Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

The Cyberpower Gamer Dragon

Cyberpower’s Gamer Dragon: Can AMD Bring The Game?
By

When we looked for the Gamer Dragon on the cyberpowerpc.com Web site, we didn’t see it there. Instead, we saw was a number of different systems, and while one of them was called the Gamer Dragon, it wasn’t quite identical to our test system. This is because Cyberpower's site allows the user to configure systems however one chooses within a wide range of parameters.

Here are the specifications of the machine as we tested it. According to Cyberpower, it would cost about $1,743 to purchase the system as-listed.

Cyberpower Gamer Dragon
Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P,
BIOS F4a, AMD790X 

Processor

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (3.2 GHz, FSB-200) 6 MB Cache.
Factory OC at 3.6 GHz, FSB-225,
2,022 MHz HyperTransport link

Memory

Kingston HyperX 9905403-048.A00LF  PC3-10700
2 x 2,048 MB, 1,498 MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24 2T

Graphics

2 x HIS Radeon HD 4890 in CrossFire
850 MHz GPU, 2,200 MHz RAM, 1 GB Per Card

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda ST31500341AS
1.5 TB, 7200.1RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Optical

LG GGCH20-L Blu-ray/HD-DVD ROM

Case

Cooler Master CM STORM Scout

Power

Corsair CMPSU-650TX
650 W, ATX 12V 2.2

CPU Cooler

Xtreme Cooler HP-1216


Now, we know the Phenom II X4 is no slouch in its stock form, but since it is factory-overclocked to 3.6 GHz, the chip should give us an ideal demonstration of its prowess. Realistically, the maximum overclock you can expect out of a Phenom II is around 4 GHz, so we consider 3.6 GHz a reasonable speed, especially when you consider that Cyberpower offers this overclock under warranty.

The cooler was a bit of a puzzle for us. We couldn't easily identify it, and it wasn't listed as an option on Cyberpower’s Web site. A query to Cyberpower brought the model's name to light: it's an Xtreme Cooler HP-1216. The cooler appears to be a capable unit with a great deal of cooling area, five heat pipes, and a 120 mm Cooler Master fan.

The Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P is a fine board, and its AM3 CPU socket allows for fast DDR3 memory. The memory is Kingston HyperX PC3-10700, clocked in at 748 MHz (1,498 MHz effective)

Everything fits nicely in a Cooler Master CM Storm Scout gaming case. 

Within this unique and attractive case, Cyberpower has executed the cable management well. You probably won’t see this kind of care and attention from one of the big suppliers.

The included hard drive is Seagate’s mammoth 1.5 TB Barracuda. No RAID array here, which is a little odd in a premium system, but opting for one is as easy as ticking the checkbox when ordering.

Supplying the juice to everything is Corsair’s 650TX power supply unit (PSU), which we were pleased to use in past SBMs.

The dual Radeon HD 4890 cards in CrossFire are using up a great deal of its power, and although we usually try to dispel the rumors that CrossFire and SLI configurations require ungodly amounts of juice, we would have opted for a little more margin of error and a beefier PSU. The power benchmarks will tell us if our concern is justified.

The operating system controlling everything is, of course, a flavor of Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit to be exact, to take full advantage of the 4 GB of RAM. Bear in mind that this adds $83 to the machine's total cost, which is not included in the System Builder Marathon configuration we presented last month.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 367 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    kevin1212 , June 25, 2009 10:58 AM
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-9.html

    Toms very own review of the phenom 955, gaming benchmarks... now that is a test with the same gpu, is there a big difference?
  • 14 Hide
    mcvf , June 25, 2009 9:05 AM
    My points:
    1. Comparison of two different graphics cards. Based on completely different systems you speculate that i7 is much better. If the i7 is so clearly better, it is important for readers to know how much. Test it on the same computer (same graphics card) and prove how much better it actually is. Till now I only see relatively small advantages of i7 over phenom or intel quad limited within few percents only in Tom's review. Seems to me Tom is just hyping i7 (regularly "forgetting" comparisons with core 2 quads).
    2. Power usage. How the hell is possible that overclocked i7 takes significantly less power than non-overclocked one? That smalls to me and says that there is something rotten in the benchmark. I do not think readers should trust this review too much and rely on it when buying new computer.
  • 11 Hide
    ohim , June 25, 2009 11:08 AM
    The only good thing that comes out of this article is that you can build a home PC for less monney and better performance than retailers, but don`t use it as a CPU brand comparation.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    astrodudepsu , June 25, 2009 6:34 AM
    Great article. It will be quite hard for anyone to shout after something like this. Granted, there will surely be the 'you can build it for less' crowd but I think all in all this should silence some folks.
  • 7 Hide
    Ogdin , June 25, 2009 6:40 AM
    Would have been nice if the video cards where the same in both.
  • 10 Hide
    Proximon , June 25, 2009 6:42 AM
    I have to wonder what would happen with a 790FX board and RAM running at CAS 7. Those are two glaring problems I see with their build. I priced out the items to make the build work better and still came out at $1300.
    While it's an indictment of AMD clearly, seems like you shouldn't write it out of the SBM just yet.
    I was actually surprised to find some reasonable 790FX boards, as long as you don't need one of the big two brands.
    Also, other tests seem to contradict this. Sure, there is going to be some FPS difference, but there should not be so much.
  • 0 Hide
    Ogdin , June 25, 2009 6:51 AM
    The lower cas ram wouldn't change anything.Having the 16x16 pci-e slots of the 790fx vs the 8x8 of the 790x.....doubtful it would make a big difference,though it would be nice to see if there would be a difference.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 25, 2009 6:51 AM
    Buying parts online I was able to get a fairly decent i7 920 setup for only $80 above a similar X4 955, the setups both had parts that would allow them to reach maximum OCing results and both had equivalent ATI/NVIDIA GPUs. AMD may have had a competitive price advantage a month ago but right now the i7 920 is better without question, in fact the $80 increase didn't even apply for me since the GTS 250 I bought off newegg for $135 came with COD4 and COD:WaW and the i7 920 came with HAWX for only $280 and an unopened HAWX goes for $40 at gamestop(they sell it for $50) and CoD:WaW also came in an unopened case that would have been sold to gamestop for $20 if I didn't keep it.

    X4 955 buyers beware, you're getting equivalent performance to a Q9550 setup for a $100 premium and if you're looking for an upgradeable setup the 1366 socket is a lot safer investment.

    P.S. - Sorry if the grammar and such is terrible, I just woke up to get a late night snack and check my e-mails but saw this and felt a need to post.
  • 0 Hide
    IronRyan21 , June 25, 2009 7:02 AM
    Cyber Power comes to the rescue.......
  • -9 Hide
    cinergy , June 25, 2009 7:33 AM
    The point is if you build a system without any "Cyberpower" ready made premium priced stuff, AMD platform is cheaper and makes more sense, so again comparison seen here is unfair. Of course you wanted to justify your previous choices but in a misleading way. Having to the max (almost 1ghz) over clocked i7 only and comparing self built cheaper system to premium retail system just underlines to fact that you have taken sides.
  • 9 Hide
    supergroover , June 25, 2009 8:00 AM
    I Still say biased. Why not give the overclock a go and present the results with the note that it may void warranty. You also overclock the SBM core i7 system.
    Also as proximon points out, this build does not say anything. You can yourself piece together something better at a lower cost, therefore the price comparison is not a good one if you want to point out the difference between AMD phenom II and Intel core i7.
  • 14 Hide
    mcvf , June 25, 2009 9:05 AM
    My points:
    1. Comparison of two different graphics cards. Based on completely different systems you speculate that i7 is much better. If the i7 is so clearly better, it is important for readers to know how much. Test it on the same computer (same graphics card) and prove how much better it actually is. Till now I only see relatively small advantages of i7 over phenom or intel quad limited within few percents only in Tom's review. Seems to me Tom is just hyping i7 (regularly "forgetting" comparisons with core 2 quads).
    2. Power usage. How the hell is possible that overclocked i7 takes significantly less power than non-overclocked one? That smalls to me and says that there is something rotten in the benchmark. I do not think readers should trust this review too much and rely on it when buying new computer.
  • 9 Hide
    goose man , June 25, 2009 9:44 AM
    @supergroover,mcvf

    In SBM article before, many reader states that the prices different between Phenom system and Core i7 system can be used to purchased "stronger" GPU.

    Assuming frreerr_hardware (no 5 post) statement is true, the difference is only $80 and ATI 4890 is STRONGER card than GTX 260 core 216
    The cheapest ATI 4890 in Newegg is $189 after MIR
    and the chepest GTX260 core 216 in Newegg is $149 after MIR
    The difference is $40 for a card and $80 for a pair (SLI or Crossfire)
    So the comparison of Phenom system using ATI 4890 and Core i7 system using GTX 260 core 216 is well justified.

    And please do not start talk about overclock.
    The standard (not overclocked) Core i7 system (2.66 GHz) manage to wins some cases to the overclocked Phenom system (3.6 GHz), that's almost 1 GHz difference in clock. Do you really want to compare their performance in fully overclocked system like frreerr_hardware's system ?

    Typical Phenom 955 (in average) can achieve 4 GHz when overclocked and so does typical Core i7 920. Remember this is in SAME PRICE system (according to frreerr_hardware). Logic dictates the the Core i7 system will crushed the phenom system if both is fully overclocked.
  • -1 Hide
    mcvf , June 25, 2009 10:23 AM
    goose man: "stronger graphics card", as stated many times by Tom's, applies only to the chosen game title. Are you absolutely sure that used Nvidia card is in all presented game titles slower that presented ATI? If yes, could you point me to the site (Tom's or other) where they are fairly compared, because I did not have any information about their relative "strength" when reading this review.
  • -4 Hide
    stridervm , June 25, 2009 10:43 AM
    For me the results are clear :

    At stock. They offer similar performance. The AMD system has a slightly better video card. The Intel has a slightly better processor. But this is theorhetical at best.

    Clearly not fair, as certain stuff/programs will favor one platform over the other.
  • 5 Hide
    stridervm , June 25, 2009 10:45 AM
    Also, I've noticed most of the benchmarks/games used favor processor speed over videocard speed.
  • 17 Hide
    kevin1212 , June 25, 2009 10:58 AM
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278-9.html

    Toms very own review of the phenom 955, gaming benchmarks... now that is a test with the same gpu, is there a big difference?
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 25, 2009 11:05 AM
    Awesome Case, have just last week finished re-building my PC into this case, and the cooling is second to none , especially with a couple of Skythe Kaze Maru 140mm fans on the side!

    Would have loved to see the i7 Figures if under this cases chilling winds, would have blown the AMD system even further backward I think!
  • 6 Hide
    ohim , June 25, 2009 11:06 AM
    Thing is lately i`m starting not to trust games anymore that has Adds at startup with Runs great on Intel or Nvidia ... just wonder if they got payed to put that add at startup wonder what other things they got payed to "optimize" the game. And this article is so wrong ... custom home build vs Retail build ... oh boy and comparing in the end 2 CPUs that have different videocard setup ... i`m not saying that P2`s > I7s in performance but this test is way wrong.
  • 11 Hide
    ohim , June 25, 2009 11:08 AM
    The only good thing that comes out of this article is that you can build a home PC for less monney and better performance than retailers, but don`t use it as a CPU brand comparation.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 25, 2009 11:42 AM
    You guys aren't getting the point of this article. It is to point out that IF for the price you saved with a P2 vs an i7, you went and bought better graphics cards (GTX260
  • 4 Hide
    doomtomb , June 25, 2009 11:58 AM
    So pretty much the $1300 DIY comp stomps the $1740 prebuilt comp. No surprise there but I got to hand it to Cyberpower, it appears as though they have improved their cable management since the last time I've seen.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , June 25, 2009 12:01 PM
    You did pick games that have always heavily favored nvidia gfx cards... much less balance than normal. You guys usually give us a show of both the nvidia optimized and the AMD optimized games but this time just nvidia..
Display more comments