CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 5200 Desktop Reviewby Dustin Sklavos on August 22, 2013 8:00 AM EST
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.
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.
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.