CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra GUA3100A Review – Why People Go Pre-Built
When you dig into PC gaming for the first time, there’s definitely a lot to consider – Especially if you’re building your own. You often need to consider not only the parts you purchase themselves, but compatibility and overall cohesion. For example, an extremely powerful video card may technically work with a weaker CPU, but your CPU will probably create a bottleneck for your video card.
These considerations are why many people choose to go the pre-built route. After all, the appeal of getting a (supposedly) gaming-ready rig shipped to your very doorstep is..Well, appealing! Who wouldn’t want all the benefits of PC gaming with none of the work associated with it (building your own rig, that is)?
Taking all of this into consideration, it’s easy to see why many people are completely fine with paying extra for the convenience of a pre-built gaming PC. And honestly, even I’m okay with that in principle. People who assemble the computers (Assuming they aren’t built by machines now!) deserve compensation for their time and effort. The question is, how much extra are you willing to pay? In many cases, major pre-built PC sellers smack insane mark-up prices on their pre-built machines. I have a whole article on that right here.
Is The CyberPowerPC GUA3100A Worth Buying?
After I’ve just spent a couple paragraphs railing against (Well, not really) pre-built rigs, you may have already decided I’m not worth listening to. :p However, despite what I’ve said thus far, I don’t believe all pre-built rigs out there suck. There’s an exception to just about any rule! There’s definitely a few reasonably priced rigs floating around the interwebs. The issue is that their performance isn’t usually up to snuff for modern games.
But, again, exceptions to every rule, and I’m rambling.
The real question (And the focus of this article) is whether or not Cyberpower’s GUA3100A is worth its roughly ~$500 price tag. Is it a decent entry-level PC? Taking into consideration “convenience fees”, is the hardware it contains reasonable?
Let’s find out! Without further ado, let’s get started with our CyberpowerPC GUA3100A Review!
Okay, I gotta admit, CyberpowerPC went with a pretty cool overall aesthetic here. The case looks neat, has a beautiful glass panel for you to check out your parts, and the red-and-black theme extends to the keyboard and mouse Cyberpower went with as well.
The case seems to have decent airflow capabilities, and the various USB and audio ports being included on the side (Towards the front) of the case is surprisingly convenient. It makes me wonder why more case manufacturers don’t design their cases that way.
Having the cords on the front can sometimes be a bit of a hassle – I’ve actually nearly yanked my case off my desk in the past when I stretched my arm out to the side. Not fun.
But, as we all know, pretty visuals and competent case design ain’t everything.
Under The Hood
CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.80 Ghz
Motherboard: AMD 760G Chipset
Memory: 8GB DDR3
Storage: 1TB HDD
Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R7 240 2GB
Keyboard/Mouse: Some Cheap $20 Keyboard/Mouse Combo
The first thing I do when I look at any pre-built rig is check under the hood. What kind of parts shipped with it, and are they powerful enough to handle modern games – even on lower settings? Most importantly, how much extra are we technically paying for convenience? In other words, add up the price of the individual parts and see how much cheaper the rig would be if we built it ourselves.
If this “convenience fee” is low (~$100 or so – Remember, guys, these companies are shipping these puppies out in the thousands. Even a “measly” $100 profit per unit adds up to a lot!), good. If it’s high ($300+), not so good.
So, how does the CyberpowerPC GUA3100A measure up?
Analyzing the Parts
Well, let’s analyze a couple of the important parts before we talk about actual game performance and overall value.
First, the video card is utter garbage. The R7 240 may have been good a few years ago, but nowadays you’d be lucky to run anything on reasonable settings with this thing.
It’s a $60 video card, so expect it to be extremely outdated by now. The one thing you don’t cheap out on when building your own rig is the video card – It’s where all of your performance comes from! So, definitely a disappointment there.
Next up, the CPU. The FX-4300 isn’t the worst choice in the world, but I likely would have gone with a AMD FX 4350 or an 860K instead for a $500 rig.
The storage and memory are both reasonable, and pretty in-line with what I would have picked for a $500 gaming PC. I think 16GB of memory is preferable nowadays (Despite what some others say), and I would gladly swap out 1TB of storage for a lower-capacity SSD any day, but Cyberpower’s picks feel reasonable at least.
But Will It Blend? (Or Run Games Reasonably Well?)
Now that I’ve briefly gone over a couple of the more notable parts, how well does the GUA3100A actually run games?
Not great, to be honest.
The R7 240 really holds this rig back, and is an absolutely horrible choice for a $500 rig. To really reinforce this point, my custom $400 build guide includes a significantly better video card (And significantly better parts overall, with the exception of the memory which can easily be upgraded for super cheap) for a much more reasonable overall build price.
With the R7 240, you’re lucky to run freakin’ Modern Warfare on medium settings. You know, that 9 year old game?
Good luck running anything more recent! True, you can upgrade your video card yourself later (Or right away), by hand, but if you’re going to do that anyway, why waste money on a pre-built rig? Additionally, you’d have to consider the possibility of bottle-necking your new card with Cyberpower’s already-included FX-4300.
How Much Is The “Convenience Fee”?
As promised, I’ve added up the value of the individual parts, and will now determine how much of a mark-up Cyberpower’s pre-built rig is.
CPU – $77
Motherboard – $55
Memory – $34
Storage – $50
Operating System – $95
Graphics Card – $65
Keyboard/Mouse – $20-$30
Custom-Built Total: $406 (Pre-built Mark-up: $80-100)
Looking at this, you may think the GUA3100A’s $500 price tag looks pretty attractive. After all, only a $100 mark-up? And that’s not even taking into consideration the 1 year warranty or the CD-drive. Pretty great, right?
The problem is that the parts included in the Cyberpower’s rig are simply not well optimized. They are not the best parts you can get for $500 – Not even close. To be quite frank, a couple of the most important parts are actually some of the worst parts you can get for that budget! It’s like Cyberpower literally just hopped on PCPartPicker and picked parts at random. There’s no cohesion or thought at all.
Spending $500 to barely run 9-year-old games seems a wee bit silly to me.
But what if you could get something way better for $400? $500? If you want something really awesome, even $600? As it turns out, you can! It just requires a few hours of effort and a bit of patience while you wait for delivery times.
Final Verdict: 2/5 – Bad
All in all, I simply don’t think the GUA3100A is worth its current price tag. It has a few good parts mixed with some really awful ones, and it just so happens that the awful ones are the ones that will have the biggest impact on your gaming experience.
However, if you really want to check it out for yourself (Bear in mind that a lot of the reviews on Amazon are either old or from people who aren’t super tech-y. For them, anything is better than nothing, and modern games likely aren’t as big a deal), click the link below and check it out on Amazon.
Additionally, I recommend using the following website in the future when you want to find out if a rig can run your favorite games: Can You Run It?
Thanks for reading, guys! And as always, I love to hear from you – Do you agree? Disagree? Have questions?