This is an eminently capable Ivy Bridge PC, but most of its rivals have better graphics cards
4.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K, 16GB RAM, 23.6in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
The Arbico Elite OC3556 CS looks a bit drab, but it’s sturdy and doesn’t flex easily. It doesn’t have much dust-proofing, having large vent holes at the top, bottom and sides of the case. The many vents mean there isn’t much sound proofing, but all the fans in the system are remarkably quiet.
We like the smoothly sliding drive rails on the case’s four internal 3 1/2in drive bays. There’s also an external 3½in bay, which can be used as a sixth 5 1/4in bay if you remove a secondary drive tray that’s screwed into it. Just one of the five standard 5 1/4in bays is occupied, so you’re unlikely to need the extra space. Of the total six bays, a SATA2 port connects the optical drive and both SATA3 ports are used by the hard disks.
The system drive is a 128GB SSD, so you get the fast boot times you expect from a high-end modern PC. It gives you plenty of space to install any applications that are likely to benefit from the faster read-write speeds of an SSD. For less critical applications and for general data storage, Arbico has provided a 1TB HDD.
Although there’s plenty of room for extra disk drives, there’s no room to add extra memory. Don’t panic, though. The Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard can handle up to 32GB of RAM, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever need more than the generous 16GB of memory with which the PC’s already equipped. The CPU is an Intel Core i5-3570K, our favourite Ivy Bridge processor, and it’s well suited to overclocking. In this case, Arbico has overclocked the CPU to 4.4GHz, producing an overall score of 141 in our tests.
There’s a fair bit of scope for adding expansion cards too, with three vacant PCI slots and two PCI-E x1 slots. One of the latter is blocked by the graphics card, but there’s a second PCI-E x16 slot which actually runs at x4 and is appropriate for use with any PCI-E x1 card. The graphics card is an overclocked Asus version of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti card. It wasn’t quite up to producing a comfortably smooth frame rate in Crysis 2 at its maximum quality settings, averaging 24fps, but it averaged 50.6fps in Dirt 3. It has two DVI and a Mini HDMI outputs.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3570K|
|Processor external bus||100MHz (DMI)|
|Processor clock speed||4.4GHz|
|Motherboard||Asus P8Z77-V LX|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel Z77|
|USB2 ports (front/rear)||2/6|
|Firewire ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||none|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||2 (1)|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||2 (1)|
|Free Serial ATA ports||3|
|Free memory slots||0|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||3|
|Hard disk model(s)||OCZ Vertex 3 128GB SSD + Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS|
|Interface||SATA3 + SATA2|
|Total storage capacity||1,128GB|
|Graphics card(s)||1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti|
|Graphics/video ports||2x DVI, mini HDMI|
|Sound outputs||5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, line out, mic in|
|Supported memory cards||none|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
|Viewable size||23.6 in|
|Screen model||AOC E2450SWDA|
|Screen inputs||DVI, VGA|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit|
|Operating system restore option||Windows disc|
|Warranty||two years RTB|