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CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review (Steam, i7, GTX 980)

CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review (Steam, i7, GTX 980)

Today its time to take a “Steam Machine” out for a spin, welcome to our CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review. Featuring a Core i7-CPU and GTX 980 in a compact chassis.

CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review – Packaging and Bundle

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The Syber Vapor Xtreme arrives in a large plain box. Inside is a branded box, surrounded by bubble packing and then there is a THIRD box inside that. This one retail branded. Inside that we find a large amount of foam packing with the remote and product welcome in their own sections, the system suspended inside and the bundled extras off to the side in a separate box. Other than the items which arrive with our components (documentation, software discs etc) we also get a handy keyboard/remote, Logitech gaming controller, the Wi-Fi antenna for our motherboard and a mains cable.

CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review – External

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The Syber Vapor Xtreme is available in white and black with the larger surfaces using a gloss finish. A large air vent can be seen on top, with the overall shape being very angular. Round at the front are a set of USB ports, two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 along with the 3.5mm audio connectors and power button.

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Turning the Vapor Xtreme on its side we can see there are further vents on the edges and base. Then turning it round the back has further perforations for airflow as well as numerous inputs and outputs. These start with our mains connector and then we get the I/O panel for our Gigabyte motherboard. It has two USB 2.0, PS/2,  DVI, Dual HDMI, Wi-FI, 4x USB 3.0, dual GB LAN, 3.5mm audio and SPDIF out. Then over to the right are our GPU’s outputs,  a DVI, 3x DisplayPort and HDMI.

CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review – Internal

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One single screw allows us into the inside of the Vapor Xtreme and overall it has a nice tidy layout. The mini-ITX board sits in one corner, our PSU in another a case fan in another and the a drive is mounted on a bracket which surrounds our GPU (connected to the motherboard via a riser). For cards as long as the GTX 980 this means the case fan is pushing air down into the area where the cooling fan takes in air on the GPU. Cyberpower have gone with a stock Intel cooling fan for this unit.

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As is common with builds from CyberPower there are numerous configuration options as we go through the order/build process. Plenty of alternate CPUs from the Pentium G3258 up to i7-4790K, five different m-ITX boards from Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI, 4-16GB of memory, a wide range of GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA, 3 PSUs (250-600w) and a load of mechanical, solid state and hybrid drives. For our sample we have an i7-4790K, Zotac GTX 980, 2x4GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3, Gigabyte Z97N-WiFi and Hitachi 1TB drive.

CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review – Software and OS

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The OS provided on the Vapor Xtreme is Windows 8.1 and CyberPower provide all the basic drivers etc. There are no extras bloating the install which is great… and then there is Steam.

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Key to the Syber Vapor Xtreme is Steam and its big picture mode. This is essentially a skin for Steam which is designed to look and interact nicely on larger displays such as a 40″ HDTV combined with a remote or game pad. All of the key functions are accessed from the “home” screen including the Store and Library but there is also access to the web and key places such as Twitter and Facebook.

CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review – Performance

All testing was performed on the review specification Syber Vapor Xtreme as detailed above. Windows 8.1 was installed as were the latest version of the benchmarks.

Cinebench R15
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Memory Bandwidth
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SATA3 (Hitachi 1TB Mechanical)
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Thermals
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3DMark
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Assassins Creed Unity 1920×1080 Ultra High Detail
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Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1920×1080 Maximum Detail
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DOTA 2 1920×1080 maximum
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F1 1920×1080 Ultra Detail
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CyberPower Syber Vapor Xtreme Review – Conclusion

Before we talk about the Vapor Xtreme it is worth noting that there are lower spec versions of the system available which are suited to different audiences. For example an AMD based entry level model which is ideal for casual gamers and media users. So check those out if the Xtreme feels a little to extreme for your needs/taste.

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Having said that, they all use the same chassis, be that black or white. The chassis itself looks and feels decent, however we feel the choice of glossy finish is not ideal. It is a dust and fingerprint magnet and so a quality matt finish would have been better. All the key ports on the front panel are easily accessible, as is the power button but for some reason the button to change the LED lighting is put round on the side. Sure it wont be pressed as much as on/off in theory but why hide it away? The case has plenty of ventilation which is good and while our first impression was that the case was a little big, having seen the inside and the level of component installed, there would be very little scope for CyberPower to make this more compact. So all good on that front.

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In terms of component choice. Our build was good. High end i7, high end GPU, great. A decent amount of memory, high capacity hard drive and solid PSU. Personal preference would see us changing the HDD for an SSD, maybe bumping things up to 16GB of memory and dropping the GPU from the GTX 980 to a GTX 960 with its exceptional power use, low temps and silent operation in many games. Maybe even saving a bit of money by going with an i5 processor…reducing the power/heat use at the same time. The motherboard is pretty much perfect though. Plenty of USB 3.0 ports GB LAN, 7.1 audio, Wi-Fi and so on.

The GTX 980 installed is of course able to power through all of the latest games with ease and backed by the i7 CPU allows us to perform media and productivity tasks with ease. Noise levels are decent given the compact chassis. Having said all that, the temperatures are not perfect. We accept that this is the highest end build CyberPower offer for the Syber Vapor and so it is really pushing things but the choice of cooler is disappointing. There are a few low profile coolers out there which are designed for builds just like this which are of a higher quality than the stock Intel which saw our CPU hit 90c when gaming for long periods. CyberPower don’t need to move away from the default Intel… but offering an alternate would be nice.

So that brings us to the software aspect of the system. Windows 8.1 is of course, Windows 8.1 and it sits there doing its thing. Steam on the other hand has been configured to use Big Picture mode and it works nicely. It looks great on a big screen which is good given than the Vapor Xtreme will sit nicely with TV boxes, Blu-Ray players etc. The keyboard/remote bundled with the system is functional, though not exceptional but the Logitech controller feels good when gaming. Essentially, this is as close to a console experience as a PC gets.

Gold Award

 

Available from CyberPower.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

11 Comments

  1. Bryan

    Why would i buy this? I can build it for way nicer and way cheaper. No real gamers is going to buy this crap.

    • Not everyone has the skills or time to build and configure a system.

    • DaveD

      I don’t think you could actually build it for that much cheaper, perhaps you could save £50-£100 tops if you went like for like but also consider the warranty and support you get – Maybe not for all, but for many that would be well worth the extra money.

    • A real gamer would buy it, because a gamer might travel, and leaving your gaming desktop at home is a very bad thing to happen. And this baby will fit a travel bag. On the other hand, an expensive gaming laptop is not a good choice: they are extremely hard, almost impossible to upgrade; they are also a bit unreliable – if a component burns up, it will take the entire computer with it – will be too expensive to replace. I had a nice MSI laptop. Was quite in-between office and gaming laptop. Took care of it for 3 years, and then the motherboard burned up. They didn’t put any fuse on power entry. But certainly, the age of the cupboard sized PC has gone away… So this baby fits all the criteria: it’s transportable, it’s upgradeable so it’s also reliable. The problem left to deal with is noise, which can probably be solved with a liquid cooled video board that would be quiet and won’t take up precious cold air needed by the CPU… I’m going to get one…

    • Joel Hershman

      No you can’t. I got the gtx 970/i5 4690k combo with many upgrades for $950 shipped on sale 6 months ago through syber.

      You couldn’t build it for that, and for a bit more you would be getting a much worse case IMO. You can’t have portability and not expect heat. This thing is fine. Mine over clocked and never goes over 85 degree C. That’s when pushing it to extreme.

      I’ve seen the syber K go on sale for $999 a few times, and I was lucky to have a coupon. I got upgraded ram, a higher mother board with bluetooth, and a better cooling fan all from syber installed for $950 with free shipping.I priced all that out and couldn’t build it.

      I can run any game ultra @60 fps at 1920x 1080. I scale Battlefront to 150 percent, with high fxaa, and everything ultra. locked 60fps. Nevr go above 85 degree C. I limit it with priority cooling in EVGA 16.

      That is a great hi end gaming rig for $950. Not even terrible at the full price of $1200 (used to be $1099). They actually raised prices on these units.

  2. chaz young

    nice review seems to be the ideal solution to bridge the gap between consoles and pcs it would have been nice though to include the prices of each of the steam consoles on offer from the lowest entry level to the extreme range as obviously price could be the deciding factor of which ones to buy also are they available for the uk

  3. Amet

    Please DX12 vs Mantle vs DX11 preview with CPU scallling using AMD processors (eje. Phenom II and FX8370) would be interesting…

    Have good day

  4. Eric

    I purchased Syber Vapor customized with I5 4690K -MSI GTX 970 -GA Z971 Mobo -8 gb memory- 450 gold supply and the better cooler for CPU (forgot brand). It ended up costing 1,200. Let me just say they did not think out this case. It is like putting a heater in your room temps are insane. I even have a case fan above my Gpu. There is not enough vents in this case it’s poorly thought out. What makes this worse is the first one delivered by CyberPowerPC ( I used Venomx to customize) was DOA! Then my second just keeps crashing. I used MSI Afterburner and Gigabite App center System info To let me get info and temps are off the chart. Gpu getting to 90c playing for 40 mins CPU avg 80c WTF! Neither are OC other then out the box for MSI GPU. Let’s just say I’m in the process of returning. The pricing for parts aren’t that bad if you don’t want to build one yourself, but they need a new design for the case.

  5. Joel Hershman

    I bought a gtx 970/i5 4690k combo for $950 shipped about 6 months ago on a sale. Even got a better cooling fan, better ram, and a nicer board too!! Super great deal, couldn’t even build it with all those parts at the time.

    The solution is simple, add in your favorite overclock software, configure it to run on boot up, and set degree max at 80-85 degree C. I did this, and even overclocked mine 250/400. What ever your desired amount is in temp set it with priority to cooling. I personally go 85 C, but I don’t mind pushing it a bit. It will completely limit it from going over 85 degree C ever if you chose priority on temp.

    Works for me, and does extremely well. I run project cars all ultra with ds6x @ 1920 x 1080. I’ve ran 1440p with dsx2/smaa ultra and runs at 60fps locked on that setting too.

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