Packaging and Initial Impressions
The Matrix II 955BE system arrived in two packages, one containing the Iiyama Prolite 22” Monitor and the other containing everything else. Opening the main box, the first piece of information viewable to the user behind the keyboard/mouse set was a double sided A3 size “Quick Start” guide containing a fairly comprehensive list of FAQ's and instructions for setting the computer up. It contained very useful information for a basic user and it conveys it without making the end user feel like an idiot. Next was a Quality Control check, which listed the components of the computer verifying that everything functioned exactly as it should before being packaged and shipped. Nice touch. Finally at the bottom of the box lay the computer, packed in a retail NZXT Hush box. This added another layer of security for the desktop and it goes without saying that the system arrived intact. A similar story for the monitor, which was very well packed by Iiyama themselves.
The Matrix II 955BE included all the cables required to get started. The only CD included however was the motherboard’s preinstalled drivers. I was disappointed to find that Mesh had not included a Windows Vista Installation CD or even a Recovery Disk.
Note the “MESH” sticker situated on the rear of the case, situated on top of the back and side panels. This is intended to void the machine’s warranty if one were to try and tamper with the system’s internals. After setting everything up on the desk, I couldn't help but stand back and appreciate the setup. As a package it was aesthetically pleasing with the styling cues from monitor and the front of the case. Naturally, looks aren't even a fraction of the story and the system must perform and on that note I pushed the power button and the Matrix II 955BE jumped into life.
Everything seemed to be operating fine until the Windows Vista “Loading” bar disappeared and I was greeted with the dreaded “No Monitor Signal!” error. The system had not hung or locked up as there was sufficient Hard Disk activity to presume that it had booted into Vista. Only until we removed the DVI cable and replaced it with an Analog VGA input were we able to view anything past the Vista loading point. I was surprised that this had gone unnoticed during Quality Control check, even though it seems to be a software related fault. Seeing that graphics cards today usually ship with a Dual DVI configuration and no analog connection and the system itself doesn't come bundled with a DVI to VGA adapter, most users would be left with a computer that effectively isn't working.
Mesh had left the main desktop screen relatively clean, except for trials for Norton Antivirus and BullGuard security softwares. A default Vista background was used, but with Mesh's logo in the bottom right. Any software that you don't wish to use or try are easily removable and even if you wished to keep them, the overall setup isn't terribly bloated for a Vista Home Premium installation. There is however some work to be done with 51 processes running at idle and a memory usage of just over 1.0GB.
As previously mentioned, a warranty sticker effectively prevents the user from entering the Matrix II 955BE's chassis without voiding it. While pondering with a hand to my chin stubble, I glanced at the warranty sticker and then at a monitor showing the front page of overclock3d.net. Quite shortly, my pondering ended with a "Pffft" *slashes sticker*. Let's have a look inside...
Once again Mesh shows no compromise to their craftmanship. The cabling inside has been carefully tied and routed around the case. Also note the aftermarket Akasa Tower Heatpipe cooler.