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iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 Review

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The iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 is, without a doubt, a fine desktop with the chops to satisfy the mainstream productivity world. One of the great things we loved about it is its low starting price which brings it down to an affordable level for most prospective budget buyers.

While it doesn’t promise to have the best in components, the assembly of features available come together to make a perfect PC for seamless day-to-day productivity. It’s a good choice if you can find it for $500 but the HP Pavilion 690-0020 is a better choice for the price and gaming performance. We recommend it above and beyond this unit.

iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element 9260...

Pros

  • Impressive design
  • Plenty of expansion space
  • Great at general productivity
  • Great low starting price
  • Plenty of hard drive storage

Cons

  • Competitors offer better options
  • Lacks future proof ports like USB-C
  • Lacks SSD storage
iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element 9260...
  • System: Intel Core i7-9700F 8-Core 3.0 GHz (4.70 GHz Max Turbo) | 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM | 1TB HDD |...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Dedicated Gaming Video Card | VR Ready | 1x DVI | 1x HDMI |...
  • Connectivity: 4 x USB 3 .0 | 2 x USB 2 .0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 | Audio: 7.1...

Nowadays, building a personal gaming computer has become a somewhat rite of passage for any PC gamer. However, not everyone has the skills or resources to build a powerful tricked out desktop. So sometimes it’s just easier to have someone do it for you. And if you can find a prebuilt PC for cheaper than what it costs to build, then that’s even better and a hard bargain to walk away from.

The iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 is one such PC. It’s a great PC from a boutique manufacturer with the building experience; which is why the PC is well priced and performs impressively.

Inside, it packs a six-core Intel Core i7-9700F CPU processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, 240GB SSD + 1TB HDD mechanical drive storage and an old school NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU graphics card. While you might not have heard about some of these components (they’re not as premium), they come together to give this PC the raw power to handle both day-to-day productivity, and professional work for creatives.

This review breaks down whether the iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 is a great choice for you for work, play or gaming, and what other options you might have. Read on.

iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 Specs

Processor 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7-9700F CPU 6-Core (4.1 GHz Turbo)
RAM16GB DDR4
Storage240GB SSD + 1TB HDD Hard drive
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Connectivity802.11ac Wireless Wi-Fi
Dimensions25 x 12.5 x 21.4 inches
Weight30 pounds
Warranty1 Year
Optical DriveNot Available

Design and Features

iBuyPowerPC desktops traditionally represent the budget market, that’s from the gaming PCs we’ve seen and reviewed in the past few years. The likes of iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Desktop Trace 9220 and the iBUYPOWER Elite Gaming Computer Desktop PC are a relatively affordable way to get into gaming. That speaks volumes about their general design and aesthetic. iBuyPowerPC goes hard on the design front and it’s one of the few boutique manufacturers who consistently have a see-through panel on their side panel, a blinding array of LED lights and a breathtaking gamer front dash.

Fortunately, the iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 design doesn’t fall too far from the tree either. It leverages on design with a beautiful glass-paneled case, with muscle lines at its front deck and a red-accented LED strip running from the top right corner diagonally to its bottom left side.

When the PC is on, the strip lights up giving the iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 it’s gaming luster. Aside from an attractive LED lid interior and performance, the design is indeed the most pivotal aspect of this unit.

At 25 x 12.5 x 21.4 inches and weighing 30 pounds, the iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 stands towering above most mainstream PCs. You’ll definitely have to clear out your desk space for it or place it under your workspace desk or beside it. Compared to other favorites, it takes up more space than the iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Desktop Trace 9220 (19.76 by 8.54 by 19.48 inches (HWD) and 30 pounds) and the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A5 Gaming PC (18.46 x 7.87 x 17.89 inches).

iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260

Both of these examples have better designs, performance and consequently cost more. But if you can spare the cash, they’re great deals too.

Easy Access Inside

Aside from the intuitive and space-saving design, iBUYPOWERPC taunts a tool-less designed case too. Getting under the hood is pretty easy as it requires unscrewing only four latches on the side panel by hand. That really makes the whole upgrading and serviceability process painstakingly easy. It’s great that the company does this with most of its PCs or at least the bulk of iBuyPowerPC desktops we’ve reviewed.

Ports

The iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 case is ostentatious and gamer themed, and I suppose iBuyPower didn’t want to ruin the front deck with ports. So you won’t see any ports at the front porch. There are notably some at the top ceiling next to the power button, microphone, and headphone jack. There are only two USB 3.0 ports here, well-positioned for efficiency.

The GeForce GT 710 graphics card gives you one each of VGA, HDMI and DVI-D outputs ports which help to connect to an external monitor of your choice or a multi-monitor setup. Additionally,  you’ll be able to display 3D content on supported TVs and displays with billions of colors and support for 7.1 surround sound.

The bulk of the port system hides at the rear. You’ll find 2 USB 2.0 ports, an RJ-45 Network Ethernet port, and an Audio 7.1 channel. Other connectivity options available include the 802.11ac wireless Wi-Fi.

Performance

Our unit iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 came with components such as an Intel Core i7-9700F CPU 6-Core processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, 240GB SSD + 1TB HDD of mechanical hard drive for primary storage and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU Dedicated Graphics Card. They are all covered with a one-year parts warranty.

The Intel Core i7-9700F CPU has six processing cores and up to 4.1GHz frequency to make short work of almost any task you throw at it. While the Intel Core i7-9700F CPU processor shows its age when compared to recent Intel and AMD processors, like the Ryzen 3, it still is capable of handling itself.

The CPU packs six cores with no hyper-threading but it makes up for that with plenty of overclocking capacity. This means, its single-core performance is decent but maxes out to improve performance when you overclock the processor.

I would like to say that the price of this PC sort of justifies the components; sort of being the keyword here. If you can find a PC with more cores and multi-threading support, then that is better and should offer you a world of difference.

I’m sure since this processor was released other alternatives have come up, so I will be updating when I have other PCs with better processors than this. For now, don’t fret, it still works fine for the budget price you pay for it.

Update:

The HP Pavilion 690-0020 desktop (Intel i3-8100 CPU) and the HP Pavilion 790-0020 desktop (Intel i5-8400 CPU) make a formidable case in terms of processor performance. They both offer a modern processor capable of handling multi-core and multi-threaded core performance without breaking a sweat.

For the most part, this is one of the reasons why the HP Pavilion 690 performs better than our unit. Check out the comparison table for more details.

Storage and Memory

In terms of storage, iBuyPowerPC included plenty of mechanical drive storage, 1 TB to be precise. For most users, that should be enough for backing up their data, media files, movies, and programs. However, if you prioritize speed over capacity, you can always boost your storage with a 256GB solid-state drive (or 128GB SSD, whichever you can afford).

It will go a long way in ensuring you get the fast boot times and quick loading of software and programs.

In terms of memory, there is an 16GB DDR4 RAM available. Usually, 8GB is considered the standard when it comes to productivity tasks and gaming. 8GB is sufficient to handle such tasks, simple games and a bit of multitasking.

But for users looking to do more professional work, play more demanding games and handle more multitasking tasks, 16 GB is a great choice of upgrade. Our only gripe with this memory card is that it is a DDR3 meaning it doesn’t perform as fast and efficiently as the DDR4. So the iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 is disadvantaged in that sense.

Gaming Performance

The iBuyPower is jacked with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU Dedicated Graphics Card. At this point most of you might think, this is an old graphics card and isn’t capable of much. Well, that’s true. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU is an entry-level GPU, yes a bit dated, and while Nvidia claims it’s up to 10x better in performance than integrated cards, it’s nothing close being gaming in this day and age.

Don’t expect much if you’re planning on playing modern AAA titles on it, it’s really not a sensible performance upgrade for gaming. Additionally, while the processor doesn’t account for much in graphics performance its abysmal multi-core performance doesn’t help it in processor-intensive tasks and games.

If you’re really determined and your expectations are low, you can try gaming with some less demanding titles and online games. Meaning you can play games if you’re willing to play them at only a couple of frames per second.

Alternatively, you can opt to upgrade to at least an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti. The processor performance might be a bit bottlenecked but the performance will improve drastically. Also, be sure to upgrade your power supply to accommodate for the increase in power uptake.

For users whose sole intention isn’t gaming, the iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 works perfectly fine. It is a workhorse capable of content creation, editing photos and a bit of rendering.

Are there other alternatives?

 iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260HP Pavilion 690-0020 DesktopHP Pavilion 790-0020 Desktop
Processor Intel Core i7-9700F CPUAMD Ryzen 5 2400G Processor2.8 GHz Core i5 8400
RAM16GB DDR4 RAMModern 8GB DDR4Similar 8GB DDR4 (2666 MHz)
Storage240GB SSD + 1TB HDD Hard drive1TB 7200RPM256GB SSD
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU Dedicated Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 580 (4GB memory)Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (3GB GDDR5)
Operating SystemWindows 10 HomeAlso Windows HomeThe Windows 10
Connectivity802.11ac Wireless Wi-Fi802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.2802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions25 x 12.5 x 21.4 inches11 x 6.7 x 13.3 inches14.8 x 6.1 x 14.4 inches
Weight30 pounds8.12 pounds18 pounds
Optical DriveNot AvailableAvailableDVD-RW
 iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 ReviewHP Pavilion 690-0020 ReviewHP Pavilion 790-0020 Desktop Review

The HP Pavilion 690-0020 desktop cost the same as our iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 unit but it has the advantage of an updated graphics card (AMD Radeon RX 580 with 4GB memory). This means you can game harder on the Pavilion 690-0020 and handle professional applications, video editing, and rendering.

Additionally, the HP Pavilion 790-0020 Desktop gives more power with a GTX 1060 graphics card, 256 GB SSD and modern 2.8 GHz Core i5 8400 processor. Ultimately, if you don’t want to spend more, the HP Pavilion 790-0020 is a great go-to alternative.

Conclusion

The iBUYPOWER Desktop Element 9260 is great but its components don’t pass the test for hardcore gaming. However, it ticks all the right boxes for every day tasks such as web browsing, running concurrent applications, playing media like Full HD (1080p) video and some light editing.

Other than that, the GPU brings in more video outputs meaning you can have a dual or triple monitor set up. You also get acceleration in application performance such as Adobe Photoshop. With gaming effectively ruled out, we recommend it for budget users on the lookout for productivity PC.

P/S But if gaming is your preference, the HP Pavilion Power 690-0020 meets your budget (sells for the same price) and has the graphics card for gaming intensively graphics tasks. Long story short, if you’re still debating on whether the iBuyPowerPC is a good PC, it is but the HP Pavilion Power 690-0020 offers better value and performance.

Better yet, its predecessor, the HP Pavilion Power 790-0020 is a powerful option but cost a bit more. It remains our Editor’s Choice for general productivity and gaming.

iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element 9260...
  • System: Intel Core i7-9700F 8-Core 3.0 GHz (4.70 GHz Max Turbo) | 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM | 1TB HDD |...
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Dedicated Gaming Video Card | VR Ready | 1x DVI | 1x HDMI |...
  • Connectivity: 4 x USB 3 .0 | 2 x USB 2 .0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 | Audio: 7.1...

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing as a guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets on FancyAppliance.com.