Arbico’s eXcel 2568HD is a good all-round PC with a nod towards the enthusiast gamer. It comes with a powerful Intel Core i5-2500 processor running at 3.3GHz and a factory-overclocked ATI Radeon HD 6870 graphics card – key to its stellar gaming performance. See also Group test: What's the best family PC.

The system is housed in a rather imposing all-black Revoltec 67 system case, incorporating meshed panels though which you can just make out four bright-red cooling fans. The black paint job is continued inside the case, where we find tool-free drive bays and that large powerful graphics card.

There’s no internal cable management, so the wiring is a little messy although Arbico has tidied it up with liberal use of cable-ties, so there’s ample space for any upgrades you may wish to add later.

In addition to the 1TB Samsung hard drive, a fast 60GB OCZ solid-state drive has been included which gives a significant performance boost, especially when booting up. Unfortunately, the plastic hard drive mountings did not survive being sent by courier, and the hard drive had broken free and was non-functional.

The system comes with 8GB of RAM, ample for the majority of home users. You also get a DVD writer/Blu-ray reader combo drive and a pair of Logitech S120 stereo speakers. Ahead Nero is included to help you burn DVDs plus CyberLink Power DVD to play back HD movies via the large Hanns-G display.

Note that the included speakers don’t come with a bass speaker. Also Logitech, the MK260 wireless combo comprises a wireless mouse and compact keyboard incorporating multimedia control buttons and hotkeys for launching frequently-used applications.

Performance is among the best of the group. While the WorldBench score of 175 is narrowly beaten by QuietPC’s fanless system and more convincingly by Chillblast’s Ivy Bridge-equipped Fusion Longbow, you’re likely to be impressed with the Arbico’s speed. Where it stands out is in its gaming performance which is the fastest available from this group.

Arbico eXcel 2568HD: Specs

  • 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500 processor (quad-core)
  • 23.6 Hanns-G HH241H monitor (0.272mm, 1920x1080 pixels, DVI/VGA)
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB Samsung SATA SATA III HDD, 60GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD
  • Standard Intel Cooler
  • 2x USB 3.0, 6x USB 2.0
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6870 OC 1GB (915/1050/NA)
  • Logitech S120 (2.0) speakers
  • LG Blu-ray Reader DVD-writer combo
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (32-bit or XP also available)
  • 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500 processor (quad-core)
  • 23.6 Hanns-G HH241H monitor (0.272mm, 1920x1080 pixels, DVI/VGA)
  • 8GB DDR3
  • 1TB Samsung SATA SATA III HDD, 60GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD
  • Standard Intel Cooler
  • 2x USB 3.0, 6x USB 2.0
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6870 OC 1GB (915/1050/NA)
  • Logitech S120 (2.0) speakers
  • LG Blu-ray Reader DVD-writer combo
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (32-bit or XP also available)

OUR VERDICT

If there’s a gamer or PC enthusiast in your family, then this may be the system for you. It’s powerful, comes with a speed-boosting SSD and offers class-leading graphics performance. However, a separate 60GB SSD requires more attention when managing disk space. Better speakers and peripherals are available elsewhere for less.

Find the best price