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CyberPower Essential 3000 review

£799 inc VAT (£681.40 without monitor)

Manufacturer: CyberPower

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The CyberPower Essential 3000 is an expensive, albeit fast performance-wise, option for your office PC - this is largely due to it being bundled with Microsoft Office and Windows 7.

The Essential 3000 stands tall in its sleek, black, ‘soundproofed’ Cooler Master Silencia 551 case. Its front drive bays sit obscured by a hinged door which is polished to a high gloss and runs the full height of the case, lending the PC an imposing, minimalist appearance. It also features a top-mounted USB 3.0 port and a convenient built-in SD-card reader. See also Group test: What's the best budget PC?

While this is all very lovely for a home or enthusiast PC, such luxurious touches seem a little over-indulgent on a business system where the emphasis will be on value for money and ease of access rather than appearance. Visit Group test: What's the mid-range desktop PC?

Furthermore; if this is what the PC sounds like in a ‘silent’ case, we dread to think how noisy it would sound without the sound-damping panels. We would guess pretty loud as it’s nowhere near silent in its current configuration. Go to Group test: What's the best office PC?

Inside, the extra space and cable management does make maintenance considerably easier than with more compact systems such as PC Specialist’s small form-factor offering, but we still feel the case is over the top for a workaday office PC.

A quad-core AMD FX-4170 processor powers the system and this is a faster, 4.2GHz version of the 3.6GHz model found in Arbico’s FX4130 Office PC. Consequently, CyberPower’s system runs noticeably faster if still far behind even the cheapest of the Intel-based systems on offer.

This is where we start to wonder whether a price of £799 can really be justified in the face of competition from faster, quieter, power efficient and much less expensive Intel-based PCs.

The reason for the uncompetitive price of this system comes in the form of the installed software. A very large chunk of the system price – at least £150 – is gobbled up by paying the Microsoft tax. There’s a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Business 2010 and the expensive Windows 7 Professional. The system also comes with a 23.6in monitor – the largest on offer this month.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Essential 3000 starts to make more sense - and you can omit the Office package if you wish.

CyberPower Essential 3000 Expert Verdict »

RAM:4GB DDR3
Storage: 500GB Western Digital 7,200rpm SATA 3Gbps
Power supply: 450W Winpower
Motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M
CPU cooler: Standard cooler
USB: 5x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.0
Graphics card: Integrated AMD Radeon HD 3000
Speakers: on monitor
Optical drive: 24x Sony DVD ± RW
Operating system: Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Bundled software: Microsoft Office Home & Business 2010
Case: Coolermaster Silencio 551 (RC-551-KKN1)
Keyboard and mouse: Logitech MK120 (wired USB combo)
Extra features: Soundproofing, SD card reader
WorldBench 6 score: 135 (est)
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 4 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

At first glance this system seems outrageously expensive, but it includes a copy of Microsoft Office and also comes with Windows 7 Professional and a 23.6in monitor. Attempts at soundproofing are unsuccessful than Arbico’s, but overall performance is higher – while still being a good deal slower than Intel-based systems.

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