This review appears as part of the comprehensive roundup of Vista PCs in the April 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents. Click here to read our general Vista PC buying advice.

Because of its 7950 GT graphics card, at £750 Arbico's CD7950XL is an excellent buy. Gamers will be interested in the high framerates achieved during our Company of Heroes and Fear tests.

However, not everything on the Arbico is as outstanding. It's always welcome to see a 19in rather than a 17in flat-panel but the Arbico's Yuraku isn't a well-known brand name. The screen is quite proficient, but we wouldn't put this in the same class as the Chillblast Fusion's Acer AL1916W. The Core 2 Duo E6600 is very nice, but an extra 1GB of DDR RAM would have helped with Vista performance. The gap between XP and Vista speed was more pronounced here than was the case with the 2GB Chillblast Fusion Vista 6300 OCTV 2.1GHz PC. And general performance was just a notch below that of other 2GB Vista PCs - the WorldBench score of 120 was six to seven points behind the top two.

The 250GB hard drive isn't the largest although, as with the Chillblast, it's a decent size. And the sound system and DVD writer are decent.

Arbico CD7950XL: Specs

  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB serial ATA
  • 19in Yuraku YM19GPX flat-panel
  • nVidia GeForce 7950 GT
  • 16x/18x/18x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 8x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium, Vista CD and DVD software
  • 3-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 5 score 120
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • 1GB DDR RAM
  • 250GB serial ATA
  • 19in Yuraku YM19GPX flat-panel
  • nVidia GeForce 7950 GT
  • 16x/18x/18x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 8x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium, Vista CD and DVD software
  • 3-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 5 score 120

OUR VERDICT

Games players will be drawn to this PC. The rest of us, however, might be put off by the screen and relative lack of memory.

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