Cyberpower Gamer Ultra Stealth review

£1216
Price when reviewed

Cyberpower isn’t a company known for producing wallflower PCs: in the past, we’ve seen machines with fluorescent water-cooling, LED lights and LCD temperature panels. The manufacturer’s latest system, the Gamer Ultra Stealth, continues this fine tradition with its Silverstone Raven RV01 chassis.

It’s a new case with a twist: instead of having the usual ATX motherboard position and orientation, the Raven rotates the board 90 degrees, leaving the backplate and graphics outputs pointing skywards. It’s an unusual approach, but one that brings several advantages, chief among these being the ease with which you can access ports. Plugging in a DVI cable or USB device is simply a matter of unlocking the roof hatch, rather than fumbling around behind your PC.

it_photo_6419To ensure vital airflow isn’t affected, two huge 180mm fans in the floor of the case draw cool air up from the inch or so of space beneath, smoothly past the vertically-mounted components, with a single 120mm expelling hot air at the summit. With hot air naturally rising, it’s an approach that seems kind of obvious in hindsight.

The various expansion bays are fitted with tool-less entry mechanisms and anti-vibrations mounts. Each fan runs at sub-1000rpm speeds, ensuring that they’re quiet as well as effective. This is an area where the Cyberpower excels – despite the decent amount of power available inside, it’s a quiet machine.

Not all of Silverstone’s fiendish attention to detail pays off, though. The triangular lid hiding the front USB ports and the angular slash of blue light look good, but the large sliding door that conceals the optical drives isn’t exactly discreet. Opening the door took an inordinate amount of effort, and it’s loud as it rumbles shut again.

Cyberpower has paid attention to the Stealth’s aesthetics: the PCI slots, battery socket and SATA bays are coated with fluorescent paint; several cables glow, and a blue strip-light illuminates the interior. It stops just the right side of garish, though, and suits the brooding exterior, which eschews chrome and glossy paint for angular matte. There’s also upgrade potential thanks to two empty PCI-Express slots and two empty DIMM sockets, although the CoolerMaster V8 cooler blocks one of the DIMMs.

It may seem like the chassis takes all the plaudits, but Cyberpower has included some decent components, too. AMD’s Dragon platform is employed to full effect, with an overclocked Phenom II X4 940, Radeon HD 4870 graphics card and 790FX chipset working together to demolish our benchmarks.

In our 2D tests, the X4 940, which Cyberpower has overclocked from 3GHz to 3.6GHz, managed an overall score of 2.06 – not far behind the recent Core i7-equipped Chillblast Fusion Spitfire, which scored 2.28. It may not match up to the quickest Intel has to offer, but it’s still a cut above the vast majority of high-end systems. It’s also the closest we’ve seen a Phenom II chip get to Core i7 speeds.

Our low and medium Crysis tests were handled effortlessly by the 1GB Radeon HD 4870, while it also coasted through the 1,600 x 1,200 high benchmark at 40fps. The machine clung onto a barely playable 26fps in the very high test, which is where it falls behind some of its HD 4870 X2-toting rivals.

The rest of the specification is relatively good, with 4GB of RAM and a 750GB hard disk, and the addition of two optical drives – a DVD writer and Blu-ray reader – is a nice touch. The Samsung SyncMaster SM2233BW is a 22in, 1,680 x 1,050 TFT – slightly less than full HD resolution, which is disappointing given the Blu-ray drive, but quality is reasonably good. The backlight bleeds through a little at the bottom of the panel, but this isn’t nearly enough to distract from everyday use.

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