The Mesh Elite E6700 GTS PCA sees Mesh returning to more predictable territory - with some very pleasing results. In fact, as an overall exhibition of features and components, the Elite E6700 puts on quite a show.


  1. CyberPower Infinity Crossfire GT
  2. Arbico CD8800 XL
  3. Mesh Elite E6700 GTS PCA
  4. Mesh Elite Q6600 PCA
  5. Evesham Axis R6 XT

Third place

After June's foray into the increasingly exciting world of Quad-core technology (see the Elite Q6600 PCA), this month's new entry from Mesh sees it returning to more predictable territory - although still with some very pleasing results. In fact, as an overall exhibition of features and components, the Elite E6700 puts on quite a show.

For a start, we have the appearance of the Core 2 Duo E6700 CPU. Doubted this is no longer the stunner it once was - four of this month's Top Five offer this exact chip - but you still get some pretty sizzling performance from the chip. In this Vista-tinted age, the 2GB of DDR RAM can only be described as an essential inclusion. But, again, the Mesh delivers.

Whether you think this the best of the PCs for visuals will depend on your priorities. The 22in Mirai screen is expansive and, while it still lacks the top quality of the 20in Samsung screen, it does manage to create an eye-catching display - far more so than the 22in Iiyama. The 640MB 8800 GTS is a very decent card, although it does lag behind the 8800 GTX (predictably) and (perhaps more surprisingly) the ATI HD 2900 XT. The latter is an excellent card that offers clear performance advantages over the similarly priced 8800 GTS - in some cases, the Mesh found itself 10-20fps behind the CyberPower.

Buying advice

Processor: Intel is back and its Core 2 Duo chips are quickly establishing themselves as the best in every category. The £1,000+ chart is no exception, and while prices haven't fallen significantly enough for 6800 to make an appearance, the E6700 is rapidly taking over the top five. A reasonably new contender, though, are the Quad-Core chips. These potentially offer around 50-100% extra performance, but only in applications and games that are programmed to take advantage of the extra cores included within each chip. Don't expect multi-core applications to be flooding in, but a couple of years time could have seen a rather dramatic shift in the software landscape. And then, the higher the number of cores, the more impressive the performance is likely to be. In today's world, though, the likes of the E6700 remain better bets.

Memory: Make no mistake about it. The age of the 2GB PC is almost upon us. If you skimp on memory now, you might find yourself having to administer a critical upgrade later on. Given the power and juggling space required by 2007's software titles, 1GB Power PCs won't cut it in the Vista era. If you really want the best performance, look for a high quality memory maker like Corsair.

Storage: It's unbelievable that anything less than 400GB is now considered a small amount of storage space but look out our chart and you'll see most manufacturers looking in the region of 400GB to 500GB. You're unlikely to get - and, unless you specialize in a particularly gigabyte-hungry pastime like video, won't really need - much more than this. Make sure you get serial ATA cabling for rapid transfer rates
Have backup covered with a multi-format DVD writer. Dual layer capabilities (allowing you to store 8.5GB rather than 4.7GB on a disc) are a must, and you should make sure the drive supports DVD+R DL at eight-speed or more. 8x DVD-R DL is nice but not essential. Also, look for good eight-speed DVD+RW facilities. Other optional formats include DVD-RAM.

Monitor: You'd think all of the flat-panels found in this category would be of superior quality. But you'd be miserably mistaken. No chart offers such a range of flat-panel shapes and sizes. A 22in model may sound nice, but be very careful that you choose a good one. Many of today's 22in flat-panels suffer from poor colours and fuzzy images and, depending on how sensitive you are, this might cause more than a few problems. 20in screens are safer bets, if you don't mind inferior resolution support. 19in models are becoming more outdated, although you might get better image quality if you don't mind going to this size.

Graphics card: At this price point, you should be able to get something rather startling. The GeForce 8800 GTX is undoubtedly the most prized acquisition. Its support for DirectX 10 means that Vistaites can look forwards to some impressive games titles coming out in the future. The GTX also has bags of performance and a slew of sizzling features. However, you shouldn't overlook its slightly less exciting sibling, the 8800 GTS, nor the brand new ATI HD 2900 XT. The latter card can't keep up with the GTX, but it will eclipse even the 640MB version of the 8800 GTS.

Sound card and speakers: Onboard or integrated sound has come on in leaps and bounds with support for 7.1 channel sound but it's still no match for a decent soundcard. Hunt around and you should be able to get a PC with a Creative Audigy card or, better still, one from the excellent X-Fi range. If you only want 2.1 channel speakers then make sure they're high quality but most manufacturers are bundling 5.1 channel speakers. Strangely, 7.1 speakers are becoming less and less common, but if you want audio excellence then you'd be best off holding out for a set of these.

Mesh Elite E6700 GTS PCA: Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB serial ATA
  • Asus P5N32-E SLI motherboard
  • 9 USB ports
  • 22in Mirai DML-5221100 flat-panel, 0.282mm pixel pitch, 1,680x1,050 maximum resolution
  • 640MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS, PCI Express
  • Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer sound card
  • 7 x Creative Inspire T7900 speakers
  • maximum DVD speeds 16x/18x/18x (DVD -ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • includes CyberLink Video Editing Suite
  • flash memory drive
  • 2-year onsite warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score 108
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB serial ATA
  • Asus P5N32-E SLI motherboard
  • 9 USB ports
  • 22in Mirai DML-5221100 flat-panel, 0.282mm pixel pitch, 1,680x1,050 maximum resolution
  • 640MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTS, PCI Express
  • Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer sound card
  • 7 x Creative Inspire T7900 speakers
  • maximum DVD speeds 16x/18x/18x (DVD -ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • includes CyberLink Video Editing Suite
  • flash memory drive
  • 2-year onsite warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score 108

OUR VERDICT

There's plenty to relish on the Mesh. Its sound system is sumptuous, and the DVD writer and hard drive are pretty much impossible to fault. Throw in extras like the flash memory drive and reliable Mesh warranty, and you have an extremely well priced PC that, to those in search of a large screen in particular, has an awful lot to recommend it.

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