Arbico's CD8500 PRO edges ahead of Chillblast's Fusion Anaconda as our Best Buy mid-range desktop PC thanks to a commendable WorldBench speed score, low price and outstanding games results.

Another prize-winner from Arbico, the CD8500 PRO edges ahead of Chillblast's Fusion Anaconda thanks to its commendable WorldBench performance score of 126, low price and outstanding games results. Both systems use a 3.16GHz Core 2 Duo E8500, 4GB of DDR2 RAM and a GeForce 8800GTS to achieve WorldBench results that are about as fast as anything we’ve seen in any PC category.

The Arbico CD8500 PRO has a slightly weaker specification: iChillblast Fusion Anaconda. The Arbico CD8500 PRO is fitted with a 320GB hard drive, compared with the 500GB components provided by the other four systems.

The Arbico CD8500 PRO is solidly constructed, in an expensive-looking silver-and-black Coolermaster Elite 330 case fitted with convenient thumb-screws for easy opening. Inside there’s a pair of 2GB Corsair XM2 DDR2 memory sticks and plenty of room for expansion, with three free PCI slots and two PCI-E 1x slots available.

Six 3.5in bays and three 5.25in bays remain free, while 10 USB ports are available externally on the Arbico CD8500 PRO, two of which are situated at the front for easy access, along with mic and headphone connections.

The Cyber Acoustic 2.1 speakers provide good-quality stereo, but they don’t take full advantage of the surround-sound capabilities of the Arbico CD8500 PRO’s audio hardware.

Considering that the Arbico CD8500 PRO costs a full £100 less than the other PCs in this chart, while producing the fastest benchmark scores across the board, it’s an astonishingly good deal.

Power PCs chart ranking (May issue)

  1. Arbico CD8500 PRO
  2. Chillblast Fusion Anaconda
  3. Eclipse Platinum i84n88GTS-SLI
  4. Mesh Pulse 24
  5. Chillblast Apollo