Arbico Value 9650XL review

Kat Orphanides
13 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

This quiet, well-built PC has a decent 19in monitor, but it's underpowered and is overpriced.



2.3GHz AMD Phenom X4 9650, 4.000000 RAM, 19in 1,440x900 display, Windows Vista Home Premium

Arbico's 9650XL is a particularly poor performer for its price, with benchmark scores well below similarly priced systems.

The AMD Phenom X4 9650 processor is an old model now, having been superseded by AMD's Phenom II range. Also underpowered is the onboard Nvidia GeForce 8200 graphics processor, which failed to run our Crysis frame rate test. Inexplicably, although the PC comes with a decent Logitech mouse, it has a Sumvision keyboard that feels cheap and isn't particularly nice to type on.

It's not all bad news, though. The 19in Digimate monitor may be small, but it's bright and has good viewing angles. The PC is built into a slightly tacky-looking windowed case, but this does a good job of reducing fan noise to an unobtrusive hum. A memory card reader in the front panel can handle all the usual formats, with the bonus of being able to read microSD cards without an adaptor. It also adds a third USB port to the two existing front ports.

Side and rear case fans ensure that the components stay cool. The basic specification doesn't include any expansion cards, but there's lots of room for your own upgrades. The Asrock K10N78 motherboard has a free PCI-E x16 slot, two PCI-E x1 slots, three PCI slots and two free memory slots that you can use to upgrade to a maximum of 16GB of RAM.

Without a graphics card to draw extra power, this is also one of the most energy-efficient PCs around, with an idle power consumption of 72W and an active power consumption of 98W with the processor under heavy load. Don't be fooled by the two-year warranty, as the second year covers labour, but not parts, so you'll be better off fixing problems yourself after 12 months.

The Arbico 9650XL's performance was among the worst of any PC we've seen lately, and it isn't exactly cheap. If you're specifically looking for a low-power desktop, opt for a nettop such as Asus's new Eee Box but for any other purpose, CCL's CCL-CS1009 is more powerful and Mesh's Matrix II 620 HD has a better specification, more storage and a bigger monitor.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorAMD Phenom X4 9650
Processor external bus200MHz (1.8GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx11.5
Processor clock speed2.3GHz
Processor socketAM2+
Level 1 cache4x 128KB
Level 2 cache4x 512KB
Memory typePC2-6400
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsrock K10N78
Motherboard chipsetNvidia GeForce 8200
Power consumption standby5W
Power consumption idle72W
Power consumption active98W


USB2 ports (front/rear)3/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portsnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays3

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung HD502HI
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm


Graphics card(s)integrated
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI


SoundRealtek ALC888
Sound outputs7.1 line out, stereo line out, mic out

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsCF, SD, SDHC, MicroSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, MicroDrive, xD
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GH22NS40
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size19 in
Screen modelDigimate DGM L-1935WD
Native resolution1,440x900
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

KeyboardSumvision Gaia multimedia keyboard
MouseLogitech M-UAE96


Software includedAhead Nero, Cyberlink PowerDVD
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB (one year parts and labour, one year labour)

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