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System and Test Setup

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

First off, I think it’s important to make it absolutely clear that the iBuypower Gamer 942IL was delivered to us already overclocked by iBuypower; the QX9770 CPU was clocked at 3.52 GHz instead of the stock 3.2 GHz. iBuypower said they wanted to show what the system can do, and that’s fair enough – the problem is that iBuypower does not encourage overclocking, nor does it warrant overclocked systems, so what they sent us is something they themselves do not sanction. Admittedly it’s a modest 320 MHz overclock, and that shouldn’t make a colossal difference in the benchmarks, but it’s definitely important that our readers know this ahead of time and keep it in mind.

In our test, we will pit the 942IL against the Überclok Reactor, previously reviewed by my colleagues Thomas Soderstrom and Shelton Romhanyi. The Reactor costs about the same as the Gamer 942IL, but is based on some very different ideas. It’s a mainstream system factory overclocked to very high levels: a dual-core 3.0 GHz E8400 CPU that has been boosted to 4.01 GHz. This is how the Überclok Reactor is sold and warranted, by the way.

Let’s directly compare the two systems.

ibuypower gamer 942il

uberclok reactor specs

This is going to be interesting. Will the high clockspeed of the Reactor help it in the benchmarks, or will the four cores of the QX9770 thrust it ahead?

The 942IL has two new 9800 GTX video cards in SLI, but the Reactor has two 8800 GTX cards in SLI that actually have more memory bandwidth when compared to the 9800 GTX, due to their wider memory bus.

Due to these specifications, we anticipate the gaming performance should be close, but the quad cores of the QX9770 will help the 942IL pull ahead in the encoding benchmarks. Let’s see what happens!

ibuypower benchmarks (benchmark settings table from Excel)

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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
  • 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.
  • 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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