Arbico’s machines are usually among the fastest performers in our PC charts, but the Elite 9587 HSD’s slightly slower-clocked 2.66GHz Intel i7 920 CPU puts a dampener on performance.

Arbico’s machines are usually among the fastest performers in our PC charts, but the Elite 9587 HSD’s slightly slower-clocked 2.66GHz Intel i7 920 CPU puts a dampener on performance.

Not that 135 points scored in our WorldBench 6 speed test isn’t a creditable tally. It’s just a single point behind the Eclipse, and the Arbico Elite 9587 HSD comes with some great features.

The Arbico Elite 9587 HSD's ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card enables excellent gameplay, if it’s not quite as fast as the CyberPower’s GTX 480.

More pleasingly, Arbico supplies a 64GB SSD with the Elite 9587 HSD. Flash-based drives radically reduce bootup and shutdown times and make system performance seem nippier overall. Arbico’s Kingston drive is just a tiny bit slower than Chillblast’s Corsair version.

The disadvantage of these drives is their high expense and low storage capacity in comparison to traditional hard-disk drives, so the Arbico Elite 9587 HSD supplements its SSD with a 1.5TB hard drive. Whereas other vendors have plumped for a pair of drives in a Raid 0 array to speed up disk tasks, Arbico’s single volume will provide greater data security.

The Arbico Elite 9587 HSD's Gigabyte motherboard is ready for the next generation of high-speed storage, with support for both USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA. Further expansion options include four PCI Express x16 slots for adding multiple graphics cards.

If you do plan to boost the Arbico Elite 9587 HSD's graphics, you should note that the 600W power supply is a little smaller than the competition and may need changing.

Power desktop PCs chart ranking

  1. Palicomp Core i7 Blitz
  2. Arbico Elite 9587 HSD
  3. Chillblast Fusion Matrix
  4. CyberPower Infinity i7 Heaven
  5. Eclipse Supernova i793r587

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>> Next page: Power desktop PCs buying advice

Arbico’s machines are usually among the fastest performers in our PC charts, but the Elite 9587 HSD’s slightly slower-clocked 2.66GHz Intel i7 920 CPU puts a dampener on performance.

Power desktop PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s Core i7 CPUs offer a number of speed boosts, although they require more expensive motherboards and memory than previous-generation chips. The Core i7 950 or 960 are good choices at this price point, or you can save money by opting for an i7 930. Core i7 860 chips cost even less.

Memory: A £1,001-plus Core i7 machine should come with at least 6GB of RAM, although 3GB is acceptable if the manufacturer compensates with other extras. For dual-core machines, look for 4GB in two modules to allow expansion. The triple-channel architecture of Core i7 9xx-based PCs requires you to install chips in threes. Core i7 8xx-series CPUs use a two-channel system, which will save you some cash. You’ll also need to splash out on DDR3 RAM, but the price of memory is falling fast.

A 64bit OS is essential to take full advantage of this memory, particularly if you’re running a dual-graphics setup.

Storage: Expect at least 1TB. Look for a pair or even a trio of drives rather than a single unit to reduce the risk of total data loss, although noise levels will increase. Raid 0 setups are an option, boosting speed the expense of reliability. Consider mirroring for added security. SSDs provide a speed boost, but offer limited capacity and are expensive.

Dual-layer DVD+/-R capabilities are useful, preferably at eight-speed or above. You should also be able to get eight-speed DVD+RW.

If you want Blu-ray playback, be prepared to compromise on DVD speeds.

Display: We’re seeing increasing numbers of 24in displays in our PC charts. This used to be the magic size at which 1080p (full-HD) playback became available, making these ideal partners for Blu-ray drives. However, some of the newest 22in (16:9) monitors can also display full-HD – and with a considerable saving.

Make sure you get a digital input for the best image quality, while an extra HDMI port is great for hooking up additional devices such as games consoles without having to switch cables.

Graphics card: For a thrilling gaming experience, choose between nVidia’s new GeForce GTX 480 and AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5870. It’s a close call between the two, with nVidia’s newer card offering a performance edge but also a considerably higher price. nVidia’s cards offer unique features such as support for PhysX in-game effects and stereoscopic 3D using special glasses.

Also look out for pre-overclocked graphics cards, which can deliver excellent value and are approved by chip manufacturers. Buying a single-card setup keeps your options open for adding a second card later. It also leaves more space for sound cards or TV tuners.

Motherboard: If you’re considering any upgrades, check that the motherboard offers enough memory slots to support the chips. SLI or CrossFireX support will enable you to add extra graphics cards to boost your gaming performance.

Power supply: The level of power you require will largely depend on the type of graphics card you expect to use. Look for a known and respected brand, and consider from 750W upwards if you have any thoughts of moving up to a dual-card setup later. Any form of overclocking will also demand a powerful PSU.

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>> Next page: Specification and our expert verdict

Arbico Elite 9587 HSD: Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 920
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (choose Windows 7 32bit or Vista at no extra cost)
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1.5TB SATA + 64GB SSD
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard
  • Xilence 600W PSU
  • 24in AOC 2436VWA (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB PCI Express Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 5870 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 75/45fps
  • Fear = 339fps)
  • onboard sound
  • 5 x Trust Soundforce speakers and subwoofer
  • 4x BD-ROM
  • max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • two-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 135
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 920
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (choose Windows 7 32bit or Vista at no extra cost)
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1.5TB SATA + 64GB SSD
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard
  • Xilence 600W PSU
  • 24in AOC 2436VWA (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB PCI Express Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 5870 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 75/45fps
  • Fear = 339fps)
  • onboard sound
  • 5 x Trust Soundforce speakers and subwoofer
  • 4x BD-ROM
  • max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • two-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 135

OUR VERDICT

The Arbico Elite 9587 HSD offers very good performance in general computing tasks and gaming, if it's not the fastest machine on test. This forward-looking PC offers support for 6Gbps SATA and USB 3.0, and even squeezes in a SSD.

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