Powered by a quad-core processor and a pair of GeForce 9600 GT graphics cards, the Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro is one of the quickest and most interesting systems we’ve seen.

The Core 2 Quad Q9450 is an entirely different beast to the dual-core chips in rival PCs. In the past, we’ve urged readers to think carefully before moving to four cores, or to wait for software to catch up. But now, for the first time, a quad-core PC is delivering faster gaming scores than the dual-core competition, despite the Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro having slower clock speeds and graphics cards.

Intel’s latest 45-nanometre quad-core processors are a major improvement on their predecessors and our more demanding games tests highlighted the benefits. The Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro beat Chillblast's Fusion Thunderbolt in all our Crysis tests, even though the latter is fitted with a pair of 512MB GeForce 8800 GTS graphics cards.

Desktop performance is less inspiring, but a WorldBench 6 score of 114 points is perfectly respectable. And on multithreaded applications such as Adobe Photoshop and 3D Studio, the Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro was a clear winner.

Build quality is excellent: the Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro is built into a gently curved and understated metal case, which is robust yet stylish. It even has some tastefully subtle blue interior lighting, while the convenient top-mounted USB ports make it easy to plug in peripherals without having to bend down under the desk.

The Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro's pair of 500GB hard drives give you a full terabyte (1TB) of storage. You also get a 24in digital display, 5.1-channel speakers and a Blu-ray drive, all for £100 less than any other desktop here.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (August issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Thunderbolt
  2. Mesh Xtreme X9450 GTX Pro
  3. Arbico Elite 9870EX
  4. CyberPower Sli KO GT
  5. Dell XPS ONE DSGi E6550

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