Those who want to play hard and look good while they’re doing it will appreciate the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT’s windowed, blue-lit side panel, colour-co-ordinated interior components and impressive-looking Intel CPU cooler, usually found only on the company’s highest-performing chips.

This latter feature may be slight overkill for a Core 2 Duo E8500, but over-engineering the cooling doesn’t hurt. It looks much better than the standard cooler, and allows overclockers to push the processor that bit further – something CyberPower is happy to do for an additional £57. The CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT's case-mounted LCD readout is another nice touch. This displays the temperatures of key internal components – a boon for those who like to push their PC to the limits.

At stock speeds the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT delivers reasonably good performance, scoring seven WorldBench 6 points fewer than Arbico's Elite 8070EX. But this is a gaming PC, not an Excel workhorse, and manages to beat the Arbico convincingly in both our Fear and Crysis tests.

It can’t match the Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX’s gaming performance, but the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT is a more stylish and generally higher-performing system. The specifications are impressive: 4GB of RAM, a 22in Chimei monitor with a digital input and Creative 5.1 speakers offer a rounded entertainment package that’s good enough for multimedia playback and the odd bit of office work.

Chart ranking: budget desktop PCs (August issue)


  1. Arbico Elite 8070EX
  2. Mesh Elite Q9300 Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT
  4. Eclipse Elite i85n98GTX
  5. Dell Inspiron 530/1142

>>NEXT PAGE: Buying advice and our expert verdict

Buying advice: budget desktop PCs (August issue)

Processor: Intel’s Core 2 Duo range offers almost unbeatable performance for the price. But don’t buy a standard desktop powered by any processor beginning with ‘E6’ – those chips’ time has passed. The E8500 is a far better choice.

If you’re feeling adventurous, by all means go for one of Intel’s latest quad-core processors, such as the Q9300. We’re starting to see very good results with newer applications and games.

Memory: If fast processors speed up your PC, a large bank of memory stops it from slowing down. Get the most out of your processor by including at least 4GB of RAM. You can get by with 2GB, but your PC will run more smoothly with 4GB. Memory is only going to become more important in the next 12 months.

Storage: Digital media files such as video and music will quickly fill a reasonably sized hard drive, so buy the biggest you can afford. A 400GB to 500GB drive should make a good investment. If you’ve got space, consider buying a pair of smaller drives – a terabyte (1TB) is a huge amount of information to lose in one go when your drive eventually fails.

Your DVD drive should write to the –R/+R formats at 18-speed or better. Eight-speed rewriting is good; if you want to copy up to 8.5GB at once, look for fast DVD-R DL or +R DL burning. Drives that can also read Blu-ray Disc are becoming affordable, but be aware that you’ll
have to compromise your DVD speeds. Since DVD burners are low-cost items, it may be worth buying a second one to complement your Blu-ray unit.

Display: Many PC manufacturers make sacrifices here to keep the price down. But a poor monitor can ruin your computing experience, so try it first to check you can put up with the quality.

At this price point you could be offered a 19in, 20in or 22in model. Be aware that 19in displays offer a lower resolution; 20in and 22in displays offer the same number of pixels. This means 22in monitors will display larger text and icons, which may be easier to read.

Consider whether you need built-in speakers. If you want to connect additional devices to the display you’ll need at least two inputs. Finally, look for a good response rate – 8ms or below should be fast enough for games.

Graphics cards: Hardcore gamers are unlikely to be happy with a sub-£750 PC – after all, the top graphics cards alone can cost £400. But you should be able to find a decent graphics card at this price.

Although 50 frames per second (fps) is enough to make a game playable, you can set your sights a little higher in this category. Look for a system that can manage 80-100fps on a number of titles. Just don’t expect to be able to run the latest cutting-edge titles at the very highest-quality settings.

The best card you’re likely to be offered at this price is a 512MB GeForce 9800 GTX, although the 512MB 8800 GTS is close behind and can cost significantly less.

Sound card and speakers: You’ll occasionally get a budget sound card at this price point, but most motherboards depend on a decent built-in audio chip that can handle six-channel sound. These are improving all the time.

To get the best out of them you’ll need a 5.1-channel system (five speakers and a subwoofer). Unfortunately, you may have to settle for a 2.1-channel system in this category. Insist on the subwoofer.

CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT : Specs

  • 3.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR RAM
  • 320GB SATA
  • MSI P35 Neo (MS-7360)
  • 6 x USB
  • 22in Chimei 223D (0.282mm pixel pitch, 1,680x1,050)
  • 512MB PCI Express BFG nVidia GeForce 8800 GT (framerates: Crysis [HQ] 48fps, Fear 139fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC888
  • 5 x Creative Inspire A500
  • subwoofer
  • 20x/20x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 119
  • 3.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR RAM
  • 320GB SATA
  • MSI P35 Neo (MS-7360)
  • 6 x USB
  • 22in Chimei 223D (0.282mm pixel pitch, 1,680x1,050)
  • 512MB PCI Express BFG nVidia GeForce 8800 GT (framerates: Crysis [HQ] 48fps, Fear 139fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC888
  • 5 x Creative Inspire A500
  • subwoofer
  • 20x/20x/8x/8x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 119

OUR VERDICT

It’s a very close call between the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT and the Mesh Elite Q9300 Pro. Your ultimate preference is likely to depend on budget considerations.

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