Last fall, Nvidia released its Pascal graphics architecture and a few days later AMD countered with its new Ryzen CPUs: Both redefined the amount of performance we’d expect from systems for ever-decreasing amounts of money. The CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA2200A is among the first system that we’ve seen fusing the latest AMD Ryzen CPU and AMD RX 580 graphics card– an answer to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It is a well-configured gaming desktop that, when it comes to playing, can hold its own against some pricier desktops. If you have a heavier wallet, you can find a pure gaming PC. But if all you need is a system that’s capable at work and play, it’s hard to find a better-balanced system than this.

Design

If bling is ‘your thing’, here is a system that is both elegant and imposing. The Gamer GMA2200A packs cool components into a fine-looking tower chassis, that looks great on every angle. The real highlights here are the grilled front Panel with diamond patterns, custom LED case lighting and a transparent glass side panel that provides a clear view of the system’s orange backlighting and impressively neat component layout.

At 18.6 by 17.6 by 7.8 inches (HWD) and 32 pounds, the Gamer Master will occupy a good amount of space on your desk, though there are tons of other case options – both bigger and smaller. Our unit is bigger than gaming desktops like the Acer Aspire GX-785-UR19 (18.24 by 15.67 by 6.89; 18.43 pounds) and the ASUS GR8 II-T043Z (11.7 x 3.4 x 11; 8.8 pounds), but not quite colossal as full-tower gaming PCs, such as the iBUYPOWER Ultra Gaming PC (21.38 by 12.5 by 25; 30 pounds).

Connectivity

There’s an optical drive on the front panel, but its covered with a side opening flap, which is nice to keep the PC looking extra seamless. Although we’re now buying our games from digital services like Steam or Origin, an optical drive comes handy when you need to access file from your old DVDs. Plus, the way its placed, it doesn’t affect the system’s austerity.

As it is, there are easy access ports – ­two USB 3.1, microphone, and headphone – and the Reset button on the on the top of the front panel. At the back, you have more ports – four USB 3.0, four USSB 2.0, RJ-45 Ethernet, 7.1 Audio channel; one HDMI, DisplayPort and a DVI port on the graphics card. It skimps on built-in Wi-Fi, so you’ll have to buy a USB adapter separately.

Storage

For storage, the system comes with a 2TB 7200rpm hard drive. For such a system, not having an SSD is a sore thumb, but you can easily add one to speedy things. Still, you have more than enough storage for all your games, movies and documents. That said, the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA340 leverages good storage and speedy performance thanks to a 1TB hard drive paired with a 120GB SSD. Bundled into the package is a RGB 7 color gaming keyboard and mouse combo.

Performance

If you’re paying almost double an entry-level gaming PC, you should expect no-less than high-end speed, on all titles. The Gamer Ultra packs a AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU, AMD Radeon RX 580 (4GB) graphics card and 16GB DDR4 system memory. This is AMD’s new top-end chip, which has a base clock speed of 3.0GHz (which totals to 16 threads), and is a direct competitor to Intel’s Core i7-770K. That chip’s base clock is 3.0GHz, but it can stretch to 3.7GHz as needed, and gets better wattage than its rivals.

With such premium components, it’s no doubt the Gamer Ultra is a performance dynamo. In general performance, this system gives you more computer than what you pay for – placing itself in the same ball pack with most high-end gaming PCs. It should be able to complete video or photo editing projects easily, when you’re not playing.

Gaming performance is another frontier where the Gamer Ultra really separates itself from the pack. It’s a VR Ready system with HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift, which is a feature set you can rarely find among competitors. Most of its immediate competitors are equipped with GTX 1060 graphic cards, but the AMD Radeon RX 580 (4GB) graphics card delivers impressive frame rates per second (FPS), and being VR-Ready is a notable bonus. For instance, it delivers 67 FPS on Grand Theft Auto and 69 FPS on Fallout 4, which are playable frame rates at native resolutions.

A Gaming PC with Ryzen Speed

The CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Master GMA2200A  $949.00 at Amazon  isn’t all flash, it has plenty of muscle. It is among the first in what will undoubtedly be a line of gaming desktops that challenge the conventional cliché of where the intersection of performance and budget should lie. For much less than you’d pay for most high-end gaming machines, you’re getting a system that is adept to handling heavy workloads. This side has been Intel’s territory for a while, but we’re now seeing AMD challenge it, with the composition of high-end gaming and luxury gaming desktops, for much less. The Ryzen 7 1700 provides enormous performance benefits, that will be better utilized if you find a software that uses all its core.  That said, the Gamer Master is a VR Ready system that delivers solid 1080p playability, and gives additional processing capabilities you’ve never had before for the price.