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Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT - Athlon 64 FX 60 2.6 GHz - 19 TFT review: Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT - Athlon 64 FX 60 2.6 GHz - 19 TFT

Based on an Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU, two ATI Radeon graphics cards in a CrossFire setup, and a healthy dose of top-shelf components, the Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT provides a capable and relatively affordable alternative to Nvidia's SLI graphics solution.

John R. Delaney

See full bio
6 min read

The Gamer Ultra X1900 XT's online configurator offers more choice than almost any other we've seen, starting with dozens of chassis models and colors. Our review unit came housed in an aluminum CoolerMaster Praetorian 730 case dubbed the ATI CrossFire Edition, which is done up in a glossy red-and-black finish and features airbrushed images of ATI's 3D heroine, Ruby, on both side panels. Behind the front door is a double-layer DVD recordable drive, a DVD-ROM drive, a 12-in-1 media card reader, and a blue-lit 120mm intake fan. And with two rear-mounted exhaust fans, a CPU fan, two power supply fans, and two fans cooling the graphics cards, the system tends to run a little loud, although it is far from deafening.

7.4

Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT - Athlon 64 FX 60 2.6 GHz - 19 TFT

The Good

Impressive 3D performance, particularly on DirectX games; stylish, immaculately wired chassis; stocked with premium parts; seemingly endless customization options; good price.

The Bad

CrossFire graphics cards require a dongle; not as good as SLI on OpenGL games; somewhat noisy operation.

The Bottom Line

Based on an Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU, two ATI Radeon graphics cards in a CrossFire setup, and a healthy dose of top-shelf components, the Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT provides a capable and relatively affordable alternative to Nvidia's SLI graphics solution.
The Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT is the first system we've tested that uses ATI's dual-graphics card CrossFire technology. This gaming PC offers seemingly infinite configuration options; our $3,499 review unit paired two Radeon X1900-series graphics cards with AMD's Athlon 64 FX-60 and included a wide-screen, 19-inch ViewSonic LCD and a 5.1 Creative speaker set. While ATI's CrossFire technology has advantages over Nvidia's competing SLI setup, we don't favor the external dongle required to connect two ATI CrossFire cards. Still, the Gamer Ultra X1900 XT didn't exhibit any of the stability problems we saw with the first batch of SLI systems, nor does it carry their sky-high prices. On our tests, performance was mixed, with CrossFire leading on Half-Life 2 and SLI taking top honors on Doom 3. Whether you favor Nvidia's SLI, as we do, or see the merits of ATI's CrossFire, there's no debate that the Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT isn't a great deal for the money.

There is room for two more external 5.25-inch drives and one 3.5-inch drive, and three of the four hard drive bays are occupied. A pop-up panel on the top of the system reveals two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, and two audio jacks. Four additional USB 2.0 ports are mounted on the rear of the system, along with two gigabit Ethernet connections, an external SATA port, and audio jacks for the integrated 8-channel audio controller, including two SPDIF outputs. The system's two graphics cards occupy both of the PCI Express x16 expansion slots and also block the PCI Express x1 slot and one of three traditional PCI slots. A wireless Ethernet card (802.11g) uses one PCI slot, leaving only one free slot for future expansion. Cyberpower does a fine job of routing and organizing interior cables, eschewing the usual flat, gray IDE ribbon cables for the thick, rounded variety.

The Gamer Ultra X1900 XT is powered by AMD's dual-core Athlon 64 FX-60 processor running on an Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard that uses ATI's RD580 chipset. Our test system came with 1GB of Corsair DDR (PC3200) memory and two 512MB ATI RADEON X1900 graphics cards--an X1900 XTX and an X1900 CrossFire Edition. As with most high-end systems, the Gamer Ultra X1900 XT features two 74GB Western Digital Raptors running at 10,000rpm configured to RAID 0. An additional 250GB drive (7,200rpm) provides ample storage for all of your media files. Powering all of the components is a 680-watt Thermaltake Purepower PSU, which provided enough juice during our tests for stable operation.

ATI's CrossFire graphics solution is the company's answer to Nvidia's SLI multi-GPU technology, and the X1900 series is ATI's latest offering. In order to take advantage of dual-card graphics, one of the X1900 cards must be a CrossFire Edition model, which contains a special digital output used to connect the two cards via an external dongle (SLI cards are connected internally using a bridge connector). The dongle system works well enough, but we think it just adds more cable clutter to the rear of the system.

3D gaming performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Half-Life 2 1,600x1,200 4XAA 8XAF  
Half-Life 2 1,024x768 4XAA 8XAF  
Doom 3 1,600x1,200 4XAA 8XAF  
Doom 3 1,024x768, 4XAA 8XAF  
Note: ** CPU and graphics are overclocked

In our 3D-gaming tests, performance results were mixed but predictable. The Gamer Ultra X1900 XT blew away the SLI-based competition on CNET Labs' Half-Life 2 tests, besting the Falcon Northwest Mach V (and its previous-generation GeForce 7800 GTX cards) by 15 percent, at 1,600x1,200, with its 125.9 frames per second (fps). The Gamer Ultra X1900 XT couldn't catch the Mach V, however, on our Doom 3 tests. Its score of 106.1fps on the low-resolution portion of the test was nearly 100 frames per second slower than the Falcon's score of 205.1fps. It's no secret that Half-Life 2, a DirectX game, is optimized for ATI's GPU; likewise, Nvidia had a hand in designing and optimizing Doom 3, an OpenGL game, for use with its graphics cards. The Gamer Ultra X1900 XT can also handle office and multimedia applications with ease, as evidenced by its impressive SysMark 2004 score of 284.

(For more in-depth analysis on SLI and CrossFire, read our reviews of the Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX and the ATI Radeon X1900 XTX.)

Application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  
Note: ** CPU and graphics are overclocked

Games look sharp on the included 19-inch ViewSonic va1912wb wide-screen LCD, which features a 16:10 aspect ratio and a fast 8ms pixel-response rating. The monitor has a native resolution of 1,440x900 and features dual inputs (analog and digital) and built-in speakers. We didn't bother hooking up the speakers because our test system also included a Creative Labs Inspire P7800 speaker system, boasting 90 watts of power across eight speakers, including a booming 6.5-inch subwoofer that rattles your bones. The P7800 is ideal for small to midsize rooms but lacks the power to cover larger areas.

Rounding out the package deal is a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse combo. Our system came with Windows XP Professional installed, but you can order Home or Media Center editions. Bundled software is limited to the ubiquitous Nero OEM suite, InterVideo's WinCinema, and an Asus Media Launcher suite containing InterVideo's WinDVD Creator 2, PhotoAlbum, DiscMaster, and DVD Copy 2.5 software.

Cyberpower covers the Gamer Ultra X1900 XT with a three-year parts warranty; free labor and toll-free telephone support are covered for the life of the system. There is no provision for live technical chat, but you can e-mail tech support with specific questions. The company's Web site lacks a dedicated support portal, but it does provide links to the manufacturer's site for driver downloads.

System configurations:

ABS Ultimate M6 Sniper
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-60; Nvidia Nforce4 SLI X16 chipset; 2,048MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; two 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7800GTX (SLI); two Western Digital WD946D 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA, one Seagate, 500GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Nvidia Nforce4 RAID class controller (RAID 0)

Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-60; ATI RD580 (ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200) chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; two 512MB ATI Radeon X1900XT (PCIe CrossFire); two WDC WD740GD-00FLA2 74GB 10,000rpm SATA; one Western Digital, 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated ULI SATA/RAID controller CM1575/N1697 (RAID 0)

Falcon Northwest Mach V
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.9GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-60; Nvidia Nforce4 SLI X16 chipset; 2,048MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; two 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX (SLI); two Maxtor 68300S0 300GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA 150; integrated Nvidia Nforce4 RAID class controller (RAID 0)

Polywell Poly 939N4SLI2/FX60
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-60; Nvida Nforce4 SLI X16 chipset; 2,048MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; two 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7800GTX (SLI); two Western Digital WD946D 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA, one Western Digital WDC2500KS-00MJB0 250GB Serial ATA II; integrated Nvidia Nforce4 Serial ATA RAID Controller (RAID 0)

Velocity Micro Raptor 64
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.9GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-60; Nvidia Nforce4 SLI x16 chipset; 2,048MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; two 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7800GTX (PCIe); two Hitachi 500GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Nvidia Nforce4 Serial ATA RAID controller (RAID 0)

7.4

Cyberpower Gamer Ultra X1900 XT - Athlon 64 FX 60 2.6 GHz - 19 TFT

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 8Performance 8Support 6
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