After last issue’s Arbico i3-5445 XL ranked fourth in our sub-£500 desktop PCs chart, the company has taken a slightly different approach with its i3-5500 XL. And the new tack has paid off.

After last issue’s Arbico i3-5445 XL ranked fourth in our sub-£500 desktop PCs chart, the company has taken a slightly different approach with its i3-5500 XL. Gone is the pricey Radeon HD 5450 graphics card, which added support for DirectX 11.0 and extra outputs, but little in the way of gaming framerates. Instead, Arbico has spent the cash on a faster processor and better components. And the decision has paid off.

A 3.2GHz Intel Core i3-550 processor powered the Arbico i3-5500 XL budget desktop PC to a chart-leading score of 132 points in WorldBench 6. This machine is considerably faster than its i3-540-based predecessor, which scored 127 points.

Now relying on integrated graphics, the Arbico i3-5500 XL budget desktop PC put in the poorest showing in our Fear gaming test, offering 17fps at 1024x768 and ‘Maximum’ settings. Only a few frames slower than PCs equipped with a Radeon HD 5450 graphics card, this setup is more than adequate for playing HD multimedia.

The i3-5500 XL desktop PC's budget HKC 21.6in monitor allows Arbico to keep costs down. It provides a full-HD resolution, good image quality and dual inputs. A set of external speakers mean you won’t need to rely on those built into the display for audio, but the lack of a subwoofer results in inferior sound quality to the Palicomp’s setup.

Budget PCs chart ranking

  1. Palicomp Core i3 Blast 540-22 USB3
  2. Arbico i3-5500 XL
  3. Chillblast Fusion Saturn
  4. DinoPC Plutosaur 540
  5. CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo XT

Also see:

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice