In terms of installed software there's just the bare essentials, but then that's the way many gamers prefer it. As with most high-end machines passing through our labs these days, the Gamer Ultra Perseus comes with the 64-bit version of Windows Vista Premium. Sensibly, the free productivity suite Open Office 3.0 is preinstalled for all your working needs. AMD OverDrive is also installed, which you can use to overclock the CPU without needing to access the BIOS, monitor system temperature and control fans speeds. Finishing the software off is CoreTemp 0.99, which appears to be somewhat redundant as it just shows some of the same information that OverDrive shows but in a less fancy manner.
Finally then, the bit you've all been dying to get to I'm sure: does CyberPower's latest beast put in good performance for the money? Despite being more than a year old, Crysis is still one of the better benchmarks of performance, since it can still bring many systems to their knees. Though it only has a single graphics card, the CyberPower Gamer Ultra Perseus still managed a very playable 35FPS (frames per second) average and 23FPS minimum on Very High Detail at 1920 x 1080.
As you can see in our Crysis performance results, the Perseus comfortably beats both the Wired2Fire Diablo MaxCore and Mesh Xtreme GTX300, but the former was only £830 while the latter was a complete system with monitor, 5.1 speakers and peripherals and still came in £80 cheaper.
Ironically, the CyberPower's biggest potential competitor is another CyberPower system: specifically the Gamer Infinity Crossfire HD we reviewed over half a year ago. This system outpaces the Perseus by a large margin in intensive gaming thanks mainly to its twin Radeon 4870s in CrossFire, all for £200 less. However, the win is not as clear-cut as it might at first seem.
For one thing, the Gamer Ultra Perseus offers not only better gaming audio through its dedicated X-Fi soundcard and a Blu-ray drive (not to mention a more expensive case and power supply), but also a far more future-proof platform since it supports AM3 and DDR3 memory. Obviously the single biggest differentiator is the water-cooling of this system, which allows its overclocked CPU to run cool, quiet and stable whereas the Infinity experienced stability issues. It doesn't come cheap when compared to a decent air cooler but is relatively affordable compared to some water cooled systems we've seen.
While not as much of a bargain as the previous CyberPower system that came through our labs, the Gamer Ultra Perseus presents good value for a well-built, water-cooled and pre-overclocked AM3 system. However, though the water cooling is quieter than a conventional air cooler it still isn't truly silent, and if you actually want the best bang for your buck when it comes to gaming performance you'd be better off dropping the water cooling for a second graphics card.
Addendum: To get the same XXX overclock as on our review system for the £1,199 price, please quote 'TRUSTEDREVIEWS' as referral when ordering the Gamer Ultra Perseus from CyberPower.