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The CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A is an entry-level gaming desktop built to answer the age-old question of whether to build or buy a prebuilt PC. It packs some of the best high-end features in the market right now such an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, 16GB DDR4, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti graphics. Best of all, it delivers the best of high-performance PCs at a budget price.
- Simplistic design but has some unique touch with side panel
- Upgradeable chassis – storage expansion options
- Competitively priced
- Interior is conveniently accessible
- Healthy ports system
- Doesn’t support USB Type-C
CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8700 3.2GHz 6-Core|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 (2400MHz)|
|Storage||120GB SSD and 1TB HDD|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB video Card|
|Motherboard||Intel B360 Chipset|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||18.5 x 7.9 x 17.9 inches|
|Ports||6 USB 3.1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, single RJ-45, Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 Audio: 7.1 Channel|
Design and Features
Like most boutique manufacturers, CyberPower has sometimes been known to go overboard on the bling, but with the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A, I think the design is okay. If you prefer pomp and color, the front dash is fitted with three LED blazing concentric rings that light up while gaming. Unlike most desktops we’ve reviewed, the case is made up of hard see-through plastic at the front and glass side panel on the left. There is, however, a sturdy metal frame underneath it all and the panels just enshroud it from view. Overall, the desktop theme easily fits a gamer one considering the red and black accents on edges of the case.
Ventilation, for the most part, could be the thing that holds this system back. This is because the vents and inlets, especially at the front aren’t enough. CyberPowerPC must have overlooked ventilation aspects in attempts to find an aesthetical appealing case The inlet at the front are small while the outlets few; meaning the air isn’t ventilated out as fast as we would like it to. As a result, there’s a risk of temperatures creeping up and potentially frying the components. Normally, the system runs at 70 degrees but it could run higher when heat accumulates in the case (once in a while during intense gaming).
At 18.5×7.9×17.9 inches (26.6 pounds), the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A has is on a similar threshold with the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8500A. Dell’s Inspiron i5680-5842BLU-PUS desktop (17.23 x 8.5 x 18.07 inches) is a bit heavier considering it hits 30.27 pounds. There is no optical drive but it is an okay trade-off given these days you’re more likely to download your PC games online from Steam or Origin.
A selection of ports lies at the front and rear of the desktop to connect all your favorite devices. The front ports, on top of the case, include two USB-A 3.0 ports, audio and headphone jacks, and a power button. The rear holds the bulk of the port section, a healthy array of ports to cover an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard. The ports include an Ethernet jack, two legacy PS/2 (USB 2.0) ports, audio and headphone jacks, and video output ports, including DisplayPort and HDMI connections.
We would have loved a USB Type-C port to keep this PC relevant for the next few coming years. But it’s not such a bad trade-off considering the price you’re getting it for.
Every great PC relies on its components for impressive performance and so does the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A. One can easily tell it’s no slouch just from merely checking out its features. This unit is the lowest configuration of the two available but it still has the power to play AAA games at 1080p, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
Inside, the CyberpowerPC GXiVR8520A packs an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, a six Hyper-threaded core processor built for heavy hyper-threaded workloads. The i7-8700 has a base clock speed of 3.2GHz and reaches highs of 4.3GHz on its six cores. Unlike the Intel Core i7-8700K sister, it lacks the capacity to overclock. In real-world performance cycles, it excels at general single-core tasks and should be no problem in office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet work, web browsing, and video conferencing. This means it can be a solid partner for small businesses as well as gaming.
|Intel Core i7-8700K||3.7GHz||4.7GHz||4.6GHz||4.4GHz||4.3GHz|
|Intel Core i7-8700||3.2GHz||4.6GHz||4.5GHz||4.4GHz||4.3GHz|
Apart from daily home and office workloads, the processor’s 6-cores and 12 threads make it actually capable of handling some gaming. Compared to its predecessor (i7-7700), the two extra cores increase performance by almost 50%. In real-world performance, it is powerful enough to handle any kind of task you throw at it. It proved quite snappy in photo-and video-editing and running software, applications and games.
Memory and storage
Yes, as you’ve seen the processor is beefy and the CyberpowerPC GXiVR8520A’s versatility doesn’t stop there. It continues its winning streak thanks to ample memory, and fast storage qualifying this desktop as an excellent photo-editing platform. To be precise, you get 16GB DDR4 memory which is more than sufficient for home/ office workloads, photo, and video editing and gaming. The memory especially comes out strongly when dealing with heavy multitasking workloads.
Majority of PC users prefer to use speedy Solid-state drive (SSD) over the creaky mechanical hard drive because of it’s faster load time. Sure SSDs are fast, but the costs can be a bit pricy at the end of the day. SSDs might also not provide enough space for storage.
Fortunately, for this unit, CyberPowerPC did us a solid by including both SSD and HDD in the package. You get 120GB NVMe solid-state drive coupled with a larger 1TB hard drive for larger files that don’t need fast load times. The 120GB SSD isn’t the best in terms of efficiency but all the same, it’s great having a fast boot time. Having both works well in giving the best experience for your games, files and other documents.
To keep up with the PC gaming trend, CyberPowerPC included the new Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, one of the best graphics cards in terms of price to performance of the Nvidia Turing lineup. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is similar to all other Turing architecture (TU116 chip) but is unique for getting the right balance between price and performance. There’s an important thing that it doesn’t have compare to its counterparts (the faster RTX 2000 cards), the 1660 Ti doesn’t have Ray Tracing and Tensor cores, that power the RTX and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technologies, from its feature.
However, modern triple-A games haven’t implemented Ray Tracing yet so this feature isn’t useful for current games. It’s also negligible if you don’t mind playing games on mid-level graphics. Overall, it performs out as a great gaming card that performs above than expected at its budget-friendly price. The GTX 1660 Ti card offers up to’ 1.5X faster performance compared to its previous version, the GTX 1060. It works solidly for gaming and intensive graphics workloads. That’s all thanks to its VR-support and technological enhancements such as higher clock speeds, and more shader cores, than last year’s GTX 1060 (6GB) GPU.
Speaking of games, don’t expect such a big leap in every gaming title as they offer different results and frame rates. What is sure though is that if you previously came from an older PC, you’re in for a big upgrade. On practigal gaming simulation, it dishes out some of the best graphics performance your dollar can ask for, and it also operates at conservative power consumption. The card can be counted on to maintain 60 frames per second gameplay or more. First up, on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the GTX 1660 Ti delivers impressive 87 fps on average at 1080p. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey played at 1080 (Very High Quality) yields 68fps, while the Resident Evil 2 resulted in 108 fps on average at 1080p settings.
Out Final Take
The CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A is a performance-first boutique PC built for users who can’t build PCs on their own. The desktop squeezes all the juice from its components delivering best in class performance on a budget. Performance aside, it also flaunts a tasteful design with glass side panels which is a rarity for desktops at this price range.
Bottom line, if you’re looking to join the gaming train, the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A is a great choice for new gaming enthusiasts. Sure, some of the competition offers a few extras and flashy designs, but the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8520A brings to the table value for money. It’s easy to recommend it to performance hounds and entry-level gamers across the board.
Is there another alternative?
One of the first alternatives I would recommend to anyone who feels the price is a bit too steep for them, is the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8500A, a cheaper configuration of our unit. It packs almost similar features but differs just a little bit hence the price difference. Inside, it offers an Intel Core i5-9400F (6-core) processor clocked at 2.9GHz, with 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 1660 Ti graphics card, a 120GB solid-state drive, and a 1TB hard drive. Bottom line, this unit is also as versatile but it uses a higher-end processor and costs less which translates to better value for money.
The second option and one at our unit’s price point is the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8060A7 desktop. This PC also stuffs similar features to our unit including a powerful Intel Core i5-9400F processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 120GB SSD + 1TB hard drive.
Should you buy it?
Yes. While it’s not every hardcore gamer’s first choice, it can easily be a beginner’s desktop into the gaming world. It also doubles up as a great productivity desktop especially for users on a budget. You would be hard-pressed finding a PC with a better value to performance ratio.