The incredibly fast CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC is our first review system to use the new 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600K. This processor makes all other contenders appear rather slow.

Update, 1 February 2011: Intel has stopped shipments of the chipset used with its latest generation of Core processors after it found a design flaw. At the time of writing CyberPower is unable to ship this model as specified, but is hoping that the problem can be solved remotely by motherboard manufactuers, allowing normal service to be resumed.

The incredibly fast CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC is our first review system to use the new 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600K. This processor makes all other contenders appear rather slow.

The CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC's quad-core i7-2600K offers some new technologies, but its main benefit is the speed boost it provides. Not only does it have a higher clock speed than previous chips, but an improved version of Turbo Boost lets it push a single core to 3.8GHz without overclocking. However, the ‘K’ in this chip’s name means it has been designed to facilitate overclocking, and reports suggest large speed increases can be achieved using standard cooling.

The CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC recorded 171 points in WorldBench 6 – the best score we’ve seen. In fact, it should have done even better in this test, perhaps scoring 180 points: the Nero portion of the benchmark was uncharacteristically slow, which we suspect was caused by the configuration of the Achilles’ Crucial solid-state disk (SSD).

The CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC is also fitted with a one-terabyte (1TB) hard disk and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. BenQ’s 24in LED-backlit display delivers rich colour and high-quality graphics, although it lacks an HDMI port.

The Radeon HD 6950 graphics card is not so exemplary; we’d like to have seen a 6970. The Cooler Master Elite 310 system case is also unimpressive for a PC of this calibre, and no surround-sound speakers are supplied. Specifying a slightly slower and less expensive ‘Sandy Bridge’ processor and a better graphics card would have made the CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT an even better all-round PC.

Power PCs chart ranking

  1. CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT
  2. Chillblast Fusion Torpedo
  3. Arbico Elite i7969 HSD
  4. Palicomp Kinetic Blitz 950-6970
  5. DinoPC Maxosaur 870

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice

The incredibly fast CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC is our first review system to use the new 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600K. This processor makes all other contenders appear rather slow.

Power PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s ‘Sandy Bridge’ CPUs offer such a huge amount of performance that enthusiasts will be eager to get one as soon as possible. Intel’s 3.4GHz quad-core Core i7-2600K offers fantastic performance, hyperthreading, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz and easy overclocking.

You can make a small saving by opting for the non-’K’ version, which does without the overclocking feature. Alternatively, the Core i5-2500 offers a reduced cache, no hyperthreading and a 3.3GHz clock speed, but will still outpace many Core i7 chips.

Core i7-950 and -870 processors cost less, but buying a PC based on one will tie you to a motherboard that doesn’t support the newer processors.

Memory: A £1,001-plus Core i7 machine should come with at least 6GB of RAM. Some come with 12GB, although most of us won’t need this much.

The triple-channel architecture of Core i7-900-based PCs requires you to install chips in threes. Core i7-800- and the new Core i7 2000-series CPUs use a two-channel system.

A 64bit OS is essential to 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 trio of drives to reduce the risk of total data loss, although noise levels will increase. Raid 0 setups boost speed at the expense of reliability.

Consider mirroring for added security. SSDs provide a speed boost, but offer limited capacity and are expensive.
Go for an SSD with at least 60GB if you’re running Windows 7.

Dual-layer DVD+/-R capabilities are useful, preferably at eight-speed or above. Also look for eight-speed DVD+RW.

If you want Blu-ray playback, be prepared to compromise on DVD speeds.

Display: PCs at this price are nearly always offered with a 24 or 25in display. 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 – for less money.

Make sure you get a digital input for the best image quality, while an extra HDMI port is great for hooking up additional devices.

Graphics card: For a thrilling gaming experience, choose between nVidia’s GTX 580 and AMD’s Radeon HD 6970. nVidia’s card is faster and offers support for PhysX in-game effects, but is also more expensive. Both ATI and nVidia cards now support stereoscopic 3D when used with the right display hardware and glasses.

Don’t be fooled by AMD’s naming system: the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 cards are slower than the 5850 and 5870.

Look out for pre-overclocked graphics cards. Some cards also come with custom cooling solutions, offering faster clock speeds and quieter operation.

Buying a single-card setup leaves more space for sound cards or TV tuners.

Motherboard: If you’re considering a RAM upgrade, check there are free slots.

SLI or CrossFireX support lets you add extra graphics cards to boost gaming performance. If you’re using an Intel CPU, an X58-chipset motherboard offers better performance in multi-card setups.

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 brand, and consider from 750W upwards if you plan to add a second graphics card. Any form of overclocking will also demand a powerful PSU.

>> NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT: Specs

  • 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600K
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 60GB SSD
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Asus P8P67 motherboard
  • 950W Xtremegear PSU
  • 24in BenQ G2420HDBL (0.28mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 2GB Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 6950 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 89/46fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 180/100fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC892 sound
  • 2 x Logitech S220 and subwoofer
  • 10x/10x/10x/12x/16x (BD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL)
  • 24x/24x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-RAM/-ROM)
  • one-year parts, three-year labour warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score 171
  • 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600K
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 60GB SSD
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Asus P8P67 motherboard
  • 950W Xtremegear PSU
  • 24in BenQ G2420HDBL (0.28mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 2GB Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 6950 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 89/46fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 180/100fps)
  • onboard Realtek ALC892 sound
  • 2 x Logitech S220 and subwoofer
  • 10x/10x/10x/12x/16x (BD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL)
  • 24x/24x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-RAM/-ROM)
  • one-year parts, three-year labour warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score 171

OUR VERDICT

The CyberPower Infinity Achilles GT desktop PC is devastatingly fast, but not without compromises.

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