Arbico H4676 Quiet PC Package review

Arbico H4676 Quiet PC Package review

A modest all-round family PC that benefits from relatively quiet noise levels – with components carefully selected for price – the Arbico H4676 will make a decent addition to homes up and down the country. See Group test: What's the best family PC?

The PC is powered by the trusty Intel Core i5-4670K processor, clocked at 3.4GHz (with a max of 3.8GHz) and backed by 8GB of high-calibre 1600MHz Corsair XMS3 memory.

The resulting PCMark 7 score of 5021 is very healthy, and suggests good underlying performance, even if this isn't quite as fast as, for example, the less noise-conscious Chillblast Fusion Commando.

Not a small amount of the Arbico's speed is down to the extensive drive options. A capacious 2GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive is teamed with a high-speed 128GB Sandisk SSD. And drive complement doesn't stop there as not one but two optical drives are also included.

The LG GH24NS95 is one of the fastest DVD writers around, offering searing 24x DVD±R writing speeds. But film and gaming enthusiasts are also looked after with the inclusion of a Lite-On iHOS104. This BD-ROM drive performs one function only of reading Blu-ray discs. Luckily, its 4x playback is wonderfully smooth, allowing seamless Blu-fay film playback. The Logitech three-piece speaker set adds grunt to the sound output, making for a poential budget home-cinema system.

The Asus-made nVidia GT 640 graphics card with 2GB of memory is a dependable if rather uninspiring choice, and one that lacks the firepower of the '650 and '660s. Demanding titles will push it a little too far. Aliens vs Predator remained playable at 1280 x 720-pixel size, noodling up to 38 fps. At full-HD resolution, though, it fell to a less emphatic 19 fps.

Sniper Elite V2 produced better scores, getting as high as 67 fps at the lowest setting, but falling to 29 fps at 1920 x 1080. Should you try with detail levels pushed to the max, you may see this drop to a mere 8 fps. Provided you're happy to play at 1280 x 720 resolution, you should get solid gaming performance from this machine, but it's nowhere near the levels of the 650/660s. These cards can push comfortably to three figures in our lowest Sniper test, for instance. Gamers, then, might want to look elsewhere.

The CiT Jupiter ATX case is a modest but tidy affair, with a faint flash of orange and yellow fans glimpsed through the the grill. The case isn't particularly large inside, although everything is neatly arranged, and we didn't have many problems getting to tricky components like the memory - two of the four slots are taken up.

There's more room in which to install a larger graphics card, although the 400W Xigmatek NRP-VC403 PSU isn't amazingly powerful, and may limit your options. The orange Xigmatek cooler does a good job without taking up much room, and it gets plenty of support from the large yellow fan situated at the back of the case. This PC has 11 USB ports in all. Eight of those are situated at the back (with two of the eight being USB 3.0). A further three USB 2.0 connectors are provided at the front, one of those included within a memory-card drive. Video ports comprise HDMI and DisplayPort.  

Power consumption is fairly low for such a system, happily idling along at about 68 watt, and when playing Sniper, it moved up to 128 watt. System noise is very good indeed, with a mere 7dB being added under normal situations. Given the number of fans, this small level of noise is very laudable, and is probably the one aspect of this PC that impressed us the most. It's certainly not silent, some people could live with this PC whirring away at the back of the room.

The Logitech MK120 wireless keyboard and mouse combo are of adequate quality. Neither too positive nor too soft to the touch, they're easy to type on and use. There are vastly superior combos around though – the MK330, for instance.

The 23.6in CTX E24M5G flat-panel is an inexpensive but palatable screen that uses its 1920 x 1080 resolution to good effect, and offers good clarity of image, if not particularly wide viewing angles.

Arbico H4676 Quiet PC Package: Specs

  • 2 x Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M2A1600C11
  • 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001-1CH164
  • Sandisk SDSSDP128G 128GB SSD
  • LG GH24NS95 24x DVD
  • Lite-On iHOS104 4x BD-ROM
  • SL-8400BTX
  • Xigmatek 400W NRP-VC403
  • Xigmatek Cooler
  • Front - 3x USB. Memory Card Drive
  • Rear - 8x USB (2 of which are USB 3.0). HDMI, DP.
  • 2 x Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M2A1600C11
  • 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001-1CH164
  • Sandisk SDSSDP128G 128GB SSD
  • LG GH24NS95 24x DVD
  • Lite-On iHOS104 4x BD-ROM
  • SL-8400BTX
  • Xigmatek 400W NRP-VC403
  • Xigmatek Cooler
  • Front - 3x USB. Memory Card Drive
  • Rear - 8x USB (2 of which are USB 3.0). HDMI, DP.

OUR VERDICT

It's hard to get too excited about this PC. Many of the components are chosen for value rather than overall performance, and it wouldn't be a great choice for gaming. Having said that, the noise levels are comparatively low, and passable home-cinema capabilities and generally consistent performance could make this a discreet and quietly confident pick for the living room.

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