The Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro is an appealing machine, with a fast graphics card, a good monitor, external speakers and a Blu-ray drive. Unfortunately, Arbico’s decision to include a P67- rather than a Z68-chipset motherboard has backfired.

The Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro is thus unable to use an SSD to boost hard-drive performance via SRT, and it can’t take advantage of the graphics integrated to its processor for accelerated video encoding. Bluetooth and superior overclocking controls do feature, however.

The Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro's otherwise competitive specification includes 8GB of system RAM and a 1TB, 7,200rpm, 6Gbps Seagate hard drive.

In our tests system performance was acceptable, if not outstanding. The Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro scored 168 points in WorldBench 6, putting it slightly ahead of the Eclipse and Dino PC’s slightly older machine. The top performers here have piled on the RAM or taken advantage of SRT to achieve staggering tallies of 180 and 184 points.

Graphic performance is better, with the ATI Radeon HD 6970 able to deliver framerates that rival those of the best on test. Although the Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro's HD 6970 features the same clock speeds as the MSI version selected by Chillblast, it doesn’t feature that card’s enhanced cooling solution.

A 23.6in LED-backlit AOC monitor provides above-average picture quality and support for full-HD. Arbico also throws in a pair of Logitech S220 speakers and a bass-enhancing subwoofer with the Elite i7-2697 Pro.

The CiT Storm 710B system case is a low-cost choice, yet contains useful features such as meshed grilles for improved airflow and a fan-speed controller. Plenty of room is available inside the Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro for extra fans, while tool-free drive bays and slide-out trays make upgrades a simple and painless process.

£1,000 PC chart ranking

  1. 1. Chillblast Fusion Volt
    2. Eclipse Cosmos i726n57
    3. Palicomp Phoenix i7 Z68 Assassin
    4. Arbico Elite i7-2697 Pro
    5. Dino PC Ravenous 2600K

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