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Back in August, Intel announced the first wave of eighth-generation Core processors for laptops – and true, in Q4 of 2017 we’ve seen them debut in notebooks like the Asus VivoBook F510UA-AH51 with the codename ‘Kaby Lake-R’ processors. And now, it’s time for desktops to get their own reel at Intel’s chips including the MSI Vortex G25-023US (Intel i5-8400). Meanwhile, gamers have something to keep them playing as we wait for the new chips to gain ground, or even get cheaper. The CyberPowerPC Gamer Master GMA2400A, is a midrange gaming PC that has a solid feature set, ideal for both work and play. With AMD’s Ryzen 7 processor and Nvidia’s GTX 1070 graphics card and 16GB of memory, it looks like one of those systems that can easily rival high-end rigs on daily gaming and productivity.
Design and Build
As part of CyberPowerPC’s Gamer Master series, the GMA2400A gets the all-familiar Sci-Fi look, with red-LEDs on the body and a tempered glass side panel. It is set in an all-black chassis, save for body grills and vents that offer a peek into the interior components and vents for system breathing, but it looks great on all angles. The front panel gets a trio of LED-lit rings with an embossed CyberPower logo near the bottom, giving it a futuristic, living motif of a thinking machine.
Apart from the redesigned look with rings sandwiched in vertically-lit trim, a pad with ports on the front top and an orange tongue near the base, the casing doesn’t bring anything new into the market over its predecessors. Its black aluminum frame stands at 21.3 by 8.7 by 20.3 inches (HWD), with tempered glass on the left flank and another one on the top, but recessed to the back. The case isn’t a small-form factor design, but it’s on the smaller side of traditional towers. For size comparison, the Master GMA2400A is smaller than the iBuyPower AM002i (21.23 by 12.5 by 25 inches).
If you fancy something powerful but space saving, the ASUS G11CD-DB73-GTX1080 our midrange Editors’ Choice, measures only 17.3 by 6.9 by 16.6 inches. The GMA2400A also ships with a RGB 7 colors gaming keyboard and mouse –not the best, but satisfying for use as you move up the ladder. No monitor is included, you might have to buy one separately, the ViewSonic XG2700-4K isn’t a bad choice either.
Inputs and Storage
An optical drive has been dropped, so have many manufactures, as we’re now downloading oour games from digital services like Steam AND Origin. No need to affect the luxe design over a DVD tray you might not need often. As it is, you get easily accessible ports on the upper deck –two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone, a reset button and Power button. More ports are located on the back: two USB 3.1, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and an Ethernet port.
For external displays, the Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card hosts one DVI port, one HDMI port and a Displayport, meaning you can hook it up to three monitors for multitasking. It doesn’t get much room for expansion, as you only get one PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 slots and two PCIe 2.0 x1, one M.2 on the motherboard and four DIMM RAM slots that support a maximum of 64GB memory. Internet connectivity comes via an RJ-45 port, but for wireless you’ll have to do with a simple USB Wi-Fi adapter, like the Edimax EW-7811Un.
The 120GB SSD (for windows and programs) and a 2TB 7,200rpm hard drive for storing files are finely tucked out of sight in the drive cage. This is a one-two punch that delivers tons of storage and a super-fast boot drive. It adds to the system price, for sure, but if you’re be using the system for media work, you’ll appreciate the added speed and you still have some room for other projects and games. As configured, there’s still two 3.5-inch and one 2.5-inch storage bays free.
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. 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.
Gaming performance is another area where the Gamer Master separates itself from most midrange PCs. The competitors are all fast, capable desktops many of which are equipped with GTX 1070s and some GTX 1080, but the GTX 1070 8GB upgrade pushes the GMA2400A to the front, scoring 18000 points on 3D Mark test. Its score notwithstanding, the fact that it’s a VR Ready system with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift makes it optimized for gaming at ultra-high settings. It will deliver smooth playability on most modern games including: Grand Theft Auto V (64 fps), The Witcher (59 fps) and Fallout 4 (103 fps), all played at 1080-by-1920 Ultra settings. When played in 4K, the fps reduced but none of the games will go below 42fps, which is quite acceptable.
A Forward-Looking Gaming PC
Sure, CyberPowerPC Gamer Master GMA2400A delivers more value than most boutique-built alternatives, in fact you get more computer than you pay for. It still is thousands of dollars less than mainstream gaming PCs from hyped manufacturers like HP and Acer (though those PCs do add a few top-end advantages), and the functional but stylish case does a good job in hosting the premium hardware.
Of course, it does come with a few rough edges like a not-so-quiet fan, lacks wireless capability and isn’t liquid cooled like most of its predecessors. If you can do with these few tradeoffs (not prohibitively so), then the Gamer GMA2400A is certainly one of those systems that are tough to beat for its design, pricing, productivity proves and impressive gaming capability.
CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA2400A
The CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA2400A is stellar gaming machine that is practically unrivaled among its peers, on both gaming and daily productivity. Its case is elegantly designed, and the rather huge profile tends to offer some real-estate for future expansion.
- Impressive gaming capability
- Scores well in productivity tasks, alike
- Future-looking components
- Fan isn’t the quietest
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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)
4 used from $809.99