CyberPowerPC has carved out a niche for itself as a large scale system integrator that offers a build for pretty much any user, and today they're giving us an opportunity to once again put the screws to Haswell's new Intel Core i7-4770K as well as get some field practice in with the AMD Radeon HD 7990. These two are undoubtedly among the fastest products in their respective markets, and CyberPowerPC has seen fit to combine them in a reasonably small but attractive enclosure from Fractal Design.

Yet there's a little bit of skepticism when it comes to both parts. The i7-4770K is without a doubt the fastest mainstream chip that Intel has produced, clock for clock, but word in the corners of the internet is that the Haswell-based chip is having trouble hitting comparable overclocks to the previous two generations of Intel parts. Meanwhile, AMD was essentially caught with their pants down when the lack of frame metering in their drivers was exposed, making CrossFire a rough deal and taking a lot of the shine off the flagship Radeon HD 7990. CyberPowerPC can only work with what's available, so we can at least see what's going on with the Gamer Xtreme 5200.

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 5200 Specifications
Chassis Fractal Design Arc Midi R2
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K
(4x3.5GHz, Turbo to 3.9GHz, Overclocked to 4.2GHz, 22nm, 8MB L3, 84W)
Motherboard ASUS Z87-K
Memory 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (maximum 4x8GB)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7990 3GB x2
2x (2048 GCN cores, 1000MHz/6GHz core/RAM, 384-bit memory bus)
Hard Drive(s) Corsair Neutron 64GB SATA 6Gbps SSD

Toshiba DT01ACA 1TB SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive(s) HL-DT-ST UH12NS30 BD-ROM/DVD+-RW
Power Supply Cooler Master 800W Silent Pro Gold 80 Plus Gold PSU
Networking Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Audio Realtek ALC887
Speaker, line-in, mic, and surround jacks
Front Side Optical drive
Top Side 2x USB 3.0
Headphone and mic jacks
Power and reset buttons
Three-speed fan controller
Back Side 2x PS/2
DVI (IGP)
HDMI (IGP)
VGA (IGP)
4x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
Gigabit ethernet
Mic, headphone, and surround jacks
1x DVI (HD 7990)
4x Mini-DisplayPort (HD 7990)
Operating System Windows 8 64-bit
Extras 80 Plus Gold PSU
120mm Asetek Closed Loop Cooler
Fan Controller
Warranty 3-year limited parts and labor, lifetime customer support
Pricing Starts at $2,219
Review system configured at $2,316

First, it bears mentioning that certain components in our review unit aren't available on the configurator. The 64GB Corsair Neutron SSD isn't offered anymore, nor is the 800W Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold power supply. Comparable parts are available, but before we get into the meat of this configuration, there are some slightly odd component choices to be highlighted.

The ASUS Z87-K is by no means a bad board and will certainly get the job done, but it's bizarre to see a modern motherboard in a build above the $2,000 mark (let alone the $1,000 mark) that's missing all six audio outputs on the back. The back I/O cluster isn't supremely lacking but it's definitely feature light. Z87 boards are commanding a bit of a premium so it's understandable if SIs have to go with more "budget oriented" options, but this is an oddball nonetheless.

The other side of the budget equation is the storage subsystem. The 64GB Corsair Neutron is no longer available as an option, but the remaining 64GB storage options aren't exciting and either way, this segment of the SSD market really isn't compelling in any way anymore. I haven't been able to survive off of a 64GB system drive for a long time, and honestly the default SSD should really be 120GB/128GB at this point, especially since the price difference is arguably negligible. 1TB of mechanical storage isn't bad, but Toshiba hard drives really aren't what we want to be seeing as they tend to be a bit slower than competing drives from HGST, Western Digital, Samsung, and Seagate.

When we get to the heart of the Gamer Xtreme 5200, we're really dealing with the Intel Core i7-4770K and the AMD Radeon HD 7990. The Haswell-based i7-4770K gets a healthy boost in IPC performance over its predecessor, the Ivy Bridge i7-3770K, but loses that boost almost immediately in overclocking headroom. While it comes down to quibbling over 200MHz here or there, the increase in IPC does make that loss noticeable; either way, the i7-4770K is stuck at a dismal 4.2GHz overclock, just 300MHz over its highest stock turbo bin, a paltry 8% increase. Typical overclocks on Ivy were closer to 4.4GHz, and what we're left with is a plateau of overclocked performance over the course of three generations now.

Meanwhile, the AMD Radeon HD 7990 has had a bit of a troubled life since it was launched. Heat issues make it difficult to use in quad-GPU CrossFire, while CrossFire itself has had serious issues with frame metering. The current beta drivers do help with frame metering, but still not in Eyefinity. Performance potential is undeniably strong, and AMD has been slashing the hell out of the 7990's price to get it competitive, but users looking for triple-screen surround action might actually be better served saving some bread and buying either a single AMD Radeon HD 7970 or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780. The 7990 is actually the lion's share of the cost of this system, and if you must have multi-GPU performance and/or surround you can actually get a pair of GTX 770s for roughly the same price. I think that's a better deal.

System and Gaming Performance
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  • Ubercake - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    I definitely prefer to build my own, but I've dealt with CyberpowerPC in the past. They build a good PC. I had no issues with their machines. A three-year warranty included is pretty darn good in this day and age of the one-year warranty (but other OEMs will gladly sell you more for a few hundred bucks!).

    I've dealt with Dell in the past more than once. In each instance, the PC would not boot when I received it and I had to fix something to get it working either with loose hardware or in the BIOS configuration. It's like they don't even boot the PC before they ship it out. Not good when you fork out your hard-earned dollars for a PC.

    If I were looking for someone to build me a PC (might never happen in my lifetime, but if I were), I wouldn't hesitate to pick my own parts from the CyberpowerPC.com site and have them build it.

    I would never buy a Dell again.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    While I might have agreed with your assessment of CyberPower in the past, this build totally throws them in the "will not buy from this company" bin. Using cheap parts is not a good solution; even if you are building a budget PC, which of courser this is not. proper selection and system balance can keep the price low and quality high.

    As far as Dell - anyone can make a bad single product, or even a line of products that turn out to be "lemons". I seriously doubt their lack of quality stands out in the crowd of mainstream PC manufacturers. I've read service horror stories about all of them. You want quality, build your own, and do it right.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    Poor value for the price.

    AIO water coolers have become a fashion accessory. In most cases a high end air cooler will do the job just as well for less money. Now if they had built a machine which water cooled both CPU and GPU I could answer the price and the choice of case
    Reply
  • spigzone - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    These prebuilt boutique computer reviews never made sense to me.

    So you go online and order up your choice of a case, cpu, gpu, memory, hdd, ssd and power supply - which continually change and evolve over time.

    Seems like a meaningless waste of time and manpower better spent on meaningful component reviews.
    Reply
  • willis936 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    While I agree with the other comments about the component selection not fitting the price bracket (these parts would be aiming closer to a $1400 build) I will stand by their choice to use manual voltage in the OC. I'm going through the 4770k OC circuit right now and I have a successful delid under my belt. What I'm finding is that while using offset or adaptive voltage you'll see massive Vccin spikes under AVX workloads. Massive as in I'm putting in 1.325v and 1.475 is coming out. Yowzers. But wait! No one uses AVX. Well, they do. Especially if you play emulators. Using a few more watts (I say a few because an idle 4770k even at 1.3V runs on 10-20W) is well worth it compared to the prospect of shipping an unstable OC. Reply
  • JimmiG - Friday, August 23, 2013 - link

    AVX is probably the reason why they limited the overclock to 4.2 GHz. A factory-overclocked system needs to be able to handle anything they throw at it, no exceptions, at room temperatures that might be higher than optimal. An unstable factory OC would add massively to their costs and damage their reputation. It's better to give up ~200 MHz.

    The screen shot in the review shows 81C, but it doesn't state what kind of stress tests were run. The new killer test is Linpack 11 with AVX2, which can easily push even a moderately overclocked CPU into the mid 90's range and requires significantly higher voltages than Aida64 or IBT. Even the FPU-only test in Aida64 can push some really high temps at anything above 1.15 - 1.20V.

    Finally, like willis936 sais, using dynamic voltages will cause unpredictable behavior. Finding an adaptive voltage that works for a particular CPU is a long and frustrating process. In some cases it may be impossible to achieve an offset that gives you a high-enough voltage with non-AVX loads while simultaneously keeping the "AVX-boosted" voltage within reason.
    Reply
  • Drittz121 - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    Just do yourself a favor. STAY AWAY from this company. Yes they look good. But when it breaks and it WILL. All they do is give you the run around. They have had my system for over 2 months trying to fix the garbage they sell. Worse company out there for support. DONT BUY Reply

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