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.
• 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.