Is Mesh computers any good?
March 6, 2004 4:38 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience with Mesh computers? A friend recommended them, but other people seem to think they are a branch of Hell, Inc. Any help?
posted by Orange Goblin to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
general advice:

if you're buying a pre-built, you're buying it for the damn support.

much of the time (at least when I was putting computers together for folks, and still, to some degree, as much as I've been able to keep up with parts prices) you can build a better (component-wise) and even faster computer than you can purchase as a pre-built (although sometimes these companies manage to get great deals on parts and can put together computers that are seemingly better on paper -- though i would argue it's usually better to have a computer that you've built yourself that 1) has exactly the parts you want, and 2) doesn't have built-in motherboard bs that might even cause conflicts with stuff you want to add on later).

still, i've found that it's simply not worth it to support computers you build unless they're your own or for good friends -- unless if you want to spend all your time fielding calls from people having minor tech support issues that have nothing whatsoever do to with the hardware itself (again: this is only my experience).

IMO the only reason to buy a pre-built (if you don't feel comfotable building your own) is for good tech support. Dell is a great example of this -- most of the people that I used to put together computers for I just advise to buy Dells at this point, simply because it's not worth it for me to get paid a flat price (which is what I typically asked for) and then have to do tech support for the life of the computer (because it was expected).

i guess what i'm saying is: if you can build your own computer from parts, do it (it's really not that difficult -- there's a lot of websites out there that review components, and some of them even have newbie guides to putting stuff together. some of my favorites are ars technica and tom's hardware guide ). If you want a pre-built, look around for a company that has a good record of tech support, because that's what you're paying for.

of course, i might be totally off on recommending against pre-builts, but it's been a little while since i've been in the PC market, and things have definitely changed dramatically over the past year.
posted by fishfucker at 6:50 AM on March 6, 2004


(Orange Goblin, sorry, nothing to say either way about Mesh, so you may want to skip this.)

fishfucker,

Great post, but I'm not sure I agree. You can get a pretty amazing deal on a "pre-built" PC these days. I'm a big fan of Dell Financial Service's Ebay Store, where I've purchased more than one very solid machine for well under $500.

They've been mentioned on ask.mf in the past few days, but I'm too lazy to find the link. It's been a while since I checked there, so I'm surprised to see that they only have one (Dimension Desktop 1100MHz 256MB 40GB 48X ) desktop available now, for $445. (There are eight laptops.)

For what it's worth, I've also had good experiences with IBM's ebay store.

Anyway, back to your DIY point: I have a great deal of technology experience, and end up cannibalizing and re-animating every PC I buy, but I just don't want to get into building my own PC (granted, I'm increasingly reliant on laptops using wireless, which I think are universally agreed to be a a much less-attractive home-brew project).
posted by Sinner at 8:22 AM on March 6, 2004


sorry, this is perhaps drifting further still, but it does seem relevant, so...

i think fishfucker's argument is right, but his(?) conclusions assume a certain class of user. if you're buying pre-built you're paying for a machine with an OS installed and running. in my experience that's the hardest part by far of home building. once i've got an OS running, i'm home and dry.

obviously, that's because i'm happy fixing things once the hardware works. so my argument doesn't apply to people who need hand-holding all the way.

in other words - cheap pre-builts are worth it if you're experienced with software but not with hardware. if you're inexperienced with both, get a dell. if you're experienced with both, home build.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:33 AM on March 6, 2004


I built the computer I'm still using when I was 13 and had no idea how to build a computer. It's really easy and if you can install a PCI card you can build your own. Just buy top of the line parts, it's well worth it in the long run. Your local computer store (not national chain) will have all the necessaries and tell you what you do and don't need, what's compatible, etc. Most rebuilt PCs have impressive specs, but as you can imagine skip on parts. The OS is the easiest thing to install I thought. All modern motherboards support installing from a CD-ROM and WinXP is extremely easy to run from scratch. Also with prebuilt a bunch of crap gets installed and I always like clean installs.

That being said, I realize that some people don't have the time and just aren't comfortable to build their own. I will have to echo that Dells are really the best right now. Their support is good and the machines seem very well built and quiet. Plus with the terrible US dollar you'd probably fare better buying Dell then this Mesh.
posted by geoff. at 10:28 AM on March 6, 2004


My current PC is a Dell, and it's pretty much useless in terms of upgradeability, which is one of the reasons I'm getting a new one. Also, Dell's PCs are £100-£200 more expensive as far as I can tell - I guess this is what pays for good customer service. I'm not at all comfortable with the idea of building my own PC - I get nervous enough as it is just opening the case. I'm pretty much never going to call Mesh for customer support as it is - the only thing I'm worried about is if there is a part that doesn't work, and they make me jump through hoops to get a new one. Basically, it's like andrew says - I'm fully competent with anything software related, but hardware is a mystery to me.
posted by Orange Goblin at 10:53 AM on March 6, 2004


I think one of the best uses for usenet is to find product reviews. Or at least, negative product reviews. (It seems like there are always more complaints for most things there then there are recommendations.) Google groups makes it easy to search through those.

Some interesting comments there on Mesh computers.

ps. I built my own over Thanksgiving break. Glad I did. Saved lots of money, and it's a pretty nice machine.
posted by bragadocchio at 11:27 AM on March 6, 2004


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