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Arbico Haswell 4160Ti

Michael Passingham
16 Oct 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

A good monitor can't make up for the Arbico Haswell 4160Ti's graphics and processor shortcomings

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Specifications

Processor: Dual-core 3.6GHz Intel Core i3-4160, RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB2, Rear USB ports: 4x USB2, 2x USB3, Total storage: 120GB SSD, 1TB hard disk, Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti, Display: 24in AOC E2495S, Operating system: Windows 8.1

Arbico's Haswell 4160Ti desktop is not a very ambitious system and falls short in multiple areas. It comes in a plain CIT case that's often seen with lower-end PCs. The front panel has a honeycomb design, which means there are plenty of tiny gaps from which the noise of the single case fan and power supply fan can be heard. It's not distractingly loud, but there is a constant audible hum coming from the machine. This doesn't increase a great deal when under load, which is a relief.

There are two USB ports on the front of the case, but neither of these are USB3-compatible, which is a bit of an oversight particularly when you consider that almost every other PC in this price bracket will have at least one, if not two, high-speed connectors for USB storage devices. This also means that the USB3 header on the motherboard is going to waste, as there is capacity for an extra two USB3 ports in addition to the two found at the rear of the machine. Round the back you'll also find a further four USB2 connectors and three 3.5mm audio jacks.

The dual-core Intel Core i3-4160 processor runs at a maximum clock speed of 3.6GHz. This translates into decent single-core benchmarking scores, but as the benchmarks get tougher, its scores get progressively worse. It scored 98 in the image rendering task, 67 in video conversion and 64 when multitasking, making for an overall score of 71. That's still faster than your average laptop, but way off the pace of other PCs at this price.

With a fairly cheap processor, we would have expected Arbico to up its game when it comes to the graphics card, but on the inside of the Haswell 4160Ti there's only a mid-range Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti. This chip is good enough to run most of the latest games well at Full-HD resolutions, but struggles with the extra eyecandy such as anti-aliasing and advanced lighting effects. It performed well in our Dirt Showdown benchmark, producing an average of 58fps when running at 1,920x1,080 pixel resolution and Ultra settings.

Things weren't quite so smooth with Crysis 3, which stuttered to an average frame rate of 29.3fps when running on High settings. We dropped the settings to Medium and reduced anti-aliasing from 4x to 2x, and this improved performance to a much smoother 44.4fps. Considering that other £700 PCs we've reviewed manage to include both a better processor and higher performance GPUs, you can get better gaming performance elsewhere.

There is some room for expansion: the case is big enough for a longer graphics card and there are two spare slots for extra RAM modules to be added at a later date. The MSI B85M-E45 motherboard also has one spare SATA3 connector for extra storage and another two SATA2 ports if the included storage isn't generous enough for your liking. We were happy to see both a 120GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk making the cut here; this combination is an effective blend of performance and capacity. There is one free PCI-E x1 slot and a legacy PCI slot as well. A second PCI-E x1 slot is obstructed by the graphics card.

Perhaps the strongest suit of this PC is the inclusion of a decent, albeit cheap, AOC E2495S monitor. This 24in screen uses TN technology, but actually performed reasonably well in our tests. It can accurately display 91 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut and also has a fairly high 1065:1 contrast ratio. Viewing angles are fairly wide, and it has VGA and two HDMI connectors to connect to other devices if you wish. The graphics card on the PC is slightly set into the case, which makes it hard to connect some HDMI cables to the graphics card; our standard cable didn't make the cut. Luckily, the graphics card has slightly more accessible VGA and DVI ports.

The Logitech MK120 keyboard and mouse set supplied with the PC is one we've seen many times before. It's cheap and relatively cheerful, but if you're going to be spending a lot of time typing or gaming, we'd suggest upgrading.

Overall, the Arbico Haswell 4160Ti isn't the best choice if you're looking to spend £700 on a complete system. The processor is fairly anaemic and we've seen more powerful graphics cards in identically priced systems, meaning that there aren't many redeeming qualities for this PC in such a competitive price bracket. The good quality monitor is a plus point, but it doesn't make up for the rest of the machine.

Core specs
ProcessorDual-core 3.6GHz Intel Core i3-4160
Processor socketFCLGA1150
RAM8GB
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardMSI B85M-E45
Motherboard chipsetLGA1150
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB2
Rear USB ports4x USB2, 2x USB3
Other ports2x PS2
Networking10/100/1000 wired
Case typeMini tower
Case size HxWxD350x170x330mm
PCI (free)1 (1)
PCIe x1 (free)2 (1)
PCIe x16 (free)1 (0)
Serial ATA (free)4x SATA3 (1), 2x SATA2 (2)
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)1 (0)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)2 (1)
Storage
Total storage120GB SSD, 1TB hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeDVD RW
Graphics
Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC887
Sound card outputs7.1 line out, headphone, microphone
SpeakersNone
Display
Display24in AOC E2495S
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsVGA, HDMI
Other hardware
KeyboardLogitech MK120
MouseLogitech MK120
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
WarrantyTwo-year RTB, one year parts, two years labour
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£700
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£600
Supplierwww.arbico.co.uk
Detailswww.arbico.co.uk
Part CodeHaswell 4160Ti

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