The Bottom Line
Nov 30 2011 - Intel's new X79 and Sandy Bridge-E may offer some improved performance but it still makes the Cyberpower Gamer Infinity 8000 a tough sell. The $1369 price may be a relatively affordable but the base system setup will require upgrades pushing it over $1500 to make it very effective. The big issue is that even Cyberpower offers a Z68 based mainstream system for less that will perform just as well for PC gaming.
- Relatively Affordable For New X79 Platform
- 16GB of Quad Channel Memory
- Large Number of High Speed Peripheral Ports
- Base System Requires Some Upgrades
- Performance Gains Don't Help Much With Existing PC Games
- Intel Core i7-3930K Six Core Desktop Processor
- 16GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 60GB Solid State Drive
- 24x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 Graphics Card
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Four USB 3.0, Eight USB 2.0, Two eSATA, HDMI, DVI, VGA
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Review - Cyberpower Gamer Infinity 8000 Preview
Note: With the recent release of the Intel X79 chipset and Sandy Bridge-E processors, most companies do not have shipping units available just quite yet. Cyberpower is one of the few accepting orders for a system based on this but I have not had hands on time with this machine. As a result, this is just a preview based upon the published materials that Cyberpower lists available with the Gamer Infinity 8000.
Nov 30 2011 - Cyberpower's Gamer Infinity 8000 is one of the first system available to support the new Intel Sandy Bridge-E performance processors along with the new Intel X79 chipset. It has been many years since the original X59 chipset so it should be interesting to see what this base price $1369 desktop can offer in terms of performance especially against the well proven Sandy Bridge and P67/Z68 chipset.
Rather than using the ridiculously overpriced Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme processor, the base setup uses the much more affordable but still pricey i7-3930K. It is a six core processor that offer some solid performance gains in select applications that can actually use all size processor cores. The problem is that most games are still using generally just two cores. As a result, the extra cores aren't going to be a huge improvement in terms of game performance. In this sense, a nicely overclock Core i7-2600K will likely cost less and perform just as well. Now, if you want to system for some serious video editing work, the extra cores will likely add some benefit. This makes the platform better suited for workstations than it does for games, at least for the existing PC games.
With the increased performance of the new processors, there has been a major change in the cooling requirements. While it is still possible to potentially use a high end air cooling solution with the CPU, it is pretty much standard now to ship the Sandy Bridge-E performance systems with a self contained liquid cooling solution. Cyberpower defaults to a Asetek 510LC system that uses a single 120MM radiator fan setup. This should work well and handle overclocking with the K series processor and be very quiet overall.
One big difference with the X79 chipset is the memory support. Most consumer PCs support a system called dual channel memory. This allows matched pairs of memory modules to offer improved memory bandwidth over a single modules. With the previous X59, it used triple channel that gave it an extra boost over dual channel. The X79 goes even further by offering quad channel memory. For this, you need four identical memory modules to gain the best memory performance. Now, it is twice as fast as dual channel but it does give it a boost which can help a select number of applications that are very memory dependent. Once again though, it probably won't be a huge boon to gamers. Still, the 16GB DDR3 memory setup with 1600MHz memory certainly won't leave gamers scrambling for any memory upgrades in the near future.
The base storage setup for the Gamer Infinity 8000 is with a single 60GB OCZ Agility 3 solid state drive. Why is this important? Because generally speaking, a 60GB of smaller drive is generally only suited as a boot and operating system drive. With so little space, one can't put many programs let alone data on it. As a result, buyers will either need to upgrade this to a larger solid state drive or add in a data hard drive. Without it, you may only be able to put the operating system and a couple of games before you are out of space. In addition, the Agility 3 drive has some decent performance but it significantly trails the larger and better optimized Vertex 3 series drives. Boots will be quick as is data access but write speeds are lower.
Most people looking at the Gamer Infinity 8000 are going to be buying it for PC gaming. Because of this, the graphics card is one of the most crucial components. For some reason, the base graphics card is a very basic NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 card. Now, it will play games at lower resolution and detail levels but it certainly isn't considered a gaming card. Cyberpower does have offers at times to have this upgraded to something a bit more reasonable, but once again, this is going to be a required upgrade for most people. The system does have the ability to support a three way SLI setup but one of the three cards is forced into an x8 mode rather than x16. Still this is something to consider for those wanting maximum graphics performance provided you can afford all the required upgrades
All of what has been mentioned here so far has been the base layout of the Cyberpower Infinity 8000. Cyberpower offers a huge range of upgrade options for just about any of the components in the desktop. Of course some of these parts as mentioned will essentially require an upgrade meaning that most buyers will definitely spend over $1500 to get a truly functional performance system. This will likely be very affordable compared to many other upcoming X79 based systems.
The problem here though is the existing Sandy Bridge systems. Cyberpower offers the Gamer Xtreme 3000 with a base price of $1159 which is $200 less. This system uses the tested Core i7-2600K with many of the same based features except 8GB of memory and a 2GB hard drive. In terms of gaming performance, this will work as well as the newer Gamer Infinity but at a lower cost. In addition, Intel is likely to release the Ivy Bridge update to their non-performance platforms that will likely boost performance without as expensive hardware requirements. Because of this, it might be best to hold off on looking at investing in an isolated performance platform and instead sticking with Intel's more mainstream desktop platform.