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Budget PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sub-£500 PCs chart: Arbico CD9600XL

£499 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Arbico

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

This time last year, AMD's Athlon processors lay at the heart of almost every PC we championed, yet Intel has now achieved total dominance. Well, almost total. For the Arbico CD9600XL is waving a somewhat tattered flag bearing the name of AMD's 2.5GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip. Does this mark an upturn in AMD's fortunes? Probably not.

The Arbico CD9600XL is waving a somewhat tattered flag bearing the name of AMD's 2.5GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip. Does this mark an upturn in AMD's fortunes? Probably not.


  1. Arbico CD6420XL
  2. Eclipse Max i935N79-VSTA
  3. Arbico CD9600XL
  4. Mesh Elite Value PCA
  5. Zoostorm 2-3305 Versatile PC

Third place

Browse through any PC chart from the past three or four months and you could be forgiven for wondering whether AMD has fallen off the face of the planet. This time last year, AMD's Athlon processors lay at the heart of almost every PC we championed, yet Intel has now achieved total dominance.

Well, almost total. For the Arbico CD9600XL is waving a somewhat tattered flag bearing the name of AMD's 2.5GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ chip. Does this mark an upturn in AMD's fortunes? Probably not.

Other than the processor, this system is almost identical to the Intel-powered Arbico CD6420XL. But the performance difference is significant. The AMD chip is comfortably faster than the 2.8GHz Pentium D and slightly quicker than the 3.2GHz Pentium D used by the Eclipse Max. But compared with the one system carrying an Intel Core 2 Duo E6320 chip, the CD6420XL, it's vastly inferior.

The CD9600XL lags behind on general Windows performance and, in games, it was regularly between 20 and 40 percent slower than the Intel-powered Best Buy. Which leaves the Arbico CD9600XL in no-man's-land. AMD loyalists might find themselves drawn to this PC, which is, after all, a perfectly decent machine. But since the Arbico CD6420XL is in essence the same computer with bags more performance, that'll make a far better buy.

Arbico CD9600XL Expert Verdict »
2.5GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
Windows Vista Home Premium
1GB DDR RAM
250GB serial ATA
Asus M2V motherboard
6 USB ports
19in HannsG HU196DP flat-panel, 0.294mm pixel pitch, 1,280x1,024 maximum resolution
256MB nVidia GeForce 7600 GS, PCI Express
onboard sound card
maximum DVD speeds 16x/18x/18x (DVD -ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
includes CyberLink PowerDVD, Ahead Nero
flash memory drive
2-year RTB warranty
WorldBench 6 score 70
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The CD9600XL lags behind on general Windows performance and, in games, it was regularly between 20 and 40 percent slower than the Intel-powered Best Buy. Which leaves the Arbico CD9600XL in no-man's-land. AMD loyalists might find themselves drawn to this PC, which is, after all, a perfectly decent machine. But since the Arbico CD6420XL is in essence the same computer with bags more performance, that'll make a far better buy.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Sub-£500 PCs chart: Arbico CD6420XL

    Sub-£500 PCs chart: Arbico CD6420XL

    Sub-£500 PCs tend not to be blessed with extraordinary speed, but the Arbico CD6420XL has nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Sub-£500 PCs chart: Eclipse Max i935N79-VSTA

    Sub-£500 PCs chart: Eclipse Max i935N79-VSTA

    The Eclipse's Intel Pentium D processor reminds us of the bad old days for Intel enthusiasts - a time when AMD Athlon chips effortlessly won out on both performance and value for money. But that, as it turns out, is the one failing in an otherwise stonking sub-£500 PC from Eclipse.

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    A rather strange mixture of old and new, the Arbico CD7460GT still has enough cutting-edge features (for a sub-£500 PC) to make it worthy of consideration, even if it falls short of the Eclipse Ultimate A60N86GT's startling showing.

  • Sub-£500 PCs chart: Mesh Elite Value PCA

    Sub-£500 PCs chart: Mesh Elite Value PCA

    Big names such as Mesh don’t produce many PCs in the sub-£500 range, so the Elite Value PCA comes as a pleasant surprise.

  • Sub-£500 PCs chart: Zoostorm 2-3305 Versatile PC

    Sub-£500 PCs chart: Zoostorm 2-3305 Versatile PC

    The Zoostorm 2-3305 impressed us when it first appeared, because it was the first machine that proved you could run Vista without spending lavishly on a PC. Subsequent releases have demonstrated more elegant solutions to the problem of Vista on a budget, but this is still a respectable machine for the money.


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