UK price (as reviewed): £1,099 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A
The mid-range PC market can be a tough one to get right as there are so many options to consider. AMD versus Nvidia, Intel versus AMD, liquid cooling versus air cooling - and that's before we get to motherboard, case and aesthetic choices. However, there are a few things every PC in the £1,000 price range needs to get right, and the CyberpowerPC Ultra 5 RTX Super nails most of these.
For example, it has 16GB of memory - standard for a gaming PC these days, especially with memory prices back at normal levels. You get a 500GB WD Blue NVMe M.2 SSD, which is a decent amount of fast storage, backed up by a 2TB hard disk. There's a semi-modular 650W PSU - ample power for this build plus future upgrades, and the case - Corsair's Graphite 220T - is a decent-enough choice to slot nicely into this kind of budget. With a handful of ARGB fans included in the mix, it's a good-looking PC overall, too.
The rest of the specification includes an RTX 2060 Super, which is a solid choice for a mid-range card that should be able handle 1440p at decent settings in most current titles and churn out some very respectable frame rates at 1080p. CyberpowerPC's choice here is the MSI RTX 2060 Super Ventus GP OC 8GB - a reasonably-sized, dual-fan beast that remained exceptionally quiet, even during our Furmark stress test, although as you can see above, there was a little GPU sag on our sample PC.
With a 6C/12T Ryzen 5 3600X under the hood, there's a decent amount of grunt for a range of tasks and to cool it, there's a Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120 neatly tucked away in the rear fan mount. This, and the front fans are the first niggle we have with the PC as all of the four 120mm fans are hooked up to a lighting controller and not the motherboard. Unfortunately, the controller has no fan control of its own and no PWM input from the motherboard either, meaning the fans sit at a fixed speed.
Admittedly, they do look pretty and come with a remote control that cycles through various lighting modes, but ultimately, they appear to sit at full speed all the time and don't wind down under low loads. This results in a system that's noisier than it should be, but in reality, the fans aren't particularly noisy at full speed. It's definitely louder than many PCs we've tested, though, so it's probably not ideal if you aim to have a PC on a desk while catching up with some Netflix or listening to music.
The case offers a pair of USB 3.0 ports as well as the usual audio jacks up top alongside a smattering of easily-removable dust filters. The tempered glass side panel is a little fiddly to deal with due to four thumbscrews securing it, but that's not something most of us will need to contend with regularly. The snazzy V-shaped cutouts catch the RGB lighting nicely and hopefully add a little ventilation to an otherwise stuffy case.
Rather than opt for an expensive X570 or X470 motherboard, Cyberpower has instead done the sensible thing by using a B450 motherboard and MSI's Tomahawk Max is part of a range that has proven itself to be more than capable of dealing with 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs, although the Ryzen 5 3600X has not been overclocked and sits at stock speed. Another niggle is the use of 3,000MHz memory. With 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs playing far more nicely with fast memory, we'd usually expect something a little faster than this given it can boost performance, especially with faster kits often costing just a fraction more, so it's a shame not to see a 3,200MHz or 3,466MHz kit included here.
Round the side there's a reasonable job done with cable tidying and that includes in the main chamber, but there are a number of loose cables behind the motherboard tray, which is a little sloppy. Many of these seem to be from the RGB lighting controller, so we wonder if this was maybe somewhat of an afterthought, or someone just ran out of cable ties. The company redeems itself to some extent by going the extra mile and including an 802.11ac WiFi card, handy if your gaming lair isn't equipped with a wired internet connection, plus you get a three-year labour, two-year parts with six-month collect-and-return warranty.
October 14 2021 | 15:04