Switch on Cyberpower’s Cobra and the first thing you’ll notice is a small blue LED-illuminated window – a big clue as to what lurks inside the Cooler Master 690II system case. Delving straight inside, we find an industrial-strength water-cooling system with thick transparent pipes. This  feeds a large radiator taking up around two-thirds of the roof of the case. See also Group test: What's the best £1,000 PC?

The result is a rather spacious interior where we also find an AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, although sadly there’s no water block for this component which relies on the air cooling provided by its own internal fan and the pair fitted to the front and rear of the case. Although not silent, the watercooling system keeps the PC pleasantly quiet and is aided by sound-damping material applied to the interior of the case. Visit Group test: What's the best desktop PC?

Installed in the Asus P8Z68-V motherboard is the only Core i7 processor to be found in this round-up. In this case it’s the 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K which offers superior multi-tasking to the Core i5 chip, thanks to its HyperThreading capability. CyberPower has pushed the chip up to 4.6GHz and in so doing achieved the joint highest overall score in WorldBench 6 of a blistering 217 points. This score is also helped by the capacious 16GB of installed RAM and a 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, the latter set as the boot drive for the Windows operating system.

If the excellent performance of the HD 7970 graphics card isn’t enough for you, the motherboard offers good support for a second graphics card to be added later.

A 24in full-HD LED -acklit display is included in the form of AOC’s E2436VWA. While we don’t rate it quite as highly as the Asus or BenQ models from Chillblast and Eclipse, although it’s still perfectly good for gaming and comes with a handy built-in USB port.

You also get a Blu-ray drive and a gaming headset to complement the Razer Lycosa and Razer Death Adder keyboard and mouse, both of which have been designed specifically for gaming with enhanced responsiveness and accuracy. The keyboard features backlit and programmable keys with a non-slip rubber finish.

Cyberpower Cobra: Specs

  • Processor type: Intel Core i7 2600K
  • Processor speed: 3.4GHZ, Overclocked to 4.6GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Advanced water cooling
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • Hard disk capacity: 128GB Sata III SSD, 1TB Sata II HDD
  • Motherboard Make and model: Asus P8Z68-V
  • External USB 2.0 ports (rear / front / other): 8 (6 / 0 / 2 top)
  • External USB 3.0 ports (rear / front / other): 2 (2 / 0 / 0)
  • Monitor (size and model): AOC 24" LED E2436VWA
  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Graphics chip (x No. of cards): AMD HD7970, 3GB PCI -E
  • Sound card (or on-board chipset): Onboard Realtek A LC892-8
  • Optical Drive Type and model: 12x BD-R, x8 DVD±DL
  • Operating system, software and extras: Windows 7 Home premium 64 bits, MS office starter 2010
  • Network connectivity: Gigabyte x 1
  • I/O ports (audio): SPDIF Co-axial, optical, HDMI Audio, 7.1 HD
  • "W) 214.5 x (H) 511.8 x (D) 528.8 mm: Soundproofing
  • 1x eSATA port
  • Processor type: Intel Core i7 2600K
  • Processor speed: 3.4GHZ, Overclocked to 4.6GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Advanced water cooling
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3 RAM
  • Hard disk capacity: 128GB Sata III SSD, 1TB Sata II HDD
  • Motherboard Make and model: Asus P8Z68-V
  • External USB 2.0 ports (rear / front / other): 8 (6 / 0 / 2 top)
  • External USB 3.0 ports (rear / front / other): 2 (2 / 0 / 0)
  • Monitor (size and model): AOC 24" LED E2436VWA
  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Graphics chip (x No. of cards): AMD HD7970, 3GB PCI -E
  • Sound card (or on-board chipset): Onboard Realtek A LC892-8
  • Optical Drive Type and model: 12x BD-R, x8 DVD±DL
  • Operating system, software and extras: Windows 7 Home premium 64 bits, MS office starter 2010
  • Network connectivity: Gigabyte x 1
  • I/O ports (audio): SPDIF Co-axial, optical, HDMI Audio, 7.1 HD
  • "W) 214.5 x (H) 511.8 x (D) 528.8 mm: Soundproofing
  • 1x eSATA port

OUR VERDICT

With a keyboard and mouse worth around £125 alone, the most advanced processor and a full watercooling setup, the £1999 price tag starts to make sense. The Cobra delivers uncompromising performance quality peripherals and quiet operation.

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