But is the Performance "Xtreme?"

CyberPower shipped our review unit with a large overclock on the very capable i7-875K CPU, but what will really be interesting is seeing how the "SuperClocked" GeForce GTS 450's fare. Since the review of the iBuyPower Paladin XLC we've streamlined our benchmarking suite for desktop machines so that moving forward we have a better reference point. Unfortunately, that means that we're starting fairly fresh. To help even the odds a bit I've also included the benchmark results from another system from a forthcoming review, AVADirect's Nano Gaming Cube. It's not particularly fair to the Cube: that unit is a Mini-ITX gaming machine running an i7-750S overclocked to 3GHz and a Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 5870. That's a hell of a lot of power for a tiny machine (so stay tuned to learn more), but it's still competing with bigger systems with more aggressive configurations.

We'll start with the system-based benchmarks. There should be no huge surprises in how the 8500 places, but remember that the processor is faster than any of the other chips listed while the GeForce GTS 450 SLI configuration is still brand new.

 

 

Generally speaking, the 3.85GHz clock speed on the i7-875K leaves the competition in the dust. Remember that the iBuyPower's processor is only overclocked to 3.5GHz; the triple-channel memory configuration in that system just isn't enough to pick up the slack. The odd outlier is PCMark Vantage, where AVADirect's decision to use a Corsair Nova SSD seems to have paid off in spades. While all of these test units are using SSDs as their system drives, the Nova is the fastest (and most expensive) of the lot, and PCMark Vantage has historically skewed wildly towards fast SSD-based systems.

When we move on to 3DMark, the XLC with its GTX 470's in SLI should destroy the competition; what you're really going to want to look at is the difference between the GTS 450's in the CyberPower unit and the Radeon HD 5870 in the AVADirect machine. It does bear mentioning that 3DMark results can still skew towards higher CPU clocks, however.

 

 

As you can see, 3DMarks 05 and 06 both favor the increased clocks on the processor in the CyberPower machine, putting it ahead of even the SLI 470-based iBuyPower unit. In 3DMark Vantage, that ranking disappears, but the "slow" 3GHz i5 in the Cube can't pick up the slack and seems to be limiting the Radeon HD 5870 somewhat.

Introducing the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 8500 Gaming Performance on the CyberPower 8500
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  • vol7ron - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    Not too bad for the price. The hard drive is kind of weak. I'd expect at least an 80GB SSD Reply
  • wolfman3k5 - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    It's to expensive for what it is. To me, a 40GB SSD doesn't make much sense. I'd rather have a 300GB VelociRaptor as an OS drive for that price. Anyway, great review. And again, the system isn't worth the price tag. Reply
  • Roland00 - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    40 GBs is enough for the OS and any non program you may want to install (with the exception of games.)

    Games don't benefit that much from random access times for most of their data is sequential, you just need a fast hard drive to access these (and many normal hard drives have similar sequential reads compared to a VR). The OS and other programs benefit muchly from an SSD since most of their data is random thus the access time matters much more than sequential reads.

    My personal experience with ssds also backs this up.
    Reply
  • Bitter - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    What about the power cosumption? Could be an important factor Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    Seconded. Seems odd it was mentioned in the conclusion that it was idling in the 40's but then no power consumption, temp, or noise results. Seems like an entire section was left out. Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    I see three main issues with this build, the liquid cooling system, the choice of SLI GTS 450s, and the low-end SSD. Using liquid cooling doesn't make much sense, as a high-end air cooler (like the Noctua NH-D14 or Thermalright Silver Arrow) provides better cooling performance, lower noise levels, and higher reliability, all at a lower pricepoint. The SLI GTS 450s are also a poor choice, as a single GTX 460 1GB offers very similar performance, but with substantially lower power usage and noise levels, and at a lower pricepoint. Finally, the use of a low-end, 40GB SSD really hamstrings the system, as there really isn't enough room after the installation of the OS for the games and other applications that you want to load quickly.

    By eliminating the unnecessary fan controller (~$60) and using a single GTX 460 1GB (~$60), CyberPower could have included a 120GB Sandforce-based SSD, providing ample capacity for a number of games, as well as substantially improving performance. Depending on the cost of the liquid cooling system they used, they may have even been able to upgrade to 8GB of RAM, though I'll grant that may have impacted their ability to run at 1600Mhz, and there aren't very many applications aside from desktop virtualization that need more than 4GB. This would have also given owners the option to upgrade to SLI GTX 460 1GB cards if desired at some point in the future, for truly formidable gaming performance.

    Overall, this isn't a bad system, and I applaud their choice of an LGA-1156 processor, Asus motherboard, and Corsair power supply, but it seems like they made too many concessions to make the system LOOK extreme, rather than balancing it for the best performance possible.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    A small water cooling system is less likely to break in transit than some massive air cooler.

    The SSD is OS and a game only, but is perfectly acceptable for an OS drive (I have used one).

    Hopefully you can configure and make your own balance.
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    Furthermore while it doesn't perform better, most people assume watercooling is better based on name. Some youthful people also think watercooling is more "elite."

    Thus sales wise you are more likely to sell the watercooled solution even if in reality good aircooling would have performed just as well.
    Reply
  • acooke - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    The water cooling takes up less space. It's difficult to fit a high end air cooler in these boxes - there's not the vertical space. Reply
  • acooke - Thursday, September 16, 2010 - link

    Duh. I'm an idiot. The review mentioned the Cube and so I assumed this was also small form factor, but I just read it again and it's not. Sorry. Reply

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