Cyberpower Fang Mini Pro - Games Weekly

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cyberpower Fang Mini Pro

Miniature PCs are usually restricted to less intensive tasks, but Cyberpower reckons it's Fang Mini Pro is an ideal small-form-factor gaming system. That’s because this tiny PC boasts an Intel Core i7-4770R processor and Iris Pro 5200 integrated core.

The Iris Pro chip is Intel’s most powerful integrated GPU. It has 40 execution units double the number of the HD Graphics 4600 found inside many other Intel processors and it’s the only Intel core to have 128MB of embedded memory. That RAM is designated as L4 cache that’s available to both the CPU and GPU. The end result is a GPU rated for 832 GFLOPS. That's enough to outpace AMD and Nvidia’s low-end discrete cards, and 400 GFLOPS more than the HD Graphics 4600.


That sounds impressive, but the Iris Pro didn't cut the mustard in our benchmarks. It couldn't get near a playable frame rate in any game’s highest settings, and returned single-figure fps results in most. As a result, we were forced to tone down quality settings. BioShock Infinite and Battlefield 4 only ran smoothly when we loaded up each game's low quality levels at 1080p, and GRID 2 was the only game to run beyond 30 fps at 1080p. It’s not enough to match Cyberpower’s other new PC, the i5 Gaming Brix, which features an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 and serves up most games at 1080p and their highest settings happily.

The i7-4770R core is different from the standard i7-4770. Its 65W TDP is 19W lower than standard i7 chips, which bodes well, but its 3.2GHz stock speed lags behind the 3.4 GHz pace of the conventional CPU. The i7-4770 R and i7-4770 both have 3.9GHz Turbo peaks.

Elsewhere, there are few surprises in the Cyberpower’s specification. The 1TB hard disk is capacious, but its sequential read and writes are both below 100MB/s so loading times aren’t much cop. Its 8GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM is par for the course.

Deceptively roomy
Connectivity on the inside includes dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and on the outside there are four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, a Gigabit Ethernet connector and a mini DisplayPort socket. All this is crammed inside Gigabyte’s tiny Brix enclosure. It’s several times smaller than other PCs and consoles just 101mm wide and 64mm tall and Cyberpower has given the lid a futuristic design to match the metal and mesh sides.

The interior is accessed by removing four long screws to ease the base away, and will be familiar to anyone who’s handled an Intel NUC, which Gigabyte also happens to make. The underside of the motherboard is immediately visible, and there's a surprising upgrade room. There’s a spare memory slot, and an empty mSATA socket can be used for an SSD, but that’s it.

It’s worth saving up for the Gigabyte i5 Gaming Brix if you're searching for a small system specifically for games. Despite that, the faster i7 processor and lower price make this a viable option as a small PC for general use that can handle some gaming on the side.

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