CyberPower’s Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven is the only PC here to combine the fastest CPU with the most powerful graphics card.


CyberPower's Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven is the only PC here to combine the fastest CPU with the most powerful graphics card. Its Core i7 960/Radeon HD 5870 combo results in excellent performance across the board, recording 153 points in WorldBench 6 and some top-notch gaming framerates.

But here's the catch: the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven is expensive at £1,499 but lacks external speakers and a Blu-ray drive. Indeed, this is the only system in the chart that's incapable of playing back Blu-ray movies. And with all the other PC vendors supplying 1.5TB of disk space, the CyberPower's 1TB storage capacity seems a little stingy.

A 24in AOC monitor is provided with the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven. It's a 16:9-format model with a full-HD 1920x1080 resolution and dual inputs. Its thick silver-grey plastic bezel detracts somewhat from the system's looks, although it does include a convenient USB socket on the lower side for hooking up peripherals.

The PC itself looks more impressive: NZXT's Beta system case has imposing looks and comes with a decent black paint job inside and out. The outside is textured, lending the CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven a rather more expensive feel. Tool-free drive-bays are provided for easy upgrades and the system is covered by CyberPower's three-year return-to-base warranty as standard.


Chart ranking (issue 177)

  1. Mesh Ice7 5870 HD
  2. Arbico Elite 9655 HD
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven (April 2010)
  4. Chillblast Fusion Eagle
  5. Eclipse Titan X58 i795R585

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice

CyberPower’s Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven is the only PC here to combine the fastest CPU with the most powerful graphics card.

Buying advice


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 more expensive motherboards and memory than previous-generation chips. At this price, the Core i7 950 or 960 would be a great choice.

Memory: A £1,001-plus Core i7 machine should come with at least 6GB of RAM, although 3GB is acceptable if the manufacturer compensates with other extras. For dual-core machines, look for 4GB in two modules to allow expansion.

The triple-channel architecture of Core i7 9xx-based PCs requires you to install chips in threes. Core i7 8xx-series CPUs use a two-channel system, which will save you some cash. You'll also need to splash out on DDR3 RAM, but the price of such memory is falling fast.

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

Storage: Expect at least 1TB. Look for a pair or even a trio 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 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.

Display: We're seeing increasing numbers of 24in displays in our PC charts. This used to be the magic size at which 1080p (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.

Make sure you get a digital input for the best image quality and an extra HDMI port is great for hooking up additional devices such as games consoles without having to switch cables.

Graphics card: For a thrilling gaming experience, choose between nVidia's GeForce GTX 285 or GTX 295 and AMD's DirectX 11.0-compatible ATI Radeon HD 5870. The GTX 275 and HD 4890 cards also offer great performance and very good value for money. Radeon cards seem to be the current favourite for raw performance, but nVidia's cards offer unique features such as support for PhysX in-game physics effects and stereoscopic 3D using special glasses.

Also look out for pre-overclocked graphics cards, which can deliver excellent value 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 for sound cards or TV tuners.

Motherboard: If you're considering any upgrades, check that the motherboard offers enough memory slots to support the 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 also demand a powerful PSU.


>> NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven (April 2010): Specs

  • 3.2GHz Intel Core i7 960
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • MSI X58 Pro-E
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • 850W WinPower PSU
  • 24in AOC 2436Pwa (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB PCI Express XFX ATI Radeon HD 5870 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 87/42fps
  • Fear = 349fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC888S
  • speakers built into monitor
  • max DVD speeds: 24x/24x/12x/12x/6x/8x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 153
  • 3.2GHz Intel Core i7 960
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • MSI X58 Pro-E
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • 850W WinPower PSU
  • 24in AOC 2436Pwa (0.27mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB PCI Express XFX ATI Radeon HD 5870 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 87/42fps
  • Fear = 349fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC888S
  • speakers built into monitor
  • max DVD speeds: 24x/24x/12x/12x/6x/8x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 153

OUR VERDICT

Combining the fastest processor with the most powerful graphics card, the staggeringly fast CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Heaven unsurprisingly has a price tag to match. The lack of speakers and an inability to play back Blu-ray films also leaves a sour taste.

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