Mesh is known for taking an unusual approach to system design. Using the 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 chip gives the Mesh Elite HD24 a slight disadvantage against systems based on the faster E8500, as its WorldBench figures show. But this vendor recognises there’s more to a satisfying computing experience than raw speed.

The Mesh Elite HD24 comes with a huge 24in monitor, the Iiyama ProLite E24D 3WS. Those extra inches make a big difference: not only is the display larger, but you also get considerably more pixels to play with, thanks to its 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution. That’s enough to play full 1,080p high-definition (HD) films. The system also includes a Blu-ray reader – this doubles as a DVD writer, although burn speeds are quite low – and CyberLink’s Blu-ray software.

The Mesh Elite HD24's audio setup is also impressive, with Creative’s Inspire A500 surround speakers providing 5.1 home-cinema audio.

Unfortunately, Mesh has had to make compromises to include these multimedia capabilities – and the Mesh Elite HD24's processor is just the start. The GeForce 9600 GT graphics card, for instance, can deliver a satisfying gaming experience, but it’s at the low end of what serious gamers would consider. A 24in monitor demands serious graphics power if you’re going to take advantage of those extra pixels while gaming.

The Mesh Elite HD24's motherboard is SLI-capable, however, so you could simply add a second 9600 GT.

Power desktop PCs chart ranking (July 08 issue)

  1. CyberPower Infinity Crossfire HD
  2. Arbico CD9800 PRO
  3. Mesh Elite HD24
  4. Chillblast Fusion Viper
  5. PC Specialist Fusion 9850 X2