The diminutive eXcel i5255 Pro desktop PC from Arbico performs well and incorporates some great features.

Inside is a 3.3GHz Core i5-2500 CPU, which offers enough computing power for all but the most demanding users. This is the standard version of the chip, and doesn’t have the same ease of overclocking that’s offered by the Chillblast’s multiplier-unlocked CPU (not that the Chillblast is able to take advantage of it). The Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro's CPU also comes with slower GMA HD 2000 integrated graphics.

Budget PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Atom
  2. Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro
  3. Eclipse Matrix i525z68
  4. Dino PC Plutosaur 2500
  5. Chillblast Fusion Summit

The Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro desktop PC uses an H61-chipset-based motherboard, the ‘Pro’ version of the Asus board selected by Chillblast and Dino PC. Both those PCs offer USB 3.0; this board adds a 6Gbps SATA interface and HDMI.

WorldBench 6 performance is very close between all five systems, and the Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro's 159-point tally is just a single point below the fastest PC. In practice, you won’t notice a difference between the systems on test.

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The Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro's graphics also performed better than the i5-2500 competition – it even beat the i5-2500K-based Chillblast in our Fear test, although that PC took the lead in the tougher Crysis game. These scores are made possible by the motherboard’s GPU Boost feature, which is able to overclock the processor’s integrated graphics.

Like every PC here, the Arbico eXcel i5255 Pro comes with a 21.5in AOC monitor. The lack of external speakers is a disappointment.

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