Low prices and a wide range of component choices are what CyberPower proudly offers their customers. But can a company go too far when it comes to pricing their systems and fail to deliver an equally tempting out-of-box experience?
As many of you might know, [H] Consumer doesn’t "review" personal computer systems; we evaluate the experiences they facilitate. We order the system the same as you would and weigh every aspect of the end-user experience. Not only does this give us a better idea of what hardware an end user actually receives, it also allows us to obtain a more accurate picture of just how each company functions and treats its customers. As fast as PC hardware has become over the years, we think giving a personal computer "5 stars" based on how fast it ran a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors in today's climate than speed. Fast is easily paid for, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive regardless of price.
One of the most requested evaluations we’ve been asked to do on the HardForum is for this California-based OEM known for its low prices.
We used CyberPower’s Intel Pentium 4 LGA775 PCI-E Custom Build Configurator to design a budget computer to our specifications. We decided to go with an Intel-based computer because, frankly, we were overdue for one. Because CyberPower is known for its low prices, we decided to keep the system configuration basic, with a CoolerMaster WaveMaster case as our only major luxury. We choose to get a GIGABYTE GA-81945G Pro motherboard, an upgrade from the default ECS motherboard. We chose to stick with the default power supply, which we found out was a Turbolink LC-A420ATX when we got the computer on our benches and took a look inside. Since CyberPower didn’t tell us exactly what model power supply we would get, we wanted to make sure that whatever they chose to put in the system would be able to handle our configuration.
Our configuration, which cost us $1116 + $89 for shipping and handling, would be appropriate as a general low-to-mid-range multipurpose computer for gamers, students, and families. As of April 17, 2006, a similar configuration would cost $1025 plus shipping, would come with a free copy of Age of Empires III, and would include the NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS instead of the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS.
We got a number of extras in our service. We ordered rush, 5-day shipping for an extra $49, and we decided to get one year of onsite service for another $39. However, we did not order the “Professional Wiring for all WIRINGs Inside The System Chassis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU” – which would have cost us $19.