Google 'Slayer vs Rathergood' and you'll see why this Mesh PC has had the entire team making devil-horn signs and yelling 'Slayyyyyeeerrrrrrrrrrrrr!' at each other. Entertaining, net-meme-apeing aside, is the latest from Mesh worth shouting about?

Well, as ever with rigs topping the £1,000 mark it's a little from box A and a little from box B. The main thing to be shouting about is it's the first a system integrator we've seen to go with an SSD as a boot drive with a larger HDD to back it up. Literally, if you fancy.

Mesh has gone for the 30GB OCZ's Vertex drive as the wee booter and it certainly makes a big difference to boot times. Vista was usable within 25 seconds of hitting the power switch. Unfortunately at 30GB there's not a massive amount of storage for anything other than OS files, especially with the back-up partition installed to that drive, but there should be enough to squeeze in the apps and games that you use the most regularly.

SSD excluded, the Slayer is every inch the standard, top-end AMD-based rig. It's got the latest Phenom II x4 beating away under the now-ubiquitous CoolIT Domino liquid cooler, 4GB DDR3 and a 4890 for the graphical grunt.

But there's so little difference between the top-end and mid-range of AMD rigs that performance is disturbingly close to the AT-FX Dragon. And that machine is getting on for half the price, though that price is without a pre-installed OS.

So performance-wise the Slayer is going to have a hard time competing with other, recent AMD-based rigs. But compared with that AdvanceTec rig you are getting far more future-proofing. The AM3 CPU, coupled with the DDR3 RAM gives you more of an upgrade path when the time comes and the storage is going to last far longer before you feel the pinch. It's also worth mentioning that Mesh is offering free upgrades to Windows 7 on its machines at the moment too.

The Slayer is very well put together too. The Elemental S chassis is stylish and the insides have been nicely tidied. The tough thing here though is the market. Next month will see the P55/Lynnfield CPU combo, a platform which could do bad things for system integrators looking to sell high-end AMD architecture for over £1,000. So, while this is a good machine, if you're looking for a full rig at this sort of price we'd wait a li'l while.

Slayer elemental benchmarks

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