Yet another system based on the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500, CyberPower’s Gamer Infinity GT is nudged into fourth place by the slimmest of margins – although we would have expected a WorldBench score a good few points higher than 117 from this PC.

CyberPower usually supplies us with very fancy looking PCs that appeal to gamers and enthusiasts and the Gamer Infinity GT is no exception. Its clear side-panel gives a good view of the internals, including the ATI Radeon HD 4580 graphics card and a massive Intel cooler which will help with overclocking if you go down that route.

A hinged door on the front houses a small LCD panel displaying key system temperatures through a cool blue glow – a theme echoed in a large illuminated logo. The CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT's power switch and DVD drive are accessed from behind the door, while USB, FireWire and audio ports are conveniently provided on the top of the case.

Plenty of tool-free drive bays, free memory slots and card slots make the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT a good choice for those who like to get inside their PCs and upgrade or overclock the components. However, if gaming is the reason for your purchase, nothing in this month’s chart can touch the Eclipse Matrix i85A487.

Budget desktop PCs: chart ranking (October issue)


  1. Arbico CD 4850
  2. Chillblast Fusion Hornet
  3. Eclipse Matrix i85A487
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT
  5. Packard Bell imax 3414

>>NEXT PAGE: Budget desktop PCs buying advice

Buying advice: Budget desktop PCs (October issue)

Processor: Intel’s Core 2 Duo range offers almost unbeatable performance for the price, the E8500 version appearing in the vast majority of PCs we currently review. 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. Older Q6600 chips may still be on sale, with good performance for the multithreaded applications if the price is right.

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 going to become even 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 400-500GB drive should make a good investment. If you’ve got space, consider a pair of smaller drives – a terabyte (1TB) is a huge amount of information to lose in one go.

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 dual-layer drives. Drives that also read Blu-ray are becoming affordable, but you’ll have to compromise on DVD speeds. As 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.

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

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.

ATI’s Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 graphics cards deliver excellent performance and value for money at this price bracket, making even the most demanding games playable if you’re prepared to drop the resolution and quality settings a notch or two.

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 surround sound you’ll need a 5.1-channel system (five speakers and a subwoofer). You may have to settle for a 2.1-channel stereo system, which is still good enough for most people.

CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT: Specs

  • 3.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR2 RAM
  • 320GB SATA
  • MSI P35 Neo-F P35
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • 22in Chimei CMV 223D DVI (0.282mm pixel pitch
  • 1,680x1,050 native resolution)
  • 512MB PCI Express HiS ATI Radeon HD 4850 (games scores: Crysis = 54fps
  • Fear = 170fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC888
  • Logitech S220
  • subwoofer
  • 20x/20x/12x/8x/6x/8x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-ROM)
  • Nero Essentials
  • one-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 117
  • 3.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR2 RAM
  • 320GB SATA
  • MSI P35 Neo-F P35
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • 22in Chimei CMV 223D DVI (0.282mm pixel pitch
  • 1,680x1,050 native resolution)
  • 512MB PCI Express HiS ATI Radeon HD 4850 (games scores: Crysis = 54fps
  • Fear = 170fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC888
  • Logitech S220
  • subwoofer
  • 20x/20x/12x/8x/6x/8x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-ROM)
  • Nero Essentials
  • one-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 117

OUR VERDICT

Plenty of tool-free drive bays, free memory slots and card slots make the CyberPower Gamer Infinity GT a good choice for those who like to get inside their PCs and upgrade or overclock the components. However, if gaming is the reason for your purchase, nothing in this month’s chart can touch the Eclipse Matrix i85A487.

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