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.
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!
(benchmark settings table from Excel)