The Mesh Ice 7 DX11 Windows 7 desktop PC offers staggering gaming performance with an HD 5850 chip under its belt.

With the release of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards, we're seeing the first DirectX 11.0-capable PCs submitted to our Test Centre. It's no surprise that all four of the new PCs featured here include a 1GB Radeon HD 5850 card, including the Mesh Ice 7 DX11.

The strongest overall performance is delivered by the Mesh Ice 7 DX11. Despite its Intel Core i7 920 processor having now been discontinued, it's still widely available and offers great value for money. The performance of this chip is superb, propelling the Mesh to a WorldBench 6 speed score of 139 points.

A 6GB allocation of DDR3 RAM is provided, fitted into an Asus P6T SE motherboard. This is a good offering - the two machines based on Intel's newer Core i7 860 CPU come with only 4GB - yet the price of the Mesh Ice 7 DX11 remains reasonable.

Gaming performance is very good indeed, and the Mesh Ice 7 DX11's HD 5850 delivers a noticeable increase in performance over the HD 4890 found in older systems in this price category. It comes with support for DirectX 11.0, which is necessary for several forthcoming games as well as some new functions built into Windows 7.

A pair of 500GB hard drives are provided in a Raid 0 configuration. This setup offers enhanced performance over single-drive offerings, but it takes only one drive to fail in the Mesh Ice 7 DX11 for you to lose the data stored on both.

The Mesh Ice 7 DX11's 22in full-HD monitor delivers high-quality images. You don't get a Blu-ray drive, but this remains an excellent PC for both work and gaming.

Chart ranking (issue 174)

  1. Mesh Ice 7 DX11
  2. Eclipse Fusion Crossfire i792R585
  3. Chillblast Fusion Warrior
  4. Arbico HD8658 XL
  5. Chillblast Fusion Apex

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice