CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE Review

tacohunter52 - 2011-10-09 20:35:36 in Prebuilts
Category: Prebuilts
Reviewed by: tacohunter52   
Reviewed on: October 23, 2011
Price: $999

Introduction:

If you frequently read articles here at OCC, you've probably built all the computers you own. I'll even go as far as saying you've probably also helped friends and family build computers, or you've built rigs for them. The reason is simple — it is usually way more cost effective, and fun, to build a computer yourself as opposed to purchasing a prebuilt model. Let's face it, we've all, at one point or another, ogled over one of Origin's high end gaming machines, then immediately after gone to Newegg to configure it ourselves. What do we usually find out? That the prebuilt system is extraordinarily overpriced! This in itself usually turns computer enthusiasts away from purchasing prebuilt machines. But what would you do if you found a prebuilt machine that had the hardware you wanted and the build charge was small or seemingly non-existent? I have a feeling that most people, especially in today's economy, would go for the prebuilt machine. Unless of course, they really want to build the computer themselves.

Today we will be taking a look at a prebuilt gaming machine from CyberPower, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE. This computer is equipped with the popular i5 2500K Sandy Bridge CPU, which has been paired with a Z68 motherboard from ASUS. It also utilizes 8GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 memory and a 1GB GTS 560 from eVGA. The processor is kept cool by a 120mm Asetek self-contained liquid cooler, and the entire package is held together in a Cooler Master HAF 912 case. Last but not least, the computer is equipped with a Blu-ray drive and 1TB of storage space. The MSRP of the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE is $999, which right away seems like a very fair price. However, I intend to find out if we can build the same computer from Newegg for less money. Once that's been done, we'll put this rig through the OCC benchmark suite to see how it stacks up against the OCC test beds. But first, let's take a closer look at the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE!

Closer Look:

Safely shipping an entire computer can be difficult to do, so I was interested to see how CyberPower did it, as well as how well its shipping methods worked. The computer arrived in one giant box that was stuffed with a fair amount of foam. Removing the foam revealed two more boxes, the HAF 912 box and the ASUS P8Z68-V LX motherboard box. The HAF 912 box contained the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE, while the P8Z68-V LX box contained all the included accessories. The Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE was covered in a large plastic bag and wedged between two large pieces of foam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once all the packaging has been removed, we can see that the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE has been completely assembled. Not only that, but aside from the Windows 7 Key located on the side of the computer, there was absolutely nothing stating that this machine was manufactured by CyberPower. I was a little surprised to see this, but at the same time I thought it was nice that they left the case clean. Looking at the computer's front, we can see that the top 5.25" drive bay is occupied by the Blu-ray drive, while the bottom 5.25" bay is occupied by a card reader. Taking a look at the back of the computer shows us that the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE has enough ports to make any user happy. The right side of the case is almost completely bare, with the exception of the Windows 7 key. The left side of the case was completely bare save for a fan and a note taped to it. This note let us know that there was still more packaging that needed to be removed from the inside of the computer.

 

 

 

Removing the side panel reveals a blue quick foam bag, which kept the GTX 560 safe and secure during transit. Removing this gave us our first glimpse of the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's wire management, which was very nice and clean. I was actually very impressed because it showed that CyberPower puts time and care into its machines. In other words, the exact opposite of what you can expect from many other computer manufacturers.

 

 

Since we've got the side panel off, I thought we might as well take a closer look at all the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's components as well. The first thing that caught my eye was the Asetek liquid cooler that should quietly and efficiently cool the i5 2500K processor. Speaking of silence, CyberPower also used the Cooler Master Silent Pro 700W PSU, which is located at the bottom of the case. Continuing our sporadic movement between components, we can see the machine's sole HDD, a 1TB Seagate Barracuda located at the case's front. Moving back up toward the Asetek liquid cooler, we can see the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's 8GB of DDR3 1600 Kingston HyperX memory.

 

 

 

Before we move on, we should probably also take a look at the computer's GPU and ODD. The Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE is equipped with a 1GB GTX 560 from eVGA. This, of course, occupies the ASUS P8Z68-V LX's first PCIe x 16 slot. As we were able to see from looking at the computer's outside, the Asus 12X Blu-ray drive is located in the first 5.25" drive bay. Directly under it, in the bottom 5.25" drive bay, is a multi-card reader.

 

 

Before we move on to the included accessories, I'd like to briefly look at the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's wire management. As I stated before, I was impressed with the job CyberPower did. Almost every wire connected to the motherboard, with a few exceptions, was neatly tucked behind the motherboard tray. The wires that weren't located behind the tray were kept neatly out of the way of the HAF 912's airflow.

 

 

As previously stated, all the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's included accessories and documentation were located in the ASUS P8Z68-V LX's motherboard box. Inside this box we have all the driver CDs and user guides that came with the components used to create the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE. Along with an OS disk, there were also two bags containing extra cables, expansion slot covers, and brackets. It was nice to see that CyberPower included everything that came with the parts. This was definitely something else that I was not expecting!

 

 

Now that we've seen what makes this baby tick, let's compare it to building our own computer!

Closer Look:

One of the main reasons enthusiasts build their own machines is because it is usually more cost effective. However, there are a few other reasons as well. For instance, when you configure your own machine, you're guaranteed to get exactly what you want. With that being said, many manufacturers, such as CyberPower, allow you to configure its machines exactly to your liking. Another reason an enthusiast might want to build their own computer is because they can build their own computer with care, plus they won't have to worry about receiving a machine with a locked BIOS. Once again, CyberPower makes this a moot issue because you won't be getting a locked BIOS and the company obviously spent some time on manufacturing the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE. Not only that, but it also put great care into packaging the whole thing! In fact, with the exception of the fact that it's more fun to build your own computer, I can't really think of any other advantages you'd have from building your own computer as opposed to buying a prebuilt. Seeing as the fun factor is a matter of ones opinion, let's see if it's more cost effective to purchase the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE or to build your own computer exactly like it.

In order to find out which is cheaper, I went to Newegg and found the price of each piece of hardware. The exception to this is the Asetek liquid cooler. I could not find it on Newegg, so instead I used a different self-contained cooler to provide an idea of the price. Below is each product, and a link to each Newegg listing.

Newegg Pricing and Links:

Much to my surprise, the CyberPower is offering the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE for less than it would cost you to build it yourself. The total cost from Newegg came to be $1,038.40, which is almost $20 more than what it costs from CyberPower. Sure $40 isn't a whole lot of savings, but $40 is $40, so why wouldn't you go with the cheaper option? The extra $40 might be worth it for some people that want to get the build experience. However, if that's really the only reason you're building the computer yourself, go ahead and order the CyberPower computer. Then, once you get it, take it apart and put it back together. That way you get the same experience and you spend less money. Not only that, but you could then take the extra $40 and buy a game for your brand new gaming rig!

This is now the second model from CyberPower we've seen at OCC that has a smaller price tag than building your own computer. I must say, that fact plus the build quality I saw with this machine makes me really impressed with CyberPower. Not only that, but at $999, the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE would make an extraordinarily great gift, especially for the upcoming holiday season!

Specifications:

CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE
Price
$999
Processor
Intel Core i5 2500K
Motherboard
ASUS P8Z68-V LX
Memory
Kingston Hyperx DDR3 1600 2x4GB
Optical Drive
ASUS 12X Blu-ray Drive
Hard Drive
1TB Seagate Barracuda
Chassis
Cooler Master HAF 912
Power Supply
Cooler Master Silent Pro 700W
Flash Card Reader
Yes
Video Card
eVGA GTX 560 1GB
CPU Cooling
Asetek 120mm Self-Contained Liquid Cooler
Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium

Testing:

In order to test the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE, I will run it through OCC's standard benchmarking suite. This benchmarking suite consists of both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, which will give us an accurate idea as to how well this system performs. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual game play, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE will then be compared to OCC's standard i7 920 testbed, as well as OCC's AMD Llano testbed. For the gaming benchmarks, please keep in mind that the results will be relatively skewed toward the OCC testbeds. This is because the OCC testbeds use an HD 6970 as opposed to the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's GTX 560.

CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE

OCC i7 920 Testbed

OCC AMD Llano Testbed

Overclocking:

Overclocking is something you often cannot do on prebuilt machines, however with CyberPower this is not the case. In order to overclock the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE, I overclocked both the CPU and the GPU as far as I could while still being able to run through each of the benchmarks in the OCC benchmarking suite. As for memory clocks, I left the speed and the timings more or less alone. I started my overclocking journey by overclocking the 2500K. Throughout my overclock, I increased the voltages, arriving at a max voltage of slightly over 1.4v. This gave me idle temps ranging from 50-60 °C, which I thought was a bit high for the self-contained liquid cooler. I remounted the cooler to insure that these were normal temps for it, and sure enough the temperatures persisted. Anyway, back to the overclocking: at this voltage I was able to get a max bootable OC of 5009MHz. However, I did not end up with a stable OC until dropping the frequency down to just over 4.8GHz. This was a fairly decent overclock and definitely not something to be disappointed in. However, at this speed I was seeing load temps in the 80s, which was a bit more than I'd like to be running at for 24/7 use.

Once I had found a stable CPU overclock, I moved on to the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE's GTX 560 GPU. I opened up good old MSI Afterburner and started increasing speeds. In order to keep things simple, I did something I normally don't do, I kept the shader and core clock linked. I was able to achieve a core clock of 917MHz and a shader clock of 1834MHz. I then moved on to overclocking the memory. This resulted in a final memory clock of 1112MHz. This was, once again, a pretty decent overclock!

Now that we've got the system overclocked, let's move on to the benchmarks.

Testing:

The first part of our testing will involve system-specific benchmarks.

 

Let's get started with Apophysis. This program is used primarily to render and generate fractal flame images. We will run this benchmark with the following settings:

 

 

The measurement used is time to render, in minutes, to complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Lower is Better

 

WinRAR is a tool to archive and compress large files to a manageable size. Here, we will test the time needed to compress files of 100MB and 500MB. Time will be measured in seconds.

 

ZIP:

  

  

Lower is Better

 

 

RAR:

  

  

Lower is Better

 

Geekbench:

Geekbench 2.1 is a benchmark that tests CPU and memory performance in an easy-to-use tool. The measure used for comparison is the total suite average score.

  

Higher is Better

 

Bibble 5:

This test consists of converting 100 8.2MP RAW images to jpeg format. The file size is 837MB. The measure used for comparison is time needed to convert the file in seconds.

  

Lower is Better

 

For the most part, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE was able to come out as the top dog. In a few of the overclocked scores, the good old i7 920 rig was able to outperform it, but not by much!

Testing:

Office 2007 Excel Big Number Crunch: This test takes a 6.2MB Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and performs about 28,000 sets of calculations that represent many of the most commonly used calculations in Excel. The measure of this test is the amount of time it takes to refresh the sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Lower Is Better

 

POV-Ray 3.7: This program features a built-in benchmark that renders an image using Ray Tracing. The latest versions offer support for SMP (Symmetric MultiProcessing), enabling the workload to be spread across the cores for quicker completion.

  

Higher Is Better

 

This time around the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE wiped the floor with its competition. The i7 920 rig came close in the Office 2007 benchmark, but close just wasn't enough.

Testing:

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the CPUs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Processor Arithmetic

  

  

Multi-Core Efficiency

  

  

 

Memory Bandwidth

  

  

 

Memory Latency

  

 

Cache and Memory

  

 

 

Power Management Efficiency

  

 

In our Sisoft Sandra 2011 benchmark, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE faced fierce competition from the i7 920 testbed. In half the results, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE took the lead, while in the remaining nine it fell just behind the i7 920 rig.

Testing:

ScienceMark tests real-world performance instead of using synthetic benchmarks. For this test, we run the benchmark suite and will use the overall score for comparison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

  

Higher is Better!

 

 

 

CineBench 10 is useful for testing your system, CPU, and OpenGL capabilities using the software program, CINEMA 4D. We will be using the default tests for this benchmark.

 

  

 

  

Higher is Better

Cinebench 11.5

 

  

Higher is Better

 

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

  

 

  

Higher is Better

 

  

 

  

Lower is Better

 

 

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE was able to come out as the top dog in both the Cinebench and Sciencemark benchmarks. However, when it came to HD Tune, the i7 920 rig was able to pull ahead.

Aliens vs. Predator, developed by Rebellion Developments, is a science fiction first-person shooter and a remake of its 1999 game. The game is based on the two popular sci-fi franchises. In this game, you have the option of playing through the single player campaigns as one of three species: the Alien, the Predator, or the Human Colonial Marine. The game uses Rebellion's Asura game engine, which supports Dynamic Lighting, Shader Model 3.0, Soft Particle systems and Physics. For testing, I will be using the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark tool with the settings listed below. All DirectX 11 features are enabled.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Higher = Better

 

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE fell behind in our first gaming benchmark. However, this was to be expected, as the two OCC testbeds are equipped with HD 6970s as opposed to the GTX 560.

Testing:

Civilization V is a turn-based strategy game. The premise is to play as one of 18 civilizations and lead it from the "dawn of man" up to the space age. This latest iteration of the Civilization series uses a new game engine and brings massive changes to the AI behaviour in the game. Released for Windows in September of 2010, Civilization V was developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K games. Testing will be done using actual gameplay, with FPS measured by Fraps through a series of five turns, 150 turns into the game.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Higher = Better

 

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE once again fell behind both of the OCC testbeds. That being said, the performance gap was much smaller this time around.

Testing:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first-person shooter developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360. This game is part of the Battlefield franchise and uses the Frostbite 1.5 Engine, allowing for destructible environments. You can play the single-player campaign or multiplayer, with five different game modes. Released in March 2010, it has sold in excess of six million copies so far.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE proved to be a much fiercer opponent in the Bad Company 2 benchmark. In three out of the four benchmarks, it managed to come out ahead of the OCC testbeds!

Testing:

Featuring all-new game tests, this benchmark is for use with Vista-based systems. "There are two all-new CPU tests that have been designed around a new 'Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation.' CPU test two offers support for physics related hardware." There are four preset levels that correspond to specific resolutions. "Entry" is 1024 x 768 progressing to "Extreme" at 1920 x 1200. Of course, each preset can be modified to arrange any number of user designed testing. For our testing, I will use the four presets at all default settings.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CyberPower rig once again performed, for the most part, behind both the OCC testbeds. However, this is to be expected because it is using a weaker videocard.

Conclusion

Here at OCC, purchasing a prebuilt gaming rig is a route that most of our members probably wouldn't take. In fact, up until doing this review, it's something I never would have even considered. However, CyberPower may have, in some ways, converted me. The Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE I received was not only well built, it was also cheaper to buy than building one myself! This rig is not by any means using low end components and the wire management is not a complete mess. In fact, I really can't think of any criticism to give it! The closest thing I have to criticism is the cooler CyberPower used. At 1.4v, I was getting relatively high idle temperatures from the Asetek liquid cooler. But again, this isn't really criticism because you can drop the volts and still get a decent overclock. Not only that, but if you're buying this computer to overclock, chances are you'd be swapping the cooler out for a better one anyway... at least I would.

As far as price is concerned, for $999 you're getting a great deal. Sure you could shop around for deals or buy cheaper components, but in the end I doubt you'd be able to build a similar rig for cheaper than what CyberPower is offering. To buy the exact same components from Newegg, minus the card reader, you'd be looking at spending $40 more. This in itself makes buying the rig from CyberPower the best option, provided it's what you're looking for. Plus, with the holidays fast approaching, the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE would make for an extraordinarily great gift!

To be honest, I've been trying to think of reasons why it would be better to build your own machine as opposed to the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE for hours now, and I can't think of any. The rig overclocked well, performed great, and looked sexy. I'll even go as far as to say it had some of the best build quality I've seen, especially from a prebuilt! If you're looking to upgrade to a completely new Sandy Bridge machine, the Gamer Xtreme 1000 SE is definitely the way to go! I honestly can't stress how impressed I was with this machine. Up until actually seeing it for myself, I firmly believed that there was no way a prebuilt machine could actually be of good quality. Were there some things I would have done differently? Sure, I would have used a more powerful video card and a different HSF, but you can customize the computer before you purchase it. That means if you want a different video card and cooler, you can get a different video card and cooler. Honestly, with CyberPower around, I don't know why anyone would bother with other companies.

 

Pros:

Cons: