With a 3.33GHz dual-core CPU and an excellent HD 4890 graphics card topping the CD8690 XL's specification list, it's no surprise that Arbico once again finds itself near the top of our performance table. This machine's score of 130 on WorldBench 6 is a couple of points behind the Best Buy Chillblast, but the third-placed Eclipse is pedestrian by comparison. Systems based on slower E8500 chips, meanwhile, are left in the dust.

Gaming scores showed less variation. Our three chart-topping machines all use the powerful Radeon HD 4890 graphics card, and turned in similarly impressive framerates on a variety of titles.

Arbico has for a long time been a fan of Cooler Master cases, and the Elite 333 model used here is a step up from the 330 seen on previous Arbico machines. It's smart, tidy and robust, and looks neither outrageous nor boring. It also offers plenty of expansion room. USB ports and switches are easy to access at the side of the Arbico CD8690 XL's case.

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An ASRock motherboard forms the core of the system. This is a pared-down Micro ATX board with two memory slots. Note that you'll be unable to upgrade the Arbico CD8690 XL's RAM past 8GB and will have to replace rather than add to the existing modules to upgrade at all. Neither will you find support for dual graphics card setups or Raid configurations.

The 22in GNR monitor is a basic model, but it comes with dual inputs. The pleasingly thin silver bezel matches the trim of the Arbico CD8690 XL's system case.

Chart rankings: Budget desktop PCs (October 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Predator
  2. Arbico CD8690 XL
  3. Eclipse Spirit i86R489
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Draco
  5. CyberPower Gamer Ultra HD II

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