Whereas many vendors aim either for the best possible raw application performance or for the top gaming framerates, Mesh likes to build well-balanced systems that deliver a great all-round computing experience.

The Mesh Pulse 8600GT uses a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 processor. This is considerably slower than some chips in this chart, but it should be more than adequate for most users. The 4GB of RAM is ample for running memory-hungry applications such as image-editing software, and the 22in Hanns-G monitor gives you the screen space you’ll need to run them comfortably.

The Mesh Pulse 8600GT‘s 500GB Samsung hard drive is the largest in this price category, while the external Logitech S220 2.1-channel speakers will give audio a boost.

The Mesh Pulse 8600GT’s gaming performance is a little unimpressive. The 256MB GeForce 8600 GT can handle basic 3D games easily enough, but will struggle with more demanding titles, especially if you’re hoping to make the most of the display’s 1,680x1,050 resolution.

In addition to audio ports, FireWire and a total of three USB sockets, the Mesh Pulse 8600GT‘s front panel houses a multi-slot memory card reader – a welcome bonus at this price. The case is fairly small, and there’s not much expansion space. The motherboard is a pretty basic model, with only two memory slots and a sparse selection of ports.

Budget desktop PCs: chart ranking (Nov 08 issue)

  1. Arbico Elite 8595
  2. Chillblast Javelin
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity 850
  4. Mesh Pulse 8600 GT
  5. Dell Inspiron 530/2583

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