iBuyPower Gaming RDY SLIIBG213
Big bang for your buck.
IBUYPOWER IS CARVING out a share of the pre-built market by being reactive, building well-designed PCs, and pricing its rigs around (or in some cases below) DIY costs. It has shown a willingness to listen to complaints from enthusiasts and professionals, and course-correct accordingly, which is seen to nice effect here with the Gaming RDY SLIIBG213.
Let’s start on the surface. The SLIIBG213’s case, the Slate 2, finds a nice balance between “gamer” aesthetic and clean industrial design. The front panel gives the appearance of brushed gunmetal, vividly bisected by two slashes of RGB, with the iBuyPower logo tastefully etched near the bottom. It’s a good look, and blends form with function: The front panel is also host to a number of fairly broad exhaust vents, allowing air to travel horizontally through the machine.
The side panel is a beautiful pane of tempered glass, giving a view of the spacious interior. While it’s nice to see a machine that isn’t so crowded that it incites thermal panic, the components take up so little of the interior real estate that you wonder if the form factor couldn’t have been reduced. The Asus B360M motherboard looks like an island tucked in one corner of the capacious case, with swaths of unused territory on both sides.
The upside of all that space is that it makes tinkering with the internals a breeze. There’s no worry of jarring cables loose while you try to squeeze your fingertips into tiny spaces between parts, and the interior is a cinch to access, too—just remove four thumbscrews on the tempered glass side panel, and the majority of the architecture is exposed to your whims, minus the PSU and HDD storage bay, which are concealed behind a beefy custom PSU shroud.
Mounted to the mobo
you’ll find a Core i5-9400F, squarely in the middle of Intel’s ninth-gen Coffee Lake offerings (the “F” indicates that it lacks integrated graphics, hardly a concern in a gaming PC). It’s a great chip for balancing price and performance, and part of how iBuyPower can keep the MSRP for this machine close to the $1,000 mark (the current retail price on its website is $1,149).
Naturally, the GPU selection is another critical piece of that price point. iBuyPower has opted for the low end of the RTX family, the 2060, meaning you get dedicated support for ray tracing and DLSS, paired with capable performance at QHD. Alternately, it means that you can push massive frame rates at 1080p if you’ve invested a bundle of cash in a monitor with a killer refresh rate, and you value FPS more than resolution.
The most impressive part of that reasonable price tag, however, is the DIY comparison. Without taking the pack-in mouse and keyboard into consideration, pricing up a similar machine ran us just in excess of $1,200. The SLIIBG213’s $1,149 by comparison isn’t a massive difference, but given that you’re essentially getting an SI to build your machine (not to mention a three-year warranty) for $50 less than it would cost to build yourself, it’s a pretty remarkable number.
If there’s an Achilles heel here, it’s that the SLIIBG213 isn’t a particularly futureproofed machine. While the motherboard will accommodate a higher-end CPU than the included i5-9400F, it doesn’t support overclocking, and although the 600W PSU provides ample juice for the stock configuration, it doesn’t leave you a tremendous amount of overhead if you do want to start piling in more highend components. We also would have appreciated a little more storage space— in an era when games can consume more than 100GB of storage apiece, 500GB looks pretty slim.
As its name suggests, the Gaming RDY SLIIBG213 is begging to be plugged into a wall, have some peripherals attached, and dive into your Steam library. If you’re looking for a machine in the $1,000 range that will secure you a spot firmly in the 1440p era of gaming, you’d be hardpressed to find a better option without building it yourself, and iBuyPower is more than happy to save you some labor (and even a little cash). Plus:
Smart component selection; 1440p ready; intelligent, attractive design.Minus:
Lacks a future-proofed motherboard; limited stock storage.Price:
Processor: Intel Core i5-9400F
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 OC 6GB GDDR6
RAM: 16GB Adata DDR4-2666
Motherboard: Asus TUF B360M-Plus Gaming S
Primary Storage: 500GB WD Blue SSD
Cooling Solution: iBuyPower 120mm RGB liquid-cooling system
PSU: 600W 80 Plus Gold
Case: iBuyPower Slate 2
Warranty: Three-year standard warranty service