- Review Price: £750.00
Price: £748, or £642 without monitor & peripherals.
If you’re a dedicated hardware enthusiast, you would usually pick your own combination of PC, monitor and peripherals to create your ideal gaming system – that way you get exactly what you want. However, for many this is too daunting a prospect, and not all PC gamers know about the hardware side of things. There’s also a value consideration, as you can often get the same selection of bits cheaper as a bundle than when buying them separately. This would certainly appear to be the case with the Cyberpower Infinity i5 Achillies XT, which gives you a relatively powerful PC, Full HD monitor and peripherals (though no speakers) for only £748!
Before we get onto the other bits, here’s a quick teaser of what you can expect from the PC: an overclocked Intel Core i5 750 with Radeon HD 5770 graphics for DirectX11 compatibility and decent gaming performance, backed by 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, all housed in a custom sound-proofed Antec Three Hundred gaming case. Considering these are almost identical specifications to the OverclockersUK Titan Xenomorph AVP which is just a standalone PC, the fact that Cyberpower has managed to keep the price tag identical while throwing in a better CPU (quad-core i5 instead of dual-core i3), Full HD monitor, peripherals and sound-proofing is truly impressive!
However, inevitably the quality of the extras has suffered from this keen pricing. The monitor is the AOC F22s+, which we’ve recently reviewed and weren’t too impressed with due to its lack of digital inputs and poor build quality – if you want all the details it’s worth reading the review. However, as long as you don’t intend to playback Blu-rays (or other HDCP-protected content) we suppose it does the job, especially since its image quality isn’t too bad and the Infinity i5 Achillies XT is powerful enough to run many games at its native 1,920 x 1,080 resolution with all the details turned up. Another saving grace is that for a mere £28 extra, Cyberpower will upgrade you to the LED-backlit BenQ G222HDL monitor with DVI.
Quite frankly, the wired Logitech peripherals are even more disappointing than the monitor. Both keyboard and mouse connect over PS2 and are plain matt black affairs with zero extras. The ambidextrous optical mouse is reasonably comfortable with two buttons and a scroll wheel that offers lightly notched feedback. The keyboard offers no secondary functions or multimedia buttons, but the keys have adequate feedback and are not too loud. They do the job in a pinch, but gaming peripherals these most certainly are not.
In light of this, as with the monitor we would either upgrade them to a good set (which should set you back around £32 for the decent minimum from Cyberpower’s varied selection), or just opt for the PC base unit on its own, which brings its price down to a tantalizing £642.62 – but we’ll get onto the implications of that nearer this review’s conclusion. For now, let’s see what the PC itself is like.
Cyberpower has decided on Antec’s Three Hundred mid-tower for the Infinity i5 Achilles XT’s case, which is a popular budget choice and housed both the OCUK Titan Xenomorph AVP and Wired2Fire HellSpawn ALC. Solid but unremarkable would be the best way to describe this matt black steel case, which with its plastic front mouldings and mesh metal bay covers retains a certain muted appeal.
At the front connectivity is limited, with two well-spaced USB ports, headphone and microphone jacks and power and reset buttons (which are slightly too easy to mix up without looking). Below this we have a plain DVD-Rewriter in the middle bay of the three 5.25in ones provided. Rear connectivity is quite generous, with 10 USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, FireWire, PS2, Gigabit Ethernet, plus analogue (six 3.5mm jacks) and digital (co-axial and optical) audio connections.
Video outputs are handled by the Radeon HD 5770 which provides dual DVI, HDMI with audio and DisplayPort. The latter two are sealed by removable dust-covers as they can’t be used with the included AOC F22s+ monitor. Much as we would have loved to find USB 3.0 connections on the Infinity i5 Achilles XT’s back, it’s not realistic to expect it at this PC’s budget price point. Besides, its an easy process to add USB 3.0 by means of a PCIe card at a later date.
Cooling is handled by two speed-controlled fans at the Three Hundred’s front with a hardware speed control switch mounted inside the case, while a third 120mm fan at the back and the case’s 140mm top fan are regulated by the motherboard. They’re all sensibly set to their lowest speeds.
After opening the case up by simply removing two thumb-screws, you’ll notice that Cyberpower has gone to quite a bit of effort to add noise dampening features. We weren’t overly impressed by the implementation on its previous Infinity i5 Hercules SE, but here the company has toned things down a bit, including only the Sound Absorbing Foam and Anti-vibration Fan Mounts, which would normally cost you around £25 onto the base price of any Cyberpower system.
It works quite well too, making an already reasonable system even quieter. Though its hum is definitely audible, it’s very unobtrusive, making this one of the more pleasant gaming PCs to spend headphone-free time with – though it’s not as quiet as the far more powerful DinoPC 6th Sense.
Cyberpower has also done an exemplary job of cable tidying, with even the smallest cables tucked away neatly, clasped and/or braided, and angled cables used where appropriate. Everything considered, it’s one of the neatest builds we’ve come across, and though the red video card, blue motherboard, orange SATA cables and green RAM sticks go about as well together as Smarties and asparagus, you won’t usually get to see it all as the Three Hundred case lacks side windows.
As already mentioned the Infinity i5 Achilles XT uses Intel’s Core i5 750 (socket 1156) CPU, which is our favourite processor because of its amazing value for money and overclocking potential. Not that many games will come even close to taxing this quad-core chip at stock speeds (2.8GHz Turbo-clocked), but Cyberpower has overclocked it to 3.6GHz just in case – in fact we read 3675MHz. This might seem a little conservative compared to the 4GHz speeds found on many i5 750 machines, such as the tiny and brilliant Cryo Nano, but it should still be plenty so that you’re never left wanting. It’s cooled by a massive XtremeGear HDT 120 Xtreme heatpipe cooler with its own rubber-mounted detachable 120mm fan sporting dimpled blades, which keeps the Core i5 below 70 degrees even under the heaviest loads.
As usual for a PC these days, the CPU is backed by 4GB of RAM. Specifically you get 1,333MHz Geil RAM in two plain sticks without heatsinks – essential here since the CPU cooler’s fan barely clears the closest DIMM as is. Of course the 64-bit version of Windows 7 is on hand to take full advantage of all that memory, and aside from a very attractive custom Cyberpower wallpaper the install has been left nice and clean. This also leaves most of the spacious 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 to host your precious games and other apps.
Just like its case, the motherboard used here is an old familiar, since it’s the same Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 Micro-ATX model found in Cyberpower’s previous budget offering, the Infinity i5 Hercules SE. While this does leave the case’s interior feeling very roomy, expansion potential is somewhat limited as the custom cooler on the Powercolor graphics card takes up two extra slots! This only leaves one full-length PCIe slot free, though you can forget about installing a second graphics card for some CrossFire action, since it only runs at 4x. Again, while we would make a fuss about this in a PC at the £1,000 mark, at this PC’s price point it’s not really an issue.
The rig is powered by a Cyberpower-branded 950W non-modular PSU, which is frankly far more power than this system needs.
Finally we get onto the most important component of any gaming machine: its graphics card. Cyberpower has opted for an AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5770, which is about the most powerful solution we would expect for the money given current component prices. It gives you DirectX 11 compatibility so that you can turn on all the details and special effects in the latest games (though consequently you might have to lower the resolution, as this card won’t be powerful enough to run more demanding titles at maximum everything).
Amazingly, Crysis still remains one of the most intense gaming benchmarks three years after its release. Consequently you’ve no hope of running it at maximum detail, but the Infinity i5 Achilles XT can just about deliver a playable framerate of 27fps average at 1080p if you kick the detail settings down a notch. If you want a smooth experience, you’ll need to upgrade to a Radeon HD 5850.
Stalker: Call of Pripyat, on the other hand, runs perfectly with everything maxed out. And this is rather more representative of most games so you can be hopeful of decent overall performance.
Meanwhile, Call of Duty 4 gives a good indication of how older games will perform, which is very well indeed. To sum up, this Cyberpower’s games performance, it will play all but the most demanding titles, and though you’ll have to make the occasional sacrifice that’s simply unavoidable at the its budget price.
Speaking of price, we would recommend that you upgrade or just ditch the included monitor and peripherals. As mentioned before, the latter option brings this machine down to a very enticing £642. To put into perspective what kind of value this represents, consider that it consistently outperforms the OverclockersUK Titan Xenomorph AVP yet remains quieter and costs £125 less! For that kind of money, we really have very few complaints.
As long as you upgrade or altogether remove the poor monitor, keyboard and mouse Cyberpower has chosen to include with its excellent Infinity i5 Achilles XT PC, you’re getting a great deal on a competent gaming system.
Score in detail
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