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Arbico AMD CS555 review

Barry de la Rosa
12 Feb 2011
Arbico AMD CS555
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc VAT

The AMD CS555 is fast enough and has a large hard disk, but its legacy ports and limited expansion potential make it a poor investment compared to the alternatives available at this price

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Specifications

3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X2 555, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Arbico has opted for an AMD processor to keep costs down - in this case, a dual-core 3.2GHz Phenom II X2 555 . Along with 4GB of RAM, this provides enough power for most applications, even though it lagged behind similarly priced Core i3-equipped PCs in our benchmarks. Plus, with a 1TB hard disk and you have enough storage space to keep a vast library of music, videos and photos.

At this price, we didn't expect to find a dedicated graphics card. Sure enough, the AMD CS555 has an integrated Nvidia chipset that can handle HD video decoding, but it won't play 3D games unless they're very old. It also has only a VGA output; we'd have liked to see at least a DVI port. There's a spare PCI-E x16 slot, so you could add a powerful graphics card at a later date. There's plenty of room, although a double-width card will block the only PCI-E x1 slot. Also, the 500W EZCool power supply should have enough headroom to handle a powerful graphics card, unlike some of the budget PSUs we've seen in other PCs.

There are also two PCI slots for older expansion cards and, if you want to add more hard disks or optical drives there's space for four more. Unfortunately there are only two spare SATA ports. The 4GB of memory occupies both slots, so if you wanted to add more you'd have to replace the existing modules. For most people, 4GB is more than enough.

Expansion is also limited on the exterior. Even though the motherboard supports a maximum of ten USB ports, Arbico has fitted six in total - two inconveniently situated at the bottom of the front panel, and four more on the rear. One of these is used by the keyboard and mouse set's USB dongle, so you end up with only five. There's no support for faster interfaces such as eSATA or USB3. There are parallel and serial ports, but these will only appeal to those who have very old equipment lying around.

Arbico AMD CS555

If you want to add a monitor to the bundle, Arbico will include an LG E2240 for £140. It's not stunningly bright, mainly because of its LED backlight. Colours are natural, though, and the menus give you plenty of options to change colour temperature, gamma and colour levels. It's not a bad display, but other manufacturers charge quite a lot less for it than Arbico.

Despite great build quality and a generous two-year warranty, we can't recommend the AMD CS555. The limited expansion and small number of USB ports is restrictive, even at this price, try the OP3 Mars instead.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorAMD Phenom II X2 555
Processor external bus200MHz (1GHz HyperTransport)
Processor multiplierx16
Processor clock speed3.2GHz
Processor socketAM3
Memory4
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory8GB
MotherboardAsus M4N68T-M V2
Motherboard chipsetNvidia GeForce 7025 + nForce 630a

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportN/A

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports2
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays3

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SpinPoint F3 (HD103SJ)
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Nvidia GeForce 7025
Graphics/video portsVGA

Sound

SoundVIA HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size22 in
Screen modelLG Flatron E2240
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA

Other Hardware

KeyboardLogitech MK250
MouseLogitech M-R0011

Software

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

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£350
Detailswww.arbico.co.uk

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