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Cyberpower Xtreme XT review

Kat Orphanides
25 Mar 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,299
inc VAT

A good buy if you want a Sandybridge-E processor and motherboard, but you can get the same power for less

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Specifications

4.56GHz Intel Core i7-3820, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Intel's Sandybridge-E CPUs are the most powerful in the processor giant's current range, certainly until the rumoured next generation finally emerges, and they're very much aimed at power users. The Core i7-3820 is the most modestly specified of the range, with just four cores and performance which has more in common with Intel's Core i7-2600K than the powerful six-core chips which make up the rest of the SandyBridge-E range. Nonetheless, even this relatively modest chip has masses of potential for overclocking, and that's exactly what Cyberpower has done with the Xtreme XT PC's chip, pushing it to a speed of 4.56GHz.

Cyberpower Xtreme XT

The PC's motherboard is Gigabyte's LGA 2011 X79-UD3, which has two full-speed and two half-speed PCI-E x16 slots, two PCI-E x1 slots and a PCI slot for older expansion cards. One of the PCI-E x16 slots is occupied by the graphics card, an AMD Radeon HD 7950 with 3GB of GDDR5 memory and HDMI, DVI and two DisplayPort outputs. The card blocks access to one of the PCI-E x1 slots and fitting anything into the PCI-E x16 slot a little below that could also be a tight squeeze, but there's still plenty of room for expansion.

There are masses of SATA ports on the motherboard - six SATA3 and four SATA2. Three of the SATA3 ports are occupied by a DVD-RW/BD-ROM drive, a 64GB SATA3 SSD which serves as the operating system partition and a 1TB hard disk for storage. A 64GB disk is small for a Windows installation, though - especially as some applications are fussy about where they can be installed. There's room to add more drives, with four vacant 3 1/2in bays and three unused 5 1/4in bays. There are four RAM slots, each of which is occupied by a 2GB module of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory for a total of 8GB, which should be more than adequate for most purposes, although the motherboard can handle a maximum of 32GB RAM.

Cyberpower Xtreme XT

The processor is liquid cooled and the PC makes a distinct low rushing sound, thanks to the fans which are part of the cooling system. It's not a very obtrusive sound but this PC certainly isn't going to win any prizes for silence. We appreciated the sturdy - if ugly – Cooler Master case and the 950W power supply, but the PSU is a generic model rather than a major brand. At the front of the case are two USB2 and two USB3 ports, while at the back you'll find another eight USB2 and two USB3 connections. There are also two eSATA ports, a PS/2 port to connect a keyboard or mouse, a Gigabit Ethernet port, analogue 7.1 audio outputs, plus both coaxial and optical S/PDIF outputs.

Cyberpower Xtreme XT

All this adds up to a very impressive specification, which Cyberpower has put a lot of effort into tweaking and optimising to make it as powerful as possible. However it's the test results that count here. They're impressive - the system achieved an overall score of 123 in our benchmark tests. However, that's still well below the scores of 140 or more we often see from overclocked Core i5-2500K systems. The graphics card certainly does its stuff, with a frame rate of 30fps in Crysis 2 making this challenging game play smoothly at the highest possible quality settings.

If you're determined to own a Sandybridge-E PC, then this is a great way to get one. It's powerful enough for anything you'll want to do and means that you'll be able to later upgrade to one of the more expensive six-core LGA 2011 processors. However, in terms of pure performance, you can do better for less money with an overclocked Core i5-2500K-based PC such as the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Nemesis, which costs less and comes with a monitor and peripherals.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3820
Processor external bus120MHz (overclocked)
Processor multiplierx38
Processor clock speed4.56GHz
Processor socketLGA2011
Memory8
MotherboardGigabyte X79-UD3
Motherboard chipsetIntel X79

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)4/10
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/2
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)4 (3)
Free Serial ATA ports7
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays4

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Kingston SV200S3, Samsung HD103SJ
InterfaceSATA3 + SATA2
Total storage capacity1,063GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)3GB AMD Radeon HD 7950
Graphics/video portsDVI, HDMI, 2x DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC898
Sound outputs7.1 line out, coaxial S/PDIF out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Price£1,299
Detailswww.cyberpowersystem.co.uk

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