More expensive computers aren’t always better than those that are more affordable. Though, you have to make a few compromises here and there though you have to make a few compromises here and there when it comes to budget and midrange gaming systems. The CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2 is a well-designed midrange gaming desktop that offers a nice mix of power and features for the price.
Today's best dealsP
Today's best deals
The main highlights here include a 3.0 GHz seventh generation Intel Core i5 processor and a 4GB AMD Radeon RX 480 video card. Its performance doesn’t quite match midrange gaming desktops priced at the high-tier, but the Xtreme GXiVR8020A2 is still well-equipped for playing games at 1080p resolution at a very reasonable cost.
For folks who assume that Nvidia is better than AMD (which is never true) are in for a shocker, since the Radeon RX 480 falls somewhere in-between the Pascal GeForce GTX 1070 1080. However, if you must have Nvidia, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A2, has almost the same components, features and design; save for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and 128SSD+1TB HDD storage.
Still, both systems will deliver butter-smooth playability on most modern titles at 1080p, with the new cards giving a big boost in performance. As such, they both represent a good value for the power they offer, and the buying decision now trickles down to taste and preference.
The Xtreme GXiVR8020A2 is built into a fairly large tower desktop body that’s painted with a black panel, with red LED lighting on the front, sides, top and back panels. The case is large, measuring 21.6 by 9.2 by 20.2 inches (HWD) and weighs 32 pounds, so you’ll need a lot of space for it on top of or underneath your desk. It is bigger than the CybertronPC Titanium that measures 19.7 by 8.3 by 19.4 inches (HWD. The case looks rather commonplace, like a case you’d find online for a few bucks, but it has a CyberpowerPC logo on the front panel.
The front, top, back and side panels are perforated for airflow and they also allow for the RED LEDs to shout ‘gamer’, with a tray-loaded Blu-ray writer and space for an additional drive near the top of the system. An easily removable panel covers the extra drive bay, which is more convenient than other towers that require you to disassemble the case to install the drive. The power button and a few ports are set on the tapering top-section of the front panel for easy access even when it’s under the desk.
Ports and Upgradability
The top panel has a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a headset jack, and a place to plug in your microphone. On the back, you’ll find a wealth of connection options, including two USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 mouse/keyboard port, four USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and surround-sound audio ports. Video outputs are three: HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort, meaning that up to three monitors can be connected at the same time. The system lacks Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity on-board, but it comes with a USB Wi-Fi adapter.
The case allows you to add more SATA or USB devices, and there are two open DDR4 DIMM slots in case you need to expand the system memory. This is quite impressive as you can add more memory as the motherboard supports 64GB of DDR4 memory (16GB x 4), so you can easily upgrade the memory down the road. If you need to add a snappier SSD down the road the Cooler Master MasterBox 5 PC case has front and rear mounting points that support such expansion. It comes with a 600W power supply, in fact, typical for the price range which works well with the standard ATX power supply used.
As mentioned, the Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2 is equipped with the new seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7400K, a 3.0 GHz quad-core processor, 8GB DDR4 system memory and AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB Video Card. This is the same graphics card in its intel Core i7 iteration, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8040A2, which gives it more power to multitask. On a feature-by-feature basis, the system is capable of playing even the most demanding of games in ultra-settings. For instance, this unit will clock +60FPS on Battlefield at native resolutions. The same is expected for most modern game titles including GTA 5.
Unlike most pre-built gaming desktops, this unit will not stutter when you up the resolution, the FPS will still remain playable. You’ll be shocked at well this budget friendly PC will perform, with respectable temperatures, noise levels and awesome looks.
Apart from gaming, the system muscles-up well on other demanding tasks. If you’re into ripping movies or creating digital content, you’ll get a handsome transcode speed of 40.0 FPS and above. Not bad for a PC of its price, as you need to remember that this is a quad-core processor without hyper-threading. Apparently, this is one of the best you can get currently for the price. It comes with Windows 10 Home 64-bit pre-installed.
Not that you’ll need a lot of upgrades right away, since the system comes with 8GB of memory, and 1TB 7200 HDD, while the Xtreme VR GXiVR8040A2 comes with a 128GB NVMe M.2 SSD+ 2TB, 7,200rpm SATA hard drive for data storage. That’s enough system memory for any current AAA game, as well as enough storage space for thousands of hours of entertainment, including games and video downloads. The AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB graphics card inside supports DirectX 12 and is VR ready, so this system should last a number of years without needing major updates. Bundled in the package is a wired-mouse and keyboard but you’ll have to buy a monitor separately.
Even with the nice design, you’re still going to have some geeky friends tell you that they’d put together a similar system for themselves for a lot less money —never mind that, the individual components will cost more, and it would take a couple weeks before they can pin it this neat, tested and qualified for use. We didn’t like the fact that it doesn’t have Bluetooth and there is no PCI-e x16 slot for future expansion, but those are not deal breakers for an otherwise superb gaming rig.
The Bottom Line
As a bang-for-the-buck buy, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer GXiVR8020A2 deserves the honors. It meets the performance demands for budget gaming desktops, and it affords to check all the boxes of what you’d need from such a system. If you pair it with a great 144Hz gaming monitor with a 1ms (GTG) response time like the 24-inch ASUS VG248QE Full HD (1080P) panel, you end up with an amazing desktop PC for much less.
The AMD Radeon RX 480 also has the video outputs you need to run VR setup as the DisplayPort can be routed to your monitor and the HDMI port gets connected to the VR headset.