the processor won't be much help in the vast majority of games, but the capable ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card is certainly up to the task. This is our current recommended buy, being good enough for all but the most serious gamers. In our tests it scored 72.6fps in our Call of Duty 4 and 35.0fps in Crysis, which means any modern game will playable at high detail levels.

At the heart of the system is an Asus-branded motherboard. Depsite an ATX-sized case, Mesh has opted for a smaller micro-ATX motherboard. This limits the number of expansion slots available, with the graphics card also blocking one of the PCI-Express x1 slots, leaving just a single PCI-Express x1 slot free, plus a PCI slot which is filled with a wireless adaptor. The latter is a handy inclusion, but bizarrely it's only an 802.11b/g model, so those with 802.11n routers won't get the best possible speeds. The system is rounded off with a reasonably-sized 750GB hard disk and the usual DVD writer.

The Turbo 530 OC4.0 is a powerful PC with good gaming potential, but it falls short in a number of areas, with niggles including a small motherboard and boring chassis. Factor in a decent 22in monitor plus input devices, and you're talking around £750 for a complete PC. Compared that to Eclipse's Matrix i75R577, with its quad-core processor, 24in monitor and 1TB hard disk, and the Turbo 530 OC4.0 starts to look a little underwhelming.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i3-530
Processor external bus200MHz (4.4GHz QuickPath Interconnect)
Processor multiplierx20
Processor clock speed4.0GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Level 1 cache2x 64KB
Level 2 cache2x 256KB
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus P7P55-M
Motherboard chipsetIntel P55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/8
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD502HJ
InterfaceSATA/300
Total storage capacity750GB
Spindle speed7200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundVT1708S High Definition Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelLG GH22NS50
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Response timeN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

ModemNo
Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includedN/A
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year (three months colllection & return, nine months RTB)
Price£600
Detailswww.meshcomputers.com

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