Once again, Arbico has topped our charts with a system whose sheer speed belies its £499 price tag. The firm has eked out every last bit of performance from this PC's Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 chip, with the CD 8467 XL scoring 120 points in WorldBench 6. The machine turns in some pretty tasty gaming results, too.
For everyday use, you're unlikely to notice the small differences in performance between most PCs in our chart. The same can't be said for gaming, however. The Arbico CD 8467 XL storms ahead of the competition with an ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card - and at no extra cost. With overall system specification being so similar, there's no reason to put up with an HD 4650 or nVidia GeForce 9500GT.
In common with the Chillblast Comet in second place, the Arbico CD 8467 XL comes with a 19in Hannspree XM New York monitor. This screen has industrial-style looks and sturdy build quality. And, as is standard at this price point, the CD 8467 XL's audio is provided by the monitor's built-in speakers.
A 250GB hard drive comes preinstalled with OpenOffice and Nero, the latter complementing the Arbico CD 8467 XL's 22-speed DVD burner. Although 250GB may seem a relatively limited amount of storage space, it will be adequate for most users.
This is a superb system overall, but there is a slight down side to consider. The Arbico CD 8467 XL ships with the Windows Vista Home Basic operating system (OS), which lacks many features of the Premium version shipped with most of the competition. You may miss Windows Media Center and the flashy Aero user interface.
The CD 8467 XL's system case is also less impressive than the Cooler Master model that Arbico often plumps for with its more expensive computer systems.
Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (July issue)
- Arbico CD 8467 XL
- Chillblast Comet
- Eclipse Aspire i84a465
- CyberPower Gamer Infinity 600
- Packard Bell iMedia A3317
>> NEXT PAGE: Budget desktop PCs buying advice