Hands-On With CyberPower’s Fang BattleBox, Steam Machine, and Zeus Mini Gaming PCs
CyberPower's compact Zeus Mini gaming rigs aren’t perhaps as aesthetically sizzling at first glance as some other systems they showed, with a simple black rectangular box, some lights and colorful grills that pop a little bit, but CyberPowerPC looks to have done a good job laying out the guts of the machines--which is no small task with small form factor chassis.
You can see the radiator for the liquid cooler in there, nestled with the ODD, as well as a fan expelling air, all from the back side of the motherboard. The cabling looks nice and tight, too, and there’s somehow ample room back there for more cable routing.
Available as Intel- or AMD-based systems (the Zeus Mini I and Zeus Mini A, respectively), the small systems offer an Intel Core i5-4670K (3.4GHz) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (2GB) in an Intel B85 mITX mainboard with WiFi and Bluetooth or an AMD A6-6400K (3.9GHz) and AMD Radeon R9 270 (2GB) with an AMD FM2 mITX motherboard (also with WiFi and Bluetooth).
Either platform offers 1TB SATA 3Gbps 7200rpm HDD, 8GB of DDR3-1600MHz memory, 120mm or 240mm liquid coolers, and Windows 8.1.
CyberPowerPC was more forthcoming about its Steam Machine specs than some of the other builders, and we also got a good look inside the Steam Machine A and Steam Machine I, although because it’s still in pre-production status, we can’t show you interior images just yet.
The CyberPowerPC Steam Machine looks more like a console than a PC, with a sort of Storm Trooper look comprised of white space armor and dark accents. As we mentioned previously, the “I” version has an Intel Core i3-4330 (3.5GHz) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (2GB) graphics while the “A” edition has an AMD A6-6400K (3.9GHz) and AMD Radeon R9 270 (2GB). Both options have a 500GB SATA 3Gbps 7200rpm HDD, and both come loaded with SteamOS and Windows and ship with the Steam Controller.
Availability looks to be early Q1 2014, but SteamOS is still in beta, so Valve ultimately will be gating the final ship date.
Finally, there’s the gaming PC-in a military grade suitcase Fang Battle Box. We shot some hands on video of the box in action, so we’ll let that do most of the talking, but we thought it interesting how cooling was a challenge; the Fang Battle Box is really a chassis within a case, so CyberPowerPC had to find a way to pull all that hot air out from the air cavities and expel it.
Those red lights in there are dang pretty, and despite its unconventional design, the company says that the Fang Battle Box was built specifically so that users can upgrade or swap out parts with off-the-shelf components. The Fang Battle Box will be available in March or April.
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