In terms of connectivity, the Twelve Hundred offers twin USB slots spaced far enough apart to fit most conventional USB devices, an eSATA port, two metal 3.5mm audio jacks, with reset and power buttons to either side. All are left unmarked leaving you to work out which is the microphone and which is the headphone socket. It’s a very plain, minimalist approach we rather like, further amplified by the tiny and subtle blue hard drive indicator light.
Courtesy of the Asus M4A78T-E motherboard, around the back there are further connections including a single PS2 port, six USB 2.0s Ethernet, FireWire and eSATA ports. The DVI, VGA and HDMI connections from the Radeon HD3300 integrated graphics are all made redundant by the discrete graphics card which offers all these in addition to the ever more prevalent DisplayPort. Likewise the onboard audio connections will go unused as a discrete sound card takes care of audio duties.
Finally then, it’s time to open this CyberPower up and see what’s inside. Both of the Antec’s side panels are easily removed after unscrewing two thumbscrews per panel. Internal layout is really tidy, mostly thanks to the Antec case allowing cables to be routed under the raised motherboard tray which extends the case’s full length. Where this was not sufficient, cable ties have been used. The Cooler Master 700W Silent Pro PSU also helps to keep things neat as it’s a modular model with cables that continue the black theme.
As mentioned before, the motherboard used is Asus’ M4A78T-E, which is an AM3 board based on the 790GX chipset with support for DDR3 memory. Much like Antec with cases, Asus’ motherboards have a good reputation, offering reliability, overclocking potential and cutting-edge features in an attractive package. The latter is certainly the case here, as the black PCB is joined by metallic blue heatsinks. Not only do these look good, but the passive cooling ensures the motherboard doesn’t add to the PC’s noise level.
Of course the highlight of the Gamer Ultra Perseus is the water-cooled AM3 Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor. While not normally the best-performing CPU on the market (that honour remains with Intel), thanks to the CPU’s unlocked multiplier and CyberPower’s water-cooling system this chip has been overclocked from its original 2.8GHz to a heady 3.7GHz. Though Ed managed an overclock close to this on just air, the water cooling means that even under load the CPU never goes above a relatively frosty 40 degrees.