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£700 Gaming PC: CyberPower vs Overclockers
The top tier in this gaming PC group test sees two of the UK’s biggest system builders go head-to-head: the brooding Overclockers Kinetic H3 faces up to the brash CyberPower Ultra Fusion 480.

700 desktop pc
Key Specifications

“=””> Overclockers Kinetic H3 “=””>CyberPower Ultra Fusion 480
“=””>CPU “=””>2.7GHz Intel Core i5-6400 “=””>3.6GHz AMD A10-7860K
“=””>GPU “=””>Sapphire Radeon RX 480 “=””>AMD Radeon RX 480
“=””>Memory “=””>2 x 4GB Team Group Elite 2,400MHz DDR4 “=””>2 x 4GB Kingston HyperX 1,866MHz DDR3
“=””>Storage “=””>Kingston 240GB SSDNow V300 SSD; 1TB Seagate hard disk “=””>120GB Kingston SSDNow UV300 SSD; 1TB Western Digital hard disk

These machines might look different, but there’s one crucial area where they’re identical. Both rigs rely on AMD’s new Radeon RX 480, which has been released to offer the best bang for buck in the mid-range.

It’s an impressive GPU. It uses the fourth iteration of the Graphics Core Next architecture, which shrinks the silicon’s manufacturing process from 28nm down to a tiny 14nm, and it deploys 2,304 stream processors – one of the highest figures I’ve seen in a mid-range GPU.

Its clock sits at a base level of 1,120MHz and can reach 1,266MHz with Turbo Boost, and there’s a whopping 8GB of GDDR5 memory on-board clocked to 8,000MHz.

The systems diverge in every other department. The Overclockers’ Core i5-6400 is the entry-level mid-range chip from the Skylake range and has four cores clocked to 2.7GHz, with a potential Turbo Boost peak of 3.3GHz.Cyberpower vs Overclockers

CyberPower has opted for one of AMD’s most powerful Kaveri APUs. The chip has four 3.6GHz cores and a 4GHz turbo peak, and it also comes with an integrated Radeon R7 GPU – although here it obviously isn’t needed. It’s chilled by the entire test’s only water-cooling unit: the Cooler Master Seidon 120V. It attaches to the rear of the CyberPower’s case with a 120mm fan, and its two cables snake towards the chunky waterblock.

The Overclockers machine uses its better Intel chipset to serve up 8GB of dual-channel 2,400MHz DDR4, while the CyberPower has to rely on older 1,866MHz DDR3 memory. The Overclockers system has a larger SSD, too: its 240GB Kingston SSDNow UV400 drive is twice as big as the 120GB Kingston SSD in the CyberPower.

The motherboards, too, are vastly different. The Overclockers machine has an Asus H110-Plus board. It isn’t the best-looking motherboard out there, but it’s an ATX slab with reasonable room to grow: two PCI Express x1 and three PCI sockets sit free alongside several empty SATA and fan connectors.

That’s a far cry from the CyberPower’s Asus A68HM-K. It’s only a micro-ATX board, so expansion room is limited to a single PCI socket and some SATA connectors. The Asus board has the AMD A68H chipset, which only supports PCI Express 2.0 and a smaller number of USB ports than the Overclockers board.

Performance

There’s a clear gulf between the two systems when it comes to application performance. The quad-core Intel CPU inside the Overclockers scored 3,625 and 11,019 in the Geekbench tests – while the CyberPower machine could manage only 2,514 and 8,079. Cyberpower vs Overclockers

The Kinetic H3 continued to excel in PC Mark’s benchmarks, where it scored 4,369 in the Home test and 6,096 in the Creative run. Both results beat the CyberPower comfortably.  The Overclockers system then went on to outpace the CyberPower in both SSD benchmarks.

The Kinetic used its better processing power and memory to beat its rival in games tests, too. Its 3D Mark result of 9,516 is 2,000 points ahead of the CyberPower, and that gain comes from a similar lead in the physics test – clearly an area where the extra CPU and memory power pays off.

The Overclockers machine averaged 89.83fps in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was around seven frames better than the CyberPower system – but then it accelerated. Its Dirt Rally result of 94.08fps is about 25 frames ahead of the CyberPower, and its 82.6fps average in GTA V was almost 30 frames quicker than the Ultra Fusion could manage.

Design, Build and Expansion

CyberPower has opted for the most outlandish-looking case in this entire group. The Cooler Master HAF 912 is huge and striking, with a raised area for peripheral storage and a front facade decorated with mesh.

The HAF backs up its design with incredible strength. No other case in this group of six is sturdier thanks to thick side panels, solid plastic and a rigid central skeleton.

The CyberPower’s case has impressive practicality, too. The front portion of the PC is filled with storage cages that can be removed if more room is needed, and the bottom has a small box for storing two extra SSDs. The motherboard tray is wide enough to accommodate plenty of cabling, which means this is an impressively tidy PC.

It’s a shame that CyberPower opted for such a small motherboard, then, because there’s certainly room for something bigger here. My only other complaint concerns the looks: this case is practical, but its bare-metal and a lack of ornamentation do it no favours. Overclockers

The Overclockers Kolink Refractor case is smaller, darker and more brooding than its rival. The front panel is plain and glossy, and the interior is black, rather than just finished in plain metal. Build quality is reasonable – it only loses out to the CyberPower because that chassis is so unusually strong.

It’s less flashy on the inside, too. There’s the stock Intel cooler rather than the water-cooled affair in the CyberPower, and the PSU’s multi-coloured cables are tied down neatly but without any huge attention paid to their routing.

Both cases offer a similar amount of upgrade room. The Overclockers also has a front section dominated by removable 3.5in and 2.5in drive cages – ideal if you want to add extra storage, and easy to remove if you’d like to add fans or a longer graphics card.

Verdict

CyberPower’s machine impresses with its big, sturdy enclosure, but that’s the only area where the Ultra Fusion 480 manages to outpace the Overclockers Kinetic H3.

The Overclockers system might not look as flashy, but it provides similar versatility on the inside, a better motherboard, and speedier results in every important benchmark.

The Kinetic H3 might cost a little more than its rival due to unfavourable exchange rates, but it’s the clear winner here – I’d happily be willing to stump up the extra cash.

Winner: Overclockers

“=””> Overclockers Kinetic H3 “=””>CyberPower Ultra Fusion 480
“=””>CPU “=””>2.7GHz Intel Core i5-6400 “=””>3.6GHz AMD A10-7860K
“=””>Motherboard “=””>Asus H110-Plus “=””>Asus A68HM-K
“=””>Memory “=””>2 x 4GB Team Group Elite 2,400MHz DDR4 “=””>2 x 4GB Kingston HyperX 1,866MHz DDR3
“=””>Graphics “=””>Sapphire Radeon RX 480 “=””>AMD Radeon RX 480
“=””>Storage “=””>Kingston 240GB SSDNow V300 SSD; 1TB Seagate hard disk “=””>120GB Kingston SSDNow UV300 SSD; 1TB Western Digital hard disk
“=””>Case “=””>Kolink Refractor “=””>Cooler Master HAF 912
“=””>PSU “=””>Kolink KL-500 500W “=””>Cooler Master RS-500-ACAB-B1 500W
“=””>Ports “=””>2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x audio; Rear: 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x PS/2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x audio “=””>Front: 2 x USB 2, 2 x audio; Rear: 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x PS/2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 3 x audio
“=””>OS “=””>Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit “=””>Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
“=””>Warranty “=””>3yr RTB (2yr C&R, 1yr labour) “=””>3yr labour (2yr parts, 1mth C&R)
“=””>Price “=””>£780 inc VAT “=””>£700 inc VAT
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