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The iBuypower Gamer 942IL

iBuypower 942IL Gamer: Best of the Best?
By , Shelton Romhanyi

ibuypower gamer 942il

We looked to the iBuypower site to find the 942IL, and to our surprise it wasn’t there — either that, or it was just well-hidden. This is the same thing that happened when we reviewed the Gamer Mage 855 system from them at the beginning of 2008; back then we were told that the system could be built with the online configurator, and it would be offered at the promised price at a later date.

Using the online configurator on the iBuypower site, we recreated the Gamer 942IL system for $4,042; iBuypower gave us a spec sheet showing the MSRP of the Gamer 942IL as $3599, so when it’s released it appears it will be a deal compared to custom pricing. It’s still nice to see that, should you wish to do so, iBuypower will make you pretty much anything you want from their parts bin, as long as you’re willing to pay for it.

ibuypower gamer 942il

ibuypower gamer 942il

iBuypower chose to build this particular system around an EVGA 790i Ultra SLI motherboard with an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 quad core processor. This processor represents pretty much the fastest you can get right now: four cores and 12 MB of cache all running at 3.2 GHz. This processor has it where it counts, and should be the hot knife cutting through your applications’ butter.

ibuypower gamer 942il

In theory, the best SLI configuration would be made up of two 9800 GX2 cards with four GPUs in total; iBuypower went a small step down from this lofty perch, including two 9800 GTX cards with “only” two GPUs included. However, these cards are no slouch by any means.

ibuypower gamer 942il

GDDR3 RAM is as fast as it gets, usable only with a few choice enthusiast class chipsets, and the 790i is one of them. iBuypower decided to include a full 4 GB of RAM with the 942IL, a bit more than 32-bit Vista can actually use, but the pairing of two 2GB sticks allows the RAM to run in the fast dual-channel configuration.

To recap so far, this system is using the fastest CPU and RAM available paired with some of the fastest video cards available, linked together in an SLI configuration. Looking good!

ibuypower gamer 942il

The included hard drives are two 500 GB units configured in a RAID 0 array, which allows for faster disk reads and writes, but no data redundancy.

ibuypower gamer 942il ibuypower gamer 942il

The system is powered by a hefty Tuniq 950 watt supply, which, along with a 20x DVD writer and a 16x DVD-ROM, fit within a stylish Thermaltake Xazer-VI MX gaming case. Also included are a Logitech keyboard and mouse.

ibuypower gamer 942il ibuypower gamer 942il

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  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 20, 2008 4:54 AM
    iBuyPower has the WORST support I have ever encountered. I bought a laptop from them which had a design flaw in the lcd (screen cable was too short, opening the screen would loosen it and black out the image). They said it was caused by the user and refused to replace it. I would recommend staying far away from anything they sell.
  • 0 Hide
    Take_Out , June 20, 2008 7:19 AM
    ABS and Tagan are related and seem to have a good quality name in the business as well as being associated with the great Newegg.com.....
  • 0 Hide
    Take_Out , June 20, 2008 7:22 AM
    I meant that they were related to each other and not to iBuyPower.
  • 0 Hide
    trackman2010 , June 20, 2008 9:10 AM
    Where are the Crysis benchmarks?
    I would think someone who's going to spend that much money on a PC would like to know how the computer fairs in the mother of all benchmarks.
    How about benchmarking some newer games that are actually a bit more demanding than the old games you're using just to show some high numbers?

    Also, why on earth would someone spend all that money when you can get the same configuration yourself for half the price?
    Tech support is never worth that much money, IMO.
  • -3 Hide
    baracubra , June 20, 2008 10:29 AM
    Also Alienware's top model is only a bit more expensive but it buys u soo much more bragging rights, not to mention their extremely stylish cases..
  • -3 Hide
    baracubra , June 20, 2008 10:31 AM
    If I was gonna dish out that much $$$ I'd go with a better named company with better support, something like Alienware and take their top model; 790i SLI mobo, Intel core 2 Extreme QX9770, 2x SLI 9800 GX2 etc...
  • 1 Hide
    jitpublisher , June 20, 2008 12:14 PM
    Yeah, why are there no Crysis benchmarks here?
    That was the only gaming benchmark that I was planning to take note of when I started the reading the article. This is like reviewing a new system 2 years ago and not running an Oblivian benchmark. Makes no sense?
  • 0 Hide
    BadMannerKorea , June 20, 2008 1:27 PM
    i was going to buy an ibuypower, but decided to make my own. if you spent 3500 on a homebuilt system, that would certainly be better than ibuypower. plus, if you look at the BBB website, they are doing horrible.
  • 0 Hide
    tallguy1618 , June 20, 2008 2:14 PM
    I think the game benchmarks for this review absolutely sucked. I mean, comon. You know that somethings wrong when mose of the game abenchmarks are ran in the 100 FPS range. Also, I don't give a crap how these 2 systems run archiac games like Prey and Serious Sam or even Quake 4. When is Toms Hardware going to realize that they need to update their benchmarks significally? The main thing I do on PC's is game, and right now I have no idea which system to choose because of the crappy game choices for benchmarking. I was disgusted by this review and I know there are others that feel the same way.
  • 1 Hide
    johnbilicki , June 20, 2008 2:52 PM
    For that money I could have built an XP-64 bit system with two 2GB sticks, a raid 0 raptor boot with a TB raid 1 D:\, and saved a ton of money by getting a real quad core CPU from AMD versus an Intel duo-core or dual-dual-core. Where is the dedicated audio card? I'd skip buying Creative of course with their known desire to not support their products. I don't play any of those games and I still like seeing Oblivion on benchmarks. Where is Crysis? Even though it's not really my kind of game it's benchmarking value is rather obvious. Lastly what is the warranty on the system? Do you get five years on the hard drive like you do if you buy a couple of Seagates? Or a ten year life-time warranty when you buy memory like Corsair?

    Pre-built systems may look nice though they generally are built for people who are going to burn money once every two or three years on a new system. I'm still happy with my 939 setup and won't bother to upgrade until socket AM3 any way.
  • 0 Hide
    scurvywombat , June 20, 2008 3:04 PM
    In regards to the testing, I'll echo other comments by wondering why Crysis, or at least COD4 weren't included. As for the system itself, I don't understand why IBuyPower wouldn't use a raptor or velociraptor for the OS and the TB for data, I think that would be more useful for most people. One last thing, the homebuilt vs prebuilt debate isn't really applicable here, anyone who can build their own rig will do so; so why even bother looking at an ibuypower?
  • 2 Hide
    jcwbnimble , June 20, 2008 3:55 PM
    I'm really dissapointed in Tom's after reading this review. First off, as others have mentioned, why isn't Cysis benchmarked? If you are spending $3500 on a rig, chances are you are buying it so you can run the highest settings on Crysis.

    Second, why would they even do the testing when the system they recevied is not the one customers will get? If someone is spending $3500 on a system, chances are they are not saavy enough to build one themselves, then they are probably not going to overclock the system. Also, the system they received is not even covered under the company's warranty.

    All Tom's did is prove they are desperate for material to right articles about, that Uberclok is a superior company, and that ibuypower is a bunch of cheating crooks.

    It's really been a mixed bag lately with Tom's sites. I've got to start looking elsewhere for my tech news.
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , June 20, 2008 4:13 PM
    Alright guys.

    First off, I challenge anyone who says that a product isn't worth reviewing. If all we did was review the industry best, 100% of the time, we really wouldn't have any idea what differentiates the best from the rest - would we? So the elitist 'let's only review the stuff we already know is great' attitude is pretty lame, as far as I'm concerned.

    Crysis? Yeah, that would have been nice. The reason we didn't bench it is that the closest system we had to compare the iBuypower to was the Uberclock system, which Crysis wasn't benched on and we no longer have in the lab. It wasn't my call not to bench Crysis on the Uberclock system in the first place.

    Having said that, who here is incapable of recognizing a performance difference without Crysis holding their hand? Seriously. Does the existence of Crysis make all other forms of performance measure useless? I don't think so, the delta is still there and demonstrates the point. And what about all of the other non-gaming benchmarks that are quite valid?

    Clearly, you guys want to see Crysis as a benchmark staple, I'm not even disagreeing with you and I'll do what I can to make sure it's always included in the future.

    What I don't understand is the hair trigger you guys have on the gun that instantly blasts any review as useless when, really, there's a hell of a lot of relevant content in there. There's plenty of information to base a valid conclusion on, even without Crysis.
  • 0 Hide
    phantomking , June 20, 2008 5:10 PM
    I have to disagree with you cleeve.

    Even though Crysis should not be the only means to benchmark a system, it is a standard today that should be used. Not all games scale the same with different system configurations, so looking at Prey and Quake 4 benchmarks will not definitively tell me how Crysis will perform on a specific system.

    Considering that game benchmarks are based on absolute numbers like FPS, having done a benchmark with Crysis would still be useful even though the there was no data available for the Uberclock.

    I still think the article was useful however.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 20, 2008 5:17 PM
    You're comparing a computer reviewed months ago, to a brand new one. Right there is a joke. What is the point of comparing a dual 8800gtx's (over a year and a half old card) to dual 9800gtx's (few months old)? Also, Uberclok now has the Reactor available with dual 9800gtx's for under $3000. Sorry, but your review is completely flawed and lacks logic imo. This is why I no longer turn to TH for reviews.
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , June 20, 2008 5:33 PM
    pokeefe363 What is the point of comparing a dual 8800gtx's (over a year and a half old card) to dual 9800gtx's (few months old)?


    The fact that the performance results were so close kind of justifies the comparison...
  • 0 Hide
    cleeve , June 20, 2008 5:39 PM
    phantomkingI have to disagree with you cleeve. Even though Crysis should not be the only means to benchmark a system, it is a standard today that should be used.


    I don't think you disagree with me, I never said Crysis shouldn't be benchmarked. As I said, I'd have preferred to have Crysis included as well and will do what I can to make sure it's included in the future.

    My point is that the lack of Crysis doesn't automatically invalidate the results and the review.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkstar , June 20, 2008 5:49 PM
    LOL gellert think's Alienware has good support! haha, no.

    I bought a $4,000 laptop from Alienware, it was DOA, sent it back, came back a month later and still DOA, asked for a refund, they said it's been over a month.

    Honestly, you can't possibly do worse than Alienware. They are the bottom of the bucket, most aweful computer company on the planet. www.alienwaresucks.com
  • 0 Hide
    phantomking , June 20, 2008 7:35 PM
    cleeveI don't think you disagree with me, I never said Crysis shouldn't be benchmarked. As I said, I'd have preferred to have Crysis included as well and will do what I can to make sure it's included in the future.My point is that the lack of Crysis doesn't automatically invalidate the results and the review.


    I think my disagreement stands. Even though you never said it shouldn't be benchmarked, you are saying it didn't matter. If you're reviewing a gaming PC today, especially a $3600 one, then Crysis is a must because it tests the extremes. It doesn't invalidate the results but they're incomplete and it leaves a gaping hole for the majority of readers.
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , June 20, 2008 8:57 PM
    My mistake. If you find a number of other synthetic, media ancoding, 3d rendering, and other game benchmarks completely invalidated because Crysis wasn't included... then I guess we do disagree. :) 
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