Few would doubt that Intel's quad-core chips have caused a stir in the IT press, but they've yet to truly stamp their authority on the PC market. This is because today's software landscape has yet to evolve sufficiently for multicore chips to unleash their potential.

However, for those with one eye on the future, or for those with specialist needs, a PC with a quad-core chip – the CyberPower Infinity SLI KO, for example – could prove a searing buy.

The Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6800 is pretty much the best example of quad-core technology there is. Its WorldBench 6 real-world speed score of 119 is strong without being overwhelming, but its games results were excellent. Helped by the storming 768MB GeForce 8800 GTX graphics chip, the CyberPower Infinity SLI KO hit the 150fps (frames per second) mark at 1,024x768 on a range of tricky titles, (including Company of Heroes and Fear). Even at 1,600x1,200 the CyberPower Infinity SLI KO maintained framerates at three digits.

And it's not just gamers who'll like the CyberPower Infinity SLI KO. We also gave it a spin with the 3D-testing suite CineBench. A typical dual-core chip should give an extra 85 percent of performance; the Quad QX6800 stretches this to 219 percent. The CyberPower Infinity SLI KO is an ideal system for those using advanced graphics packages with multithreaded code.

The CyberPower Infinity SLI KO doesn't have the most luxurious of components to go with the top-class processor and graphics card. We were rather puzzled by CyberPower's insistence on saddling this machine with onboard sound, for example, while the pair of 160GB hard drives are decent without being stunning. Considering the high price tag, you'd probably expect more. The DVD writer is good, though, and the 2GB of DDR RAM is high-quality memory.

CyberPower Infinity SLI KO: Specs

  • 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6800
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 2 x 160GB
  • 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
  • HD Asus Onboard Sound
  • DVD writer
  • 3-year return-to-base warranty
  • flash memory drive
  • 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6800
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 2 x 160GB
  • 768MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX
  • HD Asus Onboard Sound
  • DVD writer
  • 3-year return-to-base warranty
  • flash memory drive

OUR VERDICT

A whopping £2,199 for a PC without a monitor? For the typical user, the CyberPower Infinity SLI KO won't make financial sense. However, if you're an advanced gamer or a graphics professional, you may well find that a quad-core system gives you enough of a performance boost to justify the outlay. And with its Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6800 chip, multiple-core systems don't (currently) come much better than this.

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