AT A GLANCE
The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3400A is a budget gaming desktop, that brings into the competition a great design and solid performance, for much less. It leverages best-in-class performance thanks to a six-core AMD FX-6300 processor a discrete 2GB AMD R7 250 graphics card.
PROS: Reasonably priced. Good gaming performance. Subtle and attractive design.
CONS: No solid-state drive. Wireless connectivity is missing.
How do you tell apart a gaming desktop from a regular PC? No need to gamble! Normally, you’d point to a hefty built, ‘Sci-Fi’ inspired aesthetics, a splash of RGB lighting, and a red-and-black motif. So, you won’t be lost in recognizing the CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3400A $575.32 at Amazon as a gaming PC right away. Its design notwithstanding, this most recent update to Cyberpower’s desktop gaming line packs a six-core AMD FX-6300 processor a discrete 2GB AMD R7 250 graphics card, which translates to a computer that’s fine for entry-level gaming, and can be had for a very good price. It isn’t the most powerful system around, but it will suffice for anyone on a budget but in need of a capable gaming rig. Plus, its ample mix of features, performance, upgradability and future-proofing specs represents a good value for the power it offers.
The Ultra GUA3400A’s case measures a spacious 18.9 by 7.6 by 18.6 inches (HWD), which is fairly sufficient for the power packed inside. A compact chassis would be better for a general-use PC, but for a gaming rig, a bigger chassis gives room for the system to grow into something bigger through upgrades. It does weigh 29.6 pounds, deceptively heavy for the eyes, but it’s a desktop PC so you shouldn’t be moving it much. Compared to most gaming rigs, it stacks up well against similarly powerful systems. The sides, top and front have the uniquely curved grille-vents through which the blue LED-lights shout “gamer” at all levels.
The benefit of a larger chassis is that it gives you enough real-estate for the system to grow into something bigger. If you like to tinker with machines, this one will allow you throw in a beefier graphics card, let’s say a GeForce GTX950 to replace the AMD R7 250, however SLI isn’t supported, only a single PCI-e x16 slot on the inside. In doing that, you might as well consider upgrading the power supply, from the installed 350W PSU. RAM is also upgradable to 16GB via two memory slots on the mainboard.
For storage, the system includes a roomier 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive, though it disappointingly does not include a smaller solid-state-drive (SSD) that the system can use for faster booting. The Cyberpower Gamer SLC8040A, includes a 128GB solid state drive (SSD) to boot from for faster loading, plus, larger 2TB (7,200RPM) hard drive for storage. Still, you can install a snappier SSD (SATA) in one of the free 3.5” bay, which is a good idea. The rest of the bays can be used for future upgrades as the systems grows.
Connectivity is good…not excellent! On the downside, it does include only one USB 3.0 port, the rest are Type A USB 2.0 ports. Quite sufficient though. Others include Gigabit RJ-45 for Ethernet connection. It doesn’t have a wireless card, so you are safe with a USB wireless dongle like the Edimax EW-7811Un $7.99 at Amazon wireless adapter. The video card harbors HDMI, DVI and VGA ports; which means that a 3-monitor setup will work here. For your old media and files, you have an internal DVD burner. Bundled into the package is a gaming mouse and keyboard, you’ll have to buy a monitor separately, can consider the 23-inch Acer R240HY bidx $129.99 at Amazon monitor.
The CyberpowerPC Ultra GUA3400A features a six-core AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz processor (turbo up to 4.1GHz), AMD Radeon R7 250 2GB dedicated graphics card and 8GB of memory. More memory would be useful, and the system is capable of upgrades to 16GB, but these are pretty speedy components as is. The processor gets an excellent score of 6300 points in CPU Mark test, putting it somewhere on the middle of the road (in-between the Intel Core i5 and Core i7) in terms of performance.
For users in the market for a desktop PC that can handle both media projects using Adobe Suites and enough gaming muscle, then this machine isn’t easy to pass by. On the other hand, the Cyberpower Gamer SLC8040A’s Intel Core i7 processor has a CPU score of 10,998 points, which is quite impressive for gamers, keeping in mind that it can burst up to 4.2GHz in Turbo mode, making it a better performer than the Gamer Ultra GUA3600A.
For a gaming desktop PC, all is not done until we look at graphics performance. Being an entry-level desktop, most will assume that it gives poor performance. Apparently, the Gamer Ultra’s graphics performance isn’t the best either…the graphics engine is Radeon R7 250 with 2GB dedicated video memory. It won’t give you butter-smooth performance on most modern titles, but it gets the work done. For instance, on Fallout 4 you expect around 40FPS at low-medium settings, while on GTA 5 you’d expect upwards of 40FPS.
However, for the impressive gaming scores there’s a caveat, high power consumption (max TDP 125W) is one thing you’ll realize soon or later. Nonetheless, this computer will definitely deliver on most frontiers, may it be light media creation, video editing among others that need a powerful system.
The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3400A $575.32 at Amazon is an entry-level gaming desktop, that is both well-designed and promises speedy performance. It doesn’t stack up to more expensive gaming systems, but it’s still among the best in its class. In as much as its missing extras like an SSD and a wireless card, it’s still good value. The relatively small tower is a bonus if you have limited room on or around your desk, and it’s easy to open up. It’s powerful enough to get you started and allows you to gauge your interest in hardcore gaming. With all those in its favor, it suffices as one of those gaming rigs that are not easy to pass by, thanks to a perfect mix of features and performance. For that, it deserves a top of your list as you shop for a budget gaming desktop PC.