CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR Ready GXiVR8020A3 Desktop Gaming PC Review – Still The Best Value Gaming Prebuilt We’ve Seen

CyberpowerPC have released yet another version of the popular GXiVR8020 series of prebuilt gaming computers, which we’re going to review – the Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A3.  In this review we’ll take a closer look at this computer’s hardware and what’s changed from it’s previous releases (both the GXiVR8020A2 and GXiVR8020A which we’ve reviewed previously).

CyberpowerPC are becoming more and more popular with their prebuilt gaming computer options, but we’ve been disappointed with their lower-end offerings like the GUA3100A and GUA880 before. That all changed when we started reviewing their GXiVR8020 series though, so let’s take a closer look at the GXiVR8020A3 and find out what’s new in this updated version.

The GXiVR8020A3 (Click to view on Amazon).

Overview: CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A3

The Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A3 is a very decent prebuilt gaming computer which comes complete with mouse/keyboard, wireless USB adapter, and Windows 10 operating system. The main difference between the GXiVR8020A3 and it’s previous version is that CyberpowerPC have thrown in an upgrade of the graphics card from the AMD RX480 to the RX 580.

At it’s current retail price of around $720, the GXiVR8020A3 is an excellent deal – you could not build a computer from parts yourself this cheap – in fact, you save at least $100 by buying it fully assembled by CyberpowerPC. Though we are still big advocates for DIY because it’s often better value for money, we can’t win on this one.

The RX 580 graphics card is a recent release from April 2017, and can definitely handle even the more demanding AAA game titles on high settings. 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.

If you find that you don’t quite like the look of this computer, CyberpowerPC have another offering (the GXiVR8020A4) which looks to be the exact same computer and has identical specifications to the GXiVR8020A3, but with a different case. You can check out our review of the GXiVR8020A4 here if you like.

Pros

  • Price
  • Excellent graphics card for the budget – the AMD Radeon RX 580
  • 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

Cons

  • No solid state drive
  • LED lights will be on whenever case fans are running
  • 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
  • Some fan noise
  • May not be able to overclock with the stock parts (insufficient power)

Performance

Let’s take a look at each of the individual hardware parts that make up the GXiVR8020A3.

Processor

We don’t have anything bad to say about the processor used for the CyberpowerPC GXiVR8020A3. It’s one of the latest generation Intel quad-core processors: the i5-7400, with a clock speed of 3.0GHz and turbo boost to 3.5GHz. The processor is relatively new, having been released in quarter 1 of 2017. CyberpowerPC have also updated the other hardware on this build to the latest Kaby Lake architecture, so you will enjoy all of the benefits of the latest technology.

Graphics

Next up is graphics, probably the most important hardware component of any gaming computer. We’re glad to see that CyberpowerPC have gone for the newest cards on these mid-level gaming builds – the AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB card on this build was released in April 2017, so you get all the benefits of the latest in graphics processing technology.

AMD have really made a come-back with their RX series of graphics cards and they now offer a good level of performance for the price. The RX 580 has superseded the RX 480, however it’s essentially the same card (read: same GPU) but with a few small improvements such as a slightly faster clock and boost speed, which translates to better frame rates as seen in the video below.

Memory

Moving on to system memory, the GXiVR8020A3 still comes with a total of 8 GB DDR4 RAM (2 x 4GB sticks), which is suitable amount for gaming. 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 it does have two RAM sticks, there’s no issue a the motherboard used in the GXiVR8020A3 (reportedly the MSI Bazooka based on the B250 chipset) has four available RAM slots. Which means there’s still plenty of room to add an extra RAM upgrade without having to remove the original memory it comes with.

One thing to 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 happen to be picky and prefer a particular brand of memory.

Storage

For storage, the GXiVR8020A3 comes with a 1TB, 7200RPM hard drive, which is more than enough space for most people. It’s a shame that there’s no solid state drive (SSD) included in this build, but given that you’re already getting fantastic value, we can’t really complain. There’s plenty of space within the case to add in extra storage drives if you find the need anyway.

Case

The case for this computer is a Cooler Master Masterbox 5, and CyberpowerPC have fitted it out with red LED lit case fans that give an overall nice look, since you get a good effect with the case lighting and the huge clear viewing window. Extra case features such as cable management, support for additional case fans and/or liquid cooling make this an easily upgradeable computer in the future if you ever decide to go down those routes.  You also get a DVD/RW optical drive and USB wireless adapter for cable-free internet connectivity.

You can get a good look at the GXiVR8020A3 itself in the unboxing video below:

 

Check out the user reviews on Amazon >>

Here’s another video review of the GXiVR8020A3 where you can get a closer look at this computer:

 

 

Usage

As we’ve seen the hardware of the GXiVR8020A3 is all bang for buck where it counts, with the big ticket components such as the processor and graphics card having 2017 release dates. So enjoy the comfort that comes with knowing that you’re getting up-to-date hardware that will remain usable for years to come.

The good hardware selections by CyberpowerPC mean that performance is excellent, and 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 even more demanding tasks like video editing, modelling, rendering and the like, then you may benefit from adding in some extra system RAM. For most gamers,   8GB of RAM is within the recommended system parameters of the majority of games so you shouldn’t have any issues with the stock 8GB RAM unless you are planning on using the GXiVR8020A3 in even more demanding applications.

Since it can already handle demanding game titles easily, using this computer for everyday applications is no issue at all. If you are after a little bit of an extra speed boost, then you might want to consider putting in a solid state drive (SSD), as it does only come with a hard disk drive (which a noticably slower than SSDs).

If you are planning on getting this computer just for an everyday computer, it’s probably a bit excessive and you’d be spending money that you don’t have to just for the sake of it. You may find the bigger case and constantly red lighting a little annoying (there’s no option to turn them off as they are on whenever the case fans are running).  But for those who plan on using the computer as an everyday machine in conjunction with casual or even more serious gaming, then the GViXR8020A3 is a great match.

Keep in mind though if you do have older display monitors, you may need to get yourself an adapter to be able to connect these up to the RX 580 graphics card, which only has display port or HDMI outputs. If your monitor requires VGA or DVI ,then you may need an adapter like the ones below:

HDMI to VGA adapter (Click to view on Amazon)

HDMI to DVI adapter (Click to view on Amazon)

Display port to DVI adapter (click to view on amazon)

Display port to VGA adapter (click to view on Amazon)

Gaming Performance

So far we’ve seen that in theory the GXiVR8020A3 looks like 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.

The i5-7400 processor and RX 580 card are a powerful combination here, and realistically you can expect to be able to play pretty much any new game title at 1080p resolution on either high or max settings without experiencing lag or stuttering. Also, you can probably expect this kind of performance for the next couple of years before newer games start getting more demanding.

Nothing beats seeing some real life examples though, so below are some videos of gameplay for a few select games. Credit to youtuber Electronics Produce Reviews for these.

1. GTA V

2. Doom

3. Street Fighter 5

We also found some videos of gameplay with a i5-7400 and AMD RX 480 hardware combination (yes this is the previous model graphics card, but the results are still applicable) which are shown below. Credit to youtuber Michu for these.

It’s also worth noting that because of the RX 580 card in this recent edition of the GXiVR8020A3, you can expect a similar performance but probably with a slight increase to frame rates.

4. The Witcher III

5. For Honor

 

Virtual Reality

Another bonus of the GXiVR8020A3 is that it’s being marketed as VR-ready. If you haven’t heard of Virtual Reality gaming yet – where have you been? Just kidding, but be prepared for a whole new immersive gaming experience once the technology around VR starts getting more mainstream.

Anyway, because this computer has hardware that is able to handle VR gaming, if you really wanted to you could get yourself a VR headset today and you’d be able to start playing VR games in some capacity.

Realistically speaking though, virtual reality gaming is still in its infancy. There’s still not that many games available, and I guess not everyone is interested in it yet (some of the hardware can be pretty pricey). Still, it’s good to know that this computer will be able to handle VR games when they start to become more popular.

Virtual Reality Headsets

If you are keen on getting into VR, there are two main headset options at the moment: Occulus Rift and the HTC Vive, both of which can be used with the GXiVR8020A3 PC.

Occulus Rift is one of the most popular VR sets, and if you opt for the full kit it comes with handheld tracked controllers as well:

Occulus Rift Set (Click to view on Amazon)


And there’s also the HTC Vive:

HTC Vive virtual reality set (Click to view on Amazon)

Upgrading the GXiVR8020A3

We’re really impressed with the build that CyberpowerPC has put together for this price point, but the best part about the GXiVR8020A3 is that its future proofed. Although you certainly won’t need to for a while, it is 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.

The main thing you want to ensure when buying a PC that you might want to upgrade in the future is that it has a good ‘base’ to start from – typically the case, motherboard and CPU. This allows you to upgrade other parts relatively easily. The GXiVR8020A3 definitely delivers in this area, so if you are thinking of purchasing this computer and upgrading it as it gets older, then it’s a good choice.  Some common upgrades that you might want to consider either now or in the future are:

  • Solid state drive upgrade (expect to notice an immediate increase in performance for load/operation times, especially if you run your Operating System off the SSD)
  • 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 previous version (the GXiVR8020A2) and also put in a solid state drive – but since the only difference between these two machines is the grpahics card, these upgrades are very much applicable to the GXiVR8020A3 model as well.

SSD Upgrade

An SSD can be put into this computer straight away if you have some extra money or you just want to experience even faster boot and loading times. Seriously, if you haven’t tried an SSD before, you won’t be disappointed – and if you’ve come from having an SSD previously, then you probably won’t be able to handle going back to the slower hard drives.

The GXiVR8020A3 already comes with plenty of storage capacity, but that’s not to say you can’t add in an extra SSD (say, 120GB) and put your most commonly used programs on it. If you are willing to re-install or clone across your Operating System (OS) to the SSD, that’s the best way to take advantage of all the speed benefits that having an SSD offers.

SSD’s that we’d recommend are the Kingston HyperX Fury 120GB SSD or for an even higher quality drive check out the Samsung 850 EVO range.

Other Future Upgrades

If you really want to upgrade this computer even further, we’ve compiled a full list of the specifications at the end of this article that may be helpful.

You certainly don’t need to do any upgrades straight away, but in a few years, you might want to think about:

  • Graphics card upgrade (though the RX 580 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)

Neither of these are really necessary at the moment or even in the near future, but for those who do like to plan ahead,  it’s good to keep these in mind. Apparently some people have advised that:

  • Apparently the motherboard has only a single PCIe-x16 slot, so you can’t run dual graphics cards
  • The stock power supply is 600W stock, so you may need to upgrade it as some point.

Power Supply Upgrade

We also thought we’d comment on upgrading the power supply in the GXiVR8020A3. Usually there’s only two main reasons why you’d need to upgrade your power supply:

  1. If your existing power supply is not sufficient for your hardware (e.g. you have a 300W power supply but your components might require a minimum of a 600W power supply).
  2. If your existing power supply is of questionable quality (e.g. a low quality manufacturer or if its specifications aren’t great).

A low quality power supply has the potential to damage your computer hardware, so it’s very important to make sure that it can supply all your components sufficiently. If the power supplied is not ‘clean’, then things like voltage spikes can cause damage to parts.

For this particular computer, you might want to consider a power supply upgrade because of reason number 2. While this is only speculation, we’ve heard some rumors that CyberpowerPC have gone for cheaper quality power supplies in the past (they’ve got to save money on some components at this price point).  They have said that the do vary the model/make of some components to suit the availability of parts, and that includes the power supply.

While it’s definitely not a deal-breaker, we’d recommend that you do a little bit of research into the particular power supply that your CyberpowerPC comes with, and see if anyone has had any issues in the past. If anything does look a little suspicious, you might want to swap out your power supply.  We recommend EVGA power supplies for this purpose as their products come with a 3 year warranty and are also 80+ certified. The 600B model below is a good option for this PC.

EVGA 600W power supply on Amazon

 

 

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A3 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 best known information about the GXiVR8020A3 offering at the time of writing.

Model Number:

GXiVR8020A3

Operating System:

Windows 10 Home

CPU:

Intel Core i5-7400 Quad Core 3.0GHz (3.5GHz boost). Full specs here.

Graphics:

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB

Outputs supported: Up to 6 displays (with the use of a hub). Supports Virtual Reality (with compatible headsets).

Output ports: 3 x Display Port 1.4 HDR; 1 x HDMI 4K60 Support

Clock speed: Up to 1257 MHz Base / Up to 1340 MHz Boost

Maximum digital resolution: 4096 x 2160 supported over DisplayPort or HDMI

Dimensions: Height – 1.57″, Length – 7.87″, Width – 4.88″

Full graphics card specifications can be found here and here.

Motherboard:

MSI Bazooka B250M chipset or B270H chipset – 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 GXiVR8020A3 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 GXiVR8020A3 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)

Memory:

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

Storage:

Total storage capacity: 1 TB, Storage media: HDD, Hard drive interface: SATA. 7200rpm

Power Supply:

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.)

Wireless:

USB Wireless Adapter 802.11AC

Optical Drive:

LG 24X DVD±RW Dual-Layer Drive

Dimensions/Weight:

9.25 (W) x 21.57 (H) x 20.16 (D) inches

32 pounds

Summary

The Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A3 prebuilt by CyberpowerPC offers such good value for the price, we can’t even beat it with a DIY build. We were already impressed when we reviewed previous versions of this build (the GXiVR8020A and GXiVR8020A2) and now that this offering has been updated again with hardware running the latest Intel Kaby Lake architecture and the improved RX 580 graphics card, it’s even more awesome.

Yeah, there are a few minor items 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 and you are getting a good quality graphics card and processor along with a case and motherboard that should make future upgrades a breeze. 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 GXiVR8020A3 is an excellent base mid-to-high range computer to start with for any serious gamer.

Click here to check out the GXiVR8020A3 on Amazon

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