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CyberPower Ultra Triton SE review

Barry de la Rosa
5 Jan 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
500
inc VAT

Good Windows and gaming performance, but the 18.5in monitor lets the package down. You can get much better value elsewhere

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Specifications

3.5GHz AMD A8-3850, 8GB RAM, 18.5in 1,366x768 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

PC system makers have long struggled to include decent graphics capabilities in budget PCs. Some opt for an entry-level graphics card which is no more capable than modern integrated chips. Indeed, AMD's latest Llano chips hope to solve the problem by including a powerful graphics chip on the CPU. CyberPower's Ultra Triton SE has one of the more powerful Llano chips - the A8-3850 - along with a generous 8GB of RAM.

CyberPower Ultra Triton SE

This chip isn't as fast as Intel's equivalent for Windows performance, and CyberPower has attempted to make up for this by overclocking the CPU. With a graphics chip built in, this isn't a trivial task, as it means you're overclocking both chips. The end result is that, while the system is otherwise stable, the VGA output can't handle the overclock and distorts the image. Thankfully, CyberPower has provided a DVI-equipped BenQ V920 monitor, and promised to ship a DVI cable in the box.

CyberPower Ultra Triton SE

The V920 is an 18.5in widescreen monitor with a 1,366x768 resolution, which is disappointing considering that most PCs these days come with at least a 22in monitor. It's a good-looking monitor, with an elegant stand and a thin case, and its LED backlight is bright and even, producing bold colours and good contrast, but it feels cramped. Once you're used to having two web pages open side-by-side on a Full HD screen, it's hard to go back.

Results from our Dirt 3 benchmarks show the AMD chip's extra graphics horsepower off. The fastest Intel-equipped PC in this month's group achieved 22.7fps, but the Ultra Triton SE's 35fps is 50 per cent faster and – crucially – enough for smooth gameplay. It’s also a good match for the monitor’s resolution.

Windows performance is also good. The A8-3850 managed a score of 80 overall, scoring a slightly higher 88 in the single-threaded image-editing test but slowing down to 74 in the multi-threaded video test. This is fine for most Windows tasks, and unless you're doing heavy video editing or 3D work, you should find Windows performance more than adequate.

CyberPower Ultra Triton SE

Both RAM slots are taken up, but 8GB is plenty for most people. Meanwhile, there are free PCI and PCI-E x1 slots and two free PCI-E x16 slots for expansion cards, and four free SATA headers for extra hard disks or optical drives. The unbranded 450W power supply should be able to handle modest upgrades, although you'll need a Molex-to-PCI-E adaptor to fit a dedicated graphics card.

CyberPower Ultra Triton SE

On the outside, there's the usual pair of USB ports on the front panel and six more on the rear, two of which are the faster USB3 standard. With the VGA port unreliable, it's good to see there's also an HDMI output. For audio, there are three 3.5mm outputs, plus an optical S/PDIF catering for older equipment. A budget Logitech wired keyboard and mouse set completes the picture: the keyboard has better feedback than the company’s basic wireless set and the mouse is lightweight but responsive.

Although the Ultra Triton SE has enough power for the price, the monitor is disappointing. Buying the PC without the monitor saves you only £65, so you'd have to break the £500 budget to get a decent replacement. We'd advise opting for the Palicomp Hyper Flame instead - it has the same AMD processor, but comes with twice the hard disk capacity, a Blu-ray drive and a 22in Full HD monitor, so it's much better value.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorAMD A8-3850
Processor external bus120MHz (Overclocked)
Processor multiplierx29
Processor clock speed3.5GHz
Processor socketSocket FM1
Memory8
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-A75-D2H
Motherboard chipsetAMD A75

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST500DM002)
InterfaceSATA3
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Radeon HD 6550D
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI, HDMI

Sound

SoundRealtek HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW -DL

Display

Viewable size18.5 in
Screen modelBenQ V920
Native resolution1,366x768
Screen inputsVGA, DVI

Other Hardware

KeyboardLogitech K120
MouseLogitech B110

Software

Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB parts, three years RTB labour
Price£500
Detailswww.cyberpowersystem.co.uk

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