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Arbico QC 8400 Pro review

Will Stapley
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
520
inc VAT

With a super-fast processor but a budget graphics card, the QC 8400 Pro is a little unbalanced.

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Specifications

2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400, 4.000000 RAM, 19in 1,440x900 display, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

Arbico has decided to go all out for screaming 2D performance with the QC 8400 Pro.

Its Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 processor runs at 2.66GHz and is incredibly quick. It helped this PC achieve the top spot in our 2D tests, performing particularly well in the video-editing test, which makes full use of all four processor cores.

On the downside, the Q8400 is also the most expensive of the processors this month, so to stay within the budget, Arbico has cut back in other areas. The graphics have been worst hit, with Arbico fitting a Radeon HD 4350. This £30 budget card is only a small step up from integrated graphics. It couldn't handle our benchmarks at 1,680x1,050, and Crysis returned a miserly 1.5fps. Still, if you're not bothered about playing 3D games, you'll appreciate the card's passive cooling, which keeps noise levels down. It also has an HDMI output, so you could easily connect this PC to your HD TV.

A 19in Hanns.G HW191D monitor comes as part of the package, and at its native resolution of 1,440x900, Call of Duty 4 still struggled along at 10.1fps. It has VGA and DVI inputs, but viewing angles are relatively poor and colours look slightly washed out.

Inside, airflow is aided by both front- and rear-mounted case fans. The 500W power supply will cope with a few extra components, which will be handy if you want to supplement the 320GB hard disk. It has 4GB of RAM, all of which is available for use, thanks to the choice of 64-bit Vista Home Premium.

The keyboard and mouse clearly weren't priorities for Arbico. The Sumvision Gaia keyboard is woefully uncomfortable to type on, and so light that you'll be pushing it around your desktop as you type. The mouse is similarly disappointing and has a bright LED that stays lit even when the PC is switched off.

If the QC 8400 Pro's processing prowess tempts you, just remember to factor the cost of a replacement keyboard and mouse (around £30) into the total price.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q8400
Processor external bus333MHz (1,333MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx8
Processor clock speed2.66GHz
Processor socketLGA775
Level 1 cache4x 64KB
Level 2 cache2x 2,048KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardASrock G31M-S
Motherboard chipsetIntel G31 + ICH7
Power consumption standby3W
Power consumption idle65W
Power consumption active97W

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsVGA

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Maxtor STM3320613AS
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity320GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputsstereo line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GH22NS30
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Display

Viewable size19 in
Screen modelHanns.G HW191D
Native resolution1,440x900
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardSumvision Gaia multimedia keyboard
MouseSumvision optical mouse

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionnone

Buying Information

WarrantyTBC
Price£520
Detailswww.arbico.co.uk

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