We're trying to find fault with the CyberPower Infinity Crossfire GT but, as an overall experience, it really is as a good as PC gets.


  1. CyberPower Infinity Crossfire GT
  2. Arbico CD8800 XL
  3. Mesh Elite E6700 GTS PCA
  4. Mesh Elite Q6600 PCA
  5. Evesham Axis R6 XT

First place

Without a price tag to place limitations upon system builders, the £1,001+ PCs category has always tended to offer more choice than any other category. So much so that, this issue, four of the PCs in the top five have at least one feature that could mark them out as the number one choice for specific groupings of users (whether that's the searing games pace of the Arbico, the large screen capabilities of the Mesh Elite E6700, or the quad-core chip of the Q6600 PCA). Strangely though, the chart-topping CyberPower's winning feature isn't quite so obvious. What it does offer, though, is fantastic components and features in every area.

Let's start with the processor. Intel's Core 2 range are pretty much cleaning up across our charts, and the Duo E6700 offers the most pace in today's applications. In fact, the CyberPower used this processor to devastating effect in our WorldBench 6 test suite, notching up a sensational 112 points. This might have been given considerable help by the 2GB of DDR RAM - an absolute essential at this price point, but it's still quite a showing for CyberPower.

We were also delighted with the Samsung flat-panel. It's not the largest screen in the chart - although few users should need more than 20 inches of viewing area - but the image is extremely sharp and vibrant. Whether you prefer this over the larger but less crisp and colourful Mirai is really down to personal choice. As far as we were concerned, though, only the Evesham's ViewSonic could battle with this for the title of best screen in the chart.

The HD 2900 XT is ATI's new challenger for nVIDIA's DirectX10 graphics cards. While it's not designed to match the firepower of the 8800 GTX (although it's not actually too far away in realworld scores), the CyberPower does show a clean pair of heels to the systems kitted out with 8800 GTS cards. The Arbico is slightly better for games, but the CyberPower really isn't too far away - count the better screen, and it could prove the best option.

But the CyberPower really is a PC with no weaknesses. The sound system is gorgeous, pairing the Creative SB X-Fi XtremeAudio card with the rumbling Inspire 6100 speakers. The DVD writer and 500GB hard drive are excellent, and if the warranty isn't onsite, at least it does last for three years.

Buying advice

Processor: Intel is back and its Core 2 Duo chips are quickly establishing themselves as the best in every category. The £1,000+ chart is no exception, and while prices haven't fallen significantly enough for 6800 to make an appearance, the E6700 is rapidly taking over the top five. A reasonably new contender, though, are the Quad-Core chips. These potentially offer around 50-100% extra performance, but only in applications and games that are programmed to take advantage of the extra cores included within each chip. Don't expect multi-core applications to be flooding in, but a couple of years time could have seen a rather dramatic shift in the software landscape. And then, the higher the number of cores, the more impressive the performance is likely to be. In today's world, though, the likes of the E6700 remain better bets.

Memory: Make no mistake about it. The age of the 2GB PC is almost upon us. If you skimp on memory now, you might find yourself having to administer a critical upgrade later on. Given the power and juggling space required by 2007's software titles, 1GB Power PCs won't cut it in the Vista era. If you really want the best performance, look for a high quality memory maker like Corsair.

Storage: It's unbelievable that anything less than 400GB is now considered a small amount of storage space but look out our chart and you'll see most manufacturers looking in the region of 400GB to 500GB. You're unlikely to get - and, unless you specialize in a particularly gigabyte-hungry pastime like video, won't really need - much more than this. Make sure you get serial ATA cabling for rapid transfer rates
Have backup covered with a multi-format DVD writer. Dual layer capabilities (allowing you to store 8.5GB rather than 4.7GB on a disc) are a must, and you should make sure the drive supports DVD+R DL at eight-speed or more. 8x DVD-R DL is nice but not essential. Also, look for good eight-speed DVD+RW facilities. Other optional formats include DVD-RAM.

Monitor: You'd think all of the flat-panels found in this category would be of superior quality. But you'd be miserably mistaken. No chart offers such a range of flat-panel shapes and sizes. A 22in model may sound nice, but be very careful that you choose a good one. Many of today's 22in flat-panels suffer from poor colours and fuzzy images and, depending on how sensitive you are, this might cause more than a few problems. 20in screens are safer bets, if you don't mind inferior resolution support. 19in models are becoming more outdated, although you might get better image quality if you don't mind going to this size.

Graphics card: At this price point, you should be able to get something rather startling. The GeForce 8800 GTX is undoubtedly the most prized acquisition. Its support for DirectX 10 means that Vistaites can look forwards to some impressive games titles coming out in the future. The GTX also has bags of performance and a slew of sizzling features. However, you shouldn't overlook its slightly less exciting sibling, the 8800 GTS, nor the brand new ATI HD 2900 XT. The latter card can't keep up with the GTX, but it will eclipse even the 640MB version of the 8800 GTS.

Sound card and speakers: Onboard or integrated sound has come on in leaps and bounds with support for 7.1 channel sound but it's still no match for a decent soundcard. Hunt around and you should be able to get a PC with a Creative Audigy card or, better still, one from the excellent X-Fi range. If you only want 2.1 channel speakers then make sure they're high quality but most manufacturers are bundling 5.1 channel speakers. Strangely, 7.1 speakers are becoming less and less common, but if you want audio excellence then you'd be best off holding out for a set of these.

CyberPower Infinity Crossfire GT: Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB serial ATA
  • Asus P5W-DH Crossfire motherboard
  • 6 USB ports
  • 20in Samsung SM2038 flat-panel, 0.292mm pixel pitch, 1,400x1,050 maximum resolution
  • 512MB ATI HD 2900 XT, PCI Express
  • Creative SB X-Fi XtremeAudio sound card
  • 5 x Creative Inspire 6100 speakers
  • maximum DVD speeds 16x/18x/18x (DVD -ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 8x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • includes InterVideo WinDVD Suite
  • 3-year RTB warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score 112
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 500GB serial ATA
  • Asus P5W-DH Crossfire motherboard
  • 6 USB ports
  • 20in Samsung SM2038 flat-panel, 0.292mm pixel pitch, 1,400x1,050 maximum resolution
  • 512MB ATI HD 2900 XT, PCI Express
  • Creative SB X-Fi XtremeAudio sound card
  • 5 x Creative Inspire 6100 speakers
  • maximum DVD speeds 16x/18x/18x (DVD -ROM/-R/+R) 8x/8x (-R DL/+R DL) 8x/8x/12x (-RW/+RW/-RAM)
  • includes InterVideo WinDVD Suite
  • 3-year RTB warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score 112

OUR VERDICT

We're trying to find fault with the CyberPower Infinity Crossfire GT but, as an overall experience, it really is as a good as PC gets.

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