Introducing the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 4000

We last checked in with CyberPowerPC's gaming desktop division when we reviewed the Gamer Xtreme 8500, which packed a beefy Intel Core i7-875K overclocked to 3.8GHz alongside two NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450s in SLI. Our feelings were decidedly mixed: while it was certainly fast enough, the gulf between the quoted price tag and the actual price along with the hack overclocking job made us question the system's value. Now CyberPowerPC has sent us a gaming desktop with the reasonably new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 and a brand spanking new Intel Core i7-2600K that features the highest clock speed of any processor we've ever tested in a system.

Knowing the new Intel Core i7 based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture is one of the fastest processors you can buy, what happens when we take the best clock-for-clock performance on the market and crank it up to 4.4GHz?

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme 4000 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-2600K @ 4.4GHz (100MHz Bclk with x44 multiplier)
(spec: 4x3.4GHz, 32nm, 8MB L3, 95W)
Motherboard ASUS P8P67 Motherboard with P67 chipset
Memory 2x2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 @ 1600MHz (expandable to 16GB)
Graphics eVGA SuperClocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB GDDR5
(480 CUDA Cores, 797/1594MHz Core/Shader, 3.9GHz RAM, 320-bit memory bus)
Hard Drive(s) Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gbps
Optical Drive(s) ASUS BD-ROM/DVD+/-RW Combo Drive
Networking Intel Gigabit Ethernet
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Audio Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Digital and optical out
Front Side Optical Drive
2x USB 2.0
Headphone and mic jacks
USB 3.0
MMC/SD/CF/MS reader
Top -
Back Side 2x PS/2
Digital and optical out
2x eSATA
6x USB 2.0
6-pin FireWire
2x USB 3.0
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 19.7" x 18.9" x 8.3" (WxDxH)
Weight 15.7 lbs (case only)
Extras Corsair 650TX Power Supply
Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling
Thermaltake Armor A60 Case
Flash reader (MMC/MS/CF/SD)
Overclocked from warehouse
Warranty 3-year limited warranty and lifetime phone support
Pricing Quoted Price: $1,399

The elephant in the room is the overclocked Intel Core i7-2600K. Built on a 32nm fabrication process, it's Intel's new top of the line mainstream processor using the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and features 8MB of L3 cache and a nominal turbo speed of 3.8GHz. Given the changes in how Sandy Bridge chips are overclocked, the unlocked multiplier is necessary to get the most out of these new processors. CyberPower has accordingly ramped the turbo multiplier to 44x, yielding a final turbo speed of a staggering 4.4GHz. The new i7 is cooled using CyberPower's standard Asetek 510LC liquid cooling which keeps idle temperatures extremely low.

Supporting the i7-2600K is Intel's new P67 chipset, which features both SATA 6Gbps and 3Gbps connectivity, the former of which is connected to the bog standard Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB drive. The chipset and processor only support dual channel memory, resulting in a board maximum of 16GB of DDR3; the 4GB of Kingston HyperX installed runs at a very healthy 1600MHz. The rest of the motherboard offers all of the modern connectivity you could ask for, including an interesting surprise in the form of integrated bluetooth.

Finally we also have the SuperClocked model of eVGA's NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570. In our review of the GTX 570 we found it to be about as fast as the former king of the hill GeForce GTX 480. Not too shabby, and now with eVGA's SuperClocked model we see a 60MHz bump in core clock (resulting in an effective 120MHz boost on the shader clock); memory speed is unchanged. Nonetheless, the 570 also sports a healthy 480 of NVIDIA's CUDA cores along with improved thermals and power consumption over the previous generation.

Rounding things out are a blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo drive and a respectable if unexciting Thermaltake Armor A60 case. A nice surprise comes in the form of the Corsair 650TX power supply, generally regarded as one of the best brands on the market. 

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    You never said "faster because if the 3% higher clock speed", you just said FASTER. It's not, and even at the same clocks it probably wouldn't make much of a difference. We're mostly GPU limited, but the larger cache (and possibly HTT, though that's unlikely) comes into play.

    There's no reason the 2500K should outperform 2600K; more cache and a slightly higher clock put it ahead, and the days of HTT actually reducing performance are mostly behind us. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the differences are simply margin of error (which can easily be 2% if you're using FRAPS on a game like WoW).

    As to the second assertion that calling something a "Gamer Xtreme" means it's only for gaming, that's ludicrous. I play lots of games, but I also happen to do plenty of image editing and video encoding. I probably spend as much time on Facebook and in other mundane tasks as I do in games, and yet I have a quad-core i7 with 5850 CrossFire. These days, PC gamers are very likely to do social networking as well, which means images and videos.

    I still wouldn't spend $100 extra to get more cache and Hyper-Threading, at least not until I had an SSD in the build (and for gaming, probably a second GPU so I can use my 30" LCD at native res), but if you have everything else you need the 2600K isn't without merits.
  • Nentor - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Don't get all pedantic on me Jarred. You know perfectly well what I mean.

    Now I am just trying to figure out why someone, the editor even!, gets all feisty about this. That sort of thing feeds people claiming AT takes sides.

    There may be no reason the 2500K should outperfom the 2600K, but it does as can be seen in the charts.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Taking sides in what sense? All I've said is that you're not actually telling the whole story, which is something you continue to do. Call me pedantic for pointing out the facts if you will, but my own experience is such that I'd rather have the extra logical cores of Hyper-Threading. And calling me "feisty" is pretty much a case of the pot calling the kettle black my friend. LOL ("No, I am right. Hold on a sec while I me put on my blinders to explain why....")

    I wish I had some SNB desktop hardware of my own to play with, because there are quite a few unanswered questions I'd like to investigate more. You bring up a few of them--what happens if you disable HTT on the 2600K? Why would the 2500K without HTT ever beat the 2600K with HTT? How far can you push 2500K overclocking vs. 2600K, and what sort of power requirements do you end up with? Is disabling HTT beneficial for overclocking in any way? Like I said, plenty of questions left unanswered.

    I don't know if somehow there's some scheduling going on (suggested by risa2000 below) that gets in the way of performance in some games or what. I will say that I've never felt Windows' scheduler was all that impressive, and the way it appears to wake the CPU up all the time just to verify that no one needs work done is obvious when you look at what Apple achieves with battery life compared to Windows. Win7 is an improvement but it's by no means perfect. Let's hope for better in Windows 8.
  • Nentor - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    Wow, excuse me for apparently misjudging the average level here at AT.

    I thought people here were smart enough to not need everything spelled out and not need every conclusion drawn out.

    If two chips are compared one of which is 0.1ghz faster than the other and the slower one is faster than the faster one in 4 out of 10 games and the faster one is faster than the slower one in 6 out of 10 games with only a 2.3% advantage and based on that data someone calls the slower one faster overall it is pretty obvious what he means right? Or is that rocketscience right there?
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    Lets review a few facts here. These are probably ES chips (at least one of the ones Anand photographed was). That means there might be more variation in what they can handle than in production batches. Assuming Anand's tests were done with all normal features enabled, could be the gaming tests were sensitive to something like this particular example of a 2600K running warmer, and using turbo less. I haven't played with any of these and I doubt you have either, but after CES some of the editors probably will have a chance to answer some of these questions
  • SlyNine - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    Rocket Science has a long way to go before it can decipher that dribble.

    They don't make upward shovels so quit before you end up in china.
  • risa2000 - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    Speaking about Starcraft 2 and 2600K drop mentioned in Sandy Bridge review: Could it be possible that SC2 in fact tries to utilize all 8 logical cores, but due to some implementation issues blocks a lot?

    It would be possible to test, if you could run SC2 on 2600K with only physical cores enabled (HT disabled) - though it is not probably worthy the time.

    On the other side, it might be a "good" question to some Intel insider to explain this anomaly - which may also help developers to code "correctly" for HT enabled machine.
  • L. - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    HT is bad for current games.
    if you activate HT on a 2600K and measure it against a 2500K you might see some issues :)

    Again, fail PC . who the hell would OC their 2600k and STOP at 4.4 ??
    Like hello, you can do 5 Ghz on air, why not just do it and be happy ?

    For the same price I can get me a 5 ghz 2600k and a GTX580 so . again boutiques miss the point.

    On the other side, I live in a world where the word "blu-ray" means "another failed optical media" and thus I can't appreciate this product to it's full extent ...

    But seriously, why does no real geek work for these companies ?
  • NuclearDelta - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    This is the second time I saw them slammed. Are they really that bad?
  • Nentor - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - link

    People like to fool themselves.

    Oh it is cheap, so it must be bad. All the while forgetting that they think expensive is good only because they were learned that from a young age by marketing, etc. Some companies choose to do it another way. With the result they can sell high end ram for lower prices.

    If you look at the reviews for the fast (and cheap!) A-Data ram on Newegg for example they are excellent pieces of hardware. There are enough people who are willing to look through brands and get the best from it.

    4GB PC3 12800 for $48.99

    etc. Great ratings.

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