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Arbico I3-5377 CS review

Barry de la Rosa
29 May 2010
Arbico I3-5377 CS
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
790
inc VAT

The I3-5377 CS's adventurous overclock can't compete against faster Core i5 competition, and the monitor is disappointing, but a two year warranty adds some comfort

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Specifications

3.8GHz Intel Core i3-530, 4.000000 RAM, 22in 1,680x1,050 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Arbico's I3-5377 CS bucks the trend for PCs at this price by opting for an Intel Core i3-530 processor, rather than the expected Core i5-750; however, it has taken the brave step of overclocking this budget CPU to an impressive 3.8GHz, from its stock speed of 2.9GHz. This puts it on a level with Palicomp's super-fast Ice Blast 750OC-22 in terms of raw power.

Sadly, it's only a dual-core processor compared to the Ice Blast's quad-core i5-750, so while it keeps up in single-threaded applications such as image editing, it falls far behind in multi-tasking and video encoding tests. Having said that, an overall score of 132 is still very respectable, and more than enough power for most applications' needs.

Those worried that Arbico may be pushing the CPU too hard can take comfort in the two-year warranty the company provides. If there's a fault in the first 30 days, it will even collect the PC for repairs. It's installed a decent fan to cool the CPU, while front- and rear-mounted 120mm fans keep air flowing through the case, and we didn't notice any instability or over-heating.

The CPU fan is a strange design with the heatsink mounted at an angle, and unfortunately makes accessing the memory slots quite difficult. We were glad to find two free slots, however, and there is plenty of room for more hard disks and optical drives, and a couple of free PCI slots. All cabling is bundled and reasonably tidy, and Arbico has included a full set of hard disk mounts, so adding a disk should be pretty simple.

On the outside, there are 12 USB ports, as well as eSATA, FireWire and a choice of coaxial or optical S/PDIF ports for digital audio. There's a full set of 7.1 surround sound outputs, and the graphics card has two DVI ports, and HDMI and DisplayPort ports. It's an ATI Radeon HD 5770, our Best Buy graphics card and perfect for multi-monitor setups.

As expected, it stormed through our gaming benchmarks, scoring 71.5fps in Call of Duty 4. Crysis puts makes more demands of the CPU however, and the I3-5377 CS managed only 23fps. You can get a more playable frame rate by turning down the texture quality, or better, by turning off anti-aliasing, but it's a bit disappointing that the Radeon is held back by the processor.

All this is displayed on a 22in Digimate monitor. Unlike its larger stable-mate the L-2362WD, it only has a 1,680x1,050 resolution. It shares many other characteristics, however, not all of them good: the build quality is suspect, with a wobbly stand that has a narrow neck connecting it to the base, a potential weak point; and there's a blue cast to whites that makes images feel a bit cold. The matt finish on the screen is also quite apparent, adding a haze that blurs fine details. However, overall it's bright and colours are vibrant.

Arbico has included a decent Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set. These share a receiver, and so only take up one USB port. The keyboard has a light action and reasonably good feedback, while the mouse is responsive, with a large, rubberised wheel that can scroll sideways.

Arbico's efforts to make the most of a cheaper processor are commendable, and the two year warranty adds peace of mind, but sadly the I3-5377 CS just can't compete with the other PCs on test this month. Some of them have Full HD monitors, and all have a faster Core i5-750 processor. CyberPower even offers a longer warranty, and although it's a well-made PC with decent expansion options, the I3-5377 CS is simply not good value.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i3-530
Processor external bus173MHz (3.1GHz QuickPath Interconnect)
Processor multiplierx22
Processor clock speed3.8GHz
Processor socketLGA1156
Level 1 cache2x 64KB
Level 2 cache2x 256KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardGigabyte P55M-UD2
Motherboard chipsetIntel P55

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/10
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone
Other portscoaxial and optical S/PDIF output

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ
InterfaceSATA 300
Total storage capacity500GB
Spindle speed7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB ATI Radeon HD 5770
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GH22NS50
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelDigimate L-2262WD
Native resolution1,680x1,050
Response time5ms
Screen inputsDVI, VGA

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardLogitech Deluxe 660 Cordless
MouseLogitech RX 650

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB (first month collect and return)
Price£790
Detailswww.arbico.co.uk

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