Arbico Elite i7269 OCX review
It's rough around the edges, but the dual-GPU graphics card makes for gaming heaven
Review Date: 12 May 2011
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £1,315 (£1,578 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
We’re used to seeing brooding black enclosures in the PC Pro Labs, so the arrival of Arbico’s Elite i7269 OCX drew little attention at first. Closer examination, however, raised the interest levels: inside that plain Antec P193 chassis is an unusual layout and a pretty monstrous specification.
The headline feature is one of AMD’s dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 graphics cards – the fastest money can buy, with its modified HD 6970 cores. An average of 85fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test is the second fastest we’ve ever seen, just 7fps behind the two HD 6970s of the record-holding Wired2Fire Hellspawn XFire.
The Arbico continued to excel in tougher tests. Adding 8x anti-aliasing to that Crysis test took just 10fps off, and upping the resolution to 2,560 x 1,600 merely gave the HD 6990 more room to stretch its ample legs: a score of 44fps with 8x anti-aliasing and Very High quality is 4fps slower than the Wired2Fire, but streets ahead of most other PCs.
Processing power is provided by Intel’s finest mid-range chip, the Core i5-2500K. The unlocked multiplier has allowed Arbico to up the clock from 3.3GHz to a healthier 4.6GHz, and a benchmark score of 1.13 is excellent. Eight gigabytes of RAM is fast becoming the norm for enthusiast systems, as is the pairing of a 1TB hard disk with an SSD – this time a 120GB OCZ Vertex3 model. You also get a Blu-ray drive.
The Antec chassis interior divides several key components into their own sections. Open the sturdy front door and you’ll find smaller doors that give access to the two 120mm fan spaces Arbico has left vacant. The meshed plastic that covers the two 5.25in bays can be removed with a pair of clips. The four hard disk bays are housed in their own small cage, unlocked with a thumbscrew and removed using a small handle. The pair of front-facing 3.5in bays are accessed via the same mechanism.
The modular, 1000W power supply is also sequestered into its own area, while the generous motherboard tray helps to keep the interior tidy, and the port selection includes USB 3, a wealth of USB 2 ports, three eSATA sockets and a card reader.
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