Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Our sample system came configured with the best of the best as far as components go. Generally systems like this break the 5-6 thousand Dollar mark, but CyberPower has not lost their way and is still all about value to their customers. This philosophy is one that I have come to admire and it is rare in the industry. CyberPower calls it "Value Added"; I call it "give me what I want and do it for less money than the other guys". Let's have a look and see what is involved in the CyberPower Black Pearl System, a 4,499.00 Dollar system.
Processor: Intel Core i7 965 EE 3.2 @ 3.6 GHz
Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe
Memory: Kingston 3x 1GB DDR3 1800 MHz (Triple Channel)
Graphics Card: 2x HIS HD 4870 X2 in CrossFireX
Power Supply: Thermaltake ToughPower 1000w
Hard Disk (Boot): 2x Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB (RAID 0)
Hard Disk Storage): Samsung HD103UJ SpinPoint F1 1TB
Optical Disk 1: Sony BR-5100S Blu-ray Reader
Optical Disk 2: Sony AD-7201A DVDRW Multi Writer
Chassis: Cooler Master ATCS 840
Cooling: Cooler Master V8 with 1366 install kit
Keyboard: Microsoft SideWinder X6
Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder USB Gaming Mouse
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit Premium
Additional: NZXT Sentry LX Digital Fan Controller, case fans, card reader (8-to-1), pre-configured overclock and software optimization
Once again CyberPower recognized the need for a gaming system built around the graphics cards and opted to go with the fastest on the planet. They then go the extra mile and multiply it by two. The two HIS HD 4870 X2 cards are the heart of the system while everything else just plays a supporting role. Even Intel's Core i7 965 EE can't process data fast enough for the graphics subsystem and that is why CyberPower configured the Core i7 to 3.6 GHz, a full 400 MHz faster than stock.
Keeping everything together and looking fresh is Cooler Masters ATCS 840. This is Cooler Master's first all aluminum case since the WaveMaster. The ATCS 840 is guaranteed to be an instant classic; already every reviewer on the planet is fighting to get one on their test bench. The ATCS 840 right now is as rare as it gets and with good reason. Standing the test of time, the WaveMaster was on retail shelves for six years and for all of that time it was considered the best mid-tower case available. The new ATCS 840 is actually an improvement, one that took two years to design and perfect; a true beauty that masters function and form.
Keeping the ATCS's five fans in check is NZXT's Sentry LX digital fan controller. The black hair line brushed aluminum matches the Cooler Master ATCS 840's finish perfectly, as if the two products were designed to accompany one another.
Disk reading duty was left to Sony and their products produced in collaboration with NEC. Instead of forcing the user into an overpriced Blu-ray all-in-one unit to play and write DVD media, CyberPower chose to use a two step approach. Blu-ray reading comes from the Sony BR-5200S, the industry standard Blu-ray reader. DVD reading and writing comes from the Sony AD-7201A, a very well made DVD-RW product that competes for top honors in reviews.
Cooler Master also provided the cooling solution for our overclocked Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition processor. The 965 EE already holds the honor as the fastest retail processor known to man and like all flagship processors it produces more than its share of heat. The Cooler Master V8 is hailed as one of the best air coolers and in the coming weeks will be known by enthusiasts as the standard for Core i7 overclocking.
The slowest part of any computer system is the hard disk subsystem. It doesn't matter how many hard drives you have or what kind of RAID configuration; your hard drives are limiting your performance. CyberPower chose the fastest platter based hard drive available, the Western Digital VelociRaptor. Their next step was to double it up in a RAID 0 configuration, unleashing the beast within. I have to thank CyberPower for this one as all of my tests loaded much quicker than I am used to.
The pink elephant in the room is Intel's X58 / Core i7 combo. It is not like Intel launches a new architecture every year; it is sort of like their seven year itch. Just like the first Core products, the Core i7 is leading the competition by a large margin and not looking back. The 965 EE that CyberPower chose for the Black Pearl is the flagship processor, the king of the hill. I can cliche all day long and still can't describe how powerful this processor is, so let's move on and see if the numbers can tell the tail.