Cyberpower Ultra 5 RX review: Competent but not essential

cyberpower_ultra_5_1-1-7532770Our Rating Price when reviewed 699inc VAT

An eye-catching system with good gaming ability and storage, but a bit short on processing muscle

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Pros Great for playing games at 1080pPerforms well at everyday tasksCons CPU is disappointingSSD won’t reach the high speeds of other competitors

Good news for those who prefer their desktop PCs with more than a touch of style: the Ultra 5 RX is even more modern and modish than the Chillblast Fusion Recoil. The front and side panels are made of dark, tempered glass – no faux aluminium finishes here – and the blue-lit intake and exhaust fans add an attractive soft glow to the interior.

Cyberpower Ultra 5 RX review: Design and setup

For an added flourish, the intake fan is mounted to the right of the chamber, not at the front. Vents are cut into the corresponding area of the right-side panel to allow it to breathe in. It’s not a unique chassis layout, but it does afford the Ultra 5 RX with a distinct visual twist without sacrificing airflow.

The Ultra 5 RX has a middling CPU – AMD’s quad-core Ryzen 5 2500X – but a generous 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 240GB SATA SSD, a spacious 2TB hard disk and a Radeon RX 570 graphics card. In fact, it’s the same MSI-made model of RX 570 as the Palicomp AMD Abyss. It’s no surprise, then, that these two systems are near enough identical on games performance.

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Cyberpower Ultra 5 RX review: Performance

The Ultra 5 RX is a great PC for playing at 1,920×1,080, producing a slick 125fps in Dirt Showdown and a respectable 43fps in Metro: Last Light Redux, in both cases without having to turn down any graphical settings from their maximum. Playing at 2,560×1,440 is feasible, too: at this resolution, Dirt Showdown still performed well, averaging 90fps. Metro: Last Light, on the other hand, only averaged 24fps, so tougher games will need a little help to be playable.

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For Metro, however, it’s hardly necessary to gut the settings completely; by turning off SSAA and reducing overall quality one step down to High, it ran at 62fps, with the higher resolution compensating for the lack of anti-aliasing. This is also an adequate VR gaming system, scoring 6.5 in the SteamVR Performance Test, a score the software classes as ‘Capable’ of medium-to-high quality visuals. It’s worth noting that some of the other PCs are even better for gaming, namely the Overclockers Gaming Vision VR and the PC Specialist Apollo S2, but the pluckiness of the RX 570 shouldn’t be underestimated.

The CPU, on the other hand, is one of the weaker ones to appear in this round-up. In terms of our four benchmark results, the only system beaten by the Ultra 5 RX is the Gaming Vision VR. Both have quad-core processors, but the Ryzen 5 2500X’s eight threads and 3.6GHz base clock speed give it the edge over the four-threaded, 3.4GHz Intel Core i3-8100 within Overclockers’ system. Regardless, this PC’s image test of 127, video test score of 147, multitasking score of 151 and overall score of 146 put it towards the lower end of the table, even despite the 16GB of RAM helping with juggling multiple loads.

In the Ultra 5 RX’s defence, not every £700 PC needs to have workstation aspirations, and there’s nothing wrong with how it performs in everyday tasks; the only issue is that you can get even more power, should you want it, for the same amount of cash. We could say the same about storage. The 240GB SATA SSD won’t reach the high speeds of an NVMe drive, which the AMD Abyss, Fusion Recoil and Apollo S2 all possess. Generally, however, it’s fine.

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Windows boots quickly, applications load without annoying delays, and according to AS SSD, the drive’s speeds are much better balanced than those of the Acer Nitro N50-600’s SSD: this one managed a read speed of 476MB/s and a write speed of 443.2MB/s. The 2TB hard disk also deserves a mention.

It’s massive, to the extent that unless you’re stuffing it with dozens of AAA games, libraries of RAW photo files or hours of high-definition video footage, you’re unlikely to run out of space for a long, long time. Upgradability is hampered by the microATX motherboard, which in another case of shared components is the same Asus Prime A320M-K as seen in the Fusion Recoil.

Cyberpower Ultra 5 RX review: Features

This means no more RAM without replacing the existing sticks and only one PCI-E x1 slot available for expansion cards, but at least it has an 802.11n Wi-Fi card, and the same variety of rear I/O ports as Chillblast’s system. If anything, this is better, as the graphics card has three DisplayPort outputs in addition to the single HDMI and DVI-D ports.

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The front panel has only two USB ports, but they’re both USB3 instead of the slower USB2. As the 2.5in SSD is installed in the second of two 3.5in trays, only another two 2.5in-only mounts are available for extra storage. It’s not a huge fuss, but means you’ll need to move the SSD if you want to add another 3.5in disk.

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Cyberpower Ultra 5 RX review: Verdict

Overall, this PC is competent and lacks any serious flaws, but neither does it excel in any way that makes it essential. The AMD Abyss has the same potent graphics card as well as a more powerful processor and a larger, faster SSD, so it’s the better buy even with the Ultra 5 RX’s classier looks.

Cyberpower Ultra 5 RX Specifications
Processor Quad-core 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2500X
RAM 16GB
Front USB ports 2x USB3
Rear USB ports 2x USB2, 4x USB3
Graphics card 8GB AMD Radeon RX 570
Armor 8GB OC
Storage 240GB SSD, 2TB hard disk
Display None
Operating system Windows 10 Home
Warranty Three years labour, including
two years parts and one month
collect and return
Details https://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/

 

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