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Mesh Inspire XM2 review

Barry de la Rosa
15 Feb 2011
Mesh Inspire XM2
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

If you buy the Iiyama monitor as part of the bundle, this isn't a bad PC. However, on its own, it's a little underpowered and the low-wattage power supply limits upgrade potential.

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Specifications

3GHz AMD Athlon II X4 640, 2GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Mesh has opted for an AMD processor to power the Inspire XM2, but the Athlon II X4 640 isn't one of the fastest models. It scored 92 overall, which is sufficiently powerful for office work and web browsing, but not much more powerful than PCs fitted with dual-core Athlon II X2 555 processors. This is mainly due to the fact that it lacks a level 3 cache, compared to the older chip's 6MB of L3 cache.

It may not have the fastest processor, but the Inspire XM2 does have a massive 1TB hard disk. You could fit over 230 DVD-quality films on this disk, so it should be more than ample for most people. If you wanted to add more storage, there are four free SATA headers on the motherboard. However the main disk is mounted vertically, and there are only three bays left: two 3 1/2in bays for hard disks and a single 5 1/4in bay for an optical drive.

An integrated ATI graphics chipset provides enough power to decode HD video, but it can't handle 3D games. While the vertically hard disk may help with air circulation inside the case, it also limits your choice of graphics card, should you wish to add one at a later date. While there's just enough room to fit a card in, it'll make the process more difficult. You'll also have to upgrade the 300W power supply, as this probably won't be powerful enough to handle a decent dedicated graphics card.

There are also two standard PCI slots and a single PCI-E x1 slot, so there's plenty of room to add expansion cards such as TV tuners, sound cards or extra ports. The latter may be a good idea if you plan on buying a fast new USB3 external disk, as the Inspire XM2 doesn't support this standard. Two USB ports are mounted on the front, while another six are on the rear panel. An integrated audio chipset provides a full set of 7.1 outputs, and you also get an optical S/PDIF output.

Mesh Inspire XM2

Mesh can also supply an Iiyama ProLite E2209HDS-B monitor to complete the package. Including this, the Inspire XM2 costs £113 more, but if you don't have an existing monitor the E2209HDS is a great choice. It has vibrant colours and decent contrast although the backlight is slightly darker than its rivals'.

Although the processor isn't as fast as a Core i3, which can also be had at this price, Mesh's warranty is worth noting. Unlike most, which last just one year, the Inspire XM2's warranty lasts for two, and if the PC breaks down in the first three months, Mesh will collect and return it so you don't have to pay carriage. The OP3 Mars has an even better warranty, though, and is a better PC, too.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Athlon II X4 640
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx15
Processor clock speed3GHz
Processor socketAM3
Memory2
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardAsus M4A78LT-M LE
Motherboard chipsetAMD 760G

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 supportN/A

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots3
Free 3.5in drive bays2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SpinPoint F3 (HD103SJ)
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)ATI Radeon HD 3000
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

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

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelIiyama ProLite E2209HDS
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardCherry KU-0556
MouseCherry M-5400

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB (three months collect and return, third year labour-only)
Price£350
Detailswww.meshcomputers.com

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