CyberpowerPC Gamer GUA3600A Review
The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3600A is an entry-level gaming desktop that offers a perfect mix of power and features for the dollar. It’s one of those desktop PCs that budding hardcore gamers will pick from the shelves without a second thought, thanks to ability strenuous gaming titles today. It has features that are usually lacking in even midrange gaming rigs, like gaming-oriented design, extra memory, and a discrete graphics card. The system’s ample mix of features, performance, and future-proofing specs represents a good value for the power it offers. That said, the Cyberpower Gamer SLC8040A remains our top-pick for entry-level gaming desktop PCs.
The Gamer Ultra GUA3600A’s case measures a spacious 16.7 by 7.5 by 19.3 inches (HWD), which is fairly sufficient for the power packed inside. A compact chassis would be better for a general-use PC, but for a gaming rig, a bigger chassis gives room for the system to grow into something bigger through upgrades. It does weigh 32 pounds, deceptively heavy for the eyes, but it’s a desktop PC so you shouldn’t be moving it much. Compared to most gaming rigs, it stacks up well against similarly powerful systems. The sides, top and front have the usual grille-vents through which the blue LED-lights shout “gamer” at all levels. If you’re looking for a space-saving setup, the Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-6980BLK is way-smaller but packs enough power, thus, it won’t require much desk space.
The Gamer Ultra GUA3600A features a AMD FX-8320 Octa (eight) Core 3.5GHz processor (turbo up to 4.0GHz), AMD Radeon R7 250 2GB dedicated graphics card and 16GB of memory. More memory would be useful, and the system is capable of upgrades to 32GB, but these are pretty speedy components as is. The processor gets an excellent score of 8000 points in CPU Mark test, putting it somewhere on the middle of the road (in-between the Intel Core i5 and Core i7) in terms of performance.
For users in the market for a desktop PC that can handle both media projects using Adobe Suites and enough gaming muscle, then this machine isn’t easy to pass by. On the other hand, the Cyberpower Gamer SLC8040A’s Intel Core i7 processor has a CPU score of 10,998 points, which is quite impressive for gamers, keeping in mind that it can burst up to 4.2GHz in Turbo mode, making it a better performer than the Gamer Ultra GUA3600A.
For a gaming desktop PC, all is not done until we look at graphics performance. Being an entry-level desktop, most will assume that it gives poor performance. Apparently, the Gamer Ultra GUA3600A’s graphics performance isn’t the best either…the graphics engine is Radeon R7 250 with 2GB dedicated video memory. It won’t give you butter-smooth performance on most modern titles, but it gets the work done.
For instance, on Fallout 4 you expect around 40FPS at low-medium settings, while on GTA 5 you’d expect upwards of 40FPS. However, for the impressive gaming scores there’s a caveat, high power consumption (max TDP 125W) is one thing you’ll realize soon or later. Nonetheless, this computer will definitely deliver on most frontiers, may it be light media creation, video editing among others that need a powerful system.
For storage, the system includes a roomier 2TB, 7,200rpm hard drive, though it disappointingly does not include a smaller solid-state-drive (SSD) that the system can use for faster booting. The Cyberpower Gamer SLC8040A, our Editors’ Choice entry-level desktop, includes a 128GB solid state drive (SSD) to boot from for faster loading, plus, larger 2TB (7,200RPM) hard drive for storage. Still, you can install an SSD in the free 3.5” bay, which is a good idea. There is also an unoccupied 5.25” bay which can be used for future upgrades as the systems grows.
Connectivity is excellent on the CyberpowerPC GUA3600A. On the downside, it doesn’t include a USB 3.0 port, just eight USB 2.0 ports. Quite sufficient though. Others include Gigabit RJ-45 for Ethernet connection. It doesn’t have a wireless card, so you are safe with a USB wireless dongle like the Edimax EW-7811Un wireless adapter.
The video card harbors HDMI, DVI and VGA ports; which means that a 3-monitor setup will work here. For your old media and files, you have an internal DVD burner. Bundled into the package is a mouse and keyboard, which are basic, but capable; though you’ll have to purchase the monitor separately.
The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3600A is an entry-level gaming desktop, that is both well-designed and promises speedy performance. It doesn’t stack up to more expensive gaming systems, but it’s still among the best in its class. In as much as its missing extras like an SSD and a wireless card, it’s still good value. The relatively small tower is a bonus if you have limited room on or around your desk, and it’s easy to open up. It’s powerful enough to get you started and allows you to gauge your interest in hardcore gaming.
With all those in its favor, the Ultra GUA3600A suffices as one of those gaming rigs that are not easy to pass by, thanks to a perfect mix of features and performance. For that, it deserves a top of your list as you shop for a budget gaming desktop PC. All said, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer SLC8040A remains our Editors’ Choice for entry-level gaming desktop PC, as it combines forward-looking technologies and solid performance for folks who take gaming seriously.