CyberPower: 4.0 GHz QX9770 and SLI GTX 280s

by Matt Campbell on 8/22/2008 4:00 AM EST
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  • initialised - Saturday, August 30, 2008 - link

    To get the most out of the Asetek LCLC we usually fit fans in push-pull. This took a Q9550 at 3.6GHz from 70-75 loaded to 55-60 Loaded. I'm surprised our American cousins hadn't thought to do this. I have a similar system to this under testing right now at 4.2GHz temps not really braking 65, Cosmos-S case though. Having said that, a system with a 4870x2 and 3.8GHz quad is not far behind it in terms of performance. For us Safe & Stable typically means knock the CPU FSB up a notch and XXX means go further on the CPU and OC the RAM and graphics where possible. Reply
  • bob4432 - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    w/ your comment - "CyberPower's website comes up immediately from a web search"

    what did you type into the search engine? and which engine?

    2x 1KW....ridiculous as the norm lately....
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    "CyberPower"... Google gives it the number one spot as do MSN and Yahoo. If you put a space in the name, the results aren't changed. Not sure what you would search for that wouldn't have a quick hit. Reply
  • bob4432 - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    it is pretty easy to get #1 when you know the name....you need to search w/ stuff other than a direct name, especially the domain name or nearly the domain name, that is a near 100% chance of it being #1. say you don't know the name and you just type in "buy custom online pc" - you get different results.

    because of this i really wouldn't give them any kudos on their website because a search engine gave them #1 when you typed in almost their domain directly and company name.

    getting to #1 for them w/ the way you searched is extremely easy....
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    Perhaps it is easy, but more than one OEM we've evaluated has *not* come up with a direct web search of their name, which (as you can imagine) makes them quite difficult to locate if you don't know anything else about them. Reply
  • oralpain - Saturday, August 23, 2008 - link

    I notice that, in this review, you have CoreTemp calibrated to a TJmax of 105C.

    According to Intel, the actual TJmax rating of the QX9770 is 85C. Since CoreTemp, and other programs like it, are only capable of measuring the delta to TJmax, proper calibration is critical to knowing actual (load) temperatures.

    In your load tests, the CPU only reached into the 70sC, not the 90s.

    Source for the TJmax ratings: http://intel.wingateweb.com/US08/published/session...">http://intel.wingateweb.com/US08/publis...sessions...
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Saturday, August 23, 2008 - link

    Thanks for noting this. I did see Kris' update on Thursday as well, here: http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=47...">http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=47..., which finally gives us solidified TJmax numbers to work with. As this was just made public information on the 21st, however, the article had already been sent in for publication. I will re-run the test and post the results. Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    "The cooling is sufficient I think, for everywhere except perhaps the CPU. I'd wager that an Ultra-120 eXtreme would beat it, but that's just a guess. As for the rest of the comments, while two PSUs is certainly overkill for this particular configuration, doubling the RAM will hardly have an impact on most things. I've got a 4GB system and a 2GB system (64-bit and 32-bit), with similar parts elsewhere. Unless I really open a LOT of applications (and 32-bit ones at that, since there are very few 64-bit apps), I couldn't tell them apart."

    and from the review...

    "they took an extra step in integrating them into a solution with reasonable component choices that worked well together and provided a stable operating platform"

    Fact is with Vista SuperFetch preloading commonly used files into RAM during idle times, the performance benefits of extra RAM really start to pay off even as you go over 4GB. With 8GB of RAM, it will cache up most of the games you typically play bringing launch times and level switch times down dramatically. This is the type of thing that has a huge difference in the real world feel, but rarely shows in benchmarking. Given the minimal cost of another 4GB of RAM and the system going over $5.5K in cost, I think its ridiculous for this system not to come with 8GB of RAM from the start.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    The problem is that most games are now well over 4GB, and the data they use is so variable (one level uses a certain 1GB, the next level uses a different 1GB, etc.) If you surf the web a lot, run your email app, Word, Excel, and play several different games, SuperFetch gets overwhelmed.

    But you know what? All that is beside the point! You want 4x2GB RAM? It's an option. You want a case with one PSU? They've got that too. That's why this is a review of both a specific PC (the Gamer Extreme XI) plus plenty of commentary on CyberPower as a whole. You want a different config? How about this, which is probably what I would go with for high-end right now:

    Gamer Infinity 8900 Deluxe
    --------------------------
    CoolerMaster Centurion 590 RC-590 Mid-Tower Case
    3 extra case fans
    Thermaltake ToughPower 1,000W PSU
    Core 2 Quad Q9550
    Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX
    GigaByte GA-EP45T-DS3R
    4x2GB DDR3-1333 ("Major brand")
    ATI Radeon HD 4870X2 (Feel free to add a second)
    300GB Western Digital Raptor
    1TB 32MB 7200RPM HDD
    LG GGC-H20L BLU-RAY/HD-DVD Reader/DVD±R/±RW Writer
    (Onboard audio and network)
    Logitech Wave Keyboard
    Razer Diamondback 3G Blue Mouse
    12-in-1 Flash reader
    Vista Ultimate 64-bit
    3-year warranty
    Total CyberPower cost: $3057 + shipping and tax


    CoolerMaster Centurion 590 RC-590 $65
    3 x 120mm case fans $12
    Thermaltake ToughPower 1,000W PSU $310
    Core 2 Quad Q9550 $330
    Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX $53
    GigaByte GA-EP45T-DS3R $160
    4x2GB Patriot DDR3-1333 $358
    PowerColor Radeon HD 4870X2 $560
    300GB Western Digital Raptor $295
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB $150
    LG GGC-H20L $150
    Logitech Wave Keyboard $50
    Razer Diamondback 3G Blue Mouse $50
    12-in-1 Flash reader $20
    Vista Ultimate 64-bit (OEM) $180
    Warranty ???
    Total for parts purchased at Newegg: $2,743
    (Tax and shipping also missing.)

    $300 for an extra 2-year warranty, plus assembly and testing, and shipping is likely to be less than the individual parts. Again, the comparison is quite favorable.
    Reply
  • HanSolo71 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    in your previous rig you said you had a Q6600 @ 3.3 Ghz and SLI 3870's how can you have SLI ATI cards? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, August 23, 2008 - link

    Eh? My gaming PC right now is X38 with 3870 CrossFire. That list I just posted was a recommendation for a current setup that would use 4870X2 (or even Quad-CrossFire if you're daring). I think it's a reasonable recommendation for a high-end system right now. If you prefer NVIDIA SLI, go with a couple GTX 260 cards and a 790i motherboard. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    Page 8, the 3DMark Vantage Section

    "The CyberPower machine well and truly demolishes a respectable gaming machine (Q6600 @ 3.3GHz, SLI 3870s). " Wrong multi-GPU acronym used.

    And speaking of those charts, is there a way to present the names so that the actual data bars are not only 1/4 or less of the total chart width?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, August 23, 2008 - link

    I'm still using the Q6600 at 3.30GHz... but it's a bit long in the tooth compared to 4850/4870. I'd like to upgrade GPUs, but divorce attorneys are expensive. :( Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Count me in as well on being baffled by the choice of PSU and amount of ram. You could EASILY decrease the cost of this computer and increase potential performance by doubling the system ram and halving the power supply.

    And I have never understood case designs that have the PSU's on the bottom. IMO they should be installed near the top with either a back exhaust or better yet a blow-hole style outlet (you'd need the PSU manufacturer to put the outlet on the top though). Just seems pretty silly to have these monsters heating up the whole case when they should be helping to exhaust the hot air the rest of the system is producing (and the PSU's themselves). I'm wondering if this is a potential cause of the extremely high core temps...

    Which brings me to the fact that I wouldn't touch this system even if I had the money to blow on it. Longevity concerns are real when operating at those levels, especially with the likelihood that buyers may not have the system in an area as cool as your testing room.

    Can you guys comment on the water cooling system? Is the resevoir/design too small or poorly placed causing the high idle temperatures? Did you remove any of the mounts to see if there was something affecting heat transfer either at the cores or at the radiator?

    But all in all, nice review!
    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link

    I like having the PSU at the bottom. Using it to exhaust CPU heat fatigues it. I prefer having the PSU down at the floor, bringing in cool air, then dumping its exhaust out the back. In my box this lets it run very quietly. I've still got two 120mm fans exhausting heat from behind the CPU which isn't hot at all.

    This way I don't have CPU heat in the PSU, and I don't have a lot of PSU heat in the CPU (most goes out the back). But then I don't have two 1000W monsters.
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Here's a link to the cooler used in this system: http://www.northq.com/products/coolers/nq3580.html">http://www.northq.com/products/coolers/nq3580.html

    It's small and compact, and the radiator mounts in front of a 120mm rear exhaust fan. There's no doubt in my mind that the amount of hardware in the case contributes to high idle temperatures, and that a large external water cooling system would decrease temperatures considerably (but wouldn't be such a slick in-case solution). NorthQ also offers a dual-radiator design (the 3590), but it wouldn't fit in the NZXT case, which is the only option for the Xtreme XI.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Do you think something like the Thermalright Ultra 120 extreme (or whatever the current best air cooled solution) would actually offer better cooling that the nq3580?

    I know water can carry much more heat away than air, but I wonder if in this case that is actually hurting the temps as it's also being circulated back onto the cores at an elevated temperature.

    Even better for this behemoth of a system would probably be to take a page from Dell or other large manufacturer that uses the shroud to pull "protected" air from outside the case, directly over the core, and out again. This would prevent the air from being warmed considerably by the other components.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Forgot to add it looks like the PSU fan is partially blocked by the Cyberpower metal "thing". What the heck is the purpose of that piece, and why is it obstructing the fan? Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Upon further looking at the pictures (for some reason the last picture in the internals is not coming up) it appears that the water cooling is only for the CPU correct? And that the small 90-120mm radiator where a normal external case fan would be is the sole way of dissapating heat? So there really is no water "block" of liquid and only the small amount of liquid in the lines is absorbing the heat?

    In a system with 2 280's, 2 1k PSU's, 4 HD's, and 2 optical drives, I could easily see how the cooling system would not be up to the task (due to all the heat soak prior to getting to the CPU cores). I would think an external block with radiator would be immensely more efficient, though you would of course lose the coolness factor of having it all in a single case....
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    The cooling is sufficient I think, for everywhere except perhaps the CPU. I'd wager that an Ultra-120 eXtreme would beat it, but that's just a guess. As for the rest of the comments, while two PSUs is certainly overkill for this particular configuration, doubling the RAM will hardly have an impact on most things. I've got a 4GB system and a 2GB system (64-bit and 32-bit), with similar parts elsewhere. Unless I really open a LOT of applications (and 32-bit ones at that, since there are very few 64-bit apps), I couldn't tell them apart. Reply
  • agliboyph - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    for this kind of money, gat a maingear and live happily ever after Reply
  • bill3 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    They get a lot of crap online, but I think people just like to whine. My brother bought a rig from them a while back and it's been nothing but great, and the price was great too, practically cheaper than you can build it yourself. And saves you the hassle, which as I age becomes a bigger factor, I dont really enjoy building my own PC's anymore, installing windows and all that crap.

    The customizability is what sets them apart, from buying a crap Dell or a PC from Best Buy or something imo. And the fact you can hand pick name brand quality components. The main downside imo is the 2 week build/ship time (newegg can have you parts to you in 2-3 days if you're building your own, and I like instant gratification).

    But anyway, now on to my comments about this rig and away from general comments about cyberpower..my main complaint is for a 5k rig, this isn't nearly as extreme specced as you'd think it should be. Terabyte HDD's are rapidly nearing $99 nowdays, so you should get at least two of those imo (hell for 5 k, if not 3 or 4!). The fact you only get Vista Premium? Should get Ultimate befitting this monster rig. And then the RAM, I was browsing PC's in Best Buy the other day and noticed a "budget" $600 PC with 6GB RAM already! Granted it may be an overclocking thing or something, but this rig should come with 16GB RAM or something like that you'd think (8GB at the very least). Cant really argue with the video cards/PSU's though.
    Reply
  • badputter - Sunday, August 24, 2008 - link


    It isn't always folks that "just like to whine," I tried to buy what looked like a great deal on system from them about 8 years ago that turned me off of them completely.

    This was back when the PIII was just moving to on-die cache...(back in the good old Slot 1 days...) Ordered a system with the on-die cache... system comes with the older version with external, half speed cache, that was about $40 cheaper to buy...

    Call Customer service... generally took 30+ minutes to get through to anyone in their call center... system had other problems as well... just not stable... problem with the motherboard... could not work with anyone in customer service going up the chain. Finally ended up disputing the charge with Discover... Cyberpower never responded to Discover's dispute of the charge. Eventually they sent a prepaid shipping label to me to send the system back.

    Had the system worked fine, I would have been a happy customer like your brother. I figured they could put it together for less than I could buy all the components... then they didn't ship me what I ordered... then they had lousy customer service and tech support...

    They may have gotten better... or they may have found that the go for the cheap customer and hope for the best is more profitable...

    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    They use two 1000W PSU for a system that uses less than 600W from the wall outlet? A single 1000W PSU should have been enough. Reply
  • HOOfan 1 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    If you look at some of their in magazine ads, they will often show a configuration like the system above with only a single 420W generic PSU. Reply
  • HOOfan 1 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Also to add, this system doesn't even use 600W in their test. They measure AC draw from the wall outlet. Assuming these Thermaltakes can be 83% at those lower loads. 5798 * .83 ~ 481 So the system isn't pulling any more than 500 Watts of DC in their tests. Considering PSUs are rated on DC output and not AC input, this system is only drawing ~25% of the theoretical power available to it. Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Wasty, They could have gone with two much smaller PSUs to keep load and therefore noise low on both. The two 1k units are not necessary and waste a lot of budget for the system. Too bad these companies have no idea how to choose sufficient power.. Reply
  • bill3 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Oh and I forgot to mention one thing that amazed and made me envious of my brothers cyberpower..he got a windowed case and the cabling/routing they did was incredibly clean and minimal. I mean, no clutter whatsoever, just perfect. I'm just sloppy and stupid, but I hated staring at my cable clutter in my windowed PC for years (why I didn't buy a windowed case this time hehe) Reply
  • HotdogIT - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Remember the HardOCP reviews, where they tested the technical support? Yeah, I loved those, and miss those. Obviously it ended up killing their H-Consumer line, as it cost a lot of advertising dollars, but it was so unique, and special, and cool.

    You guys should do that. That's what I'm cleverly hinting at with my reminiscing.
    Reply
  • Rev1 - Friday, August 22, 2008 - link

    Yea that was great, it actually swayed me to purchase a comp from cyberpower because they had a few decent reviews on there. Reply

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