Fall Extreme Gamer System Shootout Part 4: CyberPower' XLC

System Specifications

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MotherboardAsus A8N-SLI Deluxe
Memory1 GB Corsair Xpert - 2 x 512 MB
HDD2 x Western Digital 74 GB Raptors 1 x Maxtor 250 GB MaXLine SATA
DVDDual Layer DVD±R/W Drive
VideoRerfrence Cards : NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX PCI-E 256 MB DDR3
SoundCreative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS
Power SupplyEnermax EG565AX 2.0 SLI
OSWindows XP Pro SP2

Cyberpower has many different systems available at many price points. They sent us one of their liquid-cooled gaming systems. Upon cracking the case open, we saw one of the smallest radiator and fan combinations inside. We were a little concerned at first, but decided that Cyberpower probably figured that the water would be cool enough to keep the system from overheating. We were wrong.

Once we had the system running through some tests we found it locking up and running relatively hot. We noticed that there were two rheostats located on this system and we turned all of them to maximum power. The first, on the front of the case increased the speed to the side window 120mm fan. The second, located on the Enermax power supply itself, increased the power supply’s fan speed.

Because the water remained significantly warm, it caused serious overheating problems. We encountered a crash during our second run of 3DMark 2005 at 1600x1200. After resetting the system, and turning up every fan to maximum speed, we were able to complete testing and never had a problem afterwards. However, these fans on full speed give off a loud hum that could become annoying.

Since the system utilized such a small radiator, the fan needed to be turned up because the circulation was not enough to cool the water. After turning up all of these rheostats, we never encountered another problem with overheating on this system. However, because all of these fans were turned up, the system became much louder. Cyberpower might want to take a cue from what we saw in our previous Alienware ALX system and install noise-reducing lining to the panels of the case and perhaps look at installing the larger version of that water cooler.

The components used in this system are nearly identical to those used in the Alienware ALX and the ABS M6 systems. The effective frequency is set from the factory at 400Mhz. In addition to the USB and Firewire ports on the front of the case below the temperature control were floppy drive, memory stick, SD, compact flash and microdrive media slots. A DVD-ROM and dual-layer DVD burner rounded out the system as a total media solution. Adding a little flash of light, there was a switch installed between the two video cards on the back of the case. This switch controlled the 12" cold cathode neon light that could either be switched on or off, or with the little microphone on the back of the case, it could be set to flicker by sound. However, the cold cathode neon light will set you back another $10.