CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Hypersonic Cyclone 3D/R review:

Hypersonic Cyclone 3D/R

  • 1
Compare These

The Good Top-quality components; no cut corners.

The Bad Pricey.

The Bottom Line A combination of speed, an excellent monitor, and great speakers render the Cyclone 3D/R quite droolworthy.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

Living with excess can be a burden; it takes effort not to smirk at your friends when you have cooler stuff than they do. If you plan to buy Hypersonic's Cyclone 3D/R, you'll need practice restraining yourself. This system provides a very potent combination of high-tech computing and high-level entertainment that comes wrapped in black and delivered to your door for $2,862. Living with excess can be a burden; it takes effort not to smirk at your friends when you have cooler stuff than they do. If you plan to buy Hypersonic's Cyclone 3D/R, you'll need practice restraining yourself. This system provides a very potent combination of high-tech computing and high-level entertainment that comes wrapped in black and delivered to your door for $2,862.

Fast and furious
Mix together a 2GHz Pentium 4, 256MB of RDRAM, a GeForce3 graphics card, and two 20GB disks joined as one 40GB logical drive (by a Promise Technology FasTrack RAID controller), and you'd expect maximum performance. This wasn't reflected in our trio of productivity benchmarks, however, where the system posted merely average results. But if you look at the 3D (Quake III Arena) tests, you'll see scores that are slightly higher than average.

Two factors work to produce these scores. For one, Hypersonic installed Nvidia's newest graphics driver. But the benefits it confers will dissipate as the driver becomes more popular. More importantly, the company overclocked the Hercules 3D Prophet III graphics card a scant 7.5 percent for the core but nearly 29 percent for the memory. This is one of the few times we've seen overclocking produce positive results without crashing the system. It's possible that the twin 3-inch fans mounted above the graphics card help to keep it cool.

Ultimate media
The Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 speakers included with the Cyclone 3D/R are excellent, though no longer the greatest. They feature a new crossover network to better blend the sound between the subwoofer and the four satellites, plus an audio-input jack so that you can attach other standalone audio components. The ProMedia 4.1 delivers 400 watts of thunderous, quality sound the likes of which you probably won't find elsewhere. What's better? Klipsch's ProMedia 5.1, which has a center channel. Hypersonic offers these upscale speakers as an option, but they'll cost about $100 extra. And if you don't have a refined ear and relatively good room acoustics, you'll never notice the difference.

You would notice the difference if you substituted another monitor for the NEC FE950+ that accompanies the Cyclone 3D/R, however. This is a 19-inch display with an 18-inch, virtually flat viewing area. We watched a variety of DVD movies, from the somber tones of The Sixth Sense to the glaring desert colors of The Mummy Returns and came up with nothing but praise for the playback quality. Gameplay also gets high marks on this monitor, which has a maximum 1,792x1,344 resolution.

Making more of it
Whatever you think of basic black, the 17.5-by-8-by-19-inch tool-free minitower is an expansionist's dream, and you can get it in silver for only $5 more. This system has six free bays, two hard disks, CD-R/RW and DVD-ROM drives, and a floppy drive. The 478-pin P4T-E motherboard supports up to a 2.4GHz CPU and a maximum of 2GB of RDRAM. It even has three PCI slots available.

A one-year onsite warranty is standard, but if you're going to keep the system for a while--and there's no reason not to--we'd recommend the $199 three-year (total) extended plan. The Cyclone 3D/R includes the company's Premiere Lifetime Upgrade Program, which makes it eligible for trade-ins on selected components and a variety of in-house system upgrades (for a fee). The Web site is well organized, with clearly labeled support policies, troubleshooting tips, and how-to guides.

If you're looking for the ultimate in gaming and entertainment, you'll want to add the Cyclone 3D/R to your list of candidates.

Performance test
100=performance of a test machine with a PIII-800, 128MB of PC133 CL2 SDRAM, Creative Labs GeForce Annihilator 2 32MB, and Windows 2000 (Service Pack 1)
Longer bars indicate better performance

Overall rating   
Internet content creation   
Office 2001 productivity   
Hypersonic Cyclone 3D/R
168 
185 
152 
Polywell Poly 850GB-2000
168 
183 
155 
ABS Performance System 8
169 
183 
156 
Dell Dimension 8200
164 
179 
151 
Micron Millennia Max XS
166 
174 
158 
Gateway 700X
167 
186 
150 
 
Quake III Arena test
Frames per second; longer bars indicate better performance
Hypersonic Cyclone 3D/R
183 
Polywell Poly 850GB-2000
161.9 
ABS Performance System 8
143.2 
Dell Dimension 8200
142.9 
Micron Millennia Max XS
142.8 
Gateway 700X
142.1 
 
Editor's note: CNET recently upgraded its system benchmarks to BAPCo's SysMark 2001. All the systems mentioned in this review were tested using the new benchmark and cannot be compared to systems tested using previous benchmarks.

ABS Performance System 8
Windows Me; Pentium 4 2GHz; 256MB RDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce3 64MB; IBM IC35L060AVER070 60GB 7,200rpm

Dell Dimension 8200
Windows Me; Pentium 4 2GHz; 256MB RDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce3 64MB; IBM IC35L060AVER070 60GB 7,200rpm

Gateway 700X
Windows Me; Pentium 4 2GHz; 256MB RDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce3 64MB; Western Digital W0800BB 80GB 7,200rpm

Hypersonic Cyclone 3D/R
Windows Me; Pentium 4 2GHz; 256MB RDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce3 64MB; 2X IBM IC35L020AVER070 20GB 7,200rpm

Micron Millennia Max XS
Windows Me; Pentium 4 2GHz; 256MB RDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce3 64MB; Western Digital WD400BB 40GB 7,200rpm

Polywell Poly 850GB-2000
Windows Me; Pentium 4 2GHz; 256MB RDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce3 64MB; 2X Maxtor 5T040H4 40GB 7,200rpm

Mix together a 2GHz Pentium 4, 256MB of RDRAM, a GeForce3 graphics card, and two 20GB disks joined as one 40GB logical drive, and you'd expect maximum performance. This wasn't reflected in our trio of productivity benchmarks, however, where the system posted merely average results. But if you look at the 3D (Quake III Arena) tests, you'll see scores that are slightly higher than average.

This week on CNET News

Discuss Hypersonic Cyclone 3D/R