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Mesh Elite G4-i5 Plus - CS review

Kat Orphanides
14 Sep 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
868
inc VAT

If you want a low-cost Haswell PC, this PC provides great performance for a low price

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Specifications

4.4GHz Intel Core i5-4670K, 8GB RAM, 23.6in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 8

This PC was provided to us as a base PC system with a variety of internal and external upgrade options, contact the manufacturer to get the exact specification you require

The Mesh Elite G4-i5 Plus - CS is a very good value PC, as for £519 you get one of Intel's latest Haswell processors - an i5-4430 running at 3GHz. This still provides as much power as most people will need, though, as a score of 95 in our benchmarks shows.

Mesh Elite G4-i5 Plus - CS

If you need more power, you can add a more powerful unlocked Intel Core i5-4670K processor, which Mesh has overclocked to 4.4GHz. With this upgrade we saw an overall score of 134 in our benchmark tests, which is plenty for even the most power-hungry of users. The upgrade costs £45, but if you don't run programs which make massive demands upon your processor, there's little need for it.

Unlike most low-cost systems, this PC is equipped with both a 120GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk, so you'll get fast boot times, applications will load quickly and you'll still have plenty of storage. The PC also has 8GB of 1,600MHz memory and a DVD-RW drive. In its basic specification the PC doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, so you'll have to rely on the processor's on-chip Intel HD Graphics 4600 chipset. This will handle less-demanding 3D games well enough if you reduce the quality settings, and we saw playable average frame rate of 32.3fps in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1,280x720 with 4x anti-aliasing and graphics quality set to High.

The motherboard has HDMI, DVI and VGA graphics outputs and, unusually, a DisplayPort output. You can connect up to three monitors using a combination of these ports. Also on the motherboard backplate are four USB ports, two USB3 ports, a PS/2 port for a mouse or keyboard, Gigabit Ethernet and both an optical S/PDIF output and six 3.5mm stereo outputs for up to 7.1 analogue surround sound.

Mesh Elite G4-i5 Plus - CS

Inside, the motherboard has four memory slots, two PCI-E x16 slots and two PCI-E x1 slots. There aren't any PCI slots and if you install a graphics card, such as the optional upgrade available for this PC, in the top x16 slot, it'll block the x1 slot immediately below it.

The case is well finished, although it doesn't provide much soundproofing and has wide vents that do little to prevent dust from entering. There are seven 3 1/2in drive bays and four 5 1/4in bays, one of which is occupied by the DVD drive and another of which is taken up by an externally facing SATA hot-swap bay, so you can plug a desktop hard disk straight in. Towards the top of the front panel, you'll find a USB3 port, two USB ports and 3.5mm mic and headphone ports.

If you're into gaming, however, you should definitely spend the £90 it costs to upgrade from integrated graphics to a 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7790. This is a great gaming card as shown by 59.3fps in our Dirt Showdown benchmark at 1,920x1,080 and Ultra quality settings, and 27.6fps in Crysis 2, also at maximum detail. The second frame rate isn't quite high enough for smooth gameplay, but if you drop the quality setting to Extreme, the average frame rate rises to a smoother 30fps.

Mesh Elite G4-i5 Plus - CS

The system we reviewed didn't come with a mouse and keyboard, but you can get a low-cost but comfortable Logitech set added to the PC for £16. Finally, you can add an Iiyama Prolite E2482HSD monitor for £118. This is a 24in matt display with excellent contrast, which we measured as 1072:1. The monitor could display 91% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, which is reasonable. Our subjective viewing tests supported these figures; there was plenty of detail and natural colour visible in our test photos.

The PC's warranty covers you for parts for two years and for three years' labour. If the PC goes wrong within the first three months Mesh will cover the cost of collection; otherwise you'll have to return it to the company yourself.

The basic version of the Elite G4-i5 Plus - CS is the cheapest PC we've seen to use one of Intel's new generation of Haswell processors, while the SSD and 1TB hard disk make it a great desktop system. The available upgrades are also fair value, but we'd have liked a better graphics card. Buy the basic version, though, and you've got a proper Budget Buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx44
Processor clock speed4.4GHz
Processor socketLGA1150
Memory8
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardMSI B85M-G43
Motherboard chipsetIntel B85

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung 840 120GB + Seagate ST1000DM003-1CH162
InterfaceSATA3

Graphics

Graphics card(s)2GB AMD Radeon HD 7790
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, headphone, microphone
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Viewable size23.6 in
Screen modelIiyama Prolite E2482HSD
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Operating systemWindows 8
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB (two years parts, three years labour, one month collect and return)
Price£868
Supplierhttp://www.meshcomputers.com
Detailswww.meshcomputers.com

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