We recently noticed a new prebuilt gaming computer option in the $700 price range from CyberpowerPC that seems pretty interesting, so we wanted to check it out. In the following detailed CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A review we’ll take a closer look at this system.
CyberpowerPC have been making prebuilt computers for years, with a special focus towards gaming rigs. We’ve reviewed a few of their entry-level gaming PCs in the past (in the $500 price bracket), including the GUA3100A and GUA880. While these represent decent value we found them to be entry level only, and lacking performance-wise.
For the more serious gamer though, the CyberpowerPC GXi VR 8020 A offering is pretty interesting, and admittedly, quite good on paper when it comes to gaming performance. Let’s take a closer look at what hardware you get with it, and how you can expect it to perform.
Just for interest’s sake, we’ll be comparing the GXiVR8020A offering to our $700 gaming PC build so you can see how the two stack up side-by-side. You can get your hands on a CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A on Amazon for around $720 at the time of writing.
Overview: CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A
CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A is a prebuilt gaming desktop computer which comes complete with a separate USB wireless adapter and a wired gaming keyboard and mouse. The aesthetics of this box is quite nice, with a huge clear viewing window into the case, which is complete with 3 red LED case fans to keep things running nice and cool.
We are quite impressed with the performance on this prebuilt. It uses the very new RX 480 graphics card, which is an excellent card that can handle even the more demanding AAA games on high settings. The GXiVR8020A gives excellent value for money, because you can’t even buy all the individual parts for the price that it’s currently being marketed at.
As with all desktop computers, you still have the ability to upgrade this PC if you choose to do so.
- Excellent graphics card for the budget – the AMD Radeon RX 480
- Complete package with keyboard, mouse and wireless connectivity
- Good looking case with viewing window and plenty of red LED case fans for cooling
- Prebuilt system, complete with Windows 10 Home preinstalled
- Potential for future hardware upgrades
- 1 year warranty and free lifetime technical support
- No solid state drive
- No SLI (dual graphics card) potential due to only 1 accessible PCI slot
- LED case fans remain on
- Those with older monitors will need to have either a HDMI or display port adaptor to plug in their monitor
- Lower quality mouse and keyboard
- Unknown brand of power supply
- Component brands may vary depending on availability
- No ability to overclock with the stock parts (insufficient power)
As always, our first interest lies in the performance power of this computer. Just for fun, along the way we also decided to compare the GXiVR8020A with our $700 gaming build to see how the two perform on paper side-by-side.
CyberpowerPC’s GXiVR8020A uses an Intel i5-6402P, a quad core processor with the latest Skylake architecture. It has a clock speed of 2.80GHz with a boost clock speed of 3.4GHz. This processor was released in quarter 4 of 2015, and appears to be a slightly cut-down version of the Core i5-6500 that was released in Quarter 3 of 2015, but will still perform excellently in games.
Below is a benchmark score comparison of the the CPU used in the GXiVR8020A as well as the Core i5-6500 that we’ve selected in our $700 gaming build.
Let’s skip next to the graphics component on this PC, as it’s definitely one of the most important hardware components in any gaming computer. The GXiVR8020A is well kitted out with a very recently released AMD card, the Radeon RX 480 4GB. The RX480 is an awesome card only recently released in June 2016 and has the excellent performance that you would expect of a newly released graphics card which incorporates the latest graphics rendering technologies.
Below is a comparison between the RX 480 and the GTX 1060 we selected for our $700 gaming build. As you can see, the GTX 1060 performs slightly better, which is one of the luxuries of being able to choose your own graphics card when building your PC yourself.
Having said that, the RX 480 is still an excellent choice; it benchmarks higher than the GTX 960 and is nearly on par with the GTX 970 that we were recommending in our $700 and $800 builds not more than 6 months ago. Technology moves fast, which is good for those of us looking for gaming performance! Newer cards also get the benefit of support for new technologies such as nVidia’s G-SYNC, or AMDs liquid VR technology.
In terms of system memory, the GXiVR8020A comes with two ADATA XPG Z1 4 GB sticks at 2133MHz to give a total of 8GB. Apart from being the latest generation of system memory, DDR4 RAM offers some power advantages over DDR3 within the Intel’s Skylake architecture.
While the two sticks take up two RAM slots it’s not a huge issue for this particular build, as the motherboard used in the GXiVR8020A (the MSI Bazooka based on the B150M chipset) has four available RAM slots. So you’ve still got two free slots if you wish to go for an easy RAM upgrade in the near future. Just slot in your extra 1 or 2 sticks and you’re ready to go.
Comparing again to our $700 gaming build, the total system memory is on par, with our build running a single 8GB DDR4 stick of RAM.
For storage, the GXiVR8020A makes use of a 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive. 1TB is fairly large and should keep you going for a long time, but it’s a real shame there’s no solid state drive (SSD) storage in this build. Of course, there’s plenty of space within the case to add extra storage drives (may we suggest SSD!) at a later date if you so choose.
We believe that once you’ve gone to SSD, you don’t go back (at least, not happily), so we made it a priority to squeeze in a smaller 120GB SSD on our under $700 build. While it may not be large enough to house your entire ensemble of games, videos, photos and files, it is plenty enough to be able to load your operating system (OS) and maybe a few key games onto. With this strategy you will notice much faster boot times, loading times and a general increase in performance when navigating around and using the OS.
CyberpowerPC have used the Cooler Master Masterbox 5, and fitted it out with red LED lit case fans that complete the gaming PC look. Along with the huge clear viewing window on this case, it presents a good aesthetic and extra case features such as cable management, support for additional case fans and/or liquid cooling make this a very versatile choice. In addition, you get a DVD/RW optical drive and although it lacks an on-board wireless card, this package includes a USB wireless adapter for cable-free internet connectivity.
You can get a good look at the GXiVR8020A itself in the video below (skipped to the view of PC tower itself – you can rewind to earlier in the video if you want to see the full unboxing):
The hardware the CyberpowerPC have put into the GXiVR8020A is all relatively new where it counts, with the big ticket components such as the processor and graphics card having release dates of late 2015 and mid-2016 respectively. This means that you can be comfortable that you’re getting up-to-date hardware that will be useable for years to come.
In terms of the performance of this build, CyberpowerPC have made good selections on the hardware which mean that this prebuilt gaming computer will be able to easily handle almost anything you throw at it. It will play most if not all AAA gaming titles on the top settings and you’ll probably have at least 1 – 2 years of this kind of experience before you might need to start lowering settings down to high and medium as newer games are released.
If you plan on using this PC for additionally demanding tasks such as rendering, video editing, signal processing and the like, then you may want to kit it out with a bit of extra system RAM. For most gaming applications though, 8GB of RAM is within the recommended system parameters of most games so the stock configuration should sufffice unless you are planning on using the GXiVR8020A in other demanding applications such as the ones mentioned previously.
Since it can handle even demanding games with ease, general usage on this PC will present no issues at all to the everyday user. Those who may be used to a solid state drive would likely notice the slower boot and load times due to the 1TB hard drive though, but if this bothers you, throwing a small solid state drive into the PC is an easy fix (we’ll cover SSD upgrades below).
As an everyday use computer only, it’s probably not suited as it’s larger in size and the LED case lights (which cannot be turned off as they will be lit whenever the fans are running) may get a bit annoying. However for those who intend to use this PC as an everyday computer combined with a gaming PC, the Gamer Xtreme VR definitely fits the bill.
One thing to note is that those who plan on using older monitors with this PC may need to purchase an adapter to be able to connect their monitor. The RX 480 has 3 display port outputs and 1 HDMI port, so depending on your monitor cable, you may need one of the adapter types below if you have a monitor which only has either a VGA or DVI plug.
The GXiVR8020A has so far shaped up on paper to be a very capable gaming machine for most mid-range gamers, so let’s take a look at how exactly it performs in user-reported real-life tests.
Realistically speaking, due to the new RX 480 graphics card and i5-6402P processor at the moment this computer can handle nearly any gaming title you want at 1080p resolution on max or at least high settings and still reach 50FPS + depending on the game. So if you purchase this computer you can feel free to crank up the settings to max and in most cases still experience a lag-free gameplay experience.
To give you some real-life examples, there are plenty of youtube clips showing in-game performance of the GXiVR8020A on popular titles. The data below is based on gaming tests run by youtuber Tech Deals, and you can check out his channel for more examples of the GXiVR8020A running games including the following titles:
Battlefield 1 Beta, Battlefield 4, Mirro’s Edge Catalyst, Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, World of Warships, Star Wars the Old Republic, World of Tanks, Guild Wars 2, League of Legends, Titanfall, FIFA 16, Dragon Age – Inquisition, Minecraft, Crysis 3, CoD: Black Ops 3, Counterstrike:GO, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider, Witcher 3, Hitman, Defense Grid 2, Doom, Far Cry 4, Rainbow Six Seige, The Division, Overwatch, Rocket League, Starcraft II
Below we’ve listed some of the titles above with links to video and a summary of the settings and frame rates recorded over between 5-10 minutes of gameplay. Credit goes to youtuber Tech Deals for this information.
1. GTA V (Average: 74 FPS, Min: 51 FPS, Max:101 FPS)
1080p, Full screen anti aliasing on, VSync off, MSAA off, Settings at Max,Very high and Ultra
2. Witcher III (Average:43-62 FPS, Min:31-54 FPS, Max: 53-71 FPS)
Witcher 3 is fairly demanding game so it was evaluated at both ultra/high and high/medium settings.
1080p, Vsync off, ‘ultra’ preset and ‘high’ preset on postprocessing (Average:43, Min:31, Max : 53)
1080p, Vsync off, ‘high’ preset and ‘medium’ preset on postprocessing (Average:62, Min:54, Max : 71)
3. Fallout 4 (Average: 60 FPS, Min: 55 FPS, Max: 62 FPS)
1080p, ‘ultra’ setings preset (Note that the Fallout 4 physics engine caps the in-game FPS to 60, so this is practically a perfect score)
4. Dragon Age: Inquisition (Average: 54-90 FPS, Min: 39-61 FPS, Max: 68 – 112 FPS)
Dragon Age: Inquisition is another demanding game so it was evaluated at both ultra and high settings.
1080p, Settings: Ultra (Average: 54 FPS, Min: 39 FPS, Max: 68 FPS)
1080p, Settings: High (Average: 90 FPS, Min: 61 FPS, Max: 112 FPS)
5. Counter Strike: Global Offensive (Average: 264FPS, Min: 115FPS, Max: 300FPS)
1080p, Settings: high, Vertical sync: off
This game will likely also play at 60FPS even at 4K resolution on the GXiVR8020A, but at 1080p you can get 144+ FPS for competitive players running 100 or 144Hz high refresh rate monitors.
6. Crysis 3 (Average: 62 FPS, Min: 42 FPS, Max: 92 FPS)
1080p, Anti aliasing disabled, Texture Resolution: high, Vsync Off, Settings: Very High
Crysis 3 is a fairly demanding game so running it with anti-aliasing enabled will cause frame rates to suffer.
7. Overwatch (Average: 70 FPS, Min: 54 FPS, Max: 71 FPS)
1080p, VSYNC Off, Buffering off, Graphics settings: Ultra
All this talk of gaming brings us to another aspect of gaming that has yet to take off fully – virtual reality gaming. If you haven’t come across virtual reality yet, think full immersive gaming experience via a headset and tracked hand held controllers – pretty cool stuff!
The exciting thing about the GXiVR8020A is that it’s being marketed as a VR-ready system, so if you really wanted to you could get yourself a VR headset and you’d be good to go! It has the ability to play most VR games in some capacity.
Here’s a nice introduction to how the HTC Vive (one of the available VR controllers on the market today) works in Steam:
While virtual reality may not be big yet, it’s certainly going to be something that grows in the future. Some of the VR games demonstrated on youtube are pretty cool, and the immersive experience from VR is something we’d definitely be keen on trying some time soon!
Virtual Reality Headsets
At the moment there are only two main VR headsets on the market: the Occulus Rift and the HTC Vive.
The GXiVR8020A actually is available as a bundled option with the Occulus Rift on Amazon, if you are willing to fork out an extra $600 odd dollars:
Alternatively, there’s the HTC Vive, which comes in a complete set of headset, tracked controllers and speakers. This too is currently a bit pricey, but if you’re keen to be on board with the latest technology, check it out below!
Upgrading the GXiVR8020A
CyberpowerPC have put together a really awesome gaming computer for the $700 price range, but the best part about this PC is that you’re not limited. It’s fully upgradeable, and the excellent choice of both case and motherboard will allow gamers to experiment with a range of upgrades either immediately or further down the line.
When upgrading a PC it’s important to start off with a good ‘base’, which typically means a good motherboard and processor. Fortunately that’s the case for the GXiVR8020A, so if you are thinking of purchasing this computer you’ll be starting off well. The PC itself is good enough stock not to need any immediate upgrades, but if you’ve got a little bit of cash to spare, we would recommend the following popular upgrades:
- Solid state drive upgrade (a ‘must’ for us as we love the speeds afforded by SSDs)
- RAM upgrade (only necessary if you feel the 8GB RAM is holding you back)
- Power supply upgrade (optional)
This video shows how to upgrade the RAM in the GXiVR8020A and also put in a solid state drive (including the cloning process).
Putting an additional solid state drive (SSD) into this computer is one of the first upgrades we’d personally be doing. If you’re still only using traditional hard drives, you’ll be absolutely blown away by the loading times and boot speeds that you will get when using a SSD over a mechanical hard drive.
Since the GXiVR8020A already comes with a sizeable 1TB hard drive, we’d recommend keeping this as a secondary drive, but putting in at least a 120GB SSD (or larger if you prefer and can stretch your budget) will be most beneficial. The best way to optimize such a configuration is to have your operating system (OS) installed on the SSD and run the hard drive as an additional storage drive.
Even with 120GB you can likely fit one or two of your most used games onto the SSD itself as well as your OS; this will give you much faster loading times when reading from the disk in-game.
There is also the option to upgrade this PC if you plan on ordering through Amazon to an i7 processor option and more storage (including an SSD).
For those thinking of upgrading this PC, we’ve compiled a full list of specifications at the end of this article which will be a good reference point.
Future upgrades (in the next 2+ years) that users might want to consider may be:
- Graphics card upgrade (though the RX 480 will definitely stand you in good stead for at least a couple of years)
- Overclocking upgrade (not really necessary at this point in time as the Core i5-6402P processor is very new and benchmarks quite well)
- It is possible to upgrade the CPU right up to a core i7-6700T within this existing motherboard if you felt the processor became a limitation
While most of these upgrades are not really necessary in the current gaming environment, some people like to forward plan and keep their options open. That being said, the limitations you may run up against with this PC when it comes to upgrading include:
- Only a single PCIe-x16 slot, so you can’t run dual graphics cards
- No m.2 ports on the MSI Bazooka motherboard
- Maximum 600W power supply (stock)
If you are very interested in future upgrades to this computer, be sure to check out the specifications on this PC at the end of this review as you will want to consider available motherboard slots and I/O capabilities.
CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A Specifications
It should be noted that CyberpowerPC may change up the exact brands or model of hardware components to suit availability. The following specification are based on the GXiVR8020A offering at the time of writing.
Windows 10 Home
Intel Core i5-6402P Quad Core 2.8GHz (3.4GHz boost). Full specs here.
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 480
Outputs supported: Up to 6 displays (with the use of a hub). Supports Virtual Reality (with compatible headsets).
Output ports: 3 x Display Port 1.3/1.4 HDR; 1 x HDMI 2.0b
Clock speed: 1266 MHz Base / 1120 MHz Boost
Maximum digital resolution: 4096 x 2160 supported over DisplayPort or HDMI
Dimensions: Height – 1.54″, Length – 10″, Width – 5″
MSI Bazooka B150M chipset, but CyberpowerPC are liable to change the motherboard used. CyberpowerPC’s support team reports that “The motherboard used in this model PC is based on the Intel B150 chipset and supports LGA 1151 CPU’s”, and “The brand may vary depending on availability”, so while at the moment that means they are using the MSI Bazooka, it could potentially be a different spec motherboard in the future. Just one to watch out for. For the purposes of this write up, we’ll assume you’re getting the MSI Bazooka motherboard if you decide to purchase this PC.
The GXiVR8020A is advertised with the following connectivity options:
6 x USB 3.0 | 4 x USB 2.0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 | Audio: 7.1 Channel | Keyboard and Mouse
The specs below are for the MSI Bazooka motherboard, however as stated above, this could potentially vary due to stock and availability. If it is important to you as to which particular motherboard is used in your new PC, we recommend confirming this with the seller before you put in an order over Amazon.
CPU: LGA 1151 Socket
Chipset: Intel® B150 Chipset
Form Factor: Micro ATX – 9.3 in. x 9.0 in. (23.5 cm x 22.8 cm)
Memory: 4 x DIMM slots, max. 64GB DDR4 2133 MHz
Expansion Slots: 1 x PCIe x16 (Gen 3); 2 x PCIe x1 (Gen 3)
Output Support: 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI (from onboard graphics, though these ports become automatically disabled due to the RX 480 graphics card)
Audio: Realtek® ALC887 Codec, 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio
Gigabit LAN: Realtek RTL8111H Gigabit LAN controller
SATA: 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports; 1 x SATAe port (PCIe 3.0 x2) [backwards compatible with SATA]
USB: 6 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (SuperSpeed USB) ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB connector); 6 x USB 2.0 (High-speed USB) ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB connectors)
Internal I/O connectors:
- 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
- 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
- 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 connector (supports additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports)
- 1 x 4-pin CPU fan connector
- 2 x 4-pin system fan connectors
- 2 x Front panel connectors
- 1 x TPM module connector
- 1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
- 1 x Serial port connector
- 1 x Parallel port connector
Details above were taken from here.
Back I/O ports:
1 x PS/2 keyboard port
1 x PS/2 mouse port
1 x HDMI port
1 x DVI-D port
2 x USB 2.0 ports
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
3 x audio jacks
Case Front I/O Ports:
The case used for the GXiVR8020A is a Cooler Master Masterbox 5, which supports up to four 120mm case fans or alternatively even a 280mm front radiator if you are willing to go for a liquid cooling option.
Front ports are conveniently mounted at a high position on the front of the case, for easy use when the tower is located beneath desks.
2 x USB 3.0
1 x Audio in (microphone)
1 x Audio out (headphone)
Internal memory: ADATA XPG Z1, 2 x 4 GB DDR4 2133MHz (Memory brand may possibly vary based on availability)
Maximum internal memory: 64 GB
Total storage capacity: 1 TB, Storage media: HDD, Hard drive interface: SATA. 7200rpm
High Power 600 Watt power supply (HPG-600BR-F12S)
USB Wireless Adapter: TP-LINK AC600 Wireless Dual Band
9.25 (W) x 21.57 (H) x 20.16 (D) inches
The Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A prebuilt by CyberpowerPC is a very well put together gaming computer that can virtually run any game on the market today with very decent performance. Speaking of virtual, it’s also got the capacity to run VR games if you so choose. Hardware performance is strong, mainly due to the latest AMD RX 480 graphics card and a Skylake core i5 processor.
Sure, there are some flaws we could be picky about, like the lack of a solid state drive and lack of expansion ports on the motherboard, but at the end of the day this prebuilt is hands down one of the best value-for-money prebuilts we’ve seen on the market. You would not be able to assemble this yourself for the same price, and honestly, why would you when you can have it all done for you with an operating system installed too?
Whether you’re after a gaming computer that is ready-to-go out of the box, or something you can upgrade in the future, the GXiVR8020A is an excellent base mid-range computer to start with for any serious gamer.