Arbico Stealth 9550 Pro review

Price when reviewed

Arbico isn’t a name that we often see appearing in the PC Pro Labs, but this Stealth 9550 Pro system is a powerful-looking debut entry. As well as an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 processor, this machine includes an ATI Radeon HD 4850 as well as a terabyte of storage.

The processor features a core clock speed of 2.83GHz as well as an impressive 12MB of L2 cache and a 1,333MHz FSB – more than enough, on paper, to motor through even the most demanding of multi-threaded applications, and so ideal for those using hardcore photo and HD video editing software.

An overall 2D result of 1.71 indicates that there’s plenty of power available from the CPU – which is kept cool by a Scythe Katana 2 heatsink and fan – and noteworthy scores in our 2D graphics and multi-tasking benchmarks indicate that professional applications don’t prove too troublesome.

This impressive power, however, is a mid-table score relative to the competition at this price point: the PC Specialist Apollo Q8200 GTX+ may have faltered at 1.4, but both the Cyberpower Gamer Infinity GT and A-Listed Chillblast Fusion Sidewinder managed to return faster benchmark results of 1.82 and 1.88 respectively.

Gamers will be reasonably pleased with ATI’s Radeon HD 4850 graphics card, which comes in a special guise – it’s a Gigabyte part that comes with 1GB of GDDR3 memory and is passively cooled. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful passively cooled cards we’ve seen, with the metallic fins of the heatsink extending through the back of the machine and out through the slot on the back of the PC.

The card didn’t get excessively hot during our testing, which also yielded good gaming results. Our low and medium Crysis tests ran at 93fps and 57fps respectively, with the high-quality benchmark resulting in a perfectly playable 33fps. Once again, though, other systems outpace the Arbico, with the GeForce 9800 GTX+ in the PC Specialist and HD 4870 in the Chillblast both managing good results in our very high benchmark.

The rest of the specification provides more than enough power for coping with demanding professional applications. A one-terabyte hard disk is capacious enough to store the largest of media collections as well as HD for video editing, and 4GB of RAM is ample to keep software running smoothly.

The CoolerMaster 330 offers decent build quality along with a reasonable amount of upgrade potential. An additional PCI-Express 16x slot could be used for another graphics card, and two empty PCI-E 1x and a trio of PCI slots are all ready to be used. A pair of spare DIMM slots, five free internal 3.5in bays – along with four empty SATA sockets – and three empty 5.25in bays complete the set.

It’s also worth noting the noise – or lack of it. The passively-cooled GPU and Scythe Katana heatsink work well, resulting in one of the quietest machines we’ve heard – and almost matching up to the superb Mesh Matrix II. The Arbico certainly won’t prove intrusive, even in the quietest of rooms.

it_photo_6356While there’s plenty of potential inside the case, Arbico hasn’t spent much time on keeping it tidy. The main bunch of cables has been hastily tied together, but several more hang limply throughout the case. It’s not up to the standard we’ve come to expect from the larger manufacturers, so Arbico will need to work on this.

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