July 23, 2021 | 14:15
UK price (as reviewed): £4,899 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A
Ongoing stock shortages. Got to love them, not. One way around sourcing individual components, which can be depressing and time consuming in equal measure, is to buy a complete PC from a system integrator. They do the hard work so you don't have to, and if you happen to be flush with cash, Cyberpower is offering a beast of a machine, called Hyper Liquid Ultra RTX, for almost five grand. That significant outlay buys you a watercooled AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and also-watercooled Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, 32GB of RAM, along with a blistering-fast PCIe 4.0 x4 2TB NVMe SSD and a 4TB mechanical spinner. All of this goodness is contained within a Lian Li Dynamic XL chassis whose cooling is enhanced by seven Cooler Master MF120 fans.
The system uses stock-clock speeds across the board except the Corsair RAM and monster MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Gaming X Trio graphics card. The GPU, which is now superseded by the Suprim range of cards, has a 100MHz maximum boost clock jump from the Founders Edition, although it retains the same memory and base clock speeds. The RAM is running the baked-in XMP profile at 3600MHz with CL18 timings, which is considered a safe speed for high-end Ryzen CPUs.
Windows was fully up to date with zero bloatware, although being picky, the Nvidia GeForce drivers were not the latest. Instead, they were installed via Windows Update and not manually.
As far as component selection goes, we feel that Cyberpower has generally done a good job here. The monster AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is arguably the finest CPU for enthusiasts looking at the best of both worlds: heavy-duty editing and gaming. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, meanwhile, is only bested by the RTX 3090 and although is near-impossible to obtain in the DIY market, it's a little easier to find in turnkey systems such as this.
The MSI X570 Gaming Edge WiFi is interesting insofar as it's a low-end board in the company's AM4 line-up. For very close to five grand, we'd expect a board with more bells and whistles - perhaps the MSI X570 Ace. We say this because the supplied board features only Gigabit Ethernet - 2.5G is now very common - and doesn't employ 20Gbps USB on any port.
Corsair is a safe bet for aforementioned memory - four modules instead of the preferred two - and the PSU, which is a capable HX850 that has plenty of high efficiency and spare capacity even for a system of this ilk. We also like the Lian Li Dynamic, which is a solid choice for high-end gubbins. Cyberpower has also opted for Lian Li RGB cables which look nice if you're into that sort of thing. The watercooling is handled by EK components and air by Cooler Master Masterfan MF120 ARGB fans - no problems on either front. WD's SN850 is a blistering-fast OS-holding drive capable of 7GB/s sequential transfers. A 4TB mechanical spinner augments the 2TB primary storage, but if it were us, we'd go for a second, lesser-capacity SSD instead. Even so, this is a very nice selection of hardware.
Going through the BIOS everything was setup correctly with all hardware running at the correct speeds. What caught us immediately was the relatively high noise produced at idle. The main culprits were the seven Cooler Master fans whose inputted fan profile was not the most amenable. This could be fixed with a few minutes in the BIOS. The second software issue we encountered was the RGB. There seems to be no instructions included with the PC on how to control this with it stuck in a rainbow flash mode. The RGB button is only wired up to the front RGB on the case and not the fans, waterblock or cables. Synchronisation here would make a lot of sense.
EK is a good choice for overall cooling. A 360mm radiator offers enough concurrent cooling capacity to take care of the stock-clocked AMD CPU and marginally overclocked graphics card. The actual GPU brand is of less importance as it's stripped down to accommodate the EK-Quantum Vector Trio block. It's nice to see vertical mounting, too.
It's difficult to ascribe any value conclusions for this system as the pricing of certain components remains wild, particularly the GPU. Even so, totting up the bits suggests that Cyberpower is making a tidy, but not exorbitant, profit on this machine.
A higher-spec motherboard, memory presented as two DIMMs instead of four, and a lower idle noise profile are the key improvements we'd suggest to Cyberpower. The warranty provides only six months of collect-and-return cover. There's a total of two years for parts and five years of labour, and you'd end up paying for shipping to Cyberpower if the computer was to fail outside of the six-month window.
October 14 2021 | 15:04