The Fang III Black Mamba is a ridiculously powerful system and a cracking Ultra HD games machine, but it is expensive
Processor: Six-core 4.2GHz Intel Core i7-5930K, RAM: 16GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB2, 2x USB3, Rear USB ports: 4X USB2, 6x USB3, Total storage: 512GB SSD, 1TB Hard disk (4TB RAID 0+1), Graphics card: 8GB XFX AMD R9 295X2, Operating system: Windows 8.1
The Cyberpower Fang III Black Mamba is a gargantuan Intel X99-based gaming system with a price to match. It’s certainly one of the most expensive systems we’ve ever reviewed. Housed in a Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 case, the Fang III Black Mamba also towers over your average sized desktop case with ease.
The Cooler Master case uses a modular design, allowing you to stack extra, smaller cases on top of it to expand the case. The Fang III Black Mamba uses the additional space provided on top to house the Cyber Power Advanced Water Cooling kit that’s used to cool the Fang III Black Mamba’s processor. Between the reservoir, tubing, red liquid and strip LEDs, the system looks like something designed by an insane scientist. The window on the case’s side panel gives a good view of the intricate components and wiring. Should you not like the colours used on our review model, you can choose from other colour LEDs including white, blue and green at purchase.
The HAF in the case’s name stands for High Air Flow, which is an apt acronym. There are two 120mm intake fans on the front of the case. We were pleased to see these were dust filtered and there are two more 120mm fans in the top case, too. On the back of the PC is a 140mm exhaust fan. The system runs reasonably quietly, even during intense gaming sessions, but due to the sheer size of the system you certainly wouldn’t want it next to you on a desk any way. Not that it’d fit.
When you buy a system as expensive as this one, you expect it to be specified with high-end components, and that’s certainly the case with the Fang III Black Mamba, which is equipped with a six-core Intel Core i7-5930K Haswell-E processor that’s overclocked to run at 4.2GHz. The Fang III Black Mamba scored 139 overall in our PC benchmarks, which is a good score, but not entirely representative of the extra power Intel’s Haswell-E systems provide. We retested the system with a tougher version of our regular benchmarks that forces the processor to convert Ultra HD images to Full HD images while playing an Ultra HD video, among other things. These tougher benchmarks fully stress all six cores of the Core i7-5930K and give us a better idea of its performance compared to our reference Core i5-4670K. The Fang III Black Mamba scored 185 in these tougher benchmarks, compared to the Core i5-4670K’s 100. This shows that the extra two cores of the Core i7-5930K are worthwhile, especially when multitasking, but the Fang III Black Mamba’s overall score of 186 is a bit disappointing compared to the Chillblast Fusion Ares’ overall score of 203. It’s important to remember, however, that the Core i7-5930K can utilise more PCI-E lanes than the Core i7-5820K used in the Chillblast Fusion Ares, which potentially makes the Fang III Black Mamba a better choice if you intend to add an extra graphics card. However, the AMD Radeon R9 295X2 installed in the Fang III Black Mamba should provide more than enough graphics power for the next couple of years.
Indeed, the Fang III Black Mamba really shines when gaming. The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is effectively two R9 290X GPUs combined and paired with a liquid cooler to keep the monster graphics card control. Even when under load, the graphics card runs almost silently. In our Dirt Showdown tests the Radeon R9 295X2 barely broke a sweat. Running the game at 1,920×1,080 resolution, 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra graphics the system produced 157.6fps. Even when we pushed the resolution to Ultra HD (3,840×2,160) the Fang III Black Mamba still produced a silky smooth 118.4fps.
Crysis 3 is a tougher prospect thanks to its dynamic physics and detailed textures. Even at 1,920×1,080 resolution, 4x anti-aliasing and High graphics quality the PC produced an average frame rate of 83.4fps. With the Crysis 3 set to a resolution of 3,840×2,160, the PC still produced an impressively smooth and playable 65.7fps. You’ll have no problem playing the latest games at Full HD and Ultra HD resolutions with the Fang III Black Mamba. It even comes with an Avermedia C985 Lite HD Capture PCI-E card for those wanting to record their impressive in-game exploits. You can even add commentary to your recorded footage and broadcast live to streaming services such as Twitch.
The Fang III Black Mamba uses a Gigabyte X99-UD4 motherboard that provides decent upgrade potential. There 10 SATA3 ports, as well as a SATA Express connector and an M.2 connector, both of which provide data transfer speeds of up to 10GB/s. Sadly, you can’t use the SATA express port at the same time as the M.2 connector, so you’ll have to choose to use one or the other.
As for storage, the system comes with four 1TB hard disks configured in a RAID 0+1 configuration, which results in 1TB of storage. A RAID 0+1 configuration provides high data transfer performance by striping disks together before mirroring for data redundancy, theoretically giving you the best of both worlds: faster data transfer and redundancy should one of your drives fail. You can always change the RAID array type if it doesn’t suit your needs or if you want access to more storage space. You also get a generously sized 512GB SSD for the operating system and your favourite applications, so the Windows desktop and the system as a whole boots quickly and feels super-responsive. The Fang III Black Mamba also comes with a 16x Blu-ray writer.
Sadly, the case itself is the bottleneck for future upgrades. There isn’t much room to add extra hard disks, as there’s just one free bay in which to house a 3.5in or 2.5in drive, although there is a free 5.25in bay in the top case for an extra optical drive, fan controller or card reader, et cetera.
As is common with all Intel X99 boards, the Fang III Black Mamba’s motherboard has eight memory slots for up to a whopping 64GB of quad-channel memory. The system comes equipped with 16GB of 2,133MHz DDR4 memory across four modules. That should be ample for most computing needs, but you certainly have room to add more RAM.
There are three PCI-E x1 slots on the motherboard but two are occupied by an Asus PCE-N15 300Mbps Wireless-N PCI-E wireless card and the Avermedia capture card. The third PCI-E slot is rendered unusable due to the sheer size of the graphics card that obstructs it, meaning you’re left with no usable slots.
Similarly, there are four PCI-E x16 slots with one already used by the R9 295X2 but this card not only obstructs the PCI-E x1 directly below but also the second PCI-E x16 slot as well. As the you’re unlikely to crave a second card for a long time, this shouldn’t be much of a concern. This PC’s XFX 1250W modular power supply means you’ll easily have enough power to handle any upgrades you might want to install.
You’re not left wanting for USB ports, either. On the front of the case are two USB and two USB3 ports. On the back there are a further six USB3 and four more USB ports. There’s also a pair of PS/2 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, five audio jacks and an optical S/PDIF connection. The graphics card has outputs for DVI and Mini DisplayPort.
The Cyberpower Fang III Black Mamba is certainly an extravagant system, bordering on ludicrous in its capabilities. Its appeal will be limited to those in search of remarkable Ultra HD gaming performance and a bank balance to support their gaming ambitions. As with many things, you approach the point of diminishing returns when spending this much but if your budget can stretch to it the Cyberpower Fang III Black Mamba is a spectacular and ostentatious gaming system that’ll provide you with high-end gaming pleasure for years to come. Just make sure you have the space for it.
|Processor||Six-core 4.2GHz Intel Core i7-5930K|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel X99|
|Ports and expansion|
|Front USB ports||2x USB2, 2x USB3|
|Rear USB ports||4X USB2, 6x USB3|
|Other ports||2x PS/2|
|Networking||1x 10/100/1000, 802.11n Wi-Fi|
|Case type||Modular tower|
|Case size HxWxD||235x719x578mm|
|PCIe x1 (free)||3 (0)|
|PCIe x16 (free)||4 (0)|
|Serial ATA (free)||10x SATA3 (4), 1x SATA Express (1), 1x M.2 (1)|
|Memory slots (free)||8 (4)|
|Drive bays 2 1/2″ (free)||2 (1)|
|Drive bays 3 1/2″ (free)||4 (0)|
|Drive bays 5 1/4″ (free)||2 (1)|
|Total storage||512GB SSD, 1TB Hard disk (4TB RAID 0+1)|
|Memory card reader||None|
|Optical drive type||Blu-ray Writer|
|Graphics card||8GB XFX AMD R9 295X2|
|Graphics/video ports||DVI, Mini DisplayPort|
|Sound card||Realtek ALC1150|
|Sound card outputs||Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In, S/PDIF|
|Extras||Asus 300Mbps Wireless, Avermedia C985 Lite HD Capture Card|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1|
|Operating system restore option||Restore partition|
|Warranty||Three-year RTB (two-year parts, three-year labour)|
|Price including delivery (inc VAT)||£3,000|
|Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)||£3,000|
|Part Code||Fang III Black Mamba|