CyberPower Ultra Scylla XT review

18 Jun 2010

Impressive performance in an extremely quiet chassis - a well thought-out and designed PC

Price when reviewed: 
783(£782 inc VAT)
5

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.

CyberPower Ultra Scylla XT interior

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £666
Price inc VAT £783
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 500
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size N/A

Processor

CPU family AMD Phenom
CPU nominal frequency 2.80GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 3.50GHz
Processor socket AM3
HSF (heatsink-fan) XtremeGear HP-1216

Motherboard

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3
Motherboard chipset AMD 770
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 1
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 3
PCI-E x1 slots total 4
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card HIS HD 5850 1GB
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset ATI Radeon HD 5850
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD502HJ
Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 465GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 16MB
Hard disk 2 make and model N/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Drives

Optical drive Sony Optiarc AD-5240S
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model N/A
Resolution screen horizontal N/A
Resolution screen vertical N/A
Resolution N/A x N/A
Pixel response time N/A
Contrast ratio N/A
Screen brightness N/A
DVI inputs N/A
HDMI inputs N/A
VGA inputs N/A
DisplayPort inputs N/A

Additional Peripherals

Speakers N/A
Speaker type N/A
Sound card N/A
Peripherals N/A

Case

Chassis Cooler Master Elite 310
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 191 x 468 x 437mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply CyberPower AD-E950AE-A6
Power supply rating 950W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard N/A

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Windows disc
Software supplied N/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 149W
Peak power consumption 361W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.07
Office application benchmark score 1.70
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.40
Encoding application benchmark score 1.67
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.52
3D performance (crysis) low settings 130fps
3D performance setting Low