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Alice Newcome-Beill / Lifewire
Solid build quality and attention to detail
Powerful hardware for demanding games
Very little bloatware out of the box
Prompt and courteous customer service
Purchase and delivery took over three months
Parts selection could be better
If you're particular about the types of parts that get used in your gaming PC and don't mind waiting a while, iBuypower represents some of the best value for bespoke gaming PCs.
We purchased the iBuypower Custom Gaming PC so our reviewer test it out to its full capabilities. Keep reading for our full product review.
The scarcity of many new high-end PC components left me with few options to get my hands on new hardware, that is unless I went all out and bought a brand-new top-of-the-line gaming PC. The build I picked out from iBuypower spares virtually no expense, using bleeding-edge hardware that would turn most gamers green with envy. This includes an RTX 3090 GPU from Gigabyte and an AMD 5900X CPU. Some other bells and whistles include a liquid cooler from NZXT and Corsair RGB fans.
The financial gap between building your own system and getting one built for you has reduced drastically in recent years, and while you can’t put a price tag on the sense of pride you get from building your own system, there are a number of advantages that come along with any pre-built system.
Builders like iBuyPower can provide you with tech support when you need it, a warranty for replacement parts, access to hardware that might otherwise be unavailable, and having someone handle the more tedious aspects of building a system like cable management. All of these services really add up, especially for anyone that may be buying a system as a gift or doesn’t have the necessary skills to troubleshoot one themselves.
While the delivery of my system was significantly delayed due to the general scarcity of the hardware, I was still given frequent status updates following the entire process from order placement to delivery. Any time I needed to contact an actual person, I was able to get in touch quickly, waiting no more than a few minutes to speak with a human being.
iBuypower is a bit of a rarity among ISBs and other boutique PC builders. Plenty of builders can offer you PCs at different price points to fit nearly any budget, however, it's often disappointing to see a shortage of options when it comes to hardware. One of the main draws of building your own system is being able to pick and choose your own parts, but you’ll often find builders that either use entirely proprietary hardware, or have limited options. However, iBuypower, when compared with other ISBs has the most impressive selection of hardware I’ve seen, with a broad range of proprietary and name-brand hardware to choose from allowing you to mix and match to your heart’s content.
The only category where I would have liked to see more of a selection was the chassis. There are plenty of standard options available, but if you're in the market for a desktop that breaks the mold from an aesthetics standpoint you may be a little disappointed.
iBuypower, when compared with other ISBs has the most impressive selection of hardware I’ve seen, with a broad range of proprietary and name-brand hardware to choose from allowing you to mix and match to your heart’s content.
While it would be easy to review the individual components in our system, I’m instead going to be focusing on the performance and aesthetics of the system as a whole as well as the overall service I received from iBuypower.
While I was pleasantly surprised at the promptness and professionalism of their customer service, I took things a step further by calling them with a request for technical support. The system I received, arrived in pristine condition and without any issues, but I gave them a call to see how they would respond to a fairly common error.
Using the iBuypower Discord technical support channel, I mentioned that our display wouldn't turn on (the display cable was plugged into the wrong outlet). Thankfully, their support ran us through a quick troubleshoot of our problem and were able to resolve the issue quickly without the need to return our system. Being able to quickly discern simple problems pay real dividends when purchasing these systems for anyone that doesn't necessarily have a technical aptitude for PCs.
While current circumstances and shortages of certain hardware are largely to blame for our system taking so long to arrive, bear in mind that even ordering a system with in-stock components may take as long as a month to reach you.
The matte black metallic case from NZXT is about as simple as they come, but what it lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for in usability. It features cable routing channels throughout the back panel, complete with Velcro straps and loops for tying down bundles of cables. The system builder put those to good use as there was very little in the way of loose cables when I opened the back panel.
A tempered glass side panel provides you with an excellent view of the hardware inside and is held in place by a single thumbscrew on the back of the system.
The mid-tower sized case features plenty of real estate for upgrades, including several mounts for SATA SSDs and HDDs in both the front and back. The size of the case also offers numerous options for cooling with 360mm radiator support along the top or front and space for a rear-mounted 140mm fan. There are very few screws holding everything in place, making disassembling everything relatively simple, and in my opinion, the fewer screws you have to keep track of, the better.
While you might think by looking at the case, that the system might be starved for ventilation, the H710 features perforated edges that give the hardware ample airflow. A tempered glass side panel provides you with an excellent view of the hardware inside and is held in place by a single thumbscrew on the back of the system.
There are plenty of pre-built options that allow you to swap out components based on your budget, but very few that allow for the level of customization you can get with a dealer like iBuyPower. While manufacturers like Dell and HP can certainly offer better budget options when it comes to gaming PCs, iBuyPower is the team to beat for anyone looking for a very specific build or access to top of the line parts.
I used a variety of both organic and synthetic benchmarks to stress test the system to see how it would hold up. I was pleased to find it blew away benchmarks for competing systems and was able to handle the most demanding games I threw at it.
Synthetic benchmarks included UniEngine Superposition and Cinebench R23, which are both free tools that anyone can access to stress their systems GPU and CPU respectively. I’ve also included benchmarks from other systems I’ve recommended showing how it stacks up against the parts used in a competing Alienware rig.
Superposition (4K Ultra)
Gigabyte RTX 3090
Avg FPS: 120.39
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Avg FPS: 103
Troy: A Total War Saga (4K Ultra)
Battle: 57.98 Avg FPS
Campaign: 60 Avg FPS
Siege: 60 Avg FPS
Gears Tactics (4K Ultra)
59.9 Avg FPS
Borderlands 3 (4K Ultra)
59.93 Avg FPS
Being able to quickly discern simple problems pay real dividends when purchasing these systems for anyone that doesn't necessarily have a technical aptitude for PCs.
I used PC parts picker to assemble a list of all the components I used in the build and was pleasantly surprised to find very little was tacked on as a premium. If we had chosen to build this system ourselves, it would have cost us a grand total of $4,600 before tax, which is remarkably close to what I paid iBuypower to make the system for me ($4,562). Bear in mind that I also get access to tech support, a 1-year warranty as well as the actual assembly.
Using iBuypower for your next PC build is an excellent value. While it isn't the most efficient way to shop for parts from a perspective of cost, it is at present the only way to get a tailor-made PC with higher-end components like AMD Zen 3 CPUs and Nvidia 30-series graphics cards. The value becomes even more apparent if you happen to lack the technical knowledge to build or service a gaming PC yourself.
While manufacturers like Dell and HP can certainly offer better budget options when it comes to gaming PCs, iBuyPower is the team to beat for anyone looking for a very specific build or access to top of the line parts.
For comparison, I’m stacking this build up against one of our top picks for gaming PCs, the Dell Alienware R11. The R11, costs about $1,000 less, and you likely won't need several weeks of lead time to have your system shipped, and you can typically buy multiple models right off the shelf. Perhaps more importantly, Alienware has updated the GPUs on all its current configurations to include Nvidia 30-series GPUs. So if that's all you're after, an Alienware R11 configuration likely represents a smarter investment.
However, Dell can't offer the same variety of components that iBuypower has access to, and even the most exorbitant system from Alienware can't hold a candle to the iBuypower and offers little challenge to their higher-end configurations in terms of performance.
A powerful custom-built gaming PC with a few clicks of a mouse.
While many configurations from iBuypower are going to cost slightly more than other pre-fab PCs, they still offer an excellent value especially once you factor in labor and warranty. If you're buying a one-off PC that you're planning to upgrade down the line, iBuypower is easily one of your best options unless you're really looking to pinch pennies, or you need several off the shelf PCs delivered quickly, in which case you may be better served by a pre-fab option from Alienware or CLX.
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