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CybertronPC CLX Ra review: A big performer in a big case

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While not as well-known among deep-pocketed PC gaming enthusiasts as brands such as Alienware or Origin PC, CybertronPC has been knocking out highly customizable gaming PCs for years, and was best known as a place to get a real a la carte gaming desktop built from exactly the case and components you wanted for a reasonable price.

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8.1

CybertronPC CLX Ra

The Good

The CybertronPC CLX Ra has a premium look and high-end parts for excellent performance. Access to both side panels is very easy.

The Bad

The rear ports are almost impossible to get to without removing the glass panel on the right side. The oversized off-the-shelf chassis isn't for everyone.

The Bottom Line

Despite using the same components and cases as many other PC makers, CybertronPC has managed to hit top performance scores in the CLX Ra at slightly lower prices than the competition.

While keeping the sci-fi-inspired name (Cybertron is the home planet of the Autobots, after all), the company now has a high-end line of carefully tuned gaming systems, with premium looks and premium prices. The new CLX line tops out with the CLX Ra -- yes, named for the Egyptian deity -- which goes head to head with the highest-end gaming desktops we've tested in our Nvidia 1080 system roundup.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The look of our CLX Ra is distinctive, with smoked-glass side panels on a black aluminum chassis, and a large airflow channel cut out underneath. It's a huge case, especially considering that Falcon Northwest can squeeze two graphics cards into a small FragBox, and both Alienware and Acer are moving toward smaller desktop designs. But it does have plenty of room for the two Nvidia 1080 cards included here, and at least 11 large Thermaltake fans, plus plenty of room for airflow and a liquid cooling rig.

Like most boutique PC makers, Cybertron uses off-the-shelf cases, such as the In Win case used here, but it's not one of the regular case choices I've seen over and over again from other PC builders. Typically, only a handful of big brands, the Dells and HPs of the world, can design and produce their own desktop and laptop chassis, although Origin PC does have a couple of its own custom designs now, including the recently reviewed Millennium.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The Ra's case allows you to easily remove both the left and right side panels with chunky thumbscrews, and puts a handful of ports and connections on the lower left side of the case. But most of the rear ports are very hard to reach, and you have to remove the right side panel to easily access them, unless you're very skilled at threading a cable through a narrow opening on the rear of the case.

CybertronPC CLX Ra

Price as reviewed $5,569
PC CPU 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-6950X
PC memory 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz
Graphics (2) 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Storage 512GB SSD + 4TB HDD
Operating system Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

This $5,569 configuration of the CLX Ra includes an Intel Core i7-6950X CPU, two new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD/4TB HDD storage combo. That's expensive, yes, but also in line with our other high-end dual-1080 desktops, including those from Falcon Northwest and Origin PC. The price of this configuration works out to £4,270 or AU$7,382, and PC makers such as CybertronPC will ship internationally, but note that this can add hefty shipping and tariff fees.

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Removing the right side panel makes it easier to access many of the rear ports.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ready for VR and more

Overall performance from the high-end parts in this high-end configuration was very impressive, and the system either tied with or edged just ahead of the similarly configured Origin PC Millennium and Falcon Northwest FragBox systems we tested as part of the same roundup of computers with Nvidia's new 10-series GPUs. All of those top-end systems included factory overclocked components for an additional performance edge.

This configuration goes above and beyond what's needed for the current generation of PC-based virtual-reality headsets (the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift) and it should be well-positioned to play at least the next several generations of VR games. VR games require 90 frames per second, per lens, and are quickly becoming more sophisticated and graphically challenging. Current non-VR games, such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, also played great on the Ra at full 4K resolution and ultra detail settings.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion

With performance barely distinguishable from its similarly high-priced neighbors on our testing bench, CybertronPC gives us another worthwhile option for premium PC gaming with the CLX Ra. My primary hesitations are some design quirks in the big, heavy case used here, and the fact that a handful of other boutique PC makers have excellent long-term reputations for hands-on service and support, which is an important consideration for such a hefty investment. That said, this was the least expensive dual-GPU desktop in our Nvidia 1080 gaming PC roundup, but it matched or slightly beat the more expensive systems for real-world performance.

Multimedia Multitasking test 3.0

Cybertron CLX Ra 77Origin PC Millennium 79Falcon Northwest FragBox 81Digital Storm Velox 85Digital Storm Aura 128Origin PC Omni 133Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 133Alienware Aurora R5 152Acer Predator G1 710 157
Notes: Shorter bars indicate better performance (in seconds)

Geekbench 3 (Multi-Core)

Cybertron CLX Ra 41431Origin PC Millennium 40631Falcon Northwest FragBox 39935Digital Storm Velox 34473Digital Storm Aura 18845Origin PC Omni 18103Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 17894Alienware Aurora R5 16904Acer Predator G1 710 14465
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

Cybertron CLX Ra 10901Origin PC Millennium 10384Digital Storm Velox 9859Falcon Northwest FragBox 9220Origin PC Omni 5427Digital Storm Aura 5036Alienware Aurora R5 4973Acer Predator G1 710 4936Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 4717
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

Bioshock Infinite gaming test

Digital Storm Velox 334Cybertron CLX Ra 334Origin PC Millennium 309Falcon Northwest FragBox 276Origin PC Omni 241Alienware Aurora R5 232Digital Storm Aura 230Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 221Acer Predator G1 710 192
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

System Configurations

Cybertron CLX Ra Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); (oc) 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-6950X; 30GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz; (2) 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 4TB HDD
Origin PC Millennium Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); (oc) 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-6950X; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz; (oc) (2) 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 3TB HDD
Origin PC Omni Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 500GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Alienware Aurora R5 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Digital Storm Velox Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); (oc) 4.3GHz Intel Core i7-6900K; 30GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz; (2) Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Digital Storm Aura Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Velocity Micro Raptor Z55 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 4.2GHz Intel Core i7-6700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 3TB HDD
Acer Predator G1 710 Micorsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-6700; 30GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz; 8GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Falcon Northwest FragBox Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); (oc) 4.5GHz Intel Core i7-6950X; 64GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz; (oc) (2) 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080; 512GB SSD + 6TB HDD

cybertronpc-clx-ra-07.jpg
8.1

CybertronPC CLX Ra

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 9