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In these times of economic difficulty, getting good value for money is more important than ever. The one entertainment sector that is still seeing substantial growth is gaming, so we figured you might want to join us as we take a look at a water-cooled PC on which to play all those games. In particular, we have the CyberPower Gamer Ultra Perseus, available for a pound shy of £1200.
One of the things that is most noteworthy about this PC is that it is the first we've had through the TR offices using one of the brand new AMD Phenom II processors, specifically the multiplier-unlocked Black Edition X3 720, which nabbed itself one of our coveted Recommended awards.
The Gamer Ultra Perseus uses Antec's Twelve Hundred gaming case which, at almost 60cm high, towers over most other... well, towers. The main chassis is made of strong steel, which is covered both inside and out with a matte black finish while the top part of the case is made from thick moulded plastic, with matching pillars running up the front to either side of the mesh drive bays.
On the outside, the Twelve Hundred has some distinctive features such as the huge top-mounted 200mm fan, which together with the other five 120mm fans is illuminated by blue LEDs.
Also adding to the lightshow is a transparent reservoir for the water cooling system mounted in the top two 5.25in drive bays. Two bright blue LEDs are mounted either side of it, presumably with the intention of lighting up the swirling liquid inside the reservoir. In actual fact they just shine straight out the front of the case where they annoyingly catch your eye every time you walk past it. Incidentally, you'd better like all this lighting, since with the exception of the top fan you can't turn any of it off.
Below the reservoir is the optical drive, which you're unlikely to need to upgrade anytime soon since it's an LG Blu-ray and HD-DVD combi-drive that of course also acts as a DVD-Rewriter. All told this leaves nine further bays free, though using them will require the removal of one of the three front-mounted 120mm fans.
While you can't control the lights, thankfully each of the aforementioned fans has its own individual speed control on the outside of the case. The three front ones are controlled by small analogue dials that protrude slightly out of the meshwork of the front drive bays, while the top and rear fans are controlled with high/medium/low switches at the machine's rear.
The Twelve Hundred also features a large Perspex window in the left panel, allowing you to see into the interior - which in the case of the Gamer Ultra Perseus is definitely a good thing as this is one PC whose insides are worth showing off. The thick tubing from the water-cooling system is filled with blue UV-reactive fluid, smartly lit by two UV lamps to either side of the drive cages. Cyberpower has even thrown in some transparent UV-reactive SATA cables, all of which is brought out even more by the motherboard's black PCB.