The CyberPower Fusion Ultra is unfortunately just a bit rubbish. The main culprit is the AMD APU. The A10 APUs actually stands up to the competition well, especially in terms of supporting the graphics card for some decent gaming performance. But this isn't an A10.

This is an A6-6400K and no matter what that K-series moniker is desperately trying to tell you, this is no performance part. This is a dual-core APU, and we're not riffing on the Piledriver architecture's blurring of the lines between physical and hyperthreaded cores. If we were going to do that, we'd say it was a single-core. What it has is a single Piledriver module with two threads and some seriously weak processing performance.

False economy

The Company of Heroes 2 and Grid 2 benchmarks highlight the problem with pairing up a weak CPU component with a decent GPU. The HD 7770 is a capable budget graphics card, but the difference found in performance between this weak APU and the Palicomp machine - with a proper quad-core i5 CPU - is pretty significant.

Granted, you won't notice such a disparity in titles that aren't so reliant on CPU performance, but that's no consolation when these are the titles you want to play. Things might improve if you overclocked the chip - it is a K-series after all - but that's unlikely to make enough of a difference to really matter to your gaming experience .

Benchmarks

Multi-thread CPU performance
Cinebench 11.5: Index score: Higher is better

Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 3.7
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 3.66
Computer Planet ND 200: 2.96
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 1.53
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 3.96
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 5.53
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: 3.25
Vibox Crypt: 3.45
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 3.28

Gaming performance
Heaven 4.0: Frames per second: Higher is better

Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 9.1
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 25.4
Computer Planet ND 200: 22.5
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 14.7
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 28.8
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 15.2
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: 18.7
Vibox Crypt: 11.5
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 25.1

BioShock Infinite: Frames per second: Higher is better
Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 16
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 46
Computer Planet ND 200: 39
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 26
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 51
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 25
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: 33
Vibox Crypt: 19
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 44

CoH 2: Frames per second: Higher is better
Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 6
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 16
Computer Planet ND 200: 18
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 6
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 19
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 11
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: A8 6
Vibox Crypt: 6
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 15

Grid 2: Frames per second: Higher is better
Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 27
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 52
Computer Planet ND 200: 50
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 33
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 60
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 38
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: 45
Vibox Crypt: 26
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 49

Video encode performance
X264 4.0: Frames per second: Higher is better

Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 24.64
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 21.63
Computer Planet ND 200: 18.64
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 10.79
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 28.44
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 33.39
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: 21.86
Vibox Crypt: 22.34
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 21.42

Memory bandwidth @ optimised defaults
SiSoft Sandra: Gigabytes per second: Higher is better

Aria Gladiator Hurricane: 15.53
Chillblast Fusion Cannon: 21
Computer Planet ND 200: 8.63
Cyberpower Ultra Fusion: 8.53
DinoPC Batman GTX 660: 16.32
Palicomp Haswell i5 Gamer: 21
PC Specialist Trinity Trion A8: 7.5
Vibox Crypt: 12.14
Wire2Fire Velocity Ultima: 12.26

Verdict

That slightly rubbish APU highlights the obvious upgrade path, but unfortunately that path only leads as far as the wall that is the A10-6800K. Although the quad-core APU supports its discrete GPUs well, that's as far as you can go on this motherboard. You can keep upgrading the graphics cards, but the next generation of APUs - with their tasty-looking Steamroller cores - will only be compatible with the higher pin-count of the upcoming FM2+ socket.

The problem with this rig is one of balance. It's hard to understand where the money saved on the carboot sale APU has gone. Normally it's a question of sacrificing one component for a better option somewhere else, but the rest of the spec is pretty average.