Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

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With the recent introduction of Socket 939 for the Athlon 64, the 3700+ is rumoured to be the last of the Socket 754 processors, but only time and AMD can tell if this really is the case. But let’s take a closer look at the 3700+ and what Mesh has on offer with its Matrix 64 3700+ Pro system.

On top of the 2.45GHz Athlon 64 3700+ processor Mesh has fitted a Radeon X800 Pro and has managed to create one fast PC that will laugh at any application you try to run on it. But high performance has always come at a cost and the Mesh Matrix64 3700+ Pro doesn’t come cheap at £1,807.16 including VAT and delivery. That said, Mesh is giving you a lot of PC for your money.

The motherboard is from Asus and is the top notch K8V Deluxe that comes with integrated Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, S-ATA and IDE RAID to mention just a few features. Add a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum sound card, a set of Creative Labs Inspire 7700 7.1-channel speakers and things start to look very good indeed.

It doesn’t stop here though as Mesh has really pulled out all the stops and fitted 1GB of PC3200 DDR SDRAM, a 250GB Maxtor S-ATA hard drive, an eight-speed Sony DVD writer and a Sony 52-speed CD-RW drive. If that doesn’t add up to a fully loaded PC I don’t know what does.

Add to this a 19in ViewSonic VG910b TFT display with DVI input and you’ve got yourself a top of the range system. It’s a shame though that the ViewSonic display only supports a maximum resolution of 1,280 x 1,024 as it does limit your gaming resolution and doesn’t show off the Radeon X800 Pro card to its full potential. That said, you will be able to turn pretty much all the features on in a game and still get a decent frame rate.

A cordless keyboard and optical mouse from Logitech makes up the input peripheral package, while you also get a 56k V.90 PCI modem and a copy of Microsoft Works Suite 2004. The latter is a good inclusion since it features a full version of Microsoft Word – undoubtedly the most useful part of Microsoft Office. Mesh includes a three-year on-site parts and labour warranty in the price, which should provide a good degree of piece of mind.

If I were to complain about something, it would have to be the noisy CPU cooler. This is a real shame as the PSU and the rear 120mm fan produce far less noise. With a better CPU cooler the Mesh Matrix64 3700+ Pro would have been a very quiet PC, but with the current cooler it is too loud for comfortable use at home. The thick Mesh case does however block some of the noise produced, but even so, a modest investment in a better CPU cooler would have made this machine as quiet as it is fast.

The 360W power supply should easily cope with the components fitted, but it is getting to the stage where anything less than 400W is under powered. This is something worth considering for future upgrades. Although to be fair, you’re not likely to need to upgrade this machine for some time.

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