All the systems in this month's chart use Intel's Core i7 920 quad-core processor, but large disparities in performance remain. While the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy doesn't reach the stunning performance levels set by Chillblast and Arbico, a score of 128 points in WorldBench 6 is still very good.

The CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy lacks the high-performance Raid 0 sub-system of the top two PCs, instead providing a single 1TB hard drive. This is a straightforward, more reliable approach, but offers 500GB less storage.

Several high-quality components push up the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy's price tag. For starters, it's housed in a superior Cooler Master Centurion case and fitted with a meaty 700W power supply. This provides plenty of juice to the HD 4870 X2 graphics card, which delivers some of the best framerates in the chart. If you're willing to pay the extra £150, this is an excellent gaming PC.

The MSI motherboard offers plenty of room for expansion and will happily support a second graphics card. There's also 6GB of RAM as standard, and it's easy to upgrade further with the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy's trio of available memory slots.

The 21.6in Hanns-G display comes with a digital input and will be adequate for most users, although it looks a little small next to the 24in monsters elsewhere in the chart. Larger screens such as these provide 1,080p (full-HD) capability; the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy doesn't have a Blu-ray drive either, so enjoying HD films would require several upgrades.


Chart ranking: Power PCs (August issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Thunder
  2. Arbico Elite i7 RSX Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy
  4. Eclipse Titan X58 i7A489
  5. Chillblast Fusion Hercules


>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice

Buying advice: Power PCs (August issue)

Processor: Intel's quad-core Core i7 CPUs offer a number of speed boosts, including the ability to run eight threads simultaneously, although they require far more expensive motherboards and memory than previous-generation chips. The dual-core E8600 is still a very fast processor and delivers excellent value.

Memory: If you're spending more than £1,000 on a Core i7 PC, it should come with a minimum 3GB of RAM and preferably 6GB. For dual-core machines, look for 4GB in two modules to allow room for expansion.

Core i7 PCs require you to buy your chips in threes, in order to take advantage of the triple-channel architecture. You'll also need to splash out on DDR3 RAM.

A 64bit operating system can take full advantage of this memory, particularly if you're running a dual-graphics setup.

Storage: Expect 750GB. Look for a pair of drives rather than a single unit; it will boost performance and prevent the risk of total data loss. Raid setups are an option. Consider mirroring for added security. SSDs can provide speed boosts, but offer limited capacity and are expensive.

Cover backup with a multiformat DVD writer. Dual-layer capabilities (allowing you to store 8.5GB on a disc) are useful. Make sure the drive supports DVD+R DL at eight-speed or above. You should also be able to get eight-speed DVD+RW.

If you want Blu-ray playback, be prepared to compromise on DVD speeds. Alternatively, buy a second DVD burner for backup.

Display: We're seeing increasing numbers of 24in displays in our PC charts. This used to be the magic size at which 1,080p (full-HD) playback became available, making these ideal partners for Blu-ray drives. However, some of the newest 22in (16:9) monitors can also display full-HD - and with a considerable saving, making them excellent value for money.

Make sure you get a digital input for the best image quality.

Graphics card: For a thrilling gaming experience, choose between nVidia's GeForce GTX 285 or GTX 295 and an ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2. The latest GeForce GTX 275 and Radeon HD 4890 cards also offer great performance and very good value for money.

Also look out for pre-overclocked graphics cards, which can deliver excellent value for money and are approved by chip manufacturers.

Buying a single-card setup keeps your options open for adding a second card later. It also leaves more space in your PC for sound cards or TV tuners.

Motherboard: If you're considering any upgrades, check that the motherboard offers enough memory slots to support additional chips. SLI or CrossfireX support will enable to you add extra graphics cards to boost your gaming performance.

Power supply: The level of power you require will largely depend on the type of graphics card you expect to use. Look for a known and respected brand, and consider from 750W upwards if you have any thoughts of moving up to a dual-card setup later. Any form of overclocking will demand a powerful PSU.

Sound card and speakers: Onboard sound is still no match for a decent sound card. You should be able to get a Creative Audigy or X-Fi card at this price. If you only want 2.1-channel speakers, make sure they're high-quality models.

CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy: Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 920
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • MSI X58 Platinum Crossfire
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 700W Cooler Master PSU
  • 21.6in Hanns-G HG216DP (0.28mm pixel pitch
  • 1,680x1,050)
  • 2 x 1GB PCI Express Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card (games scores: Crysis (High/Very High) = 65/36fps
  • Fear = 316fps)
  • onboard Realtek HD sound
  • speakers built into flat-panel
  • max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • Adobe Reader 8.0
  • PC Alert
  • Driver Booster Manager
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 128
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 920
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • MSI X58 Platinum Crossfire
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 700W Cooler Master PSU
  • 21.6in Hanns-G HG216DP (0.28mm pixel pitch
  • 1,680x1,050)
  • 2 x 1GB PCI Express Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card (games scores: Crysis (High/Very High) = 65/36fps
  • Fear = 316fps)
  • onboard Realtek HD sound
  • speakers built into flat-panel
  • max DVD speeds: 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • Adobe Reader 8.0
  • PC Alert
  • Driver Booster Manager
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 128

OUR VERDICT

The CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Galaxy is a high-quality but pricey system. It’s excellent for gamers, but lacks some features as an all-purpose PC.

Find the best price