Arbico Zippy Pro review
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.
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.
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.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Total hard disk capacity||1,000GB|
|CPU family||Intel Core i5|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.90GHz|
|Processor socket||LGA 1155|
|HSF (heatsink-fan)||Intel low profile cooler|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel H67|
|Conventional PCI slots free||0|
|Conventional PCI slots total||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots free||1|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||1|
|PCI-E x8 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots free||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||0|
|Internal SATA connectors||1|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Memory sockets free||0|
|Memory sockets total||2|
|Graphics card||Intel HD 2000|
|Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?||no|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD 2000|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Number of graphics cards||1|
|Hard disk||Samsung Spinpoint F3|
|Hard disk usable capacity||931GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk 2 make and model||OCZ Vertex 3|
|Hard disk 2 nominal capacity||60GB|
|Hard disk 2 formatted capacity||54|
|Optical drive||DVD writer|
|Chassis||In Win small form-factor|
|Case format||Small form-factor|
|Dimensions||112 x 230 x 264mm (WDH)|
Free drive bays
|Free front panel 5.25in bays||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||8|
|PS/2 mouse port||yes|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||6|
|Front panel USB ports||2|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||67W|
|Peak power consumption||130W|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||27fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.88|