A close contender for our Best Buy award is Arbico's CD8850 XL, a PC that's only just pipped at the post performance-wise.

Not much has changed in this category over the past two months, and Arbico's CD8850 XL shows few differences from its Elite 8850 Pro.

Intel's Core 2 Duo E8600 processor is combined with an ASRock 4Core 1600-D800 motherboard to devastating effect. Scoring 130 points in WorldBench 6, the Arbico CD8850 XL is hot on Chillblast's heels. But while the ASRock performs well, its expansion options are minimal; just two memory slots are provided, making RAM upgrades a costly affair. As with all the PCs in this chart, a 500GB hard drive is also installed.

In common with the Elite 8850 Pro, Arbico's CD8850 XL uses an HD 4850 graphics card to deliver very good gaming performance. Framerates were broadly similar across all our PCs using this card.

The Cooler Master Elite 330 system case has plenty of expansion room and tidy looks. A 22in Acer display, fitted with both digital and analogue inputs, finishes off the Arbico CD8850 XL's smart exterior. This screen provides a notably better picture than that bundled with the company's Elite 8850 Pro.

Like the Chillblast, the Arbico CD8850 XL comes with a pair of Logitech speakers and a subwoofer. Alongside the system's Creative Audigy SE 7.1 sound card, this allows for a vastly improved listening experience compared with rival systems in our chart.

Budget PCs chart ranking (April 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Anubis
  2. Arbico CD8850 XL
  3. Mesh Matrix II 920
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition
  5. Zoostorm 64-5300

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