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Mesh Inspire CSR review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £550
inc VAT

It comes with a decent monitor and has reasonable upgrade potential, but you can get more for your money elsewhere.


3.33GHz Intel Core i3-560, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The Inspire CSR has a larger case than most budget PCs we’ve seen from Mesh, so there’s plenty of room inside for expansion. You probably won’t need this for some time though, as there’s also the fastest Intel Core i3 processor currently available. Running at its stock speed of 3.33GHz, the Core i3-560 is fast enough for the majority of applications. As it’s a dual-core chip, only heavily multi-threaded programs like video encoding could become slow.

Rather than use the processor’s integrated graphics chip, Mesh has installed a Radeon HD 5450 graphics card. Unfortunately, this doesn’t provide much of an improvement, managing 11.7fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. It’s much better suited to playing HD video, although older games should still be playable. The card also takes up the single PCI-E x16 slot, so it will have to be removed should you upgrade to a more powerful card.

The case might be basic, but the midi-tower size means there is plenty of room for adding extra components. Decent cable management means the interior is tidy. A spacious 1TB hard disk fills one of the seven 3 1/2in drive bays, leaving a further six free. The DVD re-writer takes up one 5 1/4in drive bay, leaving three empty bays for future upgrades. The single-slot graphics card doesn’t obstruct the empty PCI slot, and a further two PCI-E x1 slots are clear for adding expansion cards. The 4GB of memory also occupies just two RAM slots, leaving a further two free. The power supply has a decent number of spare SATA and Molex connections, and with a rating of 450 watts, there’s enough power for adding several extra disks.

While there’s no intake fan installed on the case, the stock Intel CPU cooler and a single exhaust fan are enough to keep the system cool. There are four additional 120mm fan mounts for increased cooling power if you plan on adding a very hot graphics card. Thankfully installing extra components won’t invalidate the warranty, which covers parts and labour for the first two years, and labour only for the final year.

Mesh Inspire CSR Ports

A 22in Iiyama monitor has a 1,920×1,080 resolution, which is great for Full HD content. There’s a choice of DVI or VGA connections, but without HDMI you can’t connect it to a Blu-Ray player or games console. Image quality was great: colours were rich, contrast was good and images were particularly sharp. The screen also has a pair of in-built speakers, but the volume was predictably quiet and quality was merely average.

Unfortunately, the included mouse and keyboard were simply awful. The keyboard was noisy to use and felt slightly spongy when typing. The mouse wasn’t comfortable to grip, with angular corners that dug into our hands.

Unfortunately the Inspire CSR can’t compete with the stiff competition from other manufacturers at this price. While it’s well built and comes with a decent monitor, the basic graphics card can’t handle modern games. Despite using the fastest Core i3 processor available, it’s slower than overclocked models with less well-specified chips, meaning there are better choice to be had.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core i3-560
Processor external bus 133MHz (2.4GHz DMI)
Processor multiplier x25
Processor clock speed 3.33GHz
Processor socket LGA1156
Memory 4
Memory type DDR3
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Asus P7H55-M
Motherboard chipset Intel H55


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

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 3
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Samsung HD103SJ
Interface SATA II
Total storage capacity 1,000GB


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


Sound Realtek ALC887
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 22 in
Screen model Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs VGA, DVI

Other Hardware

Keyboard Cherry KU-0556
Mouse Cherry M-5400


Software included CyberLink PowerDVD suite
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option burn own restore disc

Buying Information

Warranty three years RTB (three years labour, two years parts)
Price £550

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