capsule review

CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra

At a Glance
  • CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra

CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra
Photograph: Chris Manners

Performance is the name of the game with the CyberPower Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra, which features Intel's newest top-of-the-line processor--Intel's new 2.93-GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor. The unit scored an outstanding 167 in WorldBench 5, a sizable jump over the scores posted by systems using AMD's competing 2.6-GHz Athlon 64 X2 FX-60 processors.

At the heart of this $3299 (price as of July 13, 2006) model are the Core 2 Extreme X6800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and an XFX GeForce 7950 GX2 M520 1GB DDR3 Extreme Edition graphics card with two GPUs, each of which carries 512MB of dedicated memory.

As configured, the system managed a very impressive 270 frames per second in Return to Castle Wolfenstein at 1280-by-1024-pixel resolution; that number represents almost a 70 percent improvement over the frame rates posted by the two top performers on this test in our most recent Top 10 Power Desktop PCs chart. For LAN party regulars, the Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra's integrated chassis handles will make the prospect of toting its large Cooler Master CM Stacker 830 chassis less daunting. Like many of today's sophisticated computer cases, however, the Gamer Infinity's--with its slightly rounded top and large, centrally placed ventilation grille--precludes stacking external drives on its top. To keep the processor cool, the unit employs a near-silent watercooling system that, unlike the ABS Ultimate X9's watercooling system, doesn't block any of the drive bays or rear ports. A large grille on the side of the case affords a view of the guts, but you won't see much because the system lacks internal lights to illuminate the components.

The large case dwarfs the motherboard, leaving plenty of room for you to install additional storage drives. The case has seven externally accessible drive bays (a dual-layer, multiformat 16X rewritable DVD burner and a DVD-ROM drive occupy two of them), as well as three internal drive bays--two 74GB Western Digital Raptor drives (configured in a striped RAID array) plus a third, 240GB hard drive reside, for a total of 398GB of hard-drive storage. The case also contains nine USB 2.0 ports, but the two located on the top of the case don't function because you can't connect them to the motherboard. The system offers three open externally accessible drive bays; but all available internal drive bays are occupied, so there's no space for an additional hard drive.

CyberPower included a 19-inch ViewSonic VX-922 LCD monitor that displayed sharp, clear images in our tests. Unfortunately, some DVD movies and games appeared too dark. In particular, games (such as Doom 3) that involved exploring dark locations were somewhat difficult to play, even with the monitor's brightness set to maximum. On the other hand, gamers should appreciate the high-quality Logitech G15 gaming keyboard, whose extras include an LCD panel that displays game stats (such as the amount of ammunition you have left). A set of 18 programmable buttons on the left of the keyboard let you execute macros to automate repetitive tasks.

The company includes a three-year parts-and-labor warranty with 24-hour daily technical support. Unfortunately, CyberPower scored poorly in our most recent reliability and service survey. For gamers who want a fast system that's easy to transport, the Gamer Infinity SLI Ultra combines power and mobility. Though it's expensive, it provides a lot of graphics and processing muscle.

Richard Baguley

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At a Glance
  • The Gamer Infinity SLI is a powerful system that delivers high-end dual-GPU graphics at a lower price than others.

    Pros

    • Has built-in case handles

    Cons

    • Some USB ports are not functional
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