Arbico’s Elite i7-8670 HSD desktop PC is a great performer and stuffed with some premium components, including an SSD and a fast graphics card.

Arbico’s Elite i7-8670 HSD desktop PC is a great performer and stuffed with some premium components, including an SSD and a fast graphics card.

Although the Intel Core i7-860 isn’t the fastest processor here, it’s capable of excellent performance. When combined with the speed-boosting 60GB SSD, it propels the Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC to an impressive 143 points in our WorldBench 6 speed test.

You also get a 1TB hard drive and a full 8GB of RAM, with the latter enabling the Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC to chomp through heavy workloads.

Graphics are provided by a factory-overclocked ATI Radeon HD 5870, with the core and memory speeds increased from 850MHz and 1.2GHz to 875MHz and 1,225MHz respectively. It’s a small increase, but it has a positive impact on the Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC's framerates in our gaming tests.

Films fans will enjoy watching HD movies with the Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC’s eight-speed Blu-ray drive and 24in full-HD AOC monitor. This display also incorporates a handy USB port and an audio input; that’s a good thing, given that speakers aren’t provided.

The Cooler Master Elite 330 houses the Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC. It’s a smart, well-built case, but it lacks the top-mounted USB ports and internal paint job found elsewhere.

Inside, the Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard is a decent choice that supports high-speed USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA. Unlike the P7P55D-E version selected by Chillblast, however, it doesn’t have a second PCI Express x16 slot for adding another graphics card to the Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC.

Power PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Tracer
  2. Arbico Elite i7-8670 HSD
  3. CyberPower Infinity i7 Phoenix
  4. DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC
  5. Eclipse Reaper xFire i796r587

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice

Arbico’s Elite i7-8670 HSD desktop PC is a great performer and stuffed with some premium components, including an SSD and a fast graphics card.

Power PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s original 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, or you can save money by opting for an i7-930. Core i7-800-series chips are excellent value, delivering good performance while requiring less expensive motherboards.

Memory: A £1,001-plus Core i7 machine should come with at least 6GB of RAM, although 3GB may be 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 i7-900-based PCs requires you to install chips in threes. Core i7-800-series CPUs use a two-channel system.

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 trio of drives to reduce the risk of total data loss, although noise levels will increase. Raid 0 setups boost speed at the expense of reliability.

Consider mirroring for added security. SSDs provide a speed boost, but offer limited capacity and are expensive. Go for an SSD with at least 60GB if you’re running Windows 7.

Dual-layer DVD+/-R capabilities are useful, preferably at eight-speed or above. Also look for eight-speed DVD+RW.

If you want Blu-ray playback, be prepared to compromise on DVD speeds or buy a dedicated Blu-ray drive.

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 often offering a performance edge, but costing considerably more. nVidia’s cards offer 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 and 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. If you’re using an Intel CPU, a motherboard with an X58 chipset will give you better performance in multicard setups.

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.

>> NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

Arbico Elite i7-8670 HSD: Specs

  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-860
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (choose Windows 7 32bit, XP or Vista Home Premium at no extra cost)
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 60GB SSD
  • 10 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard
  • 600W OCZ PSU
  • 24in AOC 2436PWA (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 5870 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] - 75/46fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 149/89fps)
  • onboard sound
  • speakers built into monitor
  • 8x BD-ROM
  • 22x/22x/12x/12x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • BullGuard Internet Security
  • two-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 143
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-860
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (choose Windows 7 32bit, XP or Vista Home Premium at no extra cost)
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 60GB SSD
  • 10 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard
  • 600W OCZ PSU
  • 24in AOC 2436PWA (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 5870 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] - 75/46fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 149/89fps)
  • onboard sound
  • speakers built into monitor
  • 8x BD-ROM
  • 22x/22x/12x/12x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • BullGuard Internet Security
  • two-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 143

OUR VERDICT

The Arbico Elite I7-8670 HSD desktop PC is an excellent second choice, with great performance and tempting components. But note that you won't be able to add a second graphics card to this machine to increase gaming performance.

Find the best price