Opening the case up is achieved simply by undoing two thumbscrews with plastic grips. Inside CyberPower has gone nuts on the extras, making this system even better value than its components would suggest. This includes a 12in blue neon light tube (£4), three 120mm Akasa Silent LED-lit fans (£25), Sound Absorbing Foam (£19), Anti-vibration Fan Mounts (£5) and the CyberPower Power Supply Gasket (£3). That’s £56 of upgrades thrown in for a price that’s already lower than the system would previously have been on its own.
Unfortunately the neon light tube largely goes to waste, as this Cooler Master 310 case is the version without the optional Perspex side window and the fans alone are adequate to light visible areas. The anti-vibration fan mounts (basically just soft rubber plugs) aren’t very durable as two were broken off on arrival, leaving one of the fans almost loose.
The gasket works well but doesn’t cover all the PSU’s contact points with its mounts, and finally the fans don’t live up to their name by being a tad noisy – especially the one mounted on the side panel that’s powered directly from the power supply (rather than fan headers on the motherboard) and thus runs at a constant high speed.
However, once the side fan is unplugged it does all add up to a PC that, while far from quiet, is noticeably less audible than a few other rigs we’ve had through the office recently.
Getting to what’s inside the case, the basis for this setup is a Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 Micro-ATX motherboard. CyberPower’s choice to go with a micro-ATX rather than a regular board definitely pays off in leaving the insides of the Elite 310 case feeling roomy, with plenty of space for good air flow. This is helped by the excellent job CyberPower has done on cable-tidying, despite the case’s lack of routing options.
Though not an overclocker’s board per se, the GA-P55M-UD2’s user-friendly BIOS has extensive options for tinkering to your heart’s content. However, despite the case’s extra fans the Intel stock cooler on the Core i5 750 is simply not up to much, as even with a relatively modest overclock of 3.15GHz (over the 750’s standard Turbo maximum of 2.80GHz) temperatures started getting quite high.
CyberPower has used unexpectedly high-quality memory, going with 4GB of G-Skill DDR3 1,333MHz RAM sporting attractive red metal heatspreaders. Meanwhile one of the case’s six 3.5in drive bays is taken by a 500GB Samsung HD502HJ hard drive with 16MB of cache. The drive cage is rotated 90 degrees for easy access, though there are no removable rails, grommets or other extras here.