At only £799, Arbico’s I5 2544 OCX is by far the least expensive gaming machine under test this month. While it’s Intel Core i5-2500K may not be overclocked quite as far as the more expensive competition, it’s shipping speed of 4.4GHz is still a massive step up from the factory default speed of 3.3GHz. This allows the system to achieve a very fast score of 190 points in WorldBench 6 and, more importantly, gaming speeds which can keep up with systems costing hundreds of pounds more. See also Group test: What's the best £1,000 PC?

Gaming graphics are powered by an MSI-made nVidia GeForce 560 Ti graphics card which has been factory overclocked from a reference core speed of 732MHz up to 880MHz. The graphics memory has also been boosted from 950MHz to 1050MHz. While this card isn’t going to challenge the likes of the AMD Radeon 7970 found in the most expensive systems, it does give it a bit of an edge over the stock GeForce 560 Ti’s found in PCs such as Eclipse’s Sniper i525n560/OC which costs around £200 more. However, it’s important to note that this system comes as a base-unit only and therefore doesn’t include the cost of a monitor or any peripherals. Visit Group test: What's the best desktop PC?

The black Revoltec RT 67 system case has rather unassuming looks, but inside Arbico has installed five bright red cooling fans, one of which is mounted at the rear with an additional pair visible through the mesh at the top of the case. The remaining two sandwich a Xigmatek Gaia processor cooler in a push-pull configuration to ensure adequate cooling for the overclock. An additional fan is mounted on the left-hand side panel, also meshed.

There’s quite a lot of visible cabling inside, but it has all been neatly pulled out of the way with cable ties. An Asus P8Z68 V-LX motherboard forms the heart of the system. It’s a powerful motherboard with an advanced chipset, but it lacks the multi-GPU options of the more expensive non-LX version offered elsewhere. The system also lacks an SSD, which some would consider essential in a modern high-performance PC.

Arbico I5 2544 OCX: Specs

  • WorldBench 6 / STALKER 1080p: 190 / 70
  • Processor type: INTEL CORE i5 2500K
  • Processor speed: 3.3GHZ - Overclocked to 4.4GHZ
  • CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Gaia
  • RAM: 8GB ( 2 x 4GB) 1600MHZ DDR3
  • Hard disk capacity: 1000GB SATA II
  • Motherboard Make and model: ASUS P8Z68 V-LX
  • External USB 2.0 ports (rear / front / other): 4 rear / 2 front
  • External USB 3.0 ports (rear / front / other): 2 rear
  • Graphics card vendor: MSI 560 Ti OC 1GB graphics card
  • Sound card (or on-board chipset): Intergrated 7.1
  • Optical Drive Type and model: SAMSUNG 22X DUAL LAYER SATA DVD +/-
  • REWRITER
  • Operating system, software and extras: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Network connectivity: Gigabit LAN (WI-FI NOT INCLUDED)
  • VGA, DVI, HDMI
  • Bluetooth
  • 1x eSATA ports
  • WorldBench 6 / STALKER 1080p: 190 / 70
  • Processor type: INTEL CORE i5 2500K
  • Processor speed: 3.3GHZ - Overclocked to 4.4GHZ
  • CPU Cooler: Xigmatek Gaia
  • RAM: 8GB ( 2 x 4GB) 1600MHZ DDR3
  • Hard disk capacity: 1000GB SATA II
  • Motherboard Make and model: ASUS P8Z68 V-LX
  • External USB 2.0 ports (rear / front / other): 4 rear / 2 front
  • External USB 3.0 ports (rear / front / other): 2 rear
  • Graphics card vendor: MSI 560 Ti OC 1GB graphics card
  • Sound card (or on-board chipset): Intergrated 7.1
  • Optical Drive Type and model: SAMSUNG 22X DUAL LAYER SATA DVD +/-
  • REWRITER
  • Operating system, software and extras: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Network connectivity: Gigabit LAN (WI-FI NOT INCLUDED)
  • VGA, DVI, HDMI
  • Bluetooth
  • 1x eSATA ports

OUR VERDICT

For those on a budget, the Arbico I5 2544 OCX offers good system performance and competitive gaming frame rates, although it lacks enthusiast features such as an SSD or Blu-ray drive. The monitor and keyboard will also have to be purchased separately.

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