Mesh Matrix II 955BE Hush Gaming PC

Noise & Overclocking

Noise
 
The noise levels of the Matrix II 955BE Hush were higher than we would've liked. The NZXT Hush's case fans operate very quietly however and the Akasa CPU Cooler was not particularly obnoxious either. The HEC 550W Power Supply Unit's small 80mm fans emitted slight whines under long periods of load but the real problem child inside the computer was infact the HIS Radeon HD 4870 graphics card. Rather than using the reference dual slot cooler designed by ATI, HIS uses their own solution, which features a relatively small fan and a flower style heatsink without heatpipes. What's worse is that the graphics card doesn't seem to control it's fan speed at all and as a result operates at 100% duty speed regardless of whether the system is idling on Vista desktop or whether the user is playing a game. It would be less of an issue if the system was this loud during a heavy gaming session where presumably one would have the sound cranked up high or at least be wearing a headset. During day to day general usage however, it's very intrusive. Many may find the noise levels acceptable but personally I feel that it's a real fly in the ointment when the system on the whole is built to an incredibly high standard. The noise levels could have easily been addressed by opting for a graphics card, which doesn't operate at a fixed fan RPM and just as equally use a power supply with a 120mm intake fan.
 
 
Overclocking
 
 
With processor temperatures already coming close to AMD's recommended maximum for the 955 Black Edition, we felt that it wasn't wise to restrict our overclocking efforts to the highest safe overclock with the default voltage of 1.3500V. Despite this, we still reached a rather respectable 3.60GHz core clock speed. This was achieved by raising the CPU Multiplier from 16x to 18x. To squeeze a little more out of the CPU, we attempted lowering the CPU Multiplier to 15x and raising the base HTT clock to 240MHz, resulting in the same clock speed but with a higher Northbridge frequency of 2.160GHz. To offset the lower frequency assigned for the memory when dropping the divider, slightly more aggressive memory timings of 7-7-7-20 were applied. The HIS Radeon HD 4870 was also successfully overclocked, resulting in a core clock of 780MHz and an effective GDDR5 memory frequency of 3740MHz.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A number of tests were run once more to see how much of a difference our tweaks made.
 
As you can see, considerable gains have been achieved across the board. Free performance gains from a prebuilt computer. Excellent.
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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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