CyberPower Ultra Scylla XT review
Impressive performance in an extremely quiet chassis - a well thought-out and designed PC
Review Date: 18 Jun 2010
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £666 (£783 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
CyberPower has recently begun to use the Cooler Master Elite 310 chassis for most of its systems and, while we could accuse the Gateshead-based firm of lacking imagination, it’s easy to see why it’s continued to rely on its blue-tinged charms.
For a start, it’s quiet. The bottom and sides of the case are layered with sound-absorbing foam, the case fans are installed on rubber mounts, and the CPU cooler barely makes any noise. The result is a system that, to our ears, is one of the least acoustically obtrusive that we've recently come across - ideal if you appreciate a bit of peace and quiet.
Elsewhere, it’s more of a mixed affair. CyberPower has done a superb job of keeping the interior neat, running cables beneath the sound-absorbing foam and lashing others to various struts and panels. However, it lacks the enthusiast features (a raised motherboard tray and tool-free clasps on drive bays, for instance) we’ve seen in enclosures used in similarly-priced systems.
The Ultra Scylla XT isn’t the easiest to upgrade, either. Its XtremeGear HP-1216 CPU cooler towers over the two empty DIMM sockets, making them tricky to access, and the Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 motherboard only has one PCI Express x16 slot. Thankfully, there’s a good selection of drive bays available – seven in total – and the board supports SATA/600 too.
It’s quiet, but that’s not to say the Ultra Scylla XT is underpowered. For graphics it has an ATI Radeon HD 5850 - one of the best graphics cards on the market right now - and it helped the CyberPower tear through our High quality Crysis benchmark. It scored 61fps in that test, while maintaining playable frame rates at tests run at higher resolutions and more demanding quality settings.
CyberPower has chosen to use the cheaper of AMD's six-core processors for the Ultra Scylla XT - the 2.8GHz 1055T - but it has overclocked it. The new clock speed of 3.5GHz helped it to a highly respectable result of 2.07 in our application benchmarks, offering plenty enough power to tear through even the most intensive applications.
All this is backed up by 4GB of RAM and a DVD writer; only the hard disk is disappointing. We'd expect a 1TB drive at this price these days, although 500GB offers plenty of storage space for most people.
This is a competent, quiet PC then, with few faults. Our A-Listed systems offer more power and quality, but the Ultra Scylla XT still manages to excel in several key areas - and could be a worthwhile alternative if you need a quiet, fast PC.
Author: Mike Jennings
Upgrading the RAM
I've had questions on this in our forums so I thought I'd add it here. To add RAM you pop the CPU fan off it's rubber mounts, insert the RAM and put it back on. To fit large modules you can move the fan to the other side of the CPU cooler.
By CyberpowersystemUK on 6 Jul 2010
I tried to configure this on their website and you have to pay at least £78 more for Windows 7. By default it comes with 'Format Hard Drive only'.
By RogEgde on 18 Jul 2010
RE: Windows included?
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, RogEgde. I've asked CyberPower to clarify the issue and will update this as soon as I hear anything.
By Mikey_Jennings on 19 Jul 2010
CyberPower seem to be taking ages to reply to this point.
I'm desperate for a new PC as I'm stuck with an Athlon XP 2500+
This was the first review in PC Pro this year with a PC expensive enough (and sans monitor) for me.
I want a quiet PC so the other award winners are no good, but another £78 is simply to much for this PC to retain its crown!
By StoneFree on 3 Aug 2010
Does the GA-770T used in this system really support SATA/600 ? I looked on the Gigabyte web site and it doesn't mention it.
By JeckJock on 5 Aug 2010
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