To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £500
inc VAT

The choice of a 60GB SSD in place of a hard disk improves performance, but the choice of motherboard limits the Viper Carbon CS's potential for expansion


3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100, 4GB RAM, 22in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With hard disk prices through the roof currently, Yoyotech has taken a novel approach to building a budget PC: instead of fitting a hard disk, the firm has opted for a 60GB solid state disk (SSD). With Windows 7 installed, this leaves only about 18GB of free space for files, but it also improves performance, boosting the Viper Carbon CS’s 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 processor to the same level of performance as PCs using the 3.3GHz Core i3-2120.

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS

It also means that, once hard disk prices come back down, you’ll be able to add plenty of storage to the system and not have to worry about re-installing the operating system. However you’ll have to rely on external storage to get by until that time – portable USB disks haven’t yet increased in price too much. The Viper Carbon CS includes a rare FireWire port, which is mainly used to connect digital camcorders, but it also has eight USB ports, two of which support the faster USB3 standard.

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS

Inside the case, there’s limited room for upgrades. There are several free drive bays, each with a quick-release mechanism that makes adding disks and drives a breeze, but there are only two free SATA headers. You can add more via an expansion card, but there are only three free slots for this: one PCI and two PCI-E x1. One of the latter will be unusable if you fit a dedicated graphics card into the single PCI-E x16 slot.

On the outside, there are a few missing ports. The integrated graphics only has VGA and DVI outputs (no HDMI), and audio is limited to three 3.5mm minijacks. This isn’t ideal for connecting to a home cinema setup, but fine for standard PC surround sets.

Yoyotech Viper Carbon CS

It’s a shame that Yoyotech hasn’t included a DVI cable in the box, given that the HannsG HH221DPB monitor has both VGA and DVI inputs. Image quality isn’t bad via VGA, although we noticed a red cast and contrast isn’t as good as on other budget monitors.

A Microsoft keyboard and mouse set complete the bundle. It’s Microsoft’s cheapest set, and while build quality is what you’d expect from Microsoft, the keys have little travel and are too bouncy. The mouse is lightweight but provides good feedback.

Performance, as we’ve mentioned, was improved by the SSD, but the overall score of 64 in our multimedia benchmarks is nothing special. It’s enough for undemanding users, but you can get better performance elsewhere for the same money. The same is true of 3D performance. The i3-2100’s integrated graphics chip can decode HD video content, but it could only manage 13fps in our DiRT 3 test.

We applaud Yoyotech’s brave decision to go with an SSD instead of a hard drive, setting the Viper Carbon CS up as a long-term investment to be upgraded at a later date, but sadly the choice of motherboard, with its limited expansion potential, undermines this philosophy somewhat. It’s not a bad PC, but it’s overshadowed by the Blu-ray-equipped Palicomp Hyper Flame.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i3-2100
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x31
Processor clock speed 3.1GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 4
Memory type DDR3
Maximum memory 16GB
Motherboard Asustek P8H61-M LE
Motherboard chipset Intel H61


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 1/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none

Internal Expansion

Case tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 2
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) OCZ Agility 3 60GB
Interface SATA3
Total storage capacity 60GB


Graphics card(s) Intel HD Graphics 2000
Graphics/video ports VGA, DVI


Sound Realtek HD Audio
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL


Viewable size 22 in
Screen model HannsG HH221DPB
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Screen inputs VGA, DVI

Other Hardware

Keyboard Microsoft Wired Keyboard 400
Mouse Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.0


Software included none
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £500

Read more