In a chart dominated by the latest i7 quad-core CPUs, the Mesh Matrix 295 HD's dual-core approach could be considered positively old school. By sticking with the tried-and-tested E8600 chip, Mesh recognises that there are other areas in which your money may be better spent. However, should you wish to upgrade at some point, quad-core chips are available that will slot into the Asus P5QL motherboard used here.

Although the E8600 is never going to beat the Core i7 920, it's still a great processor, as the Mesh Matrix 295 HD's 124 WorldBench 6 points attests. It's also a less expensive choice, allowing you to save on the cost of a high-end motherboard and the pricey DDR3 RAM required by Core i7 PCs.

Using the money saved, Mesh provides a 26in Iiyama monitor with the Matrix 295 HD, which combines the same HD-capable resolution as a 24in model with an immersive gaming experience and more readable text on the desktop.

More important, however, is the Mesh Matrix 295 HD's inclusion of nVidia's brand-new GeForce GTX 295 dual-GPU graphics card. With this card installed, the old-school Mesh is a convincing winner over even the fastest of the Core i7 systems when it comes to gaming, taking a lead in our Crysis tests at higher settings. Future-proofing aside, this PC delivers the best gaming experience in the chart.

Also included with the Mesh Matrix 295 HD is a Philips Ambx speaker system that includes a multitude of lighting and even wind effects. A gimmick, yes - but these effects can be excellent.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (June 09 issue)

  1. Arbico Elite i7 RSX
  2. Chillblast Fusion Hercules
  3. Mesh Matrix 295 HD
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy
  5. Eclipse Excalibur i792nGTX260

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