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Mesh Matrix 945CS review

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.


3GHz AMD Phenom II X4 945, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920×1,080 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 1,920×1,080 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 ***
Processor AMD Phenom II X4 945
Processor external bus 200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x15
Processor clock speed 3GHz
Processor socket AM3
Level 1 cache 4x 128KB
Level 2 cache 4x 512KB
Memory 4
Memory type DDR3
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Asus M4A78LT-M
Motherboard chipset AMD 780G


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case mini tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 4
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


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


Sound VIA HD Audio
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model TSSTcorp SH-S223C
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 22 in
Screen model Asus VH222T
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs VGA, DVI

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Logitech Cordless Desktop EX 100
Mouse Logitech Cordless Optical Mouse


Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Cyberlink DVD Suite v5
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty three years RTB (three months collect and return)
Price £600

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