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Arbico eXcel 2570 CS review

Barry de la Rosa
8 Apr 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
550
inc VAT

Great styling, but its 3D performance is mediocre and it could do with greater hard disk capacity

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Specifications

3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The imposing tower case that Arbico has used for its eXcel 2570 CS completely surprised us this month. It’s a far more aggressive style than we're used to seeing from the Leicester-based PC builder. Even better, its angular Revoltec case is well designed, having the power supply at the bottom, quick-release clamps for drive bays and a folding handle on the side panel that makes it easier to remove.

Arbico eXcel 2570 CS

Inside is a powerful Intel Core i5 processor, a generous 8GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card capable of playing most games. The eXcel 2570 CS's Core i5-2500 powered it to a mid-table position in our Windows benchmarks, gaining the PC a decent Overall score of 113. The 8GB of RAM is more than most people need, but you'll appreciate it if you work with large photos or videos. It even has two spare RAM slots should you need even more memory.

Its Radeon HD 6770 handles 3D graphics, although the card’s situated at the budget end of the spectrum. It managed a playable 33fps in Dirt 3, but struggled with the more intensive action of Crysis 2, only managing 15fps. It should be able to play most games, although you'll need to turn off graphical effects such as AA and anisotropic filtering to get playable frame rates in the latest shooters.

Recent flooding in Thailand has hit the hard disk industry hard, so it's no surprise that Arbico's only managed to fit a 500GB hard disk. This is still plenty of room, however, and it should hold a good collection of music, documents, photos and videos, although if you're into photo or video editing you'll probably find it limiting. You can always attach an external drive, and those who have invested in an eSATA drive will be pleased to find a compatible port on the PC's front panel.

Arbico eXcel 2570 CS

This takes up one of the six SATA headers on the motherboard, leaving three spare headers for extra hard disks or optical drives. Arbico fitted the single 500GB hard disk on a quick-release tray in a bay facing sideways, which not only makes it more accessible, it also increases the space for components should you want to fit a long graphics card. It's a SATA3 disk too, although we've yet to see a hard disk that can take advantage of SATA3's increased throughput.

There are two similar 3.5in bays adjacent to it, plus two further internal bays and two external bays that can be used for a memory card reader or similar device. Three 5.25in bays are also free, although only two have free external bays.

There's certainly plenty of room inside; we fitted a massive 7970 graphics card in the space. There's also plenty of power overhead because of its branded 650W power supply, although it only has a single 6-pin power connector. A larger video card may need two of these, or even an extra 8-pin connector, but you can easily buy an adaptor.

Arbico eXcel 2570 CS

Three free PCI slots provide plenty of room for upgrades, such as a wireless card or a port expander. There are also two free PCI-E x1 slots, although one’s blocked by the graphics card's heatsink and fan, plus a second PCI-E x16 slot should you wish to add a second graphics card.

The eXcel 2570 CS is a great package as long as you don't mind its angular styling. Its Windows performance is great, but the 6770 graphics card can't play the latest games and its 500GB hard disk is half what we'd expect in a desktop PC. A good alternative, though, is the PC Specialist Enigma HD.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx33
Processor clock speed3.3GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory8
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsustek P8Z68-V LX
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z68

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)1/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST500DM002)
InterfaceSATA3
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB AMD Radeon HD 6770
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A

Software

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

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£550
Detailswww.arbico.co.uk

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