Arbico Zippy Pro review

Price when reviewed

If you’re not interested in gaming or high-performance computing, it makes sense to opt for a PC that makes minimal impact. A small form factor machine such as Arbico’s Zippy Pro is ideal, offering ample processing power in a chassis the size of a shoe box.

Arbico has chosen a case from Taiwanese firm In Win, only 112mm wide and 230mm deep, so it will fit into spaces other computers can’t reach. And In Win has gone to great lengths to make sure a full-power PC can be crammed inside.

The mini-ITX motherboard – in this case an Asus P8H67-I Deluxe – is screwed to the side of the case, and a cable arcs from the back to the 160W power supply at the front. A small cage at the bottom of the case houses a 3.5in mechanical hard disk and an SSD, and cooling consists of a low-profile Intel heatsink, an 80mm side-mounted fan and a tiny 40mm unit attached to the power supply.

Arbico Zippy Pro

The small dimensions mean upgrade options are understandably limited. Both SO-DIMM slots are full, the one free SATA 6Gbits/sec port is blocked by another SATA cable you’ll need to temporarily remove, and you could be restricted by the awkward positioning of the lone PCI Express x16 slot, which doesn’t quite line up with the PCI blanker on the back of the chassis. It’s an exceedingly untidy build, too, with cables strewn around the heatsink and throughout the interior – and worrying close to the spinning CPU cooling fan.

The port selection is decent, with a pair of USB 3 ports alongside eSATA and HDMI on the rear. But we’re less convinced by the build quality: the small door hiding the DVD writer is flimsy, the plastic on the front is little stronger and the metal used elsewhere is uncomfortably thin.

The Zippy Pro doesn’t handle heat too well, either. While a peak temperature of 85°C is just below dangerous levels, the low-profile cooler has to work hard to dissipate the heat in such a small space. This results in a distracting rumble from a PC that’s supposed to be discreet.

Still, if you can put up with that, you do get a fair level of application performance from this little system. With a Core i5-2310, 4GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 memory, and a 60GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD strapped to the underside of a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 hard disk, the Arbico delivered an impressive 0.88 in our benchmarks.

Arbico Zippy Pro

We’ve seen stunning speed from that OCZ SSD family before, too, but here the 60GB model returned mediocre transfer rates. Large file write and read speeds of 263.2MB/sec and 251MB/sec might have impressed in the SATA 3Gbits/sec days, but they’re about half the pace of today’s top drives.

A more noticeable weak point is gaming, with the i5-2310 making do with Intel’s weaker HD 2000 integrated graphics. Its average of 27fps in our Low quality 1,366 x 768 Crysis test is a modest score but, crucially, it can handle HD media, with both our test files and streaming content from BBC iPlayer and YouTube HD playing flawlessly.

It’s a competent PC, then, but there’s no denying that you can get more for less: full systems on our A-List come with better specifications and full sets of peripherals and, if size really matters, the Dell Optiplex 790 is a stronger, quieter (if more business-focused) choice.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,000GB
RAM capacity4.00GB


CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency2.90GHz
Processor socketLGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan)Intel low profile cooler


MotherboardAsus P8H67-I
Motherboard chipsetIntel H67
Conventional PCI slots free0
Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots free1
PCI-E x16 slots total1
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free0
PCI-E x1 slots total0
Internal SATA connectors1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total2

Graphics card

Graphics cardIntel HD 2000
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetIntel HD 2000
DVI-I outputs1
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskSamsung Spinpoint F3
Hard disk usable capacity931GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size64MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelOCZ Vertex 3
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity60GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity54


Optical driveDVD writer


ChassisIn Win small form-factor
Case formatSmall form-factor
Dimensions112 x 230 x 264mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)8
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption67W
Peak power consumption130W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings27fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.88
Responsiveness score0.93
Media score0.90
Multitasking score0.82

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