Mesh Matrix II 955BE Hush Gaming PC

Introduction

Introduction
 
How many of you readers go out and buy prebuilt desktop computers or order them online? Right, and how many of you build your own? If I were to ask this infront of an audience of conventional guys and gals, I would assume that many more would raise their hands to the former question and goodness, why would I expect anything else? The computer is simply a tool to carry out one's everyday computational needs, whether it's word processing, web browsing or something more powerful such as CAD, Gaming or heavy video/music editing and production so realistically how many people would care to learn about the innards of one and decide that they wish to build one instead? Backed with customer service that hopefully means that the end user needn't have to educate themselves with anything related to the back end of a system, it should pretty much be a deal clincher right? Sadly for some this is not the case.
 
To those who raised their hand to the latter question at the beginning of my opening paragraph, I would like you to cast your mind back to the major reasons as to why you built your own computer. The following reasons should cover pretty much every DIY builder.
 
  • ­ I was simply interested about how a computer is built
  • Higher end desktop computers tend to be sold at an unnecessary premium when compared to the cost of it's consituent parts.
  • Prebuilt computers tend to be less flexible in terms of overclocking, tweaking and upgrading.
  • Customer support can be horrific, especially when forwarded to call centres abroad and so I prefer to be able to diagnose my system's own problems and handle it directly with the product manufacturer or e-tailer.
 
Personally speaking, all of the above applied to me in some way, while #2 and #3 were the main factors that influenced me to take the DIY route. Some of us may have been building our own computers for 5, possibly 10 or more years and so it's left me wondering... Hypothetically speaking, would DIY builders notice if computer manufacturers were to suddenly offer everything that they want in a computer in a single ready made package, all at a price tag similar to the computer's internal components? Times have changed and manufacturers have cottoned on to the needs of some (if potentially niche) users. We live in a day where major manufacturer Dell offers both Intel and AMD Desktops that can be overclocked. We live in a day where most manufacturers conform fully to the ATX industry standard and a handful of manufacturers even have local call centres. Futher, the state of economic affairs have also resulted in “credit crunch” deals to convince the buyer to spend spend spend and as a result the pricing isn't even much higher than the DIY route. So today, we'll be looking at an example of a prebuilt computing solution that fits all of the aformentioned criteria. The Mesh Matrix II 955BE Hush desktop computer.
 
Mesh shouldn't need an introduction. Based in London, they've been in the business for a staggering 22 years. With a wide range of computers from the entry level all the way to mighty Core i7, Quad SLI/Crossfire systems as well as the ability to build and customise your own computer online, they have a strong hawk's eye on all key market segments and as a result are able to offer so many solutions thanks to strong marketing and R&D departments. The system that Mesh sent to our labs is of no exception.
 
Specifications
 
• AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.20GHz CPU
• Gigabyte GA770T-UD3P Socket AM3 Motherboard
• 4GB Samsung PC3-12800 DDR3-1333 CAS9 Memory
• HIS Radeon HD 4870 512mb Graphics Card
• Samsung 750GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s HDD
• LG GGC-H2O Blu Ray Reader, 22x DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
• NZXT Hush Alumium ATX Mid Tower Chassis
• HEC 550W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit
• Akasa AK-876 Heatpipe CPU Cooler
• Iiyama Prolite E2208HDS 1080p, 10000:1, 2ms Widescreen Monitor
• Logitech Cordless Keyboard/Mouse Set
• 10 x USB Ports (8x Rear / 2x Side)
• 8 Channel Realtek ALC888
 
Could you believe that this is the specification list from a major prebuilt computer manufacturer? Mesh quite openly listed the entire specifications of their Matrix II 955BE system and as you can see, the entire list consists of retail components that one could buy off the shelf from a computer hardware store. Included are reliable and well reputed companies, Akasa, Gigabyte, HIS, Samsung, LG, NZXT, Iiyama, Logitech. The ladies and gents in R&D have certainly said no to compromise and hats off to them for doing so.
  
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Most Recent Comments

19-08-2009, 01:53:27

JN
"Ever considered returning to prebuilt computers? Perhaps one of Mesh's latest offerings may persuade you." - by Mul.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...153011318s.jpg

Mesh Matrix II 955BE Hush Gaming PC

19-08-2009, 06:19:14

VonBlade
My answer is definitely 2. However a few things spring to mind about this particular PC (and understand I accept this low price-point means compromises) :

• Gigabyte GA770T-UD3P Socket AM3 Motherboard - Once again a bottom end Gigabyte board used in a Prebuilt.

• HIS Radeon HD 4870 512mb Graphics Card - Very reasonable bang for buck

• Samsung 750GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s HDD - Only 750GB when 1TB is about a fiver more?

• NZXT Hush Alumium ATX Mid Tower Chassis - Case by Bobs budget cases

• HEC 550W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit - Stupidly cheap barely adequate PSU as per usual

• 10 x USB Ports (8x Rear / 2x Side) • 8 Channel Realtek ALC888 - Both these features are part of the motherboard so...

Now don't get me wrong. It's a lot of PC at that price-point. But the moment I see a bottom end mobo and PSU combination you know that the manu isn't trying for good value for those of us who build our own because of the terrible pre-built specs available, as the review implies, rather they are trying to woo the "big numbers in PC World" brigade.

So what it's got a Phenom II and reasonable RAM. The HD is smaller than necessary considering the miniscule price differential, the PSU is woeful and leaves no room for upgrades, the case is out of a Fisher Price packet and whilst it is a Logitech kb/mouse combo it's the bottom end one again.

Ok I'll stop. Kudos to MESH for trying and, to the right audience, succeeding at a great price. I just think the review tried too hard to sell it to the home-builders amongst us when none of us would probably choose any of those parts ourselves, and we all know the value of a great mobo/PSU as the foundation for a system.

/curmudgeon mode off.

VB

19-08-2009, 06:38:03

PeterStoba
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Ever considered returning to prebuilt computers?
No, bye.

It is a nice review though, and odd that is costs less than building it yourself, never seen that before.

19-08-2009, 06:58:20

Rastalovich
It's good.

Pricing wize, giving it a comparison with those other prebuilt pcs out there, I'd stick this somewhere at the top.

There are a few things that stick out for me in terms of the finished product:

  • Gfxcard with a HDMI socket & HD audio. Probably achievable with adaptors, but is the audio connected ? Connectivity for a prebuilt pc is what it's all about for me.

  • Cooler option. There are better choices out there for me in terms of both cooling and noise. (taking note of the installation method also) Arguably a different rear exhausting gfxcard.

  • Warranty labels. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember some court throwing out a manufacturers claim of void waranties on pcs as they're inherently designed to be taken apart. Perhaps there's some specific intention.



Having said all that, they're not complaints. I think the unit, as it is, stands up well as a product.

It could be more assuring to have software build cds and/or a partition for it.

Package on the whole can't be mocked tho imo.

19-08-2009, 07:26:03

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VonBlade'
My answer is definitely 2. However a few things spring to mind about this particular PC (and understand I accept this low price-point means compromises) :

• Gigabyte GA770T-UD3P Socket AM3 Motherboard - Once again a bottom end Gigabyte board used in a Prebuilt.

• HIS Radeon HD 4870 512mb Graphics Card - Very reasonable bang for buck

• Samsung 750GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s HDD - Only 750GB when 1TB is about a fiver more?

• NZXT Hush Alumium ATX Mid Tower Chassis - Case by Bobs budget cases

• HEC 550W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit - Stupidly cheap barely adequate PSU as per usual

• 10 x USB Ports (8x Rear / 2x Side) • 8 Channel Realtek ALC888 - Both these features are part of the motherboard so...

Now don't get me wrong. It's a lot of PC at that price-point. But the moment I see a bottom end mobo and PSU combination you know that the manu isn't trying for good value for those of us who build our own because of the terrible pre-built specs available, as the review implies, rather they are trying to woo the "big numbers in PC World" brigade.

So what it's got a Phenom II and reasonable RAM. The HD is smaller than necessary considering the miniscule price differential, the PSU is woeful and leaves no room for upgrades, the case is out of a Fisher Price packet and whilst it is a Logitech kb/mouse combo it's the bottom end one again.

Ok I'll stop. Kudos to MESH for trying and, to the right audience, succeeding at a great price. I just think the review tried too hard to sell it to the home-builders amongst us when none of us would probably choose any of those parts ourselves, and we all know the value of a great mobo/PSU as the foundation for a system.

/curmudgeon mode off.

VB
Nice analysis and you've raised some very fair points. The choice of Power Supply Unit and Case was the biggest downers for the product. I agree that it would not have killed to have dropped an 80PLUS certified unit inside their gaming setup and a unit with a 120/140mm exhaust would have relieved the temperature and noise issues that we highlighted. NZXT themselves aren't a bad case manufacturer and in terms of build quality I'd put it similar, possibly better than the Antec Three Hundred for example. It's airflow performance however was mediocre at best and did not bode well with the heat sources inside, which is inexcusable really.

Now, as for your argument with regards to the motherboard I'd beg to differ. It's certainly no ASRock motherboard nor is it even bottom of the range in Gigabyte's lineup. At a price tag of 70, it sits in the middle range of AMD Phenom II motherboards. The quality of it's power regs are more than sufficient even for an overclocker, it has a fully fledged BIOS which we were able to get a respectable overclock out of and it sports the updated SB710 southbridge. For this particular setup, a 125 MSI 790FX GD70 or Asus M4A79T would not have performed any better. Further, it must be understood that in the world of AMD the reliance over Base HTT reference clocks are minimal due to most of the upper range of CPU's consisting of multiplier unlocked Black Edition processors and had the temperatures inside the machine been lower, we could have seen upwards of 3.80GHz with the 955BE

As DIY builders we do want to be able to pick the exact parts that we wish to use and this is one of the main issues that pushes people away from prebuilt machines.

Ultimately, as an overall bundle priced at 799, it boasts superb value for money and honestly if it came bundled with a better power supply and case, and I were in the market of buying a whole new solution, I would be prepared to stop and consider this machine.

20-08-2009, 21:17:09

Bungral
Nice review mate.

Quick thing though. Ya know how the DVI didn't seem to work. I know it sounds obvious but figured I'd ask anyway. Did you change the iiyama's channel to DVI?

We did a big roll out of 22" and 24" Iiyama's at work and when they were first plugged in, we didn't get any signal from them either. The button that needed to be pressed to switch it over wasn't marked with that function either.

21-08-2009, 04:43:56

Mul.
Hi Bungral,

Indeed I did swap the input channel from Analog to Digital (DVI). I received a signal just fine throughout BIOS POST and the Vista "Loading" Splashscreen but it cut out after that. A driver issue I suspect.

21-08-2009, 06:49:09

Bungral
Fairy nuff just thought I'd check.

Have they sorted it so it's actually clear how to change the channel? Absolutely no marking or notes on the models we were using.

22-08-2009, 15:01:59

Mullet
As already mentioned, no grumbling about the points on price for those of us who are just getting into PCs and are a little apprehensive about taking on a build...

As someone who has had first hand experience of MESH (bought a pre-built FX55 based rig some years back) I have to say while the rig was OK the issues I had with their aftersales service was frankly shocking. Of course they may well have improved their support services, but for me it was a definite case of once bitten, twice shy.....

15-09-2009, 12:08:51

Simon.M
Hi I just signed up to say that the specs for the system review are different from the specs of the system Mesh are actually selling.. Iv found this alot with mesh. Isnt that like false advertisment?

Specs in review

• AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.20GHz CPU

• Gigabyte GA770T-UD3P Socket AM3 Motherboard

• 4GB Samsung PC3-12800 DDR3-1333 CAS9 Memory

• HIS Radeon HD 4870 512mb Graphics Card

• Samsung 750GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s HDD

• LG GGC-H2O Blu Ray Reader, 22x DVD+/-RW Optical Drive

• NZXT Hush Alumium ATX Mid Tower Chassis

• HEC 550W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit

• Akasa AK-876 Heatpipe CPU Cooler

• Iiyama Prolite E2208HDS 1080p, 10000:1, 2ms Widescreen Monitor

• Logitech Cordless Keyboard/Mouse Set

• 10 x USB Ports (8x Rear / 2x Side)

• 8 Channel Realtek ALC888

Specs on mesh

* AMD Phenom™ II X4 955 Black Quad Core Processor AM3 (3.20GHz, 8MB Cache)

* Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium with Service Pack 1, 64-bit - English

* NZXT HUSH Silent Brushed Aluminium ATX Midi Tower - Black + 550W PSU

* ASUS M4A77TD Pro Mainboard- AMD 770 CrossFireX- AM3 Phenom™ II, DDR3 - ATX

* 4GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - (2x2G

* 1TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer

* Samsung 22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM

* 512MB ATi HD4870 Graphics accelerator DVI, DirectX 10.1 PCI Express 2

* 22" Iiyama ProLite E2208HDS-1 (1920x1080) Full HD Monitor (DVI,VGA,WS,Spkrs - 5ms)

* 7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound

* Logitech Cordless Keyboard & Cordless Optical Mouse

* 1 Year Hardware Warranty - Return to Base Parts and Labour (UK Mainland only)

Mainly the mobo is different, and no blue ray player (which costs alot?). Also I seriously doubt they incude the Akasa AK-876 Heatpipe CPU Cooler, and the Samsung brand RAM. I could be wrong, maybe im missing somthing..

15-09-2009, 12:19:19

PeterStoba
I'm gonna guess it's on their site somewhere that they can change anything at any time, or replace a component with something equal or greater.

Review items do sometimes differ, as they are often the first of the batch, they might find something else works better or that something is not needed. It's up to them.

Samsung brand RAM, probably differs on whatever they get cheap, hence the brand isn't listed on the site, the review item probably had Samsung branded RAM though, hence it's listed. As long as it's the same speed and CAS rating it'll be fine.

15-09-2009, 13:04:25

Mul.
Hi Simon. First of all, welcome to OC3D.

Interesting observation with regards to the discrepency with the parts. While I'm not so sure what provoked the change of motherboards (they are essentially the same in terms of specification so I gather they just got a better deal with an Asus bulk buy) and the lack of Blu-Ray player has made the system less of appealing. Whether the system still includes the Akasa Heatpipe cooler still, I'm not so sure but other websites that have reviewed this computer seem to have received samples with the same cooler. Granted it is quite possible that our sample was passed on to these websites!

It is a shame about the lack of Blu Ray though, as this is a considerable specification change.

For other's information, here's the product's URL

http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=PRODUCTVIEWPAGE&KEY=591274&USG=PRODUCT&ENT=PRODUCT

28-02-2010, 11:30:36

dallas21
[QUOTE=name='VonBlade']My answer is definitely 2. However a few things spring to mind about this particular PC (and understand I accept this low price-point means compromises) :

Gigabyte GA770T-UD3P Socket AM3 Motherboard - Once again a bottom end Gigabyte board used in a Prebuilt.

HIS Radeon HD 4870 512mb Graphics Card - Very reasonable bang for buck

Samsung 750GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s HDD - Only 750GB when 1TB is about a fiver more?

NZXT Hush Alumium ATX Mid Tower Chassis - Case by Bobs budget cases

HEC 550W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit - Stupidly cheap barely adequate PSU as per usual

10 x USB Ports (8x Rear / 2x Side) 8 Channel Realtek ALC888 - Both these features are part of the motherboard so...

Now don't get me wrong. It's a lot of PC at that price-point. But the moment I see a bottom end mobo and PSU combination you know that the manu isn't trying for good value for those of us who build our own because of the terrible pre-built specs available, as the review implies, rather they are trying to woo the "big numbers in PC World" brigade.

So what it's got a Phenom II and reasonable RAM. The HD is smaller than necessary considering the miniscule price differential, the PSU is woeful and leaves no room for upgrades, the case is out of a Fisher Price packet and whilst it is a Logitech kb/mouse combo it's the bottom end one again.

Ok I'll stop. Kudos to MESH for trying and, to the right audience, succeeding at a great price. I just think the review tried too hard to sell it to the home-builders amongst us when none of us would probably choose any of those parts ourselves, and we all know the value of a great mobo/PSU as the foundation for a system.

/curmudgeon mode off. The New Gigabyte 770 T usb3 mother board is very good ,sure the 790

is better still but at 2 times the cost you are not getting much more unless you are running dual cards !!

28-02-2010, 11:31:06

dallas21
The New Gigabyte 770 T usb3 mother board is very good ,sure the 790

is better still but at 2 times the cost you are not getting much more unless you are running dual cards !!
Reply
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