Pros: Great for high-resolution gaming; top system performance; good keyboard and mouse
Cons: HDMI audio not enabled; no reset button
Bottomline: An astounding amount of power, a great look and oodles of premium extra features
The centre piece of this PC is undoubtedly the Geforce 9800GX2 graphics card – Nvidia’s answer to the ATI Radeon HD 3870X.
It’s currently the fastest graphics card in the world, has the biggest price tag to match (£420) and draws more power than any other card (the whole system drew 226W while idling).
The Geforce 9800GTX, 9800GTS and 9800GX2 are all based on Geforce 8 technology, specifically the 8800GTS (G92 core).
The 9800GTX and 9800GTS have higher clock speeds than the 8800GTS, while the 9800GX2 has a slightly slower GPU speed (600MHz) but compensates for this by sandwiching two G92 cores together with Nvidia’s SLI technology.
With a whopping 1GB of 2GHz GDDR3 Ram, it scores higher than any other card in benchmarks optimised for SLI. But, as always, the gains are never double that of a single card and, where software isn’t optimised for SLI, the 9800GX2 may score less than a single 8800GTS.
World in Conflict, for example, showed little benefit from having two GPUs – the Cyberpower PC achieved 46fps (frames per second) at 1,920x1,200 with high settings enabled, which is a measly 14 per cent faster than Arbico’s £900 base unit which had a similar processor and a single Geforce 8800GT graphics card.
PC games run at high settings and excellent frame rates at the included 22in Viewsonic VX2235wm monitor’s native 1,680x1,050 resolution, though.
A 24in model, perhaps not too big an ask for a £2,000 PC, with a 1,920x1,200 resolution would be able to take advantage of the 9800GX2 far better in some games, plus 1,080p HD films would look crisper.
The 9800GX2 has an HDMI output, so the Gamer Infinity can output to an HD TV, but it won’t output sound because Cyberpower doesn’t use the 9800GX2’s internal S/PDIF port. A Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Extreme Gamer soundcard will output sound, though, to the supplied Inspire T7900 speakers. These speakers are seven years old now but still provide a great 7.1 experience.
A dual-core Core 2 Duo E8400, based on Penryn architecture, with a 3GHz clock speed, and 2GB of DDR3 Ram are the Gamer Infinity’s building blocks.
Cyberpower overclocks the CPU to 3.6GHz for extra oomph by increasing the front-side bus (FSB) from 1,333MHz to 1,600MHz and increasing the available voltage to 1.425V. Other E8400s may get a different tweak depending on the CPU’s unique voltage ID.
Our CPU registered a cool 44°C after a day’s work, courtesy of an excellent CPU suction cup and radiator system to expel hot air from the chassis.
An Nforce 790i motherboard is another faultless inclusion. Successor to the 780i, the 790i adds support for DDR3 Ram and 1,600MHz FSBs, but features the same excellent connectivity and debug LED.
Other system goodies include a Wifi card, a multiformat card reader, Vista Home Premium, a top Logitech gaming mouse and keyboard, 10,000rpm Raptor hard disk and two 500GB hard drives for acres of digital space.
Everything fits into a Coolermaster Cosmos S case. We had a few problems with it, starting with two inactive front USB ports, which weren’t connected due the limitations of the motherboard. There’s also no hardware reset button.
The Cosmos S has a new grilled side panel but no swing-out door like its predecessor the Cosmos 1000, instead relying on two flaps at either edge on the front to hide the 5.25in drive panel catches.
One of these metal flaps was broken, but Cyberpower says it can easily fix this. We also found a loose screw from the graphics card rattling inside. Howev er, Cyberpower sensibly stuffs the case with bulbous air-tight plastic bags that act as an airbag during transportation so nothing gets damaged.
Cosmetically, the grilled side panel is used to good effect, with Cyberpower fitting two cold-cathodes so red light spills out of it (an external light switch is fitted if you get tired of this).
There are a few little niggles with the Gamer Infinity SLI GX2 but, with exception of the 22in monitor, they’re mostly rectifiable flaws.
If you built a PC to this specification yourself, £2,000 wouldn’t be enough to include a 24in monitor, so the Cyberpower is excellent value for money in that respect. The balance of the system is right if you’re into playing Crysis and other new DirectX 10 games, since a 22in monitor’s lower resolution makes good sense with these tough-to-handle games.