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Arbico eXcel 2568 CS review

Kat Orphanides
21 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
450
inc VAT

The eXcel is powerful and upgradeable, and has lots of options for anyone who wants to overclock their PC

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Specifications

3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Arbico's eXcel 2568 CS is a powerful PC equipped with Intel's Core i5-2500K processor, Asus's P8Z68-V LX motherboard and 4GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM. The processor hasn't been overclocked, but the motherboard has all the required settings to do so. There's no need for this, however: the 2568 turned in a more-than-adequate overall score of 112 in our multimedia benchmarks.

Arbico eXcel 2568 CS

On top of all this power, numerous expansion slots make it an excellent choice for those that plan on future upgrades. There's plenty of space both on the motherboard and in the case. None of the PCI or PCI-E slots are in use, as the graphics chip is built into the 2500K processor. This delivered a reasonable frame rate of 19.5fps in Dirt 3 at 1,280x720 and High quality. It indicates that most modern 3D games should run at lower resolutions and quality settings. Usefully, the motherboard has HDMI, DVI and VGA graphics outputs.

There are two vacant PCI-E x16 slots and a couple of PCI-E x1 slots - one of which will be blocked by most graphics cards - as well as three PCI slots. There's also a pair of empty memory slots. The case isn't flashy, but is fairly sturdy, looks inoffensive and has no sharp internal edges. There's enough room for three extra 5 1/4in drives, as one bay is occupied by a DVD-RW drive. There are six spare 3 1/2in bays: a seventh has a 1TB hard disk fitted, and one has external access. The motherboard has a total of six SATA ports. Two are SATA3, which benefits high-speed SSDs, and four of which use the older SATA2 standard. Currently, one of each is in use.

Arbico eXcel 2568 CS inside

The case has very little to insulate against dust and noise. This means that the processor's cooling fan is more noticeable than some systems', but the hum is fairly unobtrusive and the PC's two case fans are virtually inaudible, while still providing excellent airflow. Although the 500W power supply doesn't have a PCI-E power connector, there are plenty of spare Molex plugs which you can use with an appropriate adaptor if you need to power a graphics card.

There are two USB ports at the front of the case, along with the usual 3.5mm microphone and headphone ports. At the back you'll find six more USB ports, two of which are USB3. The supplied Logitech mouse and keyboard are among the best basic wired sets around - they're comfortable to use for extended periods, whether you're typing or gaming.

Arbico eXcel 2568 CS back

Arbico has built a powerful, easily expandable and fairly attractive PC. It isn't the fastest machine you can buy for this price, but that's largely because the processor's overclocking potential hasn't been taken advantage of. The Chillblast Fusion Shadow is a better gaming system and the Blu-ray-equipped Palicomp Phoenix i5 Supreme has more going for it all-round.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx33
Processor clock speed3.3GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory4
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus PBZ68-V LX
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z68

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST31000524AS)
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC887
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardLogitech Internet 350 Keyboard
MouseLogitech B110

Software

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

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£450
Detailswww.arbico.co.uk

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