The Arbico Elite 8500GTS scored a comfortable win in our £1,001+ PCs chart last month thanks to its searing price tag. But even with the newly priced CyberPower breathing down its neck, the Arbico Elite 8500GTS retains enough clout to keep its place at the head of the chart. This is mostly down to some juicy hardware components.
The Arbico Elite 8500GTS's brand-new Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Penryn processor is about as good as it gets without paying extortionate amounts of money. Combine this with the 4GB of Corsair DDR2-800 RAM and the resulting score of 127 WorldBench points is staggering. The Arbico Elite 8500GTS also possesses the most powerful single graphics chip here, although its gaming performance is still slightly eclipsed by a number of its rivals offering two rather than one graphics card.
The Arbico Elite 8500GTS's Samsung SM226BW is an excellent 22in flat-panel that pulses with colour and clarity. The Creative SB X-Fi XtremeAudio is a great sound card, and the PC is also host to one of the best DVD writers in existence. A scorching PC.
Our first look at the Arbico 8500GTS
Money matters, even in the £1,001-plus PCs chart. And so it is that Arbico, pricing its Elite 8500GTS £111 below the second-cheapest machine in this Top 5, grabs itself yet another Best Buy – making it the first manufacturer in PCA history to top all four charts at once.
But it’s not just a bargain price tag that propels the Arbico Elite 8500GTS to the head of the class. Like the £750 Arbico CD8500 XL, the Arbico Elite 8500GTS is an assured performer, thanks partly to a smart choice of chip – the brand-new E8500 Penryn processor is about as good as it gets without handing over extortionate amounts of cash. Combine this with 4GB of Corsair DDR2-800 RAM and you get a powerhouse PC that scores a staggering 127 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed tests.
Not that the Arbico Elite 8500GTS leads the way in every area. The 8800 GTS 512 is the most powerful single graphics card in the chart, but the other four PCs have doubled up with paired 8800 GTs, a more powerful setup in most games. If ultimate gaming performance is your most important requirement, request two 8800 GTs in place of the GTS – but the extra cash this will cost is likely to cancel out your £111 saving.
Otherwise, the Arbico Elite 8500GTS is a top-notch machine. The 500GB hard drive is ample (not as large as those offered by the PC Specialist Apollo 880GT Sli and Mesh G92 Extreme Media machines, but we doubt you’ll need more than 500GB), while the Arbico Elite 8500GTS's Samsung SM226BW is an excellent flat-panel with strong colour and clarity.
The Creative SB X-Fi XtremeAudio is a great sound card and, if the Arbico Elite 8500GTS's Cyber Acoustics speakers aren’t as sensational as the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac’s Inspire T7900s, they aren’t far behind. The DVD writer is one of the best in existence, offering scorching double-layer speeds.