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Arbico Elite 2556 CS review

Kat Orphanides
4 May 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
999
inc VAT

Powerful enough to handle anything you throw at it, but we'd have preferred a larger monitor.

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Specifications

4.6GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Arbico's Elite 2556 CS comes in a case that, although distinctive, is a long way from being either pretty or subtle. It's well ventilated, though, with front, side and rear case fans that are supplemented by a massive fan at the top of the chassis. Inside, it's all bare grey metal, but all the edges are properly finished so it's comfortable to work with. There are seven 3½in drive bays, one of which is occupied by a 1TB hard disk, and four 5¼in bays. Two of the latter house a memory card reader and a Blu-ray reader drive, which also writes DVDs.

Arbico Elite 2556 CS inside

The motherboard is an Asus P8P67 Pro, with two PCI slots, three PCI-E x16 slots and two PCI-E x1 slots. One of the x1 slots is blocked by the graphics card that sits in the top PCI-E x16 slot. There are eight SATA ports, four of which are SATA III. They're all empty, but three of the SATA II ports are occupied. The PC has 4GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM in 2GB modules that occupy two of the four memory slots.

The processor is an overclocked Core i5-2500K, one of the most popular Sandy Bridge processors for performance systems. Arbico has ramped it up to 4.6GHz, producing an impressive score of 131 overall in our benchmarks. Other overclocked i5-2500K systems are even faster, but we have no complains about the amount of power the Elite can muster. Its graphics card is a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti, powerful enough to give us some blistering frame rates in our 3D gaming tests. It averaged 63.7fps in Crysis and 48.7fps in STALKER - close to the scores we saw from similar systems with ATI Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards.

Arbico Elite 2556 CS rear ports

We were pleased to find a memory card reader that can handle a wide range of formats, from SDHC and microSD to cards used by some older digital cameras, such as CompactFlash, Memory Stick and xD. The card reader also has a USB port, bringing the total number of front USB ports up to four. At the back of the PC are another ten USB ports, including four USB3 ports. There's also a Firewire port and two eSATA III ports. The motherboard also has a couple of PS/2 ports for a mouse and keyboard, six 3.5mm stereo audio ports and both co-axial and optical S/PDIF. We can't think of any PC we've seen with more potential for connecting external storage, peripherals and other devices.

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