Mesh – Matrix GDR 700 review

another fast home games machine
Photo of Mesh – Matrix GDR 700
£1,174

You’ve got to hand it to Mesh – they know how to package a PC. I don’t just mean sturdy boxes, I mean the little touches, like including an A2-sized leaflet on exactly how to set up your PC. Colour coding the keyboard and mouse ports, labelling the graphics card clearly with ‘monitor’. Providing a phone extension cord in case the modem cable won’t reach your phone socket.

So, aside from the impressive packaging, what’s this PC actually like? Well, it’s powered by a 700MHz Athlon processor at its heart, backed with 128MB of RAM, a 20GB IBM hard disk (a 7200rpm UDMA/66 model at that), and a GeForce 256 SDR video card. For a machine of this price, that’s a superb core.

Built around that is an excellent 10-speed DVD-ROM drive and a Rewritable CD drive. Bung in a cheapo (but reasonable) Diamond modem, and that’s a pretty nice PC box, hooked up to a Mitsubishi 17-inch Diamond Pro 720 monitor. A SoundBlaster Live! with Creative 4-point surround speakers provides the sound.

In our benchmark tests, this PC showed its speed very impressively, with a high 3D Mark score, slightly higher than we expected. Games performance was also very fast in general, so it gets the thumbs up in this department.

And the machine is just a joy to use; the monitor gives a superbly clean and crisp display, and the mouse and keyboard are both quality Microsoft affairs. The machine was also notably solid as a rock – it didn’t crash once in the (fairly lengthy) test period.

The insides are nicely packaged too. All cables are neatly stowed, and out of the 5 PCI slots, 3 are free for expansion (one being a combination PCI/ISA). This was the only area in which something was wrong with the Mesh machine; the sound card had come loose in transit, and needed a quick tightening back into its socket before it worked.

That aside though, we couldn’t fault this machine, particularly at this price point. It’s superb value for money, to say the least.

Company: Mesh

Contact: 020 8208 4744


Verdict
All the components of the Matrix GDR 700 are high quality, from the smart monitor, through to the hard drive and graphics card; it's all top notch stuff. Not only that, but the machine didn't put a foot wrong in the review period. Needless to say, it comes highly recommended.