Generally, the Arbico CD6880 XL does everything well, but it doesn't excel in any one area. And that makes it hard to recommend.

  1. JAL Andromeda
  2. Eclipse Matrix i67N88-VSTA
  3. Zoostorm 2-5406 Advanced PC
  4. Arbico CD6880 XL
  5. Eclipse Ultimate i66GT-VSTA

Fouth place

Fourth place might suggest that the Arbico was in some way deficient. That, perhaps, there was some glaring omission that sent it spiralling to defeat. In fact, this is very far from the truth. It's just that, while the other PCs in the top three have something that makes them special (be that price, performance or quad-core technology), the Arbico is bereft of originality and flair.

Like half of the remaining PCs, the Arbico makes use of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 chip. And like its rivals, it pairs this very solid chip with 2GB of DDR RAM. The resulting WorldBench score of 95 is very palatable, and there's little doubt that this PC will go through your workload as capably as most of the other PCs here.

It'll also offer you a picture that's fairly easy on the eye, and if the HannsG HU196DP isn't a widescreen flat-panel, then at least it offers a steady picture and a pleasing colour palette. The 320MB 8800 GTS is actually a rather good graphics chip, but it is also found in the Eclipse and, thanks to that machine's superior processor, it makes a better job of games than the Arbico. The sound system is unspectacular although we do love the 20-speed DVD writer.