Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: CyberPower PC Custom Build - Gamer Infinity 8800 Pro

I built my first PC with the help of a friend over 20 years ago: a Pentium 90 pieced together from computer show parts to run the then-newly-released Windows 95. Since then, I've built several machines from scratch on my own and helped various other folks learn the ropes of the PC building life.

Despite being completely comfortable with and often enjoying such tasks, I still appreciate the value of having a go-to PC builder that I can call upon to put together a quality system at a reasonable price when I don't have the time or inclination to do it myself.

Over the past 10 years or so, I've purchased three gaming PCs built by CyberPower PC (CP). The first was a pre-built system sold by newegg, which impressed me so much that I started dealing directly with CP for custom builds and recommending them enthusiastically to anyone in the market for a gaming rig.

I did choose to go with a pre-built ASUS gaming desktop for the machine preceding this one because I got an amazing deal on it but I continued to recommend CP to other folks and continued to be impressed with their results, so it was a no-brainer for me to once again call on CP for this latest build.

 Despite my genuine affection for CP and the way they do business, I do feel compelled to encourage anyone with the slightest inclination to build their own PC to give it a try. There's something really special about the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from putting together your first PC from parts that I would never want to discourage anyone from experiencing given the chance.

Having said that, if you're not particularly technically minded or inclined, or simply just don't want to do the build yourself for whatever reason, I'm happy to report that CP is still 100% on point when it comes to putting together solid, well-executed, reasonably-priced gaming PC builds based on my latest experience with them.

I honestly have zero complaints about any aspect of the experience. From the Build-to-Order options on the "Gamer Infinity 8800 Pro" configuration I used as a basis for the build, to the timely completion of said build, which shipped and was delivered on time and as ordered, to the build quality,  which I honestly could not have done better myself in terms of wire management and cleanliness. Everything was essentially perfect.

I will say that non-technical folks might have been slightly intimidated or put off by aspects of the packaging, such as having to remove packing foam from inside the tower case or seeing accessories and manuals being shipped in boxes for products not used in the build. In my case, for example, a box for a GPU other than the one I ordered was used to contain various odds and ends during shipping but I honestly find that sort of thing charming and certainly prefer CP improvising a little packaging to the additional cost that a fancier presentation would likely entail.

All things considered, I'm still a big fan of CP and would continue to enthusiastically recommend them to anyone interested in a pre-configured or custom-built gaming PC.

For those curious, I made the following modifications to the "Gamer Infinity 8800 Pro" config but I'd encourage you to first consider your own needs and wants before duplicating what I did.
  • Motherboard: Upgraded to ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 2
  • GPU: Upgraded to GTX 1080 Ti
  • RAM: Upgraded to 32 GB DDR4 @ 3000 MHz
  • HD: Upgraded to 240 GB SSD + 2 3TB 7200 RPM SATA III mechanical drives
  • Keyboard: Added a Skorpion K1 RGB mechanical keyboard (which I LOVE by the way!) :)
Finally, if you're specifically curious about the performance of the GTX 1080 Ti, check out the following video I made using this new PC.