Cyberpower Liquid High 5GHz review
Stunning application performance in an intriguingly brash chassis, although it’s very, very noisy
Review Date: 19 Aug 2011
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £1,249 (£1,499 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Intel’s current crop of processors is so stable and efficient that leaving one at stock speeds is seen as a disappointment these days. Given the potential speed boosts, we much prefer a nice overclocked chip – although hitting the heady heights of 5GHz still requires considerable expertise.
The Liquid High 5GHz comes courtesy of Cyberpower, a firm with a reputation for pushing boundaries, and its 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K has been boosted from 3.4GHz to 5GHz thanks to a mammoth 50x multiplier. The result is a benchmark result of 1.26, the joint-highest we’ve ever seen.
It takes more than mere air to keep such a huge overclock at an operable temperature, so Cyberpower has installed a proprietary water-cooling setup. Two of the 5.25in drive bays in the front of the Azza Hurrican chassis are occupied by an XSPC X20 750 reservoir full of blue coolant, and thick cables run towards a roof-mounted XSPC 360mm radiator that’s chilled by a trio of 120mm fans.
Despite the extreme heat produced by the processor, the water-cooling does its job: the 5GHz chip idled at a fine 44°C, peaking at a reasonable 83°C during our stress tests. Given that many lesser overclocks we’ve seen have reached or surpassed that temperature, that’s quite the cooling achievement.
Cyberpower hasn’t paid all its attention to the processor, either. Slotted into the motherboard is Nvidia’s most powerful single-GPU graphics card, the GeForce GTX 580. It demonstrated its power by blasting through our Crysis gaming benchmarks: our High quality test at 1,920 x 1,080 was blitzed at an average of 85fps, while upping the quality to Very High saw the frame rate dip to a still-stunning 57fps – scraping 1fps higher than the current A-List incumbent, Chillblast’s Fusion Dimension.
Eight gigabytes of RAM is more than enough for most tasks, and there’s the usual Blu-ray reader. There’s no separate boot SSD – unlike the Chillblast, which has an 80GB Corsair drive for that job – but Cyberpower uses a 30GB Kingston SSDNow V-Series drive for caching common files, courtesy of Intel’s Smart Response Technology (ISRT). More traditional storage comes courtesy of a 1TB Samsung mechanical disk.
Very good value
A very nice PC. My PC with 2x Geforce GTX 580s and the same CPU (not overclocked) uses 740 W when running Folding@Home. The temperature in the room can get as hot as 27 to 29 degrees Celsius when the computer is running Folding@Home on both GPUs (both GPUs at 100% usage) and all 8 threads of the CPU, again all cores at 100% (4 cores becomes 8 threads when SMP i.e. Hyperhreading is enabled). This PC idles at 230 W.
Yes, the electricity bill is higher but it is contributing to medical research and the electric heater in the room (which is temperature controlled) is very rarely on as a result (only when the PC has not been on for hours on a cold day!).
The PC that is reviewed, I consider extremely good value. My PC from http://www.scan.co.uk with 16 GB of RAM, a 600 GB WD VelociRaptor HDD and a 2 TB data drive, a 27 inch Dell U2711 and 1 KW PSU and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit came to almost €4000. The PC reviewed is probably faster than mine due to its very high CPU overclock.
For the specification of this computer, please correct the following error: the Nvidia Geforce GTX 580 Memory size is 1536 MB (1.53 GB) and not 2 GB.
For the source of this information, please see the following link to the specifications of this graphics card:
Thanks for reviewing such a powerful PC. I am always very glad to see such reviews.
By Jimbo762 on 19 Aug 2011
So all that water-cooling essentially boosts the speed from 4.8gHz (the popular air cooled oc for this CPU) to 5.0?
By Alperian on 19 Aug 2011
You're correct Alperian
Apologies for my mistake above. My system actually uses an overclocked Core i7 2600K. It is overclocked (OC) to 4.7 GHz but it only shows up when under load. See the following picture from CoreTemp showing the actual OC frequency.
My PC uses an air cooler, a Be Quiet! Dark Rock PRO CPU Cooler. At full load with Folding@Home it reaches 72 degrees Celsius (measured using the free CoreTemp application).
I had left the CPU folding for about 10 minutes before taking this.
Against the 5 GHz of this CPU, 83 degrees under load does not look as good as I first thought.
Apologies for this mistake. According to Scan UK, Sandy Bridge CPUs show the normal CPU speed in Windows and only show up the OC value when under load. They recommend the use of CoreTemp for this reason.
I hope this information is of assistance to someone if they buy this PC and are wondering why the frequency of the CPU shows as the normal 3.4 Ghz in Windows. It fooled me too.
By Jimbo762 on 19 Aug 2011
No fear MJ. I have been unable to find out what temperature the 2600k will withstand by Googling, but I have a pretty good idea now just from looking at that stress test.
By Alperian on 19 Aug 2011
Please see the following links which may be of assistance in answering that question, i.e. what is the maximum temperature the Core i7 2600K can withstand:
See Page 43, the section titled, “Thermal Test Vehicle Thermal Profile for Intel®Core™ i7-2000 and i5-2000 Desktop Processor Series (Quad Core 95W)”of the document contained in the second link.
At the very worst, I have had it go to 88 degrees Celsius when running the Maximum Stress test with Xtreme mode enabled using the IntelBurnTest program version 2.51.
The CPU did not stay at 88 Celsius for long and went down to mid to high 70s Celsius and stayed like that for the rest of the 5 loops of stress testing the BurnTest performed.
The other popular CPU stress tester, Prime95 does not produce as much heat and also takes a lot longer to reach maximum temperature. After almost 16 hours, the CPU had reached 81 degrees Celsius. Using IntelBurnTest v2.51, in less than 10 minutes, it hit 88 degrees Celsius.
I use this CPU for Folding@Home about 8 to 10 hours a day and it usually stays in the low 70s Celsius (if I receive a more intense WU (Work Unit) from the Folding@Home team, temperatures can go higher, but that is rare). I don’t consider this a high temperature since the CPU is running at 4.7 Ghz. I also fold using my 2x Geforce GTX 580s, which fold at a combined speed of over 3 TeraFLOPS.
As described in the first link above, only use 1 temperature monitor at a time for best results. I use CoreTemp since it also shows the speed of the CPU and the temperature (as shown in my screenshot posted earlier).
I hope this information is of assistance to you. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. I apologise for going off topic (this is supposed to be a PC review after all).
By Jimbo762 on 20 Aug 2011
- Flexible tablets closer to reality with graphene ink
- Now Apple is targeted over tax avoidance
- Mobile chip makers overtake AMD in market share
- Nokia Lumia 'EOS' may feature slimmed down PureView
- Leap Motion reveals Windows 8 controls
- Flickr offers "awesome" 1TB of free storage
- EE confirms 4G network outage
- EU promises single telecoms market by 2015
- Samsung courts Android developers with $800,000 contest
- iOS 7: release date, features and more
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- Best smartphones for 2013
- The best broadband speed tests
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The tweeting spaceman
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One
- 30 best web apps
- Getting started with HTML5
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
- Yes, I write down my passwords
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW