The selling point of the X-treme Essential PCA from Mesh is the beautiful 732 case designed for the firm by Coolermaster. Add a quality 20.1in flat-panel, the best consumer sound card money can buy and a good warranty and you have a great buy - if you've got £1,699 to spare.
The case isn't going to appeal to all, but the glow lights and ripple-front aluminium fascia are tastefully done. The 550W power supply is just the thing for those top-notch internal components and the aluminium conducts heat well, reducing the internal temperature - there are also several cunningly positioned fans to maintain internal airflow and a break-out box called the Musketeer that sits underneath the DVD drives and displays the temperature.
Gamers dream of a sensational audio and graphics experience and the X-treme doesn't disappoint. Leadtek's dual SLI (scalable link interface) 256MB 6800GT graphics cards managed more than 100fps (frames per second) at 1,600x1,200 on the ViewSonic VP201b flat-panel. We felt image quality on this screen wasn't as good as that afforded by ViewSonic's own smaller VX range, but you're paying for size - and we all know it matters.
To keep costs down, Mesh has supplied an older dual-core Athlon chip, but make no mistake, it's still up to the job when twinned with 1GB of RAM - a WorldBench score of 117 is blistering.