capsule review

CyberPower Gamer Xtreme XT-K Power Desktop

At a Glance
  • CyberPower Gamer Xtreme XT-K

    PCWorld Rating

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme XT-K occupies the frontier between gaming PCs and power PCs. In view of its low price ($1499, as of February 1, 2010), we expected to see some cracks in the foundation, but this system surprised us by delivering a number of top-notch elements, including stronger graphics performance than we've seen in any other power PC we've tested to date. Our test system incorporated an Intel 2.66-GHz Core i7 920 CPU (possessing the slowest frequency of all the Core i7 chips), along with 3GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard, and a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Green Power hard drive.

The included high-performance ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics board--a selection more oriented towartd the gaming PC category than toward the power PC category--took us by surprise. It helped the Gamer Xtreme XT-K notch an excellent frame rate in our game tests, sustaining 92 frames per second in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and 120 fps in Unreal Tournament 3 (both at 2560 by 2100 resolution and high quality).

The system's CPU performance was considerably more subdued. On our WorldBench 6 benchmark, the PC earned a score of 129-trailing several other power PCs running Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad CPUs in the 3.0GHz-to-3.2GHz range, and every top power PC equipped with faster Core i7 processors.

The Gamer Xtreme XT-K's older Cooler Master Centurion case permits screw-free installation for all upgrades, including three free 5.25-inch bays and three free 2.5-inch hard drive bays. Our test system also had one free PCI Express x4 slot, two PCI Express x16 slots, and one PCI slot. Nevertheless, the case feels a little dated in design and front-panel connectivity. The smaller, grilled panel surrounding the media card reader looked strange above our review system's black Lite-On BD-ROM drive and Sony Optiarc DVD burner.

The system's rear holds eight USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one eSATA port, two gigabit ethernet jacks, optical and coaxial SPDIF, and integrated 5.1 surround sound. The only thing missing is an HDMI input. The port selection on the front of the case consists of three USB 2.0 ports, a single FireWire 400 port, and a front-mounted multiformat media card reader--an average number of connections. For input, CyberPower supplied a dull and unappealing two-button mouse and an adequate multimedia-style keyboard.

If you're willing to sacrifice a bit of general performance for impressive gaming functionality, CyberPower's Gamer Xtreme XT-K is a system worth considering. Despite the blemishes of its chassis and input devices, the system scores well on graphical performance and price.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    It’s not the fastest PC around, but this gaming-oriented power desktop delivers stellar graphics performance.

    Pros

    • Excellent graphics for the price
    • Lots of rear-panel connections

    Cons

    • Middle-of-road performance overall
    • Uninspiring case aesthetics
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