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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Large case with lots of room for upgrades
Decent mouse and keyboard
Slow and outdated hardware
Graphics card severely outdated
Oversized and bulky
The iBUYPOWER BB108A is an inexpensive desktop PC built around older components, and even though it’s attractively priced, it nonetheless provides poor value for the money.
The IBUYPOWER BB108A sits at the low end of the desktop PC spectrum, both in terms of cost and in horsepower. Once you start looking at budget desktop PCs, you’ve got to expect serious compromises. Can the BB108A perform well enough to justify its cost, even at this low price point?
There is nothing discreet or subtle about the iBUYPOWER BB108A—it’s a massive, hulking tower of metal and glass that tends to dominate any space in which it’s placed. If it had the components to fill its cavernous, cathedral-like interior, this would be more acceptable, but that’s not the case. Instead, the interior of the tower is mostly empty, a vacant box with a tiny motherboard and equally petite components.
You could easily fit the guts of this computer into a body a quarter this size. That would make this PC a much more attractive device, but with such a big case it feels like there's too much wasted space. On the other hand, all that unused real estate means you’ll have plenty of room for upgrades.
The issue with adding new components, however, is ventilation (or the lack thereof). Both the front, right side, and top are solid metal and glass, with only a handful of vent slots tucked into the left panel. Out of the box, the BB108A only includes one case fan mounted on the rear of the tower to move hot air out of the machine. While the low power components included by default won't stress the thermals, poor ventilation limits the machine's upgrade potential.
Despite its ridiculous size and impractical design, the BB108A sports a cool looking case made from high-quality materials. The giant tempered glass window is impressive with the programmable RGB lights glowing behind it, and otherwise, the plain, almost brutalist aesthetic is appealing. The patterned vents on the non-glass side of the tower help keep it from being so much of a featureless black box.
In terms of IO, you will find two USB 3.0 ports on the top front panel alongside audio in and out ports, indicator lights, and the power and reset buttons. I didn’t particularly care for the design of these buttons, as they are made to look like a single control with indicators as to which side activates which button. This makes it difficult to press the right button sight-unseen, creating unnecessary confusion.
Six more USB ports live on the back panel, alongside Ethernet, audio, and video output (VGA, DVI, HDMI) ports. This adequate selection should accommodate as many external devices as you are likely to use with the BB108A, though it lacks modern ports such as USB-C, and four of the eight total ports are only USB 2.0.
The BB108A comes with both a mouse and keyboard, which are high quality as such freebies go. The iBUYPOWER Zeus E2 wired mouse is particularly impressive—a big step up from your average ten buck department store mouse with good ergonomics, sensitivity, and responsiveness. Beautiful RBG lighting makes it particularly visually attractive.
The keyboard isn’t so nice, having no backlighting for the keys, and a decidedly mushy feel. It’s also built of cheap plastic that doesn’t feel durable or satisfying. I also didn’t like the red WASD, direction, and shortcut keys. They somehow make it look even cheaper, and the glowing red iBUYPOWER logo only serves to highlight the lack of backlighting for the rest of the keyboard.
Getting started with the iBUYPOWER BB108A is a pretty quick and streamlined process. In terms of assembly, all that is required besides plugging in the usual cables is to screw on the antennae to the back of the PC. First, startup will install Windows, a reasonably fast process that's nicely streamlined. Be aware though that Windows updates will take some time to download and install depending on the speed of your internet connection.
The iBUYPOWER BB108A is a massive, hulking tower of metal and glass that dominates any space in which it’s placed.
With its ancient Nvidia Geforce GT 710, entry-level AMD Ryzen 2 3200G processor, and a mere 8GB of DDR4 RAM (not to mention its slow mechanical hard drive), you shouldn’t expect too much from the BB108A. Even so, I was disappointed by the GFXBench test score of 2267 in the T-Rex test, and the pathetic PCMark score of 2555 was even less impressive, though that might be attributed to the fact that PCMark didn’t recognize the GT 710 graphics card due to its age.
In contrast to the benchmarks, real-world performance isn’t as awful as you might think. Navigating the desktop, browsing the web, and doing basic photo and even video editing is responsive relatively frustration-free.
Looking at the BB108A you’d naturally expect it to be a gaming machine. Its RGB lights, big tempered glass side panel, and general style scream “gamer”. However, with its antiquated GT 710 graphics card and a measly 1GB of VRAM, you’re not going to be playing the latest and greatest games at high settings. Indie titles run great though, and I found no issues running less demanding titles like Downwell. I was also able to enjoy Dota 2 at medium-low settings, so it’s not a complete loss for gaming.
The graphics card is so old and slow that it doesn’t add much value to the system.
Frankly, you’re better off spending a little more for a PC with a more recent and powerful graphics card if you’re even remotely interested in gaming. Alternatively, you could upgrade the BB108A. Even a low-end card from a year ago would be a massive upgrade over the GT 710, and it wouldn’t inflate the cost of the system by too much.
Check out our roundup of the best gaming PCs.
The iBUYPOWER BB108A will work just fine for day-to-day office tasks, or even some basic photo and video editing. However, it might not be the ideal machine for a shared workplace, given its rather flashy design. Its bulk also makes it less than ideal if space is a premium commodity.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of typing you'll want to invest in a better keyboard. Though the iBUYPOWER Ares E1 keyboard is remarkably usable for an included keyboard, it’s definitely not a device you will want to spend long hours using.
I don't expect built-in speakers from a desktop PC, but the BB108A does provide a good selection of options to connect external speakers, including support for 7.1 channel surround sound. You can also hook up any Bluetooth speaker to it wirelessly. I found nothing to complain about regarding the quality of its audio output.
The IBUYPOWER BB108A performed reasonably well in network speed tests, and was able to fully utilize both wired and wireless internet connections. It had no trouble picking up the WiFi signal, and showed signal strength comparable to a typical laptop. Bluetooth connectivity is also included, and that connection seems robust as well.
The BB108A runs about as clean and bloatware-free as you could hope for outside of a homebuilt rig. The only extra software I found was the RGB control program, which is useful if clunky. Windows 10 runs well on the BB108A, even though the relatively slow mechanical hard drive prevents it from being quite as snappy as it would be with a solid state drive.
With an MSRP of just $500, the iBUYPOWER is certainly on the low end of the price scale for desktop PCs with dedicated GPUs. However, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it's a good value. The graphics card is so old and slow that it doesn’t add much value to the system, and overall it’s just a very lackluster PC, even at its low price point.
For roughly the same cost, the Cyberpower PC GMA5200BSDF offers much better bang for your buck. It includes a Radeon RX 560 graphics card, which blows the iBUYPOWER’s ancient Geforce GTX 710 out of the water. Furthermore, it uses a 250GB solid state drive instead of the iBUYPOWER’s sluggish 1TB hard drive. The IBUYPOWER only wins in the CPU department with its more modern Ryzen 3 core compared to the 2-year-old Ryzen 5 in the Cyberpower.
If you need the extra hard drive space and processing power more than fast file access and graphical horsepower, the iBUYPOWER might be the better option. However, if you’re a gamer, the Cyberpower is a no brainer.
Despite its low price point and eye-catching aesthetic, the iBUYPOWER BB108A leaves much to be desired.
The iBUYPOWER BB108A is a perfectly usable desktop PC, and it’s available at a very budget-friendly price point. However, its elephantine dimensions and almost useless graphics card detract from its usability and value. The BB108A is an office PC in the body of a gaming rig.
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