CyberPower Liquid Viper review

28 Feb 2012

With this combination of power and quality it’s easy to forgive a little noise

Price when reviewed: 
1,799(£1,799 inc VAT)
5

CyberPower is notably keen on water cooling: most of its enthusiast-level machines arrive with bespoke cooling systems built from XSPC kit, and the Liquid Viper is no different. A dual-bay reservoir occupies two 5.25in bays at the front of the case, and the spacious roof of the enclosure is filled by a 240mm radiator equipped with a pair of 120mm fans. Cooling pipes from the rear of the radiator snake between processor and reservoir, and the blue coolant matches the blue 120mm fan at the front of the machine.

The object of all this cooling is an Intel Core i7-3930K processor, overclocked from 3.2GHz all the way up to 4.75GHz. This is a hefty chip, with six Hyper-Threaded cores addressing a dozen concurrent threads; its 12MB L3 cache is slightly smaller than the 15MB of the i7-3960X, but at virtually half the price it’s a sensible choice.

Thanks to this powerful CPU, the Liquid Viper achieved an overall benchmark result of 1.28 in our tests, including a stonking multi-tasking score of 1.56. Even in our toughest test, that water-cooling kept the overclocked chip down to a chilled 67 degrees. That’s one of the lowest peak temperatures we’ve seen from an overclocked high-end CPU.

CyberPower Liquid Viper

The system delivered a good turn of speed in our games tests too. Though Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580 is soon to be superseded by a 28nm refresh, it’s still an extremely capable card. We saw 58fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test, and a comfortably playable 33fps even at 2,560 x 1,600 on a 30in panel. You won’t get much more graphical grunt than this without moving up to a dual-GPU rig such as the Chillblast Fusion Immortal. That system scored 94fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality benchmark, thanks to a pair of AMD Radeon HD 7970s – but at a total price of £2,098 inc VAT.

The Liquid Viper comes with a Blu-ray writer – a step up from the readers we’re used to seeing – and a generous sixteen gigabytes of DDR3 RAM. The Asus P9X79 PRO motherboard also offers an additional four DIMM slots for further expansion; and if you want to supplement the included 64GB Crucial M4 SSD and 1TB Seagate hard disk there are four sturdy hard disk bays at hand. There’s a trio of available PCI-Express x16 slots too (though all three will run at x8 speed, thanks to the graphics card already installed) and a single PCI-E x1 slot.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,499
Price inc VAT £1,799
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,064GB
RAM capacity 16.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.75GHz
Processor socket LGA 2011
HSF (heatsink-fan) XSPC Delta CPU block & reservoir

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P9X79 PRO
Motherboard chipset Intel X79
Conventional PCI slots free 1
Conventional PCI slots total 1
PCI-E x16 slots free 3
PCI-E x16 slots total 4
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 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 1
Internal SATA connectors 6
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 4
Memory sockets total 8

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 580
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 580
Graphics card RAM 1.46GB
DVI-I outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 2
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Crucial M4 SSD
Capacity 64GB
Hard disk usable capacity 59GB
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Hard disk 2 make and model Seagate Barracuda
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity 931
Hard disk 2 spindle speed 7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size 32MB

Drives

Optical disc technology Blu-ray writer

Additional Peripherals

Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Case format Cooler Master CM 690 II
Dimensions 215 x 529 x 512mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply RaidMax RX-1000AE
Power supply rating 1,000W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 1

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 6
eSATA ports 3
PS/2 mouse port no
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel eSATA ports 1
Front panel memory card reader no

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 202W
Peak power consumption 628W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 134fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 1.28
Responsiveness score 1.03
Media score 1.26
Multitasking score 1.56