Mesh Matrix II 955BE Hush Gaming PC

PSU Performance & System Temperatures

Power Supply Performance
 
Personally, I have never heard of the brand HEC. One could consider it a fair assumption that even though the unit itself doesn’t seem to be 80PLUS certified, Mesh Computers aren’t the sort of people that would use substandard equipment in their machines, however just to be sure we cracked open the Multimeter and had a look for ourselves.
 
 
The Voltage rails remained solid throughout idle and load with the system’s current configuration without any significant fluctuations. All voltages were well within ATX specification and as such I feel that the HEC 550W PSU is more than adequate for the task.
 
 
Temperatures
 
Our temperature testing consists of a 60 minute OCCT Linpack CPU stress test followed by the monitoring of overall system load in 3DMark Vantage. While these applications may induce a load that exceeds what conventional games and real world programs use, it gives us a better insight of how well the computer may handle higher ambient temperatures or how well it may perform after months and months of use with increasing dust build up.
 
 
 
Our OCCT Linpack test revealed that the AMD Phenom II X4 955 CPU was hitting temperatures as high as 65 celcius under full load. While we appreciate that this one of AMD's fastest CPU's and runs at a nominal voltage of 1.3500V, 0.025V higher than most of the product family and that the Linpack test is particularly intensive, we still felt that the temperatures were higher than expected. Furthermore, the computer took just short of 6 minutes to return to the idle temperatures previously reported before the test had begun.
 
Upon opening the chassis and looking around the CPU area we observed that some thermal paste was oozing around the base of the heatsink. One shouldn't discount the possibility that too much thermal paste was applied so the heatsink was removed and we cleaned the base of it and the CPU’s heatspreader, then applied a pea size portion of Arctic Ceramique on it’s centre. After leaving the system to warm up and idle for an hour, the Linpack test was rerun and this time load temperatures had dropped slightly to 63c. This was still higher than expected. Taking a hint from the slow cooldown time and the 7c increase in GPU temperatures from Idle to Load, we figured that the quality of airflow in the case itself may be the main factor. Upon removing the side panel of the case, temperatures decreased by 4-7c across the board. It was also noted that the Akasa
CPU Heatsink's fan as well as the Power Supply Unit's fan had decreased notably in RPM. Dropping a high end set of components into a relatively small mid tower case aimed towards silent use may result in higher ambient temperatures and that the only way to keep things silent are to opt for larger heatpipe coolers on major heat sources with larger diameter fans (that can then be run at lower speeds) bolted on. In fairness, credit goes to Mesh for implementing a three heatpipe tower cooler with 92mm fan for the CPU but the graphics card cooler uses a smaller high RPM fan but much more importantly does not have a ducting system that exhausts hot air out of the case, unlike the reference HD 4870 cooler design by Ati.
 
All in all, even though the temperatures were somewhat high, there was no reason for concern. As mentioned, our testing process will inevitably stimulate higher load temperatures than in real world applications. It was however disappointing that the NZXT Hush Chassis wasn’t able to cope particularly well with the heat output of the components inside.
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Most Recent Comments

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.

VBQuote

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.Quote

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.Quote

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.Quote

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.Quote
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