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Arbico Elite OC3556 CS review

Kat Orphanides
27 Aug 2012
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

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Specifications

4.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K, 16GB RAM, 23.6in 1,920x1,080 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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