MESH Matrix II 920 (Phenom II) PC System
Having gone over the MESH Matrix II system with a fine toothed comb over the previous few pages, one question remains that neatly brings together our conclusion: What do I get for my £749 of hard earned cash?
First and foremost you get a professionally built PC that features the very latest AMD Phenom II CPU coupled with an excellent HIS 4850 IceQ graphics, large 500GB hard disk, good quality ASUS motherboard and 4GB of RAM all up and running on a 64-Bit version of Windows Vista. You also get a minimal, yet useful collection of pre-installed software. As the results have shown over the previous few pages, this is more than capable of playing the latest games at high resolutions while also performing equally well in our PCMark Vantage, PovRay and Cinebench tests which mimic both general day-to-day usage along with more specialist usages such as 3D Rendering and Encoding.
Externally the Matrix II is far more than just your average base unit. MESH have really gone to town this time around, packaging the system up in a rather sexy looking NZXT HUSH case complete with sound insulated panels. Add to this the highly respectable Creative T6100 5.1 surround setup that provided plenty of 'oomph' for both gaming and movies and the tasty 22" iiyama TFT capable of running at native 1080p resolution. Essentially, you have an entire system that not only integrates together perfectly in its appearance, but also as a home gaming/multimedia/office PC.
From an enthusiasts perspective, one of the biggest bugbears regarding pre-built systems is that they can often be constructed for 'much less' if you're willing to put in the time yourself. However, while there is certainly some truth in this (system builders need to make money too, right?) the £749 price tag is far from excessive considering the screen, keyboard and speaker setup alone totals £250. Additionally the Matrix II just works straight out of the box and with the entire system being backed with a 1 year RTB warranty that even permits you to perform your own hardware upgrades, it's hard to argue that the small difference in cost isn't worth it for the piece of mind.
Of course it'd be rude to end this review without giving a special mention to the Phenom II (Dragon) Platform. Having placed the Phenom II 920 clocked at 2.8GHz against an Intel Dual Core E7200 clocked at 3.5GHz (with much faster memory) it's clear to see that AMD's Dragon package that can take to the field and stand toe-to-toe with Intel's all conquering Conroe technology. Not only did the Phenom II match it with the blue team in almost every benchmark we threw at it, but in some it totally blew it away. This combined with greatly improved overclocking abilities could see AMD return to the hearts of many enthusiasts.
- Great package that looks and feels like it was designed to work together.
- Gaming performance on-par and often better than a heavily overclocked Intel E7200 based system.
- Well built with exceptionally tidy internal cabling.
- Case, graphics card, motherboard and screen are all top quality components.
- An 'all-round' machine. Doesn't tie itself down to just one task.
- System not totally frigid. Motherboard makes overclocking and tweaking possible.
- No-name PSU and memory let down the impressive components list. *
- Motherboard could have been Crossfire enabled.*
- Zip, nadda.
* MESH have informed us that options will be available to upgrade these components. Please contact MESH's sales team for further information.
Thanks to MESH for providing the Matrix II for review. Discuss this review in our forums.