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CyberPower Infinity i7 Phoenix Gaming PC review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Summary

Our Score:

7

We've been looking at a few budget gaming PCs recently, like the £600 CyberPower Infinity i5 Hercules SE and £700 Scan 3XS i3 OC. But for those with cash to spare looking for a machine that performs at the bleeding edge, the disappointing £2,750 Fujitsu Celsius ULTRA Gaming Workstation has been the only recent entrant, so can CyberPower's Infinity i7 Phoenix Gaming PC live up to its £2,800 price tag?

Well, to begin with specifications are certainly damn impressive, and going by these alone it should thoroughly trounce the Fujitsu in every way. First off we have an Intel Core i7 920 processor. This might not sound too impressive as it's the cheapest, lowest-clocked offering in the i7 9xx line-up, but CyberPower has added watercooling to push this CPU up to a stable 4GHz – that's significantly faster than the slightly overclocked Core i7 975 Extreme Edition found in the Celsius ULTRA. The Phoenix also doubles that machine's already prodigious memory capacity, coming with an incredible 24GB(!) of DDR3 RAM. Other highlights include an AMD ATI Radeon 5970 (the fastest graphics card money can buy) and 80GB Intel X25 SSD main drive.

Like CyberPower's previous high-end Ultra Perseus, the Phoenix comes in Antec's Twelve Hundred gaming case. At 60cm high, this makes it an imposing beast, and like its predecessor it's generously provisioned with blue LED lighting. With blue-backlit fans, a backlit water-cooling reservoir (which takes up two of the case's prodigious twelve 5.25in drive bays), and transparent reactive blue water pipes (visible through the large side window) this is certainly a machine that grabs the attention.

Size aside, the Twelve Hundred is a very well-built and impressively-featured case – though it lacks the tool-free options of many competitors. It's constructed from thick steel, painted matte black inside and out, and without a sharp edge in sight. Physical speed switches are provided for all case fans, which include five 120mm ones and a huge top-mounted 200mm fan. All intake fans also sport removable dust filters.

Connectivity is strong as well. In addition to the usual twin USB ports and headphone and microphone jacks found at the case's front, there's an eSATA port - a great addition, especially as the Antec Twelve Hundred's build allows you to securely place an external hard drive on its top.

CyberPower has added a 3.5in card reader below the optical drive. This provides a third USB 2.0 port and can read every memory card available – even SIM cards! Speaking of the optical drive, as you would expect at this price point the company has included a Blu-ray rewriter, specifically LG's BH08LS20 sporting an attractive fascia with silver trim. This drive offers 8 x BD, 8 x BD-R and 2 x BD-RE speeds.

At the machine's back, motherboard connectivity is relatively sparse. There are a further six USB ports, one FireWire and one eSATA port, a single Gigabit Ethernet connection and good old PS2 mouse and keyboard inputs. A nice selection of analogue and digital audio connections are also on hand from the board's integrated audio, though these are made redundant by those found on the installed Creative X-Fi Gamer sound card.

Jay4d0

March 4, 2010, 5:53 am

there's just one massive problem with this system it has windows 7 home premium by default which only supports 16Gb of RAM whereas professional and ultimate support upto 192Gb after spending all that money it's a bit silly to give you more RAM than the PC can physically use

xaltu

March 4, 2010, 12:12 pm

The one thing that I would like to see is the actual decibel (dB) rating for PCs. I often read reviews that refer to noise but if mentioned it is either quiet or noisy. Although this gives a general indication it can not be used to compare two systems. Personally I would be willing to pay more for a PC that does what is asked for whilst being quiet in the process. To me PC noise and quality sound system do not go together.

TechVegan

March 4, 2010, 2:49 pm

@Jay:


You're right of course, slight error on our part - though in fact the initial spec did list Win 7 Premium, all versions are delivered with Win 7 Professional (as was our test sample).





@xaltu:


We'll look into it. And I couldn't agree more, any PC above £2000 should ideally be whisper-quiet (and we can but dream that one day, ALL PCs will be whisper-quiet).

Initialised

March 4, 2010, 5:08 pm

Thanks for the review, I did the OC and tuning on this PC. Yeah, value is a bit poor with the current price of 4GB DDR3 sticks and yes it is overkill. Unfortaunately Intels ever receding release date for the Gulftown 6-Core CPU meant we couldn't go one better.





On the noise front, any systems from now onwards should be getting the i7 930 CPU which tends to run a little cooler than the 920 at high CPU clocks. I did a system in an Antec 1200 for a customer recently where the intake and radiator fans were all replaced with 'silent' red LED fans and we used a water cooled 5870 with only 3.8GHz on the CPU. This system was quieter than the review system here but there is always going to be a delicate balancing act of the overclockers trinity of performance, noise and heat in a system at this performance level. Turning the fans down to watch a Blu-Ray would be very unlikely to cause stability problems since most of the work is done by the GPU.





www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk

betelgeus

March 5, 2010, 2:18 am

im sure if they dropped it down to 3.8ghz you could make it much quieter.


24gb that IS bizzare i still think 6gb is overkill.i wonder if you could use the ram as a hdd for windows .





nice system tho,i wouldnt say no to it.trouble is games on pc are become consolized? even with max quality and resolutions a lowly £100 gpu can run them with ease.maybe this will be a system for crysis 2.





hey initialised how about one for a competition?.

smc8788

March 5, 2010, 5:20 am

@betelgeus - I agree all that RAM is crying out to be used as a RAM disk, but you wouldn't be able to use it for a Windows install since it would require a constant power source (i.e. you would have to reinstall Windows every time you restarted the PC).

Jay4d0

March 5, 2010, 6:45 am

@Ardjuna: cool, good to know though I guess if you're spending this much cash on a top end rig you would likely spend a few quid more and plump for ultimate if only for the factor of having 'top' everything

Keithe6e

March 5, 2010, 3:01 pm

One of the advantages of water cooling is to make PC's quieter, but in this case they have just used it to overclock the CPU. Maybe with some more modifications, eg. water cool the northbridge/southbridge/memory/GPU etc, this could be made to be a lot quieter. Also it's possible to make PC's quieter with sound proofing foam, but of course you would loose the pretty lights into the case. :)

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