CyberPower Infinity Achilles £999
15th May 2012 | 08:30
The price is high, but it's still the cheapest Ivy Bridge machine we've seen
The CyberPower Infinity Achilles is the most affordable of the Ivy Bridge PCs we've seen so far, but at just under a grand you'd struggle to actually call it cheap. Though there are most definitely compromises in this sub-£1,000 build.
CyberPower does still hold a special place in my heart, mainly because the first full PC I bought with my own money came from there. I'd been impressed by the 72-hour burn-in that every one of its PCs undergoes before sale. That sort of stress-testing took away the worry about buying a full rig when I'd spent my life building them myself.
That £500 machine I bought was rocking the excellent Athlon64 3200+ CPU and a low-end 6600 GT. How times have changed; AMD is no longer the de facto gamer's CPU of choice, and Nvidia doesn't even have a mid-range card in this GPU generation, let alone a low-end part.
With the prices of high-end components creeping ever upwards, so is the cost of the mid-range. This machine isn't quite mid-range, and definitely isn't high-end, but if you're plugged into a 1,920 x 1,080 monitor then you'll end up with an excellent games machine and wonder why people insist on spending more.
As one of our Ivy Bridge launch rigs, it makes sense to talk about the CPU first. CyberPower has opted for the Core i5 3570K. It's strapped an EZ Cool water block to the chip and ramped the clocks up to 4.5GHz. We're pretty sure that the combo, together with the Asus Z77 motherboard, will allow for slightly higher frequencies, but it's stable and definitely fast enough.
That motherboard, though, is evidence of the first of the Infinity Achilles' compromises. It's one of Asus's budget Z77 offerings, and so has a low-end 4+1+1 power phase setup, which is probably the reason for the more conservative 4.5GHz overclock. It also has limited multi-GPU support, avoiding SLI completely. But it's a thoroughly capable board in every other respect.
A quick look in the DIMM slots and you'll see the no-frills RAM. It's 8GB of 1,333MHz rated Kingston DDR3, but as our RAM test has shown, you can't tell a lot by the outside. There's also a very basic Cooler Master 500w PSU, looking rather industrial. But it's functional, and capably powers the AMD HD 7870 GPU doing the graphical donkey work.
That GPU is a great compromise as it offers fantastic frame rates at 1080p resolutions and makes a good stab at the higher end too. It seems strange talking about a £1,000 machine making compromises, but when the top end is so much higher up the price spectrum, we've little choice.
We'd maybe have hoped for a little more wiggle room under the grand mark, but CyberPower has only really charged a £100 premium on the build, overclocking and testing of the rig over the price you'd pay for the parts.
If you've only got a grand to play with, CyberPower has made a smartly-specced machine, with enough potential for upgrading that you'll have a great platform to build from.