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Budget PCs Reviews
15,669 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Arbico i3-5500 XL review

£500 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Arbico

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

After last issue’s Arbico i3-5445 XL ranked fourth in our sub-£500 desktop PCs chart, the company has taken a slightly different approach with its i3-5500 XL. And the new tack has paid off.

After last issue’s Arbico i3-5445 XL ranked fourth in our sub-£500 desktop PCs chart, the company has taken a slightly different approach with its i3-5500 XL. And the new tack has paid off.

After last issue’s Arbico i3-5445 XL ranked fourth in our sub-£500 desktop PCs chart, the company has taken a slightly different approach with its i3-5500 XL. Gone is the pricey Radeon HD 5450 graphics card, which added support for DirectX 11.0 and extra outputs, but little in the way of gaming framerates. Instead, Arbico has spent the cash on a faster processor and better components. And the decision has paid off.

A 3.2GHz Intel Core i3-550 processor powered the Arbico i3-5500 XL budget desktop PC to a chart-leading score of 132 points in WorldBench 6. This machine is considerably faster than its i3-540-based predecessor, which scored 127 points.

Now relying on integrated graphics, the Arbico i3-5500 XL budget desktop PC put in the poorest showing in our Fear gaming test, offering 17fps at 1024x768 and ‘Maximum’ settings. Only a few frames slower than PCs equipped with a Radeon HD 5450 graphics card, this setup is more than adequate for playing HD multimedia.

The i3-5500 XL desktop PC's budget HKC 21.6in monitor allows Arbico to keep costs down. It provides a full-HD resolution, good image quality and dual inputs. A set of external speakers mean you won’t need to rely on those built into the display for audio, but the lack of a subwoofer results in inferior sound quality to the Palicomp’s setup.

Budget PCs chart ranking

  1. Palicomp Core i3 Blast 540-22 USB3
  2. Arbico i3-5500 XL
  3. Chillblast Fusion Saturn
  4. DinoPC Plutosaur 540
  5. CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo XT

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Arbico i3-5500 XL Expert Verdict »

3.2GHz Intel Core i3-550
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (choose Windows 7 32bit or XP at no extra cost)
4GB DDR3 RAM
500GB SATA
8 x USB 2.0
Asus P7H55-M motherboard
650W WinPower PSU
21.6in HKC 2219A (0.25mm pixel pitch
1920x1080)
Intel GMA HD (Fear 'Maximum' settings, 1024x768: 17fps)
onboard sound
2 x Logitech speakers
max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
two-year return-to-base warranty
WorldBench 6 score: 132
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Arbico’s decision to forego the discrete Radeon HD graphics card was a smart move: the i3-5500 XL’s faster processor performed brilliantly in our benchmarks, while its integrated graphics will serve non-gamers well. Support for USB 3.0 is really all that’s lacking from this highly recommended PC.

  • Arbico i3-5445 XL review

    Arbico i3-5445 XL

    Arbico’s 3.06GHz Core i3-540-powered i3-5445 XL budget desktop PC is capable of speedy Windows performance, as demonstrated by its chart-leading WorldBench 6 score of 127 points.

  • Chillblast Fusion Saturn review

    Chillblast Fusion Saturn

    The only PC here to use an AMD processor, the Chillblast Fusion Saturn should prove a great budget desktop machine for enthusiasts.

  • DinoPC Plutosaur 540 review

    DinoPC Plutosaur 540

    DinoPC’s Plutosaur 540 budget desktop PC delivers good Windows performance, and gaming framerates more than double those of the competition in our tests.

  • CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo XT review

    CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo XT

    The CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo XT budget desktop PC's striking looks will appeal to gamers, but can its internals live up to this strong first impression?

  • Arbico i5-7670 XL review

    Arbico i5-7670 XL

    The Arbico i5-7670 XL fails to impress against some strong competition, but it's the only budget desktop PC here to include a Blu-ray drive.


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