The Arbico CD9600XL is waving a somewhat tattered flag bearing the name of AMD's 2.5GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip. Does this mark an upturn in AMD's fortunes? Probably not.


  1. Arbico CD6420XL
  2. Eclipse Max i935N79-VSTA
  3. Arbico CD9600XL
  4. Mesh Elite Value PCA
  5. Zoostorm 2-3305 Versatile PC

Third place

Browse through any PC chart from the past three or four months and you could be forgiven for wondering whether AMD has fallen off the face of the planet. This time last year, AMD's Athlon processors lay at the heart of almost every PC we championed, yet Intel has now achieved total dominance.

Well, almost total. For the Arbico CD9600XL is waving a somewhat tattered flag bearing the name of AMD's 2.5GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip. Does this mark an upturn in AMD's fortunes? Probably not.

Other than the processor, this system is almost identical to the Intel-powered Arbico CD6420XL. But the performance difference is significant. The AMD chip is comfortably faster than the 2.8GHz Pentium D and slightly quicker than the 3.2GHz Pentium D used by the Eclipse Max. But compared with the one system carrying an Intel Core 2 Duo E6320 chip, the CD6420XL, it's vastly inferior.

The CD9600XL lags behind on general Windows performance and, in games, it was regularly between 20 and 40 percent slower than the Intel-powered Best Buy. Which leaves the Arbico CD9600XL in no-man's-land. AMD loyalists might find themselves drawn to this PC, which is, after all, a perfectly decent machine. But since the Arbico CD6420XL is in essence the same computer with bags more performance, that'll make a far better buy.


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