With a brand-new AMD Phenom II processor and excellent 1,080p monitor on the Mesh Matrix II 920's feature list, it represents excellent value for money.

AMD's processors have rarely been seen in our charts of late, but Mesh has plumped for the company's brand-new Phenom II chip for its Matrix II 920. Sporting twice as many processor cores and running at 2.8GHz, this chip is often a match for Intel's quad-core CPUs. Unfortunately, it isn't up against any quad-core machines, and the Matrix II scored a disappointing 111 points in WorldBench 6.

Quad-core processors only really show their potential on multithreaded applications, which our WorldBench 6 test suite doesn't cater for. One such application is Autodesk 3D Studio Max. In our tests, the Mesh Matrix II 920 was considerably faster when running this application than any of the dual-core systems.

Despite its name, the Phenom II X4 920 lags behind Intel's Core i7 920 chip. But a PC based on AMD's design also costs considerably less to build, leaving the Mesh Matrix II 920 more cash in the pot for other tasty components.

In another first for our charts, the Mesh Matrix II 920 comes with one of the new breed of 16:9 TFT displays from Iiyama. Although this monitor offers the same 22in diagonal we're used to at this price point, it has a native 1,080p screen resolution that allows playback of HD video without any downscaling. Housed in an NXZT hush case, the Matrix II is also pleasantly quiet.

The Mesh Matrix II 920 comes with tool-free drive bays and plenty of free expansion slots are available on the motherboard. While we would have liked to see a Blu-ray drive included to turn this into a true multimedia machine, Mesh has stretched the budget to include a memory-card slot and a set of 5.1-channel speakers from Creative.

Budget PCs chart ranking (April 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Anubis
  2. Arbico CD8850 XL
  3. Mesh Matrix II 920
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition
  5. Zoostorm 64-5300

>> NEXT PAGE: Budget desktop PCs buying advice

Best prices today

Retailer Price Delivery  

Price comparision from , and manufacturers