Arbico has once again delivered a top performer powered by Intel's 2.66GHz Core i7 920 processor. This CPU is set to dominate PC performance charts in this price category for some time to come, combining the flexibility of quad-core multiprocessing with excellent raw speed.
The Arbico Elite i748 XL pulled clear of the competition by a considerable margin in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test, scoring an excellent 133 points. And this strong general performance is backed up by very good gaming credentials: an HD 4870 graphics card helped this PC achieve the fastest framerates in our most challenging tests.
Arbico has housed the Elite i748 XL in a Cooler Master Elite 330 system case, which is smart and roomy. However, it lacks the style and build quality of Eclipse's Galaxy.
There's plenty of potential for upgrades. The Gigabyte motherboard supports CrossFireX technology, which means you can add a second graphics card later. Useful options are also available for enthusiasts who want to overclock the machine, but note that the Arbico Elite i748 XL comes with only four memory slots - three of which are filled with the supplied 3GB of memory. Upgrading to 6GB (the next step for Core i7 processors) would therefore require you to replace all three memory sticks at additional expense.
Arbico's inclusion of a 460W power supply seems a little weak given the power of the Elite i748 XL's processor and graphics card. You may find you need to upgrade the PSU in the future, particularly if you opt to overclock the system or upgrade the graphics card. We certainly wouldn't recommend adding a second graphics card without first upgrading the PSU.
The Arbico Elite i748 XL comes without speakers, so you'll need to factor in their cost unless you're prepared to put up with the monitor's less than stunning audio capabilities.