It’s a decent screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 and it's well up to the task of playing HD movies. You have the choice of VGA and HDMI inputs, and there are both VGA and DVI-to-HDMI cables in the box. But the panel is unexceptional and there is no height adjustment. The Iiyama is a reasonable choice as a budget 24in display, but it seems an odd companion to a PC that costs a shade under £3000.
Longer bars are better
So let’s get down to brass tacks – does the Ultimate Q8 deliver the goods? Any PC with a QX9650 processor and one GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card will make a superb gaming machine, no question about it. Adding second and third 8800 GTX cards raises the performance significantly, and you’ll see from the test results that we only picked the worst-case scenario of Crysis to test the Mesh to its limits.
Benchmarked at 1920 x 1200
Results in frames per second
Longer bars are better
Less demanding games such as Bioshock and Company of Heroes don’t have any particular need of three GPUs when you’re running a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200. But if you spend £1000 for a 30in TFT with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 you’ll be in clover.
You’re not going to spend the best part of £3000 on a gaming PC unless you’re seriously wealthy, but that tiny elite should give the Mesh Ultimate Q8 serious consideration. A Tri-SLI PC will inevitably be quite noisy but seriously, that OCZ power supply needs to be sorted out.
Mesh Ultimate Q8 Tri-SLI gaming PC
I wonder how old I will be....
when someone finally outputs a consumer machine that can play Crysis at 40fps with everything on high.
Crysis and graphics
A number of points: If you want to run SLI or Tri-SLI (Or CrossFireX for that matter) then you're getting towards the territory where 32-bit Windows and 4GB of RAM is a limitation. I wouldn't say that 64-bit is a necessity at this point because most of us tend to play games in isolation with a minimum of background activity and multitasking.
Sticking the Mesh on the scales - it's heavy. Does it matter exactly how heavy? Heavy enough to make you go 'Gawd!'.
Multiple 8800 GTX cards are indeed packed very close together and I am sure it increases the noise level. Ordinarily a single 8800 GTX is incredibly quiet but these three cards made a steady muted roar. No doubt the new angled fan on the G92 8800 GTX has been introduced for this very reason.
You can play Crysis on a single graphics card. I have an HD 3850 in my own PC and play on Medium quality settings at 1,920x1,200 in DirectX 9. The problem comes when you bump up the quality settings and especially is you want everything on Max in DirectX 10.
Perhaps a stupid question
Let me say first that I've not had more than one video output card in a machine since the days of Voodoo II, and I don't recall that it had a fan.
There looks to be about 3 mm between the sandwiched video cards. For the two that have their fan intake up against the next card: does not the narrow space negatively affect cooling performance? If so, then the noise output will be higher from those two cards because of turbulence induced by moving air through such a narrow space compounded by the higher resistance to air movement.
Is this a reasonable analysis?
WRT Game Titles
I gather that Crysis is very demanding of video cards, so much so that most people - myself included - probably cannot play it on their single sub $200.00 video card. That is fine, a test ought to offer results from a strenuous program. Most of us have no idea what it means to get X, Y or Z FPS in Crysis. It would be meaningful for a lot of people to see numbers for other games that they can can actually play. Quake 4, Quake Wars, Doom 3, FEAR, the latest version of Half Life 2 all come to mind (I am an FPS monkey). But thanks for the review also, I am not dissing it.
"according to our bathroom scales, weighs in at 22kg"
I am LOVING the extremes that El Reg go to in order to carry out a review. :-)