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Maximum PC Staff

Dec 13, 2010

CyberPower LAN Party EVO Mini

At A Glance

GARY COLEMAN

Fast, small, and water-cooled.

GARY GLITTER

Will lag in apps optimized for quad-cores or greater.

Can a dual-core take on a quad-core? Yes, it can

Do great minds think alike, or is Silverstone’s SG07 chassis just that cool? We suspect the SG07 is just that cool. After all, the chassis that CyberPower used for its LAN Party EVO Mini happens to be the same chassis we used for our “Wee Ass-Kicking Machine."

As with the WAKM, the SG07 limits you to a single PCI-E slot and a Mini-ITX board, but that doesn’t mean the CyberPower and WAKM are the same. In fact, they couldn’t be more different.



The LAN Party EVO Mini features AMD’s new Radeon HD 6870 card, while the WAKM used a Gigabyte 1GB GeForce GTX 460 card. The WAKM used a Zotac board with integrated Wi-Fi, while CyberPower reaches for a Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 board.

The real drama here is CPU choice. Both mini rigs use Intel chips, but while the WAKM used the awesome 2.93GHz Core i7-870 quad-core, CyberPower opts for a Core i5-655K. The K denotes that the chip is unlocked to aid overclocking, and CyberPower takes advantage of that by pushing the chip up to 4.32GHz. For the 655K, which has been publicly overclocked to 5GHz, it’s no stretch. We didn’t overclock the proc in our own mini because the stock LGA1156 cooler isn’t the greatest for that purpose. CyberPower overcomes its rig’s thermal limitations by somehow stuffing an Asetek 550LC into the tiny chassis.

Despite the overclock, we were pretty confident that the Wee Ass-Kicking Machine would prevail. With its 120GB SSD and quad-core, surely the LAN Party EVO Mini would get dusted, right? Wrongness.

Stuffed somewhere in the Silverstone Chassis is a water-cooling system .

While the LAN Party EVO Mini is second place in three of our benchmarks, it actually managed to beat the Wee Ass-Kicking Machine in two benchmarks and tie it in another. A quick glance at our benchmark chart will tell you what happened: In the multithreaded apps where more cores matter, the LAN Party EVO Mini loses by 16 to 17 percent. The three apps where it wins or ties don’t exploit the extra two cores in the WAKM, which gives the higher clocks in the LAN Party EVO Mini the advantage. In the gaming benchmarks, the CyberPower loses in STALKER, but its clock advantage pushes it up over the top in Far Cry 2. For the most part, it’s a benchmark draw.

Mind you, we run our standard desktop benchmarks at 2560x1600 to stress super-gaming machines. On single-GPU, sub-$1,500 boxes, it’s not the best representation of the resolution at which most people will play. In other words, at 1920x1080, both machines would run just about anything you could throw at them today.

In the end, the CyberPower LAN Party Mini EVO is a sweet, compact little rig. It’s also pretty palatable at $1,250—a nice discount over our WAKM, which tilted the scale to $1,653. So, it’s cheaper, just about even
in performance, and it’s even water-cooled. In our book, that’s a win.

THE VERDICT

CyberPower LAN Party EVO Mini

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