Hypersonic Fury GX review: Hypersonic Fury GX

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The Good Good bang-for-the-buck performer; bountiful expansion ports on front and back; room to expand inside; onsite service included.

The Bad Noticeable fan din; no productivity suite.

The Bottom Line Gamers on a budget will appreciate the understated Hypersonic Fury GX, which delivers the needed pixel-pushing power without emptying your checking account.

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7.7 Overall

The Hypersonic Fury GX is proof positive that there is such thing as an affordable gaming system. Most high-end gaming systems heap on the latest, most-powerful parts and luxury touches such as custom-painted cases and peripherals, causing serious budget overload. But if your budget demands a bit more discretion, you'll find the right mix of features, performance, and price with the Hypersonic Fury.

You can configure a Fury system with either an Intel or an AMD processor. We looked at a configuration from the Intel-based Fury GX line. The base configuration costs $1,200, but upgrades and peripherals brought the price of our Fury GX review unit to $2,514.

The black, aluminum tower has an abundance of up-front port access. The front panel is low-key, with an 8X multiformat Plextor DVD-recordable drive, a 7-in-1 media-card reader/floppy drive combo, and a flip-down panel that hides a FireWire port, four USB 2.0 ports, and two audio connections. On the back, there are four more USB 2.0 ports.

Sliding two latches gets you into the tidy and spacious interior, where all five PCI slots and two of the Fury's four memory slots are free. You have room to add a second (and a third and a fourth) optical drive, plus a second 3.5-inch drive. Three 3.5-inch internal bays are also free, should you need to add a hard drive or three. With five fans whirring inside, however, the Fury GX can get a little loud.

Our Fury GX test system uses a 3GHz Pentium 4 processor on the mainstream Intel 865PE chipset-based Gigabyte motherboard. Our test system was upgraded from 512MB to 1GB of 400MHz SDRAM. Digital-video filmmakers and editors might want a larger hard drive or additional drives, but our test system's Serial ATA 120GB hard drive has more than enough storage capacity for gamers.

Both high-end and midrange ATI and Nvidia graphics cards are available in the Hypersonic Fury; our test system uses the midrange (and now generation-old) 256MB Nvidia GeForce FX 5700. With an ample 256MB of graphics memory, however, this card is still a strong performer; all but the most hard-core gamers will be satisfied with its performance. We played the bundled Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty games, and we were pleased with the smooth, fast performance. Also, the Fury GX achieved a solid 57.5 frames per second on CNET Labs' high-end 1,600x1,200 Unreal Tournament 2003 benchmark. On our application benchmark, SysMark 2004, it scored a decent 171.

Hypersonic shipped our system with a 19-inch NEC-Mitsubishi CRT that's well suited for gaming, as are the optical Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer mouse, Logitech Elite keyboard, and Logitech Z-640 speakers. The surround-sound speakers worked well with the system's integrated 6.1 sound, though audiophiles may want to consider opting for the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS sound card.

Hypersonic's standard warranty covers parts and labor for one year, but the company opted to include the two-year warranty in the price of our test system. There's also an added-cost option for a three-year warranty. This industry-average warranty is helped by the inclusion of onsite service--good for the length of the warranty you choose--and toll-free, 24/7 tech support.

Application performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating  
SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating  
SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating  

3D gaming performance (in fps)  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus 1,024x768  
Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus 1,600x1,200 4XAA 8XAF  
Note: * Denotes system was not tested at this resolution

System configurations:

Cyberpower Gamer Ultra 8500 SE
Windows XP Home; 2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3000+; Via K8T800 chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHZ; Nvidia GeForce FX 5900 128MB; Seagate ST3120026AS Serial ATA 7,200rpm; Controller N/A

Falcon Northwest FragBox Pro
Windows XP Home; 2.8GHz Intel P4; Intel 865G chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB; WDC WD1200JB-00CRA1 120GB 7,200rpm

Gateway 710X Performance
Windows XP Home; 3.2EGHz Intel P4; Intel 875P chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB; WDC WD2500JD-22FYB0 250GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

Hypersonic Fury GX
Windows XP Professional; 3GHz Intel P4; Intel 865PE chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon 9800XT 256MB; Seagate ST3120026AS 120GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA

MPC ClientPro 545
Windows XP Professional; 3.2GHz Intel P4; Intel 875P chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5700 256MB; two Seagate ST3120026AS 120GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Intel 82801ER SATA RAID controller

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