CyberPower - Overview

CyberPower is a prominent PC supplier, and we already looked at one of their high-end systems along with providing a short profile of the company. We also recommended them in our Holiday Pre-Built Systems Guide as our midrange choice. Today we test a system similar to that configuration, and take a closer look at how CyberPower stacks up in the midrange price arena.

We've covered CyberPower's history as well our ordering impressions in our previous review. As an overview, we'll restate here what was said in our holiday buyer's guide:

"In our look at their Xtreme XI, we found their margins were quite small, which translates into more hardware for your dollar. They also cover their systems with a 3-year warranty, lifetime 24/7 technical support, and offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with no restocking fee, which is a great option when making a purchase as a gift. Our main criticism of CyberPower is that they have a vast array of choices on their website that change frequently, which makes it very difficult to reference a particular system."

In brief, the small price premium coupled with the warranty and technical support make them a solid choice for buyers looking for value and performance. They're also great for technical buyers that are interested in choosing components but lack the time or inclination to build and set up a system themselves. This same flexibility can be daunting for some buyers, as their site is filled with systems and component choices, and they lack some of the true customization frills and coddling that buyers want in the high-end $4000 and up range.

Specifications
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  • vjm - Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - link

    The bad..
    I order a computer from cyberpower on 3/5. They gave me a ship date of 3/19. Charged my credit cardo on 3/6. Called on 3/8 to check if build was on schedule. Everything ready except motherboard. ETA on motherboard was 3/10. Called on 3/10. Mother board was in. Called on 3/15 to get update. Now the power supply was backordered. I then cancelled my order.

    They claim they burn-in the PCs before shipment. Several DOA's reported on their forums. In one case the cmos battery was upside down and the system would not post. Says a alot about their burn-in and testing process.


    The good..

    The price was reasonable ~ 300 more than newegg for a 2500$ system.
    Cancellation was simple and no hassle (I'm sure it would have been differnt if the PC had been assembled or shipped)
    Sales calls were answered quickly. (see forums on cyberpower website for cumstomer service response)

    Reply
  • JHuffman - Sunday, March 15, 2009 - link

    I recently purchased a very similar system from Cyberpower after reading a recommendation on this site. I have had a number of problems, which I understand can happen, but the service has been very poor. The system arrived damaged, the case panel had fallen off and the video card was loose with a broken retention clip on the 16X slot. I put the video card in and it started up fine so I was not worried. I installed updated drivers and my usual software and then started getting system crashes. Eventually the system would not boot. Called tech support and was instructed how to use the Vista install disc to repair the drive. (This is different from the standard Vista install disc in that the option is hidden and can not be found without calling tech support.) Still was not working. Reinstalled Vista which erases the drive, it worked so I went through reinstalling the drivers, programs. After a couple of days the same thing happened. Disc check'd and repaired errors in the boot sector and I reformatted the drive. Worked, then happened again, this time system was dead and I could not even reinstall Vista.
    By this time it had been a couple of weeks and basically all I had been able to do was install programs and drivers day after day. I asked to return the system and was told that I would be charged a restocking fee. They talked me into replacing the hard drive. They did not even ship the hard drive for several days and when they did it was by ground, so a week later I swapped out the drive, reinstalled Vista and software. Ran disc check which alone takes several hours and things seemed OK. Two weeks later started to crash again and now will not even boot to the CD.
    So now I have called and left two messages on voice mail, I have sent a detailed email, and I have even talked with a customer service person who said someone would call. It has been 5 days without a call from tech support. Today I have had the system for two months and it has only run for about three weeks. I have spent hours trouble shooting and on hold, days reinstalling, disc checking and setting up programs, and weeks waiting for parts or a call back. I use my home system for personal and business use and the hours of lost productivity have cost me far more than the cost of this system, and certainly more that I saved by buying from Cyberpower.
    Please be warned.
    Reply
  • majortom1981 - Thursday, March 12, 2009 - link

    How does this pc compare to the studio xps 435 or the studio xps machines with the core i7 processors. seem to be the same price.

    Would the dells be the better choice due to better tech support?
    Reply
  • JWtexas - Tuesday, March 10, 2009 - link

    I'm on day 25 and still have not received a working system from CyberPowerPC for which I paid over $1,500. I paid over for expedited configuration and expedited shipping, it arrived DOA. You have to love the customer service, when I asked for a break on the extra fee for expedited configuration and shipping, I was told by the sales rep ... "It's not our problem, we did what you asked", well I didn't remember asking for a broken PC.

    I agree with one of the post's below... I beleive they do not always use "new" parts. Their configuration is very poor. The motherboard only had 2 screws. I was told they had to replace the monitor card GTX260, all the memory (6gig), and the CPU FAN. I can't image all 3 going bad during shipping...

    It's been a very disappointing experience... I would never recommend this company to anyone!!! Pay the few extra dollars and go to someone who knows what they are doing.

    I sure hope when the system does arrive it actually works... But I highly doubt it... I think I just flushed $1,500...


    Reply
  • Salan - Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - link

    Hi

    Get a refund post haste. Don't pass go, don't collect $ 200, do get your money back.

    As far as the gtx 260, be aware that they offer the 192 core version only.

    As far as the assertion that they are a low marging company:

    gtx 260 192 core CP price $ 270
    xfx gtx 260 216 core price $ 169 after rebate with free shipping; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    gts 250 512MB CP price $ 185
    xfx gts 250 512MB $ 135: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    Low margin, my pud.

    Alan
    Reply
  • Jbomb - Monday, March 09, 2009 - link

    I just want to applaud the reviewer for a very detailed and objective review. Pros and cons were pointed out and comparisons were made with other pricier systems as well; a nice touch.

    As with just about any system builders, there are risks. The best thing to do is to build it yourself. But as the reviewer and another user pointed out, the price you can spec out a system at cyberpower is very similar to what you would pay if you were to order parts from newegg and assemble it yourself. So v12v12, what do you expect to get for one-thousand-five-hundred dollars? Because when I priced something similar to the reviewed configuration, it exceeds 1500 and that isn't including OS, and some other peripherals.
    Reply
  • v12v12 - Monday, March 09, 2009 - link

    Yes thank you for shedding more light on this apparent "deal." People are always quick to jump on the bandwagon w/o doing proper research on the company and their customer base... There's no such thing as a SUPER cheap "NEW" system. Theres going to be a whole host of strings attached.

    Think about it... a "NEW" top-of-the-line computer system, for "cheap," since when has this wishful thinking ever panned out to more than anything but a few bits of gold and a whole handful of fool's gold?
    Reply
  • Salan - Saturday, March 07, 2009 - link

    CP is a buyer beware company. The main selling point is that their prices are cheap. Most have a decent experience, but many do not. It is not uncommon to receive a system that is doa or has significant problems.

    There were a number of errors in the review and remember this was a system specially constructed for the tests.

    First, the CP warranty is three year service and one year parts. If your motherboard blows after one year and one day, you are SOL. If you do have a problem within the warranty period you have to pay for the shipping back to CP which can be considerable. It is not unusual that systems returned for repair are shipped back to the customer with the same and/or more problems than originally identified.

    Second, although CP will factory overclock, that is rare. CP claims that any OC will void their warranty; period. So what you get is what you got. When I went through the bios screens, I was surprised to see a 3.0Ghz i7 920, because that is extreamly rare in a CP rig. At lesst that was identified in the piece.

    Third, there have been comments on the "quality" components in the build and the selection in the configurator. Be aware that CP often uses components of lesser cheaper manufacturers. They often swap out components that you order for different ones. As an example, you can place your order with the Corsair psu, open your box on receipt and see a Sigma Shark. CP claims that they use only new out of the box components in their build, but many customers have claimed that they have gotten used or recycled parts. They do use "not new" parts in repairs.

    Fourth, their 24/7 tech support is actually 8/5, if you are lucky. Some people have had good luck in reaching tech support but many try for days and days, by phone and email, with no sucess. CP has been trying to respond to complaints posted in their forum lately.

    Fifth, the construction of the rigs is spotty. The one you tested probably had their "Professional Wiring" option which is $ 19 extra when you buy the system. Still there are no end of problems reported about components not or mis connected or left out of a build. There has been a raging debate as to whether they actually perform quality control on their rigs before shipping.

    I can go on, but the above is enough. You can get a computer for cheap at CP, but should take time and research the company (resellers ratings and better business bureau) and understand the risk when you order from them.

    Alan
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Sunday, March 08, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the comments Alan. We covered the Reseller Ratings in our first look, which are reasonably good (8.16/10 6 months, 7.49/10 lifetime). We also read through their forums and noted that many of the people posting issues in there do get an (eventual) resolution that's to their satisfaction, but recognize their customer service isn't up to the level of other (pricier) boutiques and pointed that out. In fact, I recognized your name from my Cyberpower forums searches, and since you're quite an active contributor there I appreciate the input and surmise you do see value in them despite their flaws.

    Thanks for the clarification on warranty, it is indeed 3 years labor and 1 year only for parts.
    Reply
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - link

    1st off... is it ME or do these F'ing B/I/U buttons NOT WORK EVER?! WTF I cannot get these stupid arse things to ever work, even with NoScript set to allow everything allowed?!

    For some reason I just cannot get into the "pre-built" case thing. Just upon looking at the case alone and then the price of this "mid-range" unit, I began to laugh... Sorta like, WTF are you kidding me — one-thousand-five-hundred dollars and THIS is all you get? Pata cable? LMFAO you've got to be kidding me.

    Once again a true testament to my rant about BTX being the stupid DECISION to make regarding a case purchase. God just LOOK at the ridiculous looking cable "management" or lack there of. STOP buying/review idiot BTX cases please. It's inferior, looks like trash and performs no better (worse) than ATX. Geesh.

    I guess it's sort of like the shock when someone goes to drop $70Large on a corvette and sees the cheap ass interior and wonders "Hrmm WTF, this IS $70 THOUSAND right?"
    Reply

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