The CyberPower PC FANG Battlebox-I 970 system as we have it configured commands a retail price of £999.99 including shipping and VAT. To promote complete transparency of what the system costs we like to break it down into its component parts and work out how much it would cost if you decided to build yourself an equivalent system.
- CyberPower FANG Battlebox case – £40 (this is based on a combination of an estimate and on the fact you can buy similar mini-ITX portable cases for around this price)
- Intel Core i5 4690K – £170
- MSI GTX 970 4GB Gaming – £275
- Windows 8.1 64 Bit OS – £70
- 2 x 4GB Kingston Hyper X Fury 1866MHz – £65
- Gigabyte Z97N-WiFi – £95
- 1TB Western Digital Blue HDD – £42.50
- Kingston V300 240GB – £80
- Cooler Master Seidon 120M – £45
- Cooler Master B600 – £40
To build it yourself you’re looking at a total cost of around £925 based on my calculations, which means that this pre-built solution is £75 more expensive than a self-build. While that’s not an exorbitant premium I do think the standard has been set very high by other system integrators, like PC Specialist, who typically build to retail cost or lower. A company like CyberPower PC is able to take advantage of economies of scales and specific manufacturer deals so I would like to see a lower price if possible.
The CyberPower PC FANG Battlebox-I 970 goes down in my books as the one that got away. The idea of a powerful and portable gaming PC based on Haswell and Maxwell is a smart one, but the execution has let this system down dearly. Things started off well; CyberPower made smart component choices. However, the positives were quickly replaced with issue after issue which make this system difficult to recommend. My issues started with the exterior: the case. Straight away the case was let down by a rather out-of-fashion plasticky toolbox style design which is further compounded by the fact that the advertised red LED strips are not present. The red LEDs could have prevented some of the aesthetic monotony but instead their absence merely added to it. The case’s appearance further deteriorates as it attracted finger prints too easily for a portable gaming system that is meant to be handled frequently and moved around for LAN events. On the subject of being moved around I was also disappointed with the quality of the handle, it didn’t feel as sturdy as it should for a LAN PC.
Moving inside the case and sadly I was greeted with yet more issues. Internally the lack of dust-filtering is problematic, if this LAN PC isn’t getting used in between LAN events then it’s going to accumulate dust. CyberPower PC have opted for a positive-pressure setup so if it’s being used frequently the dust shouldn’t be too bad, but dust filters never hurt anyone did they? Next I found the cable management to be sub-par. As I mentioned at the beginning when we mounted this case handle facing up, the logical way to mount this type of case, the graphics card fan was conflicting with wires at the bottom of the case. That’s not acceptable for a pre-built system no matter what the price point, size or shape. It’s especially concerning when you consider that this system is meant to be portable; there should be extra precautions taken for the fact that end-users might mount this in a variety of ways and move it around while it’s turned on. While we are on the subject of the fans it’s also worth mentioning that this system is noisy. CyberPower PC appear to have missed out the crucial fan tuning process: this is easily the loudest pre-built system I’ve encountered at idle and load.
In summary it’s fair to say that the CyberPower PC Fang Battlebox-I 970 needs work. CyberPower PC need to go back to the drawing board, take our criticisms on-board and come out with a revamped product that is able to overcome the pitfalls of the particular system we tested.
- Good overall component selection
- Strong gaming performance
- Good connectivity – WiFi, dual Gigabit, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, etc
- No dust filters in the case
- Noisy operation
- No red LEDs as advertised
- Case attracts finger prints
- Poor cable management
- Price premium is a little high
- Power supply is low quality considering the rest of system
“CyberPower PC’s FANG Battlebox-I 970 system is a novel attempt at making a powerful and portable gaming PC. While the idea behind the system is sound, the final product is let down by meager execution and too many oversights.”
Thanks to Cyberpower PC UK for providing this review sample.