Introducing the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme FTW

There seems to be an interesting cottage industry between custom desktop boutiques in trying to build the single fastest machine consumers can buy, and it's not at all dissimilar to the kind of competitive thinking that produces utterly impractical video cards like the AMD Radeon HD 6990 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 that threaten to populate those machines. Somewhere along the line, someone said "screw it" and decided to figure out just how much of a speed demon they could build while still being able to market and sell it to consumers and support it without tarnishing the brand. DigitalStorm has pretty aggressively held on to our "fastest computer we've ever tested" crown for a while, but CyberPowerPC looks to steal it away with their Gamer Xtreme FTW Edition.

And so the arms race continues. I think if you'd told me ten years ago I'd be testing desktops like these for a living I'd've exploded with joy, but it's bittersweet. The CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme FTW is an absolute monster, but it's priced accordingly, and when I look at it I actually feel the same way I do when I discover my old Underground Seas (I've played Magic: the Gathering since '94) are worth at least $80 apiece: it's fun to play with, but essentially too hard to get for everyone to enjoy. How hard to get? Check this out:

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme FTW Specifications
Chassis Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Processor Intel Core i7-990X @ 4.5GHz (25x180BClk)
(spec: 6x3.46GHz, 32nm, 12MB L3, 130W)
Motherboard Gigabyte G1.Sniper Motherboard with X58 chipset
Memory 6x2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 (expandable to 24GB)
Graphics 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 590 3GB GDDR5
(1024 CUDA Cores, 607/1215/853MHz Core/Shaders/RAM, 384-bit memory bus)
Hard Drive(s) 2x Intel 510 120GB SATA 6Gbps SSD in RAID 0
Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 2TB 7200-RPM SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive(s) LG WH-10 BD-RE/DVD+-RW Combo Drive
Lite-On DVD+-RW Drive
Networking Bigfoot Networks Killer Gigabit Ethernet
Audio Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Audio
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Optical/digital out
Front Side AeroCool Touch-2000 Fan Controller
5x USB 2.0
Card reader
Headphone and microphone jacks
Top Thermaltake Fan Controller
2x USB 3.0
eSATA
Back Side PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports
Digital out
4x USB 2.0
2x eSATA
2x USB 3.0 (routed to top of the case)
Gigabit Ethernet
Optical out
7.1 surround jacks
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 23" x 11.1" x 23.2"
Weight 28 lbs (case only)
Extras Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W PSU 80 Plus Gold Certified
Asetek 570LX 240mm Liquid CPU Cooler
AeroCool Touch-2000 Fan Controller
Card Reader
Warranty 3-year limited warranty with life-time customer care
Pricing Starts at $1,565
As configured $5,017

So yeah, I believe that's the first time we've broken five grand on a custom desktop machine. But when your motherboard, CPU, and case retail for nearly two large all by themselves, that's not too surprising.

For starters, there's the Intel Core i7-990X, arguably the fastest processor Intel ships today. While it doesn't quite have Sandy Bridge's raw clock-for-clock performance, it makes up for that shortcoming by sporting six Hyper-Threaded cores. And because it's built on Intel's 32nm process, it runs remarkably cool. Stock clock speed is 3.46GHz with 12MB of L3 cache, and it's able to turbo up to as much as 3.73GHz on two cores. CyberPowerPC has overclocked the hell out of it, though, but they opt not to make use of the unlocked multiplier on the CPU: they've instead ratcheted up the BClk from 133MHz to 180MHz and actually reduced the multiplier to 25x. The resulting clock speed is a respectable 4.5GHz, fast enough to put it in competition with Sandy Bridge for single-core speed, and with 50% more cores than the current SNB offerings. Strapped to the i7-990X's three memory channels are six 2GB DIMMs of Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 for a total of 12GB, running at DDR3-1440 due to the change in BClk.

Supporting this demon of a CPU and its copious memory capacity is Gigabyte's G1.Sniper motherboard. Gigabyte recently released their G1 line of motherboards and they're pretty beastly; the Sniper model brings integrated Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Gigabit Ethernet along with Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi. There's the usual Marvell SATA 6Gbps controller as well, along with USB 3.0 support. The G1.Sniper is a very fully-featured piece of hardware, but you'd pay dearly for the privilege: the motherboard's retail price of $429 is onerous considering you can buy a Core i7-2600K and a P67-based motherboard to house it in for the same outlay.

CyberPowerPC didn't skimp on the storage subsystem either: while the 2TB Hitachi storage drive is an amusing divergence from the usual 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black, the pair of 120GB Intel 510 SSDs configured in RAID 0 produces a remarkably fast system drive that sports enough capacity for a healthy selection of games.

Of course, the big ticket items are the pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590s configured in Quad-SLI. Each of these cards has two GF110 chips on it, complete with a 384-bit memory bus with access to 1.5GB of GDDR5 per chip. The GPUs themselves sport the full 512 CUDA cores, but they've had their clocks reduced to fit into the GTX 590's 300W thermal envelope. I'll admit I've been a bit snarky with this review unit: whenever I've had people come over, I've opened the side of the case, shown them to the two GTX 590s, and announced "get a good look; almost nobody else will ever see one of these, let alone a pair."

Finally, they house all of this incredibly powerful hardware in Thermaltake's new Level 10 GT enclosure. I hesitate to spend too much time talking about this case because I actually have one in house that I'll be reviewing soon. Oh, and the processor is liquid cooled with a 240mm radiator and four 120mm fans. And there's a kilowatt 80 Plus Gold certified power supply from a reliable vendor. And a fan controller in the front by NZXT. I think that covers everything. Suffice it to say, this is an awful lot of hardware.

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • CyberHD - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    Meshugge,

    To better assist us with getting your concerns addressed; please email cyberhd@cyberpowerpc.com with your Cyberpower PC customer id number and a direct return contact number. Once we have this; we will make every effort to contact you to your concerns address your concerns.

    Regards
    Cyberpower PC
    Reply
  • Browngamer93 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    Don't know too much about computers, but I wouldn't mind playing this impressive material with Crysis 2. Hope I'm the one to win if they have a giveaway. Reply
  • wolfman3k5 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    This machine looks like it was put together with extreme superficiality, and with an obvious lack of passion. Custom built, boutique computer systems are supposed to be about mods and customizations. Just the cable management is horrendously impractical. If the tech at CyberPowerPC would spend 5 minutes at any Home Depot he could come up with a half way decent cable management solution. When it comes to custom built computer systems, and this price range, everything matters, every little detail. Specs don't matter as much as quality. And I'm addressing this to CyberPower: people don't buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini just for the specs, they also buy them for the status symbol that they get, for the quality and for the level of service. Otherwise everyone could buy a $20000 to $60000 sports car (like a Corvette) and be done with it. I'm not saying that a Corvette is a bad car, I'm just saying that it's not a Ferrari, just like a Alienware will never be a Falcon-NW.

    My point is that I will never spend this kind of money on a CyberPowerPC or any kind of half-assed-boutique computer system. For $5000 I can get a Mac Pro, an Apple monitor and have money left over for a Macbook. Or I can get a decent PC built by any number of manufacturers that will turn more heads and perform way better.

    Bottom line: put some soul in your computers for Christ Sake do some real custom work on them, otherwise your computer systems are just expensive hunks of junks. Most people can twist cables and install boards these days.
    Reply
  • EpsilonZero - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    For $5000 they really should have managed all of those cables.

    It looks like they just through the cables in and loosely zip tied them together.

    A quality build would have cut and spliced those cables to exact lengths, added sleaves, and changed the plugs to a build enhancing color scheme.

    Theres absolutely nothing custom about this build. Everything is stock parts that a customer could very easily purchase from Newegg and as Anand pointed out they could probably save $500 by doing so.

    CyberPower you got a long way to go.
    Reply
  • ironmb1 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    I love how people on this site cry about how overpriced this rig is, how the hardware is so outdated.. yet they would take it in a heartbeat. All you budget gamers need not apply. Anyways, anyone with this much money willing to spend on a rig with this much hardware... should NEVER EVER buy from CyberpowerPC or Ibuypower. These two companies have HORRIBLE reviews, just go read their forums. There are way better boutique builders than cyberpowerpc, and ibuypower.

    I love how my password never works more than once. I'm sick of registering to post comments.
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Anyone else think it was interesting that every hot new SSD is a 240 GB, yet they put 120's in this monster? If anyone could justify 240's it'd be this, right?

    Or maybe there really isn't anyone who thinks a big SSD is worth the $$$.
    Reply
  • GullLars - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    Actually, it wouldn't matter much for performance, given the Marvel controller.
    You would get a lot more bang for buck for this rigg if you got a decent RAID card (like LSI 92xx or Areca 1680/1880) and put up 4-8x 64GB or 128GB SSDs in RAID-0. Your PCmark vantage scores would easily hit 30-35K, IOPS would pass 100K, and bandwidth around 1500-2000MB/s. If you got one of the Arecas with 4GB RAM, the read-ahead and intelligent cache would also make a visible dent in loading times and burst speed.
    I would go for a decent RAID card with good SSDs over SLI 590 any day. If you're not going ultra details with 3 27/30" monitors you don't need it anyway.
    Single 580 or SLI 560/570 sounds better. I'd also get a water block for the GPU(s) and add another 240/480 radiator (depending on 1 or 2 GPUs), outside the case if needed.
    Reply
  • GullLars - Thursday, June 02, 2011 - link

    The PCmark Vantage score is way below what you'd expect for a $5K system in Q2 2011.
    In 2008, Nizzen scored 24740 (just 700 points below this) on a system costing about the same, which was his main system on it's 24/7 clock. This time last year he was in the mid 30K's with a build refresh with 980x also at 24/7 clock.

    I suspect the reason for the underperforming score is the Marvel RAID controller used on the motherboard for the SSD RAID, and intel 510 SSDs being used.
    I would love to see full PCMark Vantage HDD suite scores to confirm or rule out this.
    RAM clock also seems bad, unless running really tight timings.
    Reply
  • Gonemad - Friday, June 03, 2011 - link

    ...for a i7-2600K, (changing all compatible parts accordingly) drop the 590s (quad-core, right?) and try something close to 3-slot SLI /CF models/setup, with unencumbered multipliers on the graphics cards and on the CPU, add more water cooling, drop more fans, and see what happens to bang-for-buck and idling power. Most oldish games still enjoy poor coding and like faster cores instead of MORE cores, like SC2.

    And really, for that dosh all the cabling should be custom-fit.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    What the heck does this mean:

    "Now admittedly I was running the Gamer Xtreme FTW with the sliding glass door open when the outside weather was less than 60F, but we can probably all agree these are excellent thermals, especially when you take into account the reason why I tested this tower with that door open."

    So you tested with the sliding glass open because your ambient temp was cool. How does that have any resemblance to normal operating conditions? All the dust, increased noise, not to mention very likely giving a VERY rosy picture to the thermals. It doesn't matter if the problem is the Thermaltake Level 10 GT as you allude to without giving specifics, Cyberpower CHOSE this case for this build. If they made the wrong case choice, that IS on them.

    Dustin, I normally like your reviews and writing style, but this one smacks of bias or poor decision making.
    Reply

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