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Arbico Elite OC3556 CS review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £999
inc VAT

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.

Arbico Elite OC3556 CS

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.

Arbico Elite OC3556 CS

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.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x44
Processor clock speed 4.4GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 16
Memory type PC3-12800
Maximum memory 32GB
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

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
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

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 Realtek ALC889
Sound outputs 5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, line out, mic in
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 23.6 in
Screen model AOC E2450SWDA
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs DVI, VGA

Other Hardware

Keyboard Logitech K260
Mouse Logitech M210


Software included none
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty two years RTB
Price £999

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