Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Enthusiasts will be shocked to learn that not every component in a system has to be a flagship component to achieve premium results. The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme XE, like all of CyberPower's systems is fully customizable in the ordering stage. CyberPower's website is easy to navigate and changing components in a system build is quite easy. Let's have a look at the Gamer Xtreme XE configuration in the default state and now it was shipped to us.
Processor: Intel E8500 overclocked to 3.9
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-DS3R
Memory: Kingston KHX12800D3K2 1GBx2
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 4870X2
Power Supply: Corsair TX650W
Hard Disk: Hitachi HDP725050GLA360 500GB X2 (RAID 0)
Optical Disk 1: Sony BR-5100S 2X Blu-ray Reader
Optical Disk 2: Sony 20x DVD RW
Chassis: Cooler Master 590 Centurion
Cooling: Asetek CPU Liquid Cooling, 4x 120mm Blue LED Fans
Card Reader: 12-in-1 2.5 inch card reader
Input Devices: Logitech EX 110 Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Set
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit loaded, 64-bit disk included)
Additional Accessories: CyberPower T-Shirt, CyberPower Accessory Bag (notebook bag)
Looking at the specifications, I see a couple of places where flagship components were replaced with more than capable products that allow for more bang while keeping some bucks in your bank account.
By using a dual-core processor and overclocking it with the aid of a liquid cooling system, a great deal of value was gained while losing little in the real world performance. Very few games (or software for that matter) can take advantage of today's quad-core processors in a single activity environment. The inclusion of the P45 to the system further lowered the overall cost over an X48 and performance between the two chipsets is nearly equal. For most users 2GB is more than adequate for daily use.
When it comes to components that matter to a gamer, CyberPower led with the Radeon 4870X2, the current king of the FPS mountain. One area where many system builders like to cut corners is with power. CyberPower didn't follow suit and used the Corsair 650 watt PSU. I have seen one of these PSUs power a dual processor workstation running SLi, so the system definitely has power in reserve if needed.
The rest of the components follow the price vs. performance pattern. Nothing stands out as a poor product and to be fair everything is well above average when it comes to quality and performance. A good example is the combination Sony Blu-ray reader paired with a Sony DVD reader/writer and RAID 0 hard drives. It would have been easy to omit the Blu-ray reader or just include a 1TB drive, but a majority of gamers watch movies on their computer and a significant performance gain is achieved by using two drives in RAID.
It is important to remember that while we are dissecting the build list, every system that ships from CyberPower is fully configurable. If the purchaser wishes to have a quad-core processor, the option is just a check box away. The same is true for every component in the system, from the motherboard all the way down to the cooling and case used.
The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme came to us with an invoice price of 1599 USD. I was surprised to find that once shipping charges were calculated I couldn't build a system with the exact same components for less money than CyberPower charges for their Gamer Xtreme XE.
The Gamer Xtreme took around two weeks after the order was turned in to its arrival on our doorstep. Most of that time was in the ground shipping where we chose to save a couple of extra Dollars. CyberPower offers upgraded shipping through UPS, but in many cases shipping is free when using the ground option. CyberPower also has a couple of system configurations that ship out the same day the system is ordered.