The market is in agreement: six is better than four. As Intel's hex-core, double-threaded i7 monster sits atop the lofty heights of both performance and price range, AMD's own Phenom II X6 hex-core processors aim to pull the rug out from under it.

With affordable future-proofing solutions that go toe-to-toe with Intel's mid-priced Bloomfield and Lynnfield chips, AMD is back in contention.

The Cyberpower Ultra Scylla then, harnesses AMD's new processing power and sensibly builds a well-balanced, affordable rig around it.

For this price, you'd expect to see some areas compromised to make way for the new tech. Given that the X6 1055T processor retails for under £180, though, Cyberpower has been granted some headroom.

The 1055T in this machine comes pre-overclocked, operating at a sturdy 3.5GHz, and eats up processing tasks without breaking a sweat. This rig boasts some seriously impressive Cinebench scores, proving AMD's hex cores capable of breaking up the party for Intel's mid-range i7 chips.

But a whole system can't rely on CPU muscle-flexing alone. In terms of graphics then, the HD 5770 under the bonnet won't set DX11 games alight or give you blistering frame rates in the long-term. But at the native res of the bundled 22-inch screen it performs admirably, shouldering the burden along with the X6.

Despite the old school chipset this is a fairly forward-thinking build: Gigabyte's GA770T mobo packs in dual-channel DDR3 and USB 3.0 support. There's a juicy, Crossfire-capable PSU hiding away in the fan-filled, but ear friendly Thermaltake Element T case. Plus, the Xtreme Gear cooler whacked on top of that 1055T could facilitate stable operating frequencies beyond even the factory-overclocked 3.5GHz.

Well balanced

The budget GPU and Vcolor RAM are clearly concessions towards a mid-priced machine and might give you the wrong impression that corners have been cut to price this X6 machine competitively against i7 rigs. Cyberpower, though, has been intelligent in the balance of the internal components.

Sure, the processor is taking the brunt of the work and deserves a lot of the credit for the benchmark scores, but it's worth noting that no other aspect of the machine is noticeably holding it back. Given that this price tag includes a 22-inch BenQ monitor, keyboard and mouse, we're looking at a base unit in the 700-large price bracket.

If you were to eschew these peripheral extras in favour of more heavyweight components, you'd be looking at slinging a Radeon 5870 and the X6 1090T CPU under the bonnet for a pinch over £1,000. And then you'd be looking at a serious gaming beast. A beast with little fear of the future, too.

The Ultra Scylla has processing power to spare, given the lack of apps that fully use all six cores. As an out-of-the-box, everything-you-need setup it's fantastic value for money for gaming and processor-heavy tasks like video encoding.

If you're a gamer of the hardcore variety, swap the screen and peripherals for a 5870 and the 1090T chip and you're laughing.

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