The exponential growth of the Insomnia gaming festival over the past few years is proof, if any was needed, that PC gaming has never been stronger. With LAN events like Insomnia becoming more popular so too are portable gaming rigs that can be easily moved around at the owners behest. Today we are taking a closer look at a pre-built system from CyberPower PC that targets that exact market. Their new FANG Battlebox-I 970 system crams an impressive amount of hardware into a portable gaming PC. Nvidia’s power efficient GTX 970 is what makes it possible to pack such a significant gaming punch in a small form factor as it eases the traditional heat and power problems associated with high-end graphics hardware. Intel’s Core i5 4690K provides the brains of the system offering up a strong balance between price and performance, assisted further by the 4.2GHz overclock it ships with. Straight away it has become clear that CyberPower PC have made smart decisions with their component selection: this system offers a solid mixture of hardware that is spot on for a portable gaming PC.
- Name: CyberPower PC FANG Battlebox-I 970
- Case: CyberPower FANG Battlebox case
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97N-WiFi mini-ITX
- Processor: Intel Core i7 4690K @ 4.2GHz
- Processor Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M All-In-One liquid CPU cooler
- System Memory: 2 x 4GB Kingston HyperX Fury 1866MHz Dual Channel
- Main Boot Drive: Kingston V300 240GB SATA III SSD
- Additional Storage Drive(s): Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
- Graphics card: MSI GTX 970 4GB Gaming
- Power Supply: Cooler Master B600
- Optical Drive: Not included
- Wireless: Intel 2T2R AC 7260 2.4/5GHz
- Monitor: Not included
- Peripherals: Not included
- OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
- Warranty: 3 Year Labour, 2 Year Parts and 1 Month Collect & Return (upgrades available)
- Price: £999.99 Including Shipping and VAT
Packaging & Accessories
This compact system comes with a compact shipping box. CyberPower PC ship the FANG Battlebox-I 970 with a durable soft cell foam to prevent shipping damage.
The accessory package includes all of the accessories and adapters for the motherboard, graphics card and power supply. CyberPower PC cram these accessories into the motherboard box and also provide a Windows installation DVD and troubleshooting guide if your system doesn’t work straight away.
A Closer Look
Did someone call Bob the Builder? Okay, a little harsh, but in all fairness this case does appear to resemble a toolbox. You could say it’s an acquired taste, but based on my observations of trends in PC cases over the past 5 years I don’t think that this case will be popular. PC cases have tended towards more classy and understated designs, even for gaming cases, whereas this case has that cheap and plasticky theme to it that I’d associate with budget case brands like Cougar and HEC.
The top is fitted with a carry handle, which doesn’t feel as sturdy as I’d hoped, and a latch to lock the front of the case in place. Dual USB 3.0 ports, a power button, reset button and indicator LEDs make up the usual I/O area. Note how there’s no front panel audio headers for headsets and the like – a strange omission for a gaming PC.
From the front we see a lock is present which a useful feature if you’ll be using this at LAN events. You can also observe the finger print marks everywhere: this case is a finger print magnet and once they are on they are very difficult to get off. That’s not exactly ideal for a case that’s designed to be handled a lot. CyberPower PC’s logo at the front is fairly modest and we see lots of ventilation for the internal components.
The right side offers more ventilation with an aggressive inlet design.
The left side reveals the I/O to the motherboard, graphics card and power supply. The power supply input is a passthrough to the front mounted power supply.
The FANG Battlebox-I 970 has feet on the bottom so you mount it in a way where the handle doesn’t face the top of the case. It really does look quite strange with that orientation.
You can still mount it handle facing upwards, like how CyberPower PC picture this system, but there are no dedicated feet for that.
Internally the CyberPower PC is space constrained as you would expect. As a result cable management was always going to be a challenge and the choice of a non-modular power supply didn’t help either. My concern with the cable management is that when I mounted the system with the handle facing upwards the cables at the bottom of the system were getting chewed up in the graphics card fan. That is not acceptable: cables should always be tied back to prevent conflict with moving parts like fans. Given this is meant to be a portable PC for LAN that will frequently get moved around I am even more shocked that this blunder gets through quality control: there should be extra attention paid to cable management and system durability.
The front of the case has no significant dust filtering which is bad news for maintenance. It also appears that those RED LEDs that CyberPower PC advertise on their website are nowhere to be seen.
Here’s a few more angles of what’s going on inside the case. We didn’t disassemble anything because we didn’t want to significantly alter the system from its shipped state, that would be changing the fairness of the review.
With the system powered on it becomes obvious that the advertised front LEDs are nowhere to be seen, only the logo gets lit up.
Just to confirm here’s a shot of the system in a dark room: definitely no LED strips here.