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

The Cyberpower Gamer Dragon

When we looked for the Gamer Dragon on the 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.

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Cyberpower Gamer Dragon
MotherboardGigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P, BIOS F4a, AMD790X
ProcessorAMD 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
MemoryKingston HyperX 9905403-048.A00LF  PC3-107002 x 2,048 MB, 1,498 MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24 2T
Graphics2 x HIS Radeon HD 4890 in CrossFire850 MHz GPU, 2,200 MHz RAM, 1 GB Per Card
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda ST31500341AS1.5 TB, 7200.1RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s
OpticalLG GGCH20-L Blu-ray/HD-DVD ROM
CaseCooler Master CM STORM Scout
PowerCorsair CMPSU-650TX650 W, ATX 12V 2.2
CPU CoolerXtreme 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.

  • astrodudepsu
    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.
  • Ogdin
    Would have been nice if the video cards where the same in both.
  • Proximon
    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.
  • Ogdin
    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.
  • 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.
  • IronRyan21
    Cyber Power comes to the rescue.......
  • cinergy
    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.
  • supergroover
    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.
  • mcvf
    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.
  • goose man

    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.