First reviewed two months ago, CyberPower’s Gamer Infinity Silent Edition lives to fight another day. With its creditable WorldBench 6 processing-speed score of 117, it holds it own against the latest batch of PCs despite being fitted with Intel’s older E6580 processor.

The newer (and considerably cheaper) CyberPower Gamer Infinity 850 system has a faster CPU, but the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition’s 4GB of DDR2 RAM helps overcome this. And the difference in the rest of the specifications is huge.

The CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition’s 22in display provides far more desktop space, for example, although the image quality isn’t quite as good as some monitors here, such as the Chillblast Fusion Cobra’s 19in Hannspree.

Only Mesh's G94 Pulse offers a larger hard drive than the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition’s 400GB model, while the GeForce 8800 GT is an excellent graphics card. You’ll need its strong performance to make the most of that extra screen resolution.

Onboard audio is never a match for a decent card, but the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition’s Logitech S220 speakers and subwoofer deliver a convincing audio experience.

See also:

Buying advice: Budget desktop PCs

CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition: our first look

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (June issue)


  1. Arbico CD8520 XL
  2. Chillblast Fusion Cobra
  3. Mesh G94 Pulse
  4. CyberPower Gamer Infinity 850
  5. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition

Verdict

With its lengthy warranty, the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition offers good value. CyberPower has eked out every last bit of performance from the E6850, but this processor has probably had its day.

Buying advice: Budget desktop PCs (June 08 issue)

Processor: The once all-conquering E6850 processor has almost disappeared from the chart, outrun by the mighty E8500 chip – you can put in half the RAM and an E8500 will register the same performance scores. The E8500 will be a little more expensive, however, so it’s worth watching out for special offers as manufacturers try to offload their supplies of E6850s.

If you’ve got one eye on the future, consider a Core 2 Quad chip. You’ll sacrifice a little speed for the money now, but you might make it up in spades when multithreaded software applications start hitting the shops.

Memory: It’s a sign of how important memory has become that, even in the sub-£750 category, 2GB is the bare minimum, with most systems stretching to 4GB. If you’re on a budget, there’s no need to go quite this far, but 2GB is a definite must. Memory is only going to become more and more important in the next 12 months, so stock up now.

Storage: You can never have too much storage space. Digital media files such as video and music will quickly fill a reasonably sized hard drive, so buy the biggest you can. A 320GB or 400GB drive should make a good investment.

It’s a good idea to keep large files archived on DVD, so make sure your PC has a DVD burner. Look for a drive that can write to the –R/+R formats at rates of at least 18-speed. Eight-speed rewriting is good; if you want to copy up to 8.5GB at once, look for a drive with DVD-R DL or +R DL. Write speeds on these have got significantly faster in recent months, and you really need to be looking for an absolute minimum of eight-speed.

Display: Compromises have to be made to keep down the price of a PC and the monitor is often where the sacrifices start. Just remember that this is the part of the PC that you’re going to be spending most of your time looking at.

Virtually all PCs come with flat-panels. We’d recommend a 19in or 20in model – they’re common at this price point. Be very careful, though, when offered anything larger than 20in, as the quality at this price point could be low. Finally, look for a screen with a good response rate – 8ms or below should be more than fast enough.

Graphics cards: Given that the best graphics cards can retail for £300 or £400, feverish gamers are unlikely to be best served by a sub-£750 PC. Nonetheless, the best PCs do tend to come with decent graphics cards.

Although 50 frames per second (fps) is enough to make a game playable, at this price you can set your sights a little higher. Choose one that can manage 80-100fps on a number of titles. The 512MB 8800 GTS 512 is your best option if you find one, although the 8800 GT isn’t far behind. You may be able to find an 8800 GTX if you hunt hard enough, but the GT and GTS 512 are more likely. Stocks may be running a little low.

Sound card and speakers: You’re unlikely to get a standalone sound card at this price point, as it’s an area where vendors are likely to cut costs. Most motherboards have decent built-in audio chips that can handle six-channel sound, but to get the best out of them you’ll need a 5.1 speaker system. Unfortunately, you may not get anything better than a 2.1 system in this category – indeed, you won’t necessarily get a subwoofer at all.

See also:

CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition: expert review

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs

CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition: our first look

Our first look

CyberPower’s PCs have come close to a PC Advisor Best Buy award on a few occasions, and the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition ranks among the highlights of the firm’s time in our charts. Indeed, some may prefer it to the Arbico CD8500 XL – after all, that PC’s 19in monitor is a little cramped compared to the acres of screen space afforded by the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition’s 22in GNR. We do have a few issues with the quality of the GNRs, however, and this screen lacks the bright colours of the Arbico CD8500 XL’s Hannspree.

The CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition takes advantage of the Arbico CD8500 XL’s one other (debatable) shortcoming: hard-drive space. We’d argue that 250GB is more than enough for the average user but, if you like gobbling up gigabytes, you may find the CyberPower’s 400GB unit more to your taste. In other respects, the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition hits plenty of high points but doesn’t soar quite so effortlessly as the Arbico CD8500 XL.

The E6850 processor has had its thunder stolen by the new Penryn E8500 and, while the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition backs up the older chip with a plentiful 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM, it’s still unable to muster more than 117 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world processing-speed tests. That’s a good seven points down on the Arbico CD8500 XL and only a match for the E8500-powered Zoostorm 4-4428, despite that machine coming with half the RAM (and DDR2-667 RAM at that). Still, 117 points at this price point remains commendable.

The CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition's GeForce 8800 GT is a very good graphics card. It isn’t as fast as the GTS 512, but there are only a few frames in it. The onboard sound setup isn’t as good as the Arbico CD8500 XL’s Creative Audigy SE 7.1, but the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition's Logitech three-piece are decent speakers at this price point. Add the lengthy warranty and this is an excellent PC. Indeed, if you hanker after vast expanses of screen space, the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition could be your number one.

Budget PCs chart ranking (April issue)


  1. Arbico CD8500 XL
  2. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition
  3. Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C
  4. Chillblast Fusion Gladiator - last month 1
  5. Zoostorm 4-4428

Verdict

If you can't be doing with the Best Buy Arbico CD8500 XL's 19in screen and skimpy hard-disk drive, the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition could be your number one.

See also:

Budget PCs buying advice

Buying advice: £501-£750 desktop PCs (April issue)

Processor: Only last month we were saying hello to the E8500; now we’re effectively saying goodbye to the once all-conquering E6850 – you can put in half the RAM and an E8500 will register the same performance scores. The E8500 will be a little more expensive, however, so it’s worth watching out for special offers as manufacturers try to offload their supplies of E6850s. If you’ve got one eye on the future, consider a Core 2 Quad chip. You’ll sacrifice a little speed for the money now, but you might make it up in spades when multithreaded software applications start hitting the shops.

Memory: It’s a sign of how important memory has become that, even in the sub-£750 category, 2GB is standard, with the odd system daring to stretch to 4GB. If you’re on a budget, there’s no need to go quite this far, but 2GB is a definite must. Memory is only going to become more and more important in the next 12 months, so stock up now.

Storage: You can never have too much storage space. Digital media files such as video and music files will quickly fill a reasonably sized hard drive, so buy the biggest you can. A 320GB or 400GB drive should make a good investment.

It’s a good idea to keep large files archived on DVD, so make sure your PC has a DVD burner. Look for a drive that can write to the –R/+R formats at rates of at least 18-speed. Eight-speed rewriting is good; if you want to copy up to 8.5GB at once, look for a drive with DVD-R DL or +R DL. Write speeds on these have got significantly faster in recent months, and you really need to be looking for an absolute minimum of eight-speed.

Display: Compromises have to be made to keep the price of a PC down and the monitor is often where the sacrifices start. Just remember that this is the part of the PC that you’re going to be spending most of your time looking at.

Virtually all PCs (and all of our Top 5) come with flat-panels. We’d recommend a 19in model – they’re rife at this price point. Be very careful, though, when offered anything larger than 19in, as the quality at this price point could be low. Finally, look for a screen with a good response rate – 8ms or below should be more than fast enough.

Graphics cards: Given that the best graphics cards can retail for £300 or £400, feverish gamers are unlikely to be best served by a sub-£750 PC. Nonetheless, the best PCs do tend to come with decent graphics cards.

Although 50 frames per second (fps) is enough to make a game playable, at this price you can set your sights a little higher. Choose one that can manage 80-100fps on a number of titles. The 512MB 8800 GTS 512 is the undoubted leader, although the 8800 GT isn’t far behind. You may be able to find an 8800 GTX if you hunt hard enough, but the GT and GTS 512 are more likely. Stocks may be running a little low, so be patient.

Sound card and speakers: You’re unlikely to get a standalone sound card at this price point, as it’s an area where vendors are likely to cut costs. Most motherboards have decent built-in audio chips that can handle six-channel sound, but to get the best out of them you’ll need a 5.1 speaker system. Unfortunately, you may not get anything better than a 2.1 system in this category – indeed, you won’t necessarily get a subwoofer at all.

See also:

CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition: expert review
Budget PCs chart ranking

CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition: Specs

  • 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 4GB DDR2-800 RAM
  • 400GB SATA
  • MSI P35 Neo
  • 6 x USB
  • 22in GNR TS2200wa (0.282mm pixel pitch, 1,680x1,050 max resolution @75Hz)
  • 512MB PCI Express EVGA nVidia GeForce 8800 GT
  • onboard Realtek
  • 2 x Logitech S220
  • subwoofer
  • 20x20x/12x/12x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 117
  • 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 4GB DDR2-800 RAM
  • 400GB SATA
  • MSI P35 Neo
  • 6 x USB
  • 22in GNR TS2200wa (0.282mm pixel pitch, 1,680x1,050 max resolution @75Hz)
  • 512MB PCI Express EVGA nVidia GeForce 8800 GT
  • onboard Realtek
  • 2 x Logitech S220
  • subwoofer
  • 20x20x/12x/12x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 117

OUR VERDICT

With its lengthy warranty, the CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition offers good value. CyberPower has eked out every last bit of performance from the E6850, but this processor has probably had its day.

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