Based on Intel’s brand-new 2.8GHz Core i7 860, the Arbico HD8658 XL is a Windows 7 desktop PC that comes with a 24in full-HD monitor and a Blu-ray drive.

The Arbico HD8658 XL performed well, scoring 137 points in our WorldBench 6 speed test and delivering gaming performance that matches that of systems higher up the chart.

Arbico has selected the Cooler Master Elite 333 system case, which is simple and functional. Inside, its Gigabyte motherboard is based on the new P55 chipset for which the Core i7 860 was designed. This allows dual-channel memory to be installed, leaving two slots free for expansion and some cash in the pot to splash elsewhere. This Arbico HD8658 XL's motherboard also offers CrossFireX support, with room for a second graphics card, and two free PCI slots for other add-in cards.

Two 500GB drives arranged in a Raid 0 configuration offer a total storage capacity of 1TB. While the Arbico HD8658 XL's chosen method can potentially offer a speed boost, we've seen such setups fail on more than one occasion. Without a third drive for backing up your data, Raid 0 storage is a risky option.

Although the Arbico HD8658 XL offers a larger screen than Chillblast's Fusion Warrior, it comes without an external speaker set.
We also think the Arbico HD8658 XL's RTB warranty is a less comforting inclusion than the Chillblast's hassle-free collect-and-return policy. In all other ways, however, these two systems are evenly matched.

Chart ranking (issue 174)

  1. Mesh Ice 7 DX11
  2. Eclipse Fusion Crossfire i792R585
  3. Chillblast Fusion Warrior
  4. Arbico HD8658 XL
  5. Chillblast Fusion Apex

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