CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA1388A Review
A combination of AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs and Radeon cards have pushed consumer gaming and productivity to absurd new heights. Both features are on full display in the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA1388A, with a Radeon RX 580 4GB graphics card and Ryzen 7 processor. These components help the Gamer GMA1388A hold its own against some desktops costing almost double. This configuration isn’t the most powerful around, but you’re getting more computer than you’re paying for.
If you’re able to shell out more dollars, you can have a pure gaming desktop like the iBUYPOWER AM900Z Ultra Gaming desktop. But if you’re on a tight budget and need something that’s balanced at work and play, this PC offers value that’s hard to beat.
Design and Build
This year’s Gamer Xtreme uses the same standard tower case as its siblings from this year (of course with a few tweaks), and I’m a big fan. It stands at 18.6 by 8.5 by 18.5 inches (HWD), all black brushed aluminum. The front panel is half-solid black cover, and the other half is a glass panel that reveals a trio of concentric LED circles. The upper panel host a couple of quick-access ports recessed to the right-front side, and the rest of the panel is made of parallel lines, save for grilled vent that lets you view the interior components and lighting from the top.
On the left side is a near-full window made of tampered glass, and gives you a perfect view of the interior components. Looking at the case you’ll realize that it isn’t a small-form-factor, but it happens to be on the smaller side for traditional towers. For size comparison, the iBUYPOWER AM003i Gaming Desktop PC stands 25 inches tall, 12.5 inches wide, and 21.38 inches deep, taking up much more space. CyberpowerPC, just like other boutique manufacturers, sometimes go overboard on the bling, but here the design is rather restrained, and I can say –elegant.
Connectivity and Storage
The system doesn’t have an optical drive, which is fine given that these days you occasionally need to play from DVDs, as most PC games can be downloaded from digital services like Steam and Origin. Plus, having one on the front would be a scratch on the case’s stylish austerity. As it is, there are easy-access ports on the top panel (towards the front): two USB 3.1, microphone and headphone, and a Reset button.
On the back, it’s a completely different story, it’s there you find the rear panel ports: eight USB 3.1, one RJ-45 Network Ethernet, and Audio 7.1 channel. The graphics card is yet another part of the system with more ports comprising: three DisplayPort, and two DisplayPorts, which allow you to connect even to a 4K external monitor. It also comes with a 802.11AC Wi-Fi receiver, which adds to the overall spec sheet.
For storage, the system’s 1TB 7200rpm hard drive is more than enough for storing your games, movies and downloads. We at least expected even a 120GB SSSD for the operating systems, but it’s among the few sacrifices thy had to make to have the system cheaply. If you won’t be throwing an SSD into the system later, but need one, the CYBERPOWERPC BattleBox Essential GMA3600A leverages good storage and speedy performance thanks to a 1TB hard drive paired with a 120GB SSD. Bundled into the package is a RGB 7 color gaming keyboard and mouse combo.
Although you can’t see it beyond the tempered glass side panel, the raison d’être for the Gamer GMA2400A is the AMD Ryzen 1700X processor and 8GB RAM. This is AMD’s new top-end chip, released alongside the AMD 1800X chip, with a base clock speed of 3.4GHz and eight processing cores (which amounts to 16 threads), a direct competitor to the Intel Core i7-7700k, but impressive in some ways. This chip’s base clock is 3.4GHz, and has a TDP of 95 watts, better than most of its competitors.
This becomes particularly important when looking at the Gamer Master’s performance. If you’re paying for an eight core Ryzen 7 desktop, you should expect no less than top-end speed, which it delivers across all spheres. For general productivity, it is among the fastest AMD-powered systems you can find around. It beats most newcomers on in multimedia tests including Photoshop, making it a big deal for video encoding and picture editing. It leads the pack for daily productivity in such a dominant fashion, and manages to stay right up there among the best in category.
As expected of a gaming PC, the real ball starts to roll during gameplay. And this system does shine well. It’s a VR Ready system with HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift, which is a feature set you can rarely find among competitors. Most of its immediate competitors are equipped with GTX 1060 graphic cards, but the AMD Radeon RX 580 (4GB) graphics card delivers impressive frame rates per second (FPS), and being VR-Ready is a notable bonus. For instance, it delivers 67 FPS on Grand Theft Auto and 69 FPS on fallout 4, which are playable frame rates at native resolutions.
A PC for Gaming and Productivity
In Q3 2017, manufacturers have churned out capable systems, and we’ve seen premium components trickle into the market at reducing amounts of money. True, it’s now possible to buy a system like the CyberPowerPC Gamer Master GMA1388A at incredibly low prices, but the feature set remains strong. Looking at it, I see a system that challenges the conventional cliché of where the intersection of performance and budget should lie. For much less than you’d pay for most high-end gaming machines, you’re getting a system that is adept to handling heavy workloads.
This side has been Intel’s territory for a while, but we’re now seeing AMD challenge it, with the composition of high-end gaming and luxury gaming desktops, for much less. All these point towards a system that will be better utilized if you find a software that uses all its core, worth having at the top of your list.
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC, Intel Core i5-9400F 2.9GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB, 8GB DDR4, 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD, WiFi Ready & Win 10 Home (GXiVR8060A8, Black)
2 used from $779.99