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Arbico P250 CS review

Arbico P250 CS
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £424
inc VAT

There's nothing particularly wrong with Arbico's P250 CS, but for similar money you can get a PC with more memory and a faster processor.


3.1GHz AMD Athlon II X2 255, 2.000000 RAM, 19in 1,440×900 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Arbico’s P250 CS contains just about the right mix of components that we’d expect to find in a budget computer. The AMD Athlon II X2 255 processor is a decent choice and runs at a high clock speed of 3.1GHz. This PC has just 2GB of RAM, which is a little stingy by today’s standards, but the P250 still did well in our tests with an overall score of 73 in our Windows benchmarks.

You could boost system performance a little more by fitting a second 2GB stick of RAM in the spare DIMM slot on the motherboard. Unsurprisingly, for a budget computer, there’s no dedicated graphics card and the onboard ATI Radeon HD 3000 graphics couldn’t manage our 3D games tests, although they can decode HD video.

If you’d like to play games on this computer, you can fit a dedicated graphics card into the free PCI-E x16 slot. Depending on the card you pick, you may need to upgrade the 500W power supply, as it has no PCI-E power adaptor. There are some spare Molex power cables, so you could also use an adaptor.

Upgrade potential for this PC isn’t too bad and better than on many budget computers. It’s good to see that there are four SATA ports and two are free. If you fit an extra SATA hard disk, you’ll need to use a Molex-to-SATA power adaptor, as the power supply doesn’t have any spare SATA plugs.

Oddly, this motherboard doesn’t have any PCI-E x1 slots. This restricts you to using the two PCI slots or, if you don’t fit a dedicated graphics card, the PCI-E x16 slot. Fortunately, there are six USB ports for adding external peripherals, such as an external hard disk for when you fill up the 320GB model supplied.

As with most budget computers, the P250 CS ships with a 19in widescreen display. The DGM 1,440×900 display gives you a fair amount of desktop room. It’s a bright display, but we found that colours look a little washed out. Viewing angles aren’t brilliant either, and you need to sit square-on to the display to get the best picture quality, otherwise the screen can look a little dim.

It has both DVI and VGA inputs, but only a VGA cable is provided in the box, even though the motherboard has a digital output. Its built-in stereo speakers are good enough for Windows sounds, but too tinny for regular use with music or movies.

The quality of the supplied keyboard and mouse with a budget PC usually isn’t brilliant, but the Sum Vision set Arbico supplies is terrible. The keyboard is incredibly spongy, making it annoying an inaccurate to touch type on. The mouse isn’t much better and we found it too small to use comfortably.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Arbico’s P250 CS, but for similar money you can get a PC with more memory and a faster processor. Palicomp’s Carbon AMD TFT-19 is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD Athlon II X2 255
Processor external bus 200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplier x15.5
Processor clock speed 3.1GHz
Processor socket AM3
Level 1 cache 2x 128KB
Level 2 cache 2x 1,024KB
Memory 2.000000
Memory type PC2-6400
Maximum memory 4GB
Motherboard Biostar A780L M2L+
Motherboard chipset AMD 760G


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support none
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 1
Free 3.5in drive bays 5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Samsung SpinPoint F1 HD322HJ
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 320GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm


Graphics card(s) ATI Radeon HD 3000
Graphics/video ports VGA, DVI


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out, mic in, line in
Speakers none

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards none
Optical drive model LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH22NS50
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 19 in
Screen model DGM L-1935WD
Native resolution 1,440×900
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs DVI, VGA

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Sumvision Gaia multimedia keyboard
Mouse Sumvision 3D Optical Mouse


Software included none
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty two years RTB (first month collect and return)
Price £424

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