We’re back for yet another in-depth look at one of CyberpowerPC’s higher-end prebuilt computers, this time it’s the Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2. In this review, we’ll check out the differences between this build and it’s previous version (the GXiVR8020A which we reviewed previously).
The CyberpowerPC GXi VR 8020A2 that we’re looking at today seems to be an updated version of the previously released Gamer Xtreme VR and seems to have been available since January 2017. Given that we were pretty impressed with the original build, the GXiVR8020A, we’re very interested to take a closer look at the hardware of the GXiVR8020A2 to see what’s new in this updated version.
As we usually do with our prebuilt reviews, we’ll be comparing the GXiVR8020A2 offering to our $700 gaming PC build so you can see how these both compare. CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A2 on Amazon is priced at around $720 at the time of writing, so the two are close in price.
Overview: CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A2
CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A2 is a prebuilt gaming desktop PC package which comes complete with a separate USB WIFI adapter, wired gaming keyboard and mouse, and Windows 10 Home edition preinstalled. The main difference between the GXiVR8020A2 and it’s previous version the GXiVR8020A are a processor and motherboard upgrade to the latest Intel Kaby Lake architecture.
The case used for this build is nicely utilized as a gaming PC. The huge clear viewing window into the case allows all your hardware to be on display. Red LED case fans keep parts running cool while highlighting the case interior and parts.
We’re pretty impressed with the performance on this build. Unlike some of CyberpowerPC’s lower-priced PCs that we’ve reviewed previously, the GXiVR8020A2 uses the AMD RX 480 graphics card. Being relatively new, the RX 480 is definitely up there in terms of performance and can handle even the more demanding AAA games on high settings. At it’s current retail price, the GXiVR8020A2 offers excellent value for money – the total price of individual parts would put you well over the amount CyberpowerPC are selling this fully-assembled PC for.
As with all desktop computers, this PC is fully upgradeable, but the hardware is all very recent so you could really run with the stock setup for a good couple of years.
- 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)
If you’ve read our reviews before, you’ll know that we like to deep-dive into the performance on prebuilt gaming computers, and this review is no different. As usual, we’ll be comparing the GXiVR8020A2 prebuilt with our $700 gaming build to see how the two perform next to each other. We find that it’s an interesting comparison of two similarly-priced computers.
At the heart of the CyberpowerPC GXiVR8020A2 is one of the latest generation Intel processors, the i5-7400. This quad-core processor has a clock speed of 3.0GHz with turbo boost to 3.5GHz and was released earlier this year in quarter 1 of 2017, and we’re glad to see that CyberpowerPC have updated to the latest Kaby Lake architecture from the previous version of this prebuilt computer that they were offering.
We compared the benchmark performance scores of the processors used in both the GXiVR8020A2 as well as the Core i5-7500 that we’ve selected in our $700 gaming build below. While the processor we selected for our build has a slightly higher clock speed, you can rest assured that both have great performance.
Next we’ll look at graphics, arguably one of the most important hardware components in any gaming computer. CyberpowerPC have used the Radeon RX 480 4GB card in their GXiVR8020A2. The RX 480 has excellent performance which incorporates the latest graphics rendering technologies, having only been released relatively recently in mid 2016.
Following on with our comparison between this pre-built and our $700 gaming build, we compared benchmark scores between the RX 480 and the GTX 1060 we had selected for our $700 build. As you can see, the GTX 1060 does perform a little better on paper and actually retails for a cheaper price than the RX 480 at the time of writing. This highlights the benefits of being able to choose your own graphics card when building your own PC – you can swap out hardware parts to suit your budget and performance needs.
Don’t be mistken though, as the RX 480 is still an awesome graphics card! 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 last year. 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.
Moving on to system memory, the GXiVR8020A2 comes with two 4 GB DDR4 memory sticks 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 latest Kaby Lake 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 GXiVR8020A2 (the MSI Bazooka based on the B250 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.
One thing we will note though is that CyberpowerPC don’t guarantee the brand of RAM you’ll be getting. They tend to vary the exact make and model of the RAM based on availability of parts. For most people this will not be an issue, but just something to be aware of if you’re picky and wanted a particular brand of memory.
In terms of storage, you’ll get a 1TB, 7200rpm hard drive on the GXiVR8020A2. 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 choose to do so.
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 in addition to a 1TB hard drive. 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 for a case, 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 GXiVR8020A2 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 GXiVR8020A2 is all relatively new where it counts, with the big ticket components such as the processor and graphics card having release dates of early 2017 and mid-2016 respectively. This means that you can be comfortable that you’re getting up-to-date hardware that will be relevant 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 suffice unless you are planning on using the GXiVR8020A2 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 a strictly everyday use computer, (depending on how picky you are) it may not be perfectly 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. If you’re only planning to use it for non-demanding programs, internet browsing and watching the occasional video then a cheaper machine would probably be more suitable (and leave some cash in your wallet). However for those who plan on using this computer as an everyday PC combined with casual or regular gaming, 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 GXiVR8020A2 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 a few youtube clips showing in-game performance for an i5-7400 and AMD RX 480 hardware combination, with video links below. Credit goes to youtuber Michu for the below videos.
1. Assassin’s Creed
2. Witcher III
3. For Honor
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 GXiVR8020A2 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, both of which can be used with the GXiVR8020A2 PC.
Occulus Rift is one of the main offerings, and comes with handheld tracked controllers if you opt for the kit:
The HTC Vive comes in a complete set including headset, tracked controllers and speakers. Like the Occulus Rift, it 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. That’s definitely the case for the GXiVR8020A2, 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 GXiVR8020A2 and also put in a solid state drive.
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 GXiVR8020A2 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.
Other Future Upgrades
For those thinking of upgrading this PC further, 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 i5-7400 processor is very new and benchmarks quite well)
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
- Maximum 600W power supply (stock)
Power Supply Upgrade
Finally, a little more info about upgrading the power supply in the GXiVR8020A2. Realistically, there are really only two reasons that would trigger a power supply upgrade, either:
- Your existing power supply is not capable of supporting your hardware (e.g. you have a 300W power supply but your hardware configuration might recommend a minimum of a 500W power supply).
- Your existing power supply is of questionable quality (e.g. lower quality manufacturer, lower specifications. Your power supply is responsible for powering all of your hardware, and it is less commonly known that a poor quality power supply can potentially damage or shorten the lifespan of parts).
In the case of this prebuilt by CyberpowerPC, you may want to consider a power supply upgrade due to reason number 2.
While we have not got any concrete evidence, word on the street is that CyberpowerPC have sometimes skimped on their power supply quality in the past (let’s face it, you can’t offer an awesome PC like this one at such an affordable price point without having to save some dollars on some components).
We do know that CyberpowerPC do tend to vary the make and model of some components, including the power supply, to suit parts availability. This means that while you will always get a 600W power supply, the manufacturer might vary.
Depending on how risk-adverse you might be, we would recommend at the minimum researching the particular brand/model of power supply that you receive with your Gamer Xtreme prebuilt PC. Check online to see if anyone has had any issues with the unit before. If your research uncovers some fishy-looking information, then it might be time to consider swapping out the PSU for a safer or more reliable unit.
As usual, we recommend an EVGA power supply, the 600B model below is a reliable, quality supply which comes with a 3 year warranty and is 80+ certified for peace of mind.
CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A2 Specifications
It should be noted that CyberpowerPC have been known to change up the exact brands or model of hardware components to suit availability (particularly on components such as the power supply, RAM, motherboard, storage drives and optical drives). The following specification are based on the GXiVR8020A2 offering at the time of writing.
Windows 10 Home
Intel Core i5-7400 Quad Core 3.0GHz (3.5GHz 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 B250M chipset, but CyberpowerPC are liable to change the motherboard used. CyberpowerPC’s support team has previously reported that “The brand may vary depending on availability” on previous builds, 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 GXiVR8020A2 is advertised with the following connectivity options:
6 x USB 3.0 | 2 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 B250M 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® B250 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 2400/2133 MHz (Note DDR4 maximum module speed can depend on if your processor is 6th or 7th generation)
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/Storage: 6 x SATA 6Gb/s ports; 1 x M.2 slot (key M) [Note, the SATA1 port becomes unavailable when using the M.2 slot]
USB: 6 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (SuperSpeed USB) ports (3 Type-A and 1 Type-C 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 8-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
- 1 x Front panel audio connector
- 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
- 1 x RGB LED connector
- 1 x TBT connector
- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
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
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports
3 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
1 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port
3 x audio jacks
Case Front I/O Ports:
The case used for the GXiVR8020A2 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: 2 x 4 GB DDR4 2133MHz (According to the CyberpowerPC support team, “The model of RAM will vary due to what we have in stock during the systems assembly”)
Maximum internal memory: 64 GB
Total storage capacity: 1 TB, Storage media: HDD, Hard drive interface: SATA. 7200rpm
600 Watt power supply (We have not seen any information on a specific power supply model used, but as with RAM and motherboards, would suspect that CyberpowerPC are likely to vary the model based on availability of parts.)
USB Wireless Adapter
9.25 (W) x 21.57 (H) x 20.16 (D) inches
The Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A2 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. We were already impressed when we reviewed it’s predecessor (the GXiVR8020A) and now that this offering has been updated with hardware running the latest Intel Kaby Lake architecture, it’s pretty much unstoppable. Hardware performance is strong, mainly due to the latest AMD RX 480 graphics card and Kaby Lake core i5 processor.
Sure, there are some flaws we could be picky about, like the lack of a solid state drive and potentially lower quality power supply, 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 GXiVR8020A2 is an excellent base mid-range computer to start with for any serious gamer.