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Group test: what's the best PC for £750?

October 2011's best PCs for between £501 & £750

We review and rank the best five desktop PCs you can buy in October 2011, costing between £501 and £750. UPDATED 11 August  2011

5. Eclipse Anarchy i525n560

Eclipse Anarchy i525n560
  • Reviewed on: 11 August 11
  • RRP: £749 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

Eclipse’s Anarchy is particularly well-suited to gaming, but its minimalist EZCool N800D case won’t alert others to your secret addiction. The trade-off is considerable sacrifices in the display, sound quality and general Windows performance. The PC’s 159-point WorldBench 6 score is by no means slow, but beaten by most of its rivals. A 23.6in full-HD HKC monitor and a pair of Logitech S150 external speakers are supplied.

4. Palicomp Phoenix i5 Lightning Extreme

Palicomp Phoenix i5 Lightning Extreme
  • Reviewed on: 13 October 11
  • RRP: £749 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

Multimedia fans will love Palicomp’s Phoenix i5 Lightning Extreme. It has a 23.6in AOC LED-backlit display, Logitech S220 speakers – complete with a subwoofer – and, uniquely in this chart, a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive. Application performance is also good, and an ATI Radeon HD 6870 graphics card performs well. There’s also a high-spec Z68 chipset motherboard, found inside a well-built system case. Our only gripe concerns the paltry warranty.

3. Arbico eXcel i5-2888 Mx

Arbico eXcel i5-2888 Mx
  • Reviewed on: 13 October 11
  • RRP: £750 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

Arbico’s eXcel has a similar spec to the Palicomp, with the same processor, monitor, graphics card and sound system. This PC won the better score in WorldBench 6, with a chart-leading 173 points, but the Palicomp has twice the storage capacity and a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive. The Arbico’s motherboard is limited by its older P67 chipset, but it’s housed inside an excellent CIT Storm system case that’s ideal for upgrades.

2. Dino PC Elmisaur 2600

Dino PC Elmisaur 2600
  • Reviewed on: 11 August 11
  • RRP: £725 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Featuring the only Core i7 processor in the chart, the Dino PC stormed our WorldBench 6 speed test with 167 points. Some cost-cutting measures have been essential: the supplied monitor is small at 21.5in, while a GTX 550 Ti graphics card delivers slower framerates than the competition. Other specs are strong, with 8GB of RAM and a Z68-chipset motherboard - upgrade to a Core i7-2600K processor to take full advantage.

1. Chillblast Fusion Striker

Chillblast Fusion Striker
  • Reviewed on: 13 October 11
  • RRP: £749 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

Chillblast has used the latest motherboard technologies, premium components and peripherals to create a desirable PC with good upgrade potential. Intel’s Core i5-2500K CPU offers excellent performance and an unlocked multiplier for easy overclocking. The motherboard provides USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps ports. The Chillblast’s superb 24in display and nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Sonic graphics card set it apart from the competition.

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