Cyberpower PC Ultra 55 4T Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅07-08-23

At the surface level Cyberpower PCís Ultra 55 4T satisfactorily fits the envelope of a mainstream 1440p gaming system built to (what turns out to be) a tight cost basis. Its marquee component is the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB, displacing other parts into its shadow and drawing the eye away from their shortcomings. Only when you pause for a more than cursory examination do some of the compromises become clear, compromises which in hindsight are more significant than they might first appear.

For all the furore surrounding the RTX 4060 Tiís launch, particularly as a 1440p card, itís still the GPU most consumers would opt to buy at £400 and its performance reflects that. A system integrator wonít dig into eBay for that great deal on an RTX 3070, and bundling the cheaper RTX 3060 Ti would be a compromise too far given NVIDIAís current preference for making newer RTX technologies exclusive to the 40-series. This card, particularly MSIís Ventus 2X model, is optimal given the paucity of options available to Cyberpower PC, but it has led to shortcomings in other areas.

The most glaring of these is the choice of CPU. A Ryzen 5 5500 is a much bigger step down from the 5600 than indicated by its SKU, and not just clock speed. Half the L3 cache and only PCIe 3.0 support undermines gaming performance and starves the RTX 4060 Ti, while potentially locking off future support for APIs based on Microsoft DirectStorage including RTX IO. If the Ultra 55 4T has an eye to the future through its selection of GPU, it also has its foot firmly planted in the past thanks to an inferior CPU and motherboard platform.

In the face of these failings, criticising including only 16GB of 3200MHz memory is nit-picking, but the push towards 32GB system memory recommendations will be strong in the coming year. The stock CPU cooling is also sufficient, but only that. An upgrade for the latter would be a swift post-purchase recommendation if any hot weather is forecast.

One aspect nailed by Cyberpower was the storage. Intelís 670p is an excellent budget choice, and 1TB is positively roomy for a brand new build. The performance of this drive is great - itís on the faster end of PCIe Gen3 x4 drives - and additional storage is trivial to add to the system post-purchase.

The case itself is attractive, has great build quality, and provides excellent airflow thanks to a perforated front panel and dual 120 intake fans. Each fanís halo effect RGB lighting is bright and vibrant without necessarily being garish, allowing for a custom look somewhat at odds with the buildís relatively low cost.

Experientially, the system copes well with the tested games at 1440p. Itís not captured in raw results but some care with in-game settings will garner large improvements with little discernible impact on image quality, but for modern titles itís just riding the edge of viability as a platform for gaming at this challenging resolution. Owners should expect to lean heavily on DLSS upscaling as the system ages and to keep a very close eye of 95%/99% minimums lest a weak CPU undermine your enjoyment.

Fundamentally, the impression we get is that this system really needs about £50-100 of improvements to be a great mainstream design, but it will still serve its intended role adequately so long as you temper your expectations. NVIDIAís RTX 4060 Ti swallows up 40% of the cost of the system, but an even slightly more aggressive cost basis could have made all the difference. Those buying the system for the long haul however, potentially through a 3-year course of study or as a multi-year gaming system, immediately have an upgrade path that will garner meaningful results and can be done affordably in a piecemeal fashion.

Cyberpower PCís Ultra 55 4T shows the frustrations of catering to a tight budget when GPU pricing is less than consumer friendly. Knock-on compromises to CPU and cooling will therefore disappoint the most tech-savvy. Great at 1080p but merely good at 1440p, itíll satisfy those with realistic expectations who are more concerned by results today than forward-looking specifications.

+ Meets the challenge of a good gaming system for £1000
+ Capable of gaming at 1440p with the majority of modern games
+ Supports latest NVIDIA technologies via a RTX 40-series GPU
+ Plethora of long-term upgrade options
+ Some aesthetic frills

- Key weaknesses in CPU selected
- Looming game recommended specs creep to beyond listed specifications
- Poor CPU cooling

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