Build Quality

The build of the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 5200 is generally excellent. The Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 is a fine enclosure, and CyberPowerPC is able to keep cabling well organized and neat as you'd expect from an SI. Interestingly, though, the fan controller proves to be practically a non-starter, both literally and figuratively.

An unusual issue I ran into during testing was that the fans on the liquid cooling system would have a hard time starting up at anything less than the highest setting (12V). The top fan never started at all. These aren't actually major problems; the system is typically very quiet unless you're taxing the 7990, and the CPU isn't overheating. But it's very strange; the fan controller should be able to easily pull enough juice from a single molex connector, and all the cable connections are secure, so I'm not sure what gives.

It also bears mentioning that the additional drive cages typically found between the 5.25" bays and the bottom 2.5"/3.5" drive cage were not included, presumably due to clearance issues with the 7990. Still, this limits expandability later on and it would've been nice for CyberPowerPC to at least include them in the package for futureproofing's sake.

Finally, there's the overclock, and someone at CyberPowerPC must have known I was going to eat them alive for this. There is no dynamic voltage scaling, no dynamic clock scaling; the i7-4770K is set at a fixed 4.2GHz which it runs at all times and the voltage does not change. This is lazy and a waste of efficiency.

Noise and Heat

The Asetek liquid cooler upgraded with the two silent Enermax fans is, frankly, pretty fantastic. At its highest speed the cooler is still incredibly quiet; unless you're hitting the Radeon, you can expect the Gamer Xtreme 5200 to stay well under 32dB. If you're running the air conditioner or have any kind of ambient noise, the system is drowned out almost immediately.

Thermals are certainly reasonable given the way the system is configured, but the AMD Radeon HD 7990 really is the problem child. Temperatures aren't too bad, but they're not stellar either, and worse, the card is loud under load. Not aggressively loud and certainly not over 40dB, but definitely very audible. This is another place where switching to a single GPU card would pay major dividends, and I'm keen to point out the stock coolers on the GTX 770 and 780 are incredibly quiet even under sustained load.

Power Consumption

Where the lazy overclock takes its toll is at the wall. The 7990 is actually a fairly frugal card for a dual-GPU solution, but the fixed voltage and clocks on the CPU hurt.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption

Power consumption is just unpleasant across the board. Idle power could be about 20W lower, and that's not too bad, but the 7990 is a power hungry beast, and you'll see it draws more current than even a few of our multi-GPU systems. The iBuyPower Erebus GT in particular offers potentially superior gaming performance and comparable CPU performance with less power consumption under load (although it loses big time at idle.) I'm left feeling like there's a better, more finely tuned build still waiting to happen.

System and Gaming Performance Conclusion
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  • Flunk - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    To clarify "minimum clocks" is not the advertised clock speed, but the emergency downclock frequency, which I believe was 1.2Ghz for the CPU and 200Mhz for the GPU. a 1.2Ghz i7 with a 200Mhz Geforce 640m is not much fun.
  • Ubercake - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    I definitely prefer to build my own, but I've dealt with CyberpowerPC in the past. They build a good PC. I had no issues with their machines. A three-year warranty included is pretty darn good in this day and age of the one-year warranty (but other OEMs will gladly sell you more for a few hundred bucks!).

    I've dealt with Dell in the past more than once. In each instance, the PC would not boot when I received it and I had to fix something to get it working either with loose hardware or in the BIOS configuration. It's like they don't even boot the PC before they ship it out. Not good when you fork out your hard-earned dollars for a PC.

    If I were looking for someone to build me a PC (might never happen in my lifetime, but if I were), I wouldn't hesitate to pick my own parts from the site and have them build it.

    I would never buy a Dell again.
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    While I might have agreed with your assessment of CyberPower in the past, this build totally throws them in the "will not buy from this company" bin. Using cheap parts is not a good solution; even if you are building a budget PC, which of courser this is not. proper selection and system balance can keep the price low and quality high.

    As far as Dell - anyone can make a bad single product, or even a line of products that turn out to be "lemons". I seriously doubt their lack of quality stands out in the crowd of mainstream PC manufacturers. I've read service horror stories about all of them. You want quality, build your own, and do it right.
  • cjs150 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    Poor value for the price.

    AIO water coolers have become a fashion accessory. In most cases a high end air cooler will do the job just as well for less money. Now if they had built a machine which water cooled both CPU and GPU I could answer the price and the choice of case
  • spigzone - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    These prebuilt boutique computer reviews never made sense to me.

    So you go online and order up your choice of a case, cpu, gpu, memory, hdd, ssd and power supply - which continually change and evolve over time.

    Seems like a meaningless waste of time and manpower better spent on meaningful component reviews.
  • willis936 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    While I agree with the other comments about the component selection not fitting the price bracket (these parts would be aiming closer to a $1400 build) I will stand by their choice to use manual voltage in the OC. I'm going through the 4770k OC circuit right now and I have a successful delid under my belt. What I'm finding is that while using offset or adaptive voltage you'll see massive Vccin spikes under AVX workloads. Massive as in I'm putting in 1.325v and 1.475 is coming out. Yowzers. But wait! No one uses AVX. Well, they do. Especially if you play emulators. Using a few more watts (I say a few because an idle 4770k even at 1.3V runs on 10-20W) is well worth it compared to the prospect of shipping an unstable OC.
  • JimmiG - Friday, August 23, 2013 - link

    AVX is probably the reason why they limited the overclock to 4.2 GHz. A factory-overclocked system needs to be able to handle anything they throw at it, no exceptions, at room temperatures that might be higher than optimal. An unstable factory OC would add massively to their costs and damage their reputation. It's better to give up ~200 MHz.

    The screen shot in the review shows 81C, but it doesn't state what kind of stress tests were run. The new killer test is Linpack 11 with AVX2, which can easily push even a moderately overclocked CPU into the mid 90's range and requires significantly higher voltages than Aida64 or IBT. Even the FPU-only test in Aida64 can push some really high temps at anything above 1.15 - 1.20V.

    Finally, like willis936 sais, using dynamic voltages will cause unpredictable behavior. Finding an adaptive voltage that works for a particular CPU is a long and frustrating process. In some cases it may be impossible to achieve an offset that gives you a high-enough voltage with non-AVX loads while simultaneously keeping the "AVX-boosted" voltage within reason.
  • Drittz121 - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    Just do yourself a favor. STAY AWAY from this company. Yes they look good. But when it breaks and it WILL. All they do is give you the run around. They have had my system for over 2 months trying to fix the garbage they sell. Worse company out there for support. DONT BUY

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