Introducing the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 4000

We last checked in with CyberPowerPC's gaming desktop division when we reviewed the Gamer Xtreme 8500, which packed a beefy Intel Core i7-875K overclocked to 3.8GHz alongside two NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450s in SLI. Our feelings were decidedly mixed: while it was certainly fast enough, the gulf between the quoted price tag and the actual price along with the hack overclocking job made us question the system's value. Now CyberPowerPC has sent us a gaming desktop with the reasonably new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 and a brand spanking new Intel Core i7-2600K that features the highest clock speed of any processor we've ever tested in a system.

Knowing the new Intel Core i7 based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture is one of the fastest processors you can buy, what happens when we take the best clock-for-clock performance on the market and crank it up to 4.4GHz?

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 4000 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-2600K @ 4.4GHz (100MHz Bclk with x44 multiplier)
(spec: 4x3.4GHz, 32nm, 8MB L3, 95W)
Motherboard ASUS P8P67 Motherboard with P67 chipset
Memory 2x2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 @ 1600MHz (expandable to 16GB)
Graphics eVGA SuperClocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB GDDR5
(480 CUDA Cores, 797/1594MHz Core/Shader, 3.9GHz RAM, 320-bit memory bus)
Hard Drive(s) Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gbps
Optical Drive(s) ASUS BD-ROM/DVD+/-RW Combo Drive
Networking Intel Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Audio Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Digital and optical out
Front Side Optical Drive
2x USB 2.0
Headphone and mic jacks
USB 3.0
eSATA
MMC/SD/CF/MS reader
Top -
Back Side 2x PS/2
Digital and optical out
2x eSATA
6x USB 2.0
6-pin FireWire
2x USB 3.0
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 19.7" x 18.9" x 8.3" (WxDxH)
Weight 15.7 lbs (case only)
Extras Corsair 650TX Power Supply
Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling
Thermaltake Armor A60 Case
Flash reader (MMC/MS/CF/SD)
Overclocked from warehouse
Warranty 3-year limited warranty and lifetime phone support
Pricing Quoted Price: $1,399

The elephant in the room is the overclocked Intel Core i7-2600K. Built on a 32nm fabrication process, it's Intel's new top of the line mainstream processor using the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and features 8MB of L3 cache and a nominal turbo speed of 3.8GHz. Given the changes in how Sandy Bridge chips are overclocked, the unlocked multiplier is necessary to get the most out of these new processors. CyberPower has accordingly ramped the turbo multiplier to 44x, yielding a final turbo speed of a staggering 4.4GHz. The new i7 is cooled using CyberPower's standard Asetek 510LC liquid cooling which keeps idle temperatures extremely low.

Supporting the i7-2600K is Intel's new P67 chipset, which features both SATA 6Gbps and 3Gbps connectivity, the former of which is connected to the bog standard Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drive. The chipset and processor only support dual channel memory, resulting in a board maximum of 16GB of DDR3; the 4GB of Kingston HyperX installed runs at a very healthy 1600MHz. The rest of the motherboard offers all of the modern connectivity you could ask for, including an interesting surprise in the form of integrated bluetooth.

Finally we also have the SuperClocked model of eVGA's NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570. In our review of the GTX 570 we found it to be about as fast as the former king of the hill GeForce GTX 480. Not too shabby, and now with eVGA's SuperClocked model we see a 60MHz bump in core clock (resulting in an effective 120MHz boost on the shader clock); memory speed is unchanged. Nonetheless, the 570 also sports a healthy 480 of NVIDIA's CUDA cores along with improved thermals and power consumption over the previous generation.

Rounding things out are a blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo drive and a respectable if unexciting Thermaltake Armor A60 case. A nice surprise comes in the form of the Corsair 650TX power supply, generally regarded as one of the best brands on the market. 

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • Anosh - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Am I the only one not getting very much out of this review due to the mix of hardware; single gpu vs sli both with different cpu generations and overclock? I can't get a proper perspective to be able to decide if this system is performing as it should or better. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Yes and no. It's not the easiest to compare, but AT is given what they're given, you sort of have to fill in the rest.

    Something's better than nothing. I'm still unimpressed to see the BCLK wasn't touched; but I don't know much about OC. If you raise the voltage, does it become a static voltage? Also, is the speedstep/turbo (whatever it's called) still employed, or do you only have one steady OC when up'ing the voltage.

    44x multiplier is pseudo decent, I'd expect more from liquid cooled. I'd also expect the BCLK to get up to 104-107.
    Reply
  • beepboy - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Sandy Bridge has a built in clock generator, so raising the BCLK will result in system instability and the gains from it is abysmal. I suggest you read Anand's earlier post on Sandy Bridge.

    On nicer boards (even on current P55), you can raise CPU voltage as 'offset'. This isn't static, and the board will manage the voltage as required by the CPU and applying the offset. So at maximum TDP the board will add whatever offset you applied. This is nice because during idle you can still have sub 1 V draw.

    Moore's law will still apply and I think there's a soft wall (binning) past the 44x multiplier. These systems go through extensive 24 hour burn-in test with multiple benches for system stability and I bet if they could have been pushed further they would have.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Hi Dustin,

    I disagree with your conclusion that the OC on the system can be let off the hook. The fact that SandyBridge is so easy to OC (due to the limited amount of factors you can actually change) means it takes much LESS effort than previous CPU's. Flipping a multiplier setting in the BIOS while making no other changes is borderline brainless. I'm sure ALL boutique builds using the new chip will have similar OC's so giving them a pass because they kept idle voltages low is like giving them credit for Intel's work.....

    The caveat to this post is (if they don't pull the switch-aroo again) is that the build price is low enough when factoring in the components that the OC can almost be considered "free".
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    I agree. I'm just now reading your comment and I've already left two other comments about the OC.

    Sometimes vendors charge extra for an OC, since it does require more manual intervention. Perhaps that's what happened here; they got a standard OC (just the multiplier), but you could pay more money and get the the timings/vcore/bclk adjusted as well.

    To me this isn't considered an "OC" by CyberPower, it's merely changing a config setting.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Keep in mind that this is the first encounter Dustin has had with SNB, and his review was written separately (and before) Anand's write-up. I've added an editor's note on the overclock and modified things a bit, but honestly we have to wait and see what other vendors are willing to offer before we can truly say how this OC stands up. It's certainly more compelling than the stuff Dustin encountered with the previous 1366/1156 platforms, but that may simply be the Sandy Bridge influence. I have a feeling most reasonable overclocks on 2600K will fall into the 4.6GHz Turbo range, and I'm not really sure praising the final 4.5% overclock (relative to this 4.4GHz) is really that useful. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Hi Jarred,

    Thanks for the reply. I guess my problem is the artificial limitation placed on a REALLY GOOD (thermally) chip by having everything but the voltages and multiplier essentially locked. The number of variables removed (and the smaller reliance on quality ram/mobo and tweaks as per Anand's review of the SNB platform) makes the job EASIER for the boutique builders to get a great OC that it makes me MORE critical not less.

    You mentioned the 1366/1156 platforms, but all of those required (or should have) a lot more time invested in setting voltages/timings/etc. Yes the one review that had the cpu constantly run at a high clock-speed was unforgivable, but the other systems where "lazy" was thrown around probably took significantly more effort than the xtreme4000 which (without me seeing the bios settings firsthand) was likely a SINGLE number change for the multiplier (ok maybe 4 changes.....all with the same number) since it was mentioned in the review that everything else was left on auto.

    When you get such a mature process as SNB where you can get hefty OC's using the rinky-dink stock Intel cooler, I think we need to hold these builders to a higher standard.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond to comments.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    I thought Anand got 4.4-to-4.5 GHz on stock air cooling. Something seems wrong when they only got 4.4GHz with liquid cooling. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Nothing is wrong, it's just a completely sloppy OC. These new chips allow a single change to be made (the multiplier) and you can OC quite a bit due to the great thermals. So rather then chew out Cyberpower for a (literally) 2-second OC job, they get praised for not changing the idle clocks.

    Again it's tough to be harsh due to the price (if they actually are going to honor the price from the review), but let's call a spade a spade, it's a basic OC in every sense of the word.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    So correct me if I am wrong, I was tired when I read the Sandy Bridge Article, but the over clock here is only for when the chip is in Turbo mode correct?

    IE: If all 4 cores are in use, its running at 3.4?
    Reply

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