The Arbico Phenom 5570HD beat all the other PCs here in our speed test, and for day-to-day work it sits at the top of the pile.

With a faster clock speed and considerably more onboard cache memory than the Athlon X2 245, the Phenom II X2 550 processor helps the Arbico Phenom 5570HD to beat all the other PCs here in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test, with the 5570HD scoring 114 points. Quad-core systems such as the Best Buy CyberPower will outperform this machine at multiprocessing tasks, but for day-to-day work the dual-core Arbico Phenom sits at the top of the pile.

The ATI Radeon HD 4770 selected by Arbico isn’t the fastest graphics card in this round-up, but it delivers about twice the graphics power of the Chillblast and narrowly beats the CyberPower’s HD 4850. Although its 19fps tally in our most demanding Crysis test doesn’t amount to a playable experience, stepping down the settings a notch produced a reasonable 47fps. Playing older games on the Arbico Phenom 5570HD presented no problems.

Other components include a standard 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Expansion options are limited: no memory slots are left free and the graphics card’s large heatsink won’t allow other cards to be installed beside it. The Arbico Phenom 5570HD's well-constructed case comes with handy tool-free drive bays.

No speakers are provided with the Arbico Phenom 5570HD; you’ll have to make do with the monitor’s rather tinny built-in offerings. The display itself is the same 19in Digimate model that comes with the CyberPower. While it’s nothing to write home about, it’s good to see both digital and analogue inputs being provided at this price point. It’s also a considerable improvement over the Packard Bell’s 18.5in screen.

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (issue 176)

  1. CyberPower Ultra Athenna Elite
  2. Arbico Phenom 5570HD
  3. Chillblast Fusion Blizzard
  4. Packard Bell x5620uk
  5. RL Supplies Modula 9010

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