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Mesh Matrix 945CS review

Barry de la Rosa
27 Jul 2010
Mesh Matrix 945CS
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
600
inc VAT

A good all-round system, with a Full HD monitor and enough performance to handle multimedia editing, but CyberPower's Infinity i3 Apollo XT is far better value.

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Specifications

3GHz AMD Phenom II X4 945, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With its midi tower case, the Mesh Matrix 945CS is small enough to hide behind its 22in monitor, and quiet enough to go un-noticed. It still packs a decent punch, however, with an AMD Phenom II X4 945 that helped it post a respectable score of 107 overall in our benchmarks.

The midi-tower case doesn't leave a lot of room for expansion inside. There are only a couple of free drive bays - not enough to use the four free SATA headers on the motherboard. One of the two free PCI slots is a bit too close to the heatsink of the graphics cards, leaving you with one PCI and one PCI-E x1 slot. There are two free RAM slots however, so adding to the 4GB of memory won't be a problem.

Things look better on the outside, where you'll find a total of eight USB ports. Audio enthusiasts are especially well catered for, with a full set of 7.1 outputs and an optical S/PDIF output, as well as the graphics card's HDMI output which can send both video and audio to an AV amplifier. There aren't any eSATA or FireWire ports, though.

Mesh Matrix 945CS

One of the USB ports is taken up by the wireless dongle for the Logitech keyboard and mouse set. The budget keyboard has a light, spongy action that doesn't give much feedback to touch-typists and it has a compact layout that took a bit of getting used to. The mouse is a simple two-button device, but it's nice and weighty thanks to the two AA batteries it contains.

An Asus VH222H monitor with a 1,920x1,080 resolution provides ample desktop space. It lacks the extra HDMI and S/PDIF ports of the VH222T we reviewed 13 months ago, but image quality is identical, with slightly overblown colours and a distracting dynamic contrast mode which lurches obviously in brightness between dark and bright scenes. Our first step was to reset the monitor to its defaults, which provided a more natural image.

When it comes to graphics, Mesh has installed a lowly Radeon HD 5450. While it can easily play back HD content, the DirectX 11 support is rendered pointless as it's not up to gaming, posting an unplayable 12fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark. You might be able to play older games with quality levels pared back, but serious gamers should look elsewhere.

However, if you just want to edit photos, the odd video, surf the web and edit documents, the Matrix 945CS has the muscle and the storage space to handle it. Unfortunately for Mesh, CyberPower's Infinity i3 Apollo XT is more powerful, has more room for expansion and costs £72 less.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X4 945
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx15
Processor clock speed3GHz
Processor socketAM3
Level 1 cache4x 128KB
Level 2 cache4x 512KB
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus M4A78LT-M
Motherboard chipsetAMD 780G

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemini 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 bays1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)ATI Radeon HD 5450
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundVIA HD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelTSSTcorp SH-S223C
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelAsus VH222T
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Response time5ms
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardLogitech Cordless Desktop EX 100
MouseLogitech Cordless Optical Mouse

Software

Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter, Cyberlink DVD Suite v5
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB (three months collect and return)
Price£600
Detailswww.meshcomputers.com

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