iBuyPower Trace 9240 Review
If you want fantastic value for a prebuilt gaming PC, the iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 is one desktop to go for. It features an Intel Core i9-9900K processor, 16GB DDR4 memory, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB) graphics card and of course an awesome design. You get a few other perks with this build including a chassis, unlike many, and see-through plexiglass panel to view the components in action. Others include easy tool-less access, and an array of RGB lit components for great effect. For all this, you get to pay slightly shy of $1600 which is a reasonable price for such a gaming rig.
- Fast Intel i9-9900K processor
- Latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU
- Plenty of storage and speed
- Roomy interior, great for expansion
- Neat design
- Lacks futuristic USB Type-C port
For a while, iBuyPower was unheard of company operating in the shadows of other great OEMs. But that hasn’t been the case since it started getting great online reviews for their awesome builds. The company has been hitting the right notes with their prebuilt systems aimed for gamers and enthusiasts. Their marketing through eSport teams is what particularly led me and a bunch of my colleagues into finding them out.
We review the iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 desktop, an entry-level gaming machine with all the perks of a high-end rig. It’s built for elite gamers who might be accustomed to building machines themselves. As it stands, it’s among the iBuyPower’s best gaming PCs, a prebuild focused on top-shelf performance. It packs some industry-leading components ideal to make it rival DIY machines in its category, and what’s interesting is it actually costs less. We dig deeper to find out how it stacks up against other sub $1500 gaming desktops.
iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 Specs
|Processor||Intel i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6 GHz|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||1TB SATA 240GB SSD (7200RPM)|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||19.5 x 8.5 x 19.8 inches|
|Ports||USB Ports- 6 USB 3.1 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports|
|Optical drive||DVD RW|
|Motherboard||Z370/ 500W power supply|
Design and Features
If you’ve seen or used an iBuyPower desktop before, then you’ll notice the chassis is pretty standard across most of their builds. The iBUYPOWER Trace 9220 Gaming Desktop and iBUYPOWER Elite Slate2 084i Gaming PC have an almost similar look to our unit. The common features in these builds is a sturdy built frame and chassis, a gorgeous pane of tempered glass replete with pulsing RGB lighting and four thumbscrews for easy access to the interior. Generally, this is a very attractive machine and when it turns on, it’s a futuristic box aglow with a broad spectrum of throbbing lights.
Looks aside, it measures 19.5 x 8.5 x 19.8 inches and weighs 30 pounds. Simply put, it’s more of a large PC that will take up a good chunk of your desk so prepare to empty some extra desk space. In essence, the iBUYPOWER Trace 9240 is in the same ranks as the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A7 desktop (18.5 x 7.9 x 17.9 inches, 27.3 pounds). But the latter is a few inches smaller. The iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 is a successor of the iBuyPower Trace 9220 so they have similar dimensions.
As mentioned earlier, accessing the interior is a cinch. It’s as easy as popping off the four thumbscrews on the tempered glass panel and removing it to get to the motherboard. This makes it pretty easy for tinkers to access the hood. The HDD bay, power supply, liquid cooling vents, and cables become immediately visible on opening and its clear that there is plenty of space for expansion.
A magnetic detachable filter covers the top portion of the ceiling right next to the ports. It acts as a well thought out ventilation system to let out hot air from the processor and the system. Secondly, it acts as a good dust-free airway to let in cool breeze into the system. It’s definitely a remarkable way of keeping the system unclogged with dust and running at tip-top shape.
iBuyPower has never been guilty of not having plenty of ports, but we are disappointed by the lack of a futuristic port for this modern gaming PC. One other minor quibble is the lack of an optical drive. However, optical drives are slowly becoming obsolete and it’s easy to get an external drive for a small price or download online (from websites like Steam and Origin). As a result, their use is more subjective and also having one at the front dash would ruin the whole gamer theme going on. On the bright side, the iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 comes packaged with a keyboard and mouse from iBuyPower. Neither of the two is top of the line but that is kind of expected for complimentary components. Even so, both should get you by until you’re ready to upgrade to a gaming mouse or gaming keyboard.
Still, on ports, the front top panel has but just a few ports for easy access. You get two USB 3.1, microphone and headphone, and a Reset button. The rear holds the bulk portion of the port system. You get two USB 2.0, two USB 3.1, one RJ-45 Network Ethernet, and Audio 7.1 channel. Thanks to the high-end GPU, you get a few extra ports including a single HDMI 2.0b and two DisplayPort 1.4, alongside a VirtualLink connector. The HDMI and DisplayPort come in handy when setting up a dual/ triple monitor setup.
Other connectivity options include 802.11AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
As for performance, it’s easy to know why the iBuyPower Pro is a tower brimming with power. The centerpiece of it all is the 9th Generation CPU, a chip that’s up to handling almost any conceivable task. According to Intel, the Core i9-9900K is the company’s flagship CPU meant for creatives and gamers. It is the processor to plump for if you’re a power-crazy media professional looking to do some video rendering and Photoshop.
Intel also suggests that the Intel Core i9-9900K is ‘the world’s best gaming desktop processor’. That’s a bold claim, sure – but with an overclock speed of 5GHz and the capacity to overclock, such a suggestion doesn’t seem so far fetched. Plus, there are a stonking eight cores and 16 threads, giving the Intel 9th Gen i9 a sizeable performance boost compared with last year’s offerings.
At highs of 5GHz, the i9-9900K CPU boasts the best-boosted clock speeds of all the Intel Core CPUs, as well as extending its lead over AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X by a sizeable margin. In real-world performance, that means it is the best consumer processor available for media work and 4K video rendering. Other features that come together with this new chip include Intel Optane memory support as well as support for Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds.
Memory and storage
Working together with the i9-9900K processor is the 16GB DDR4 memory and storage. We loved the fact that iBuyPower included plenty of memory on this PC. Because of it, the Trace 9240 can easily muscle through a wide range of tasks ranging from office productivity, web browsing, media streaming, photo editing to high-end gaming. The area that most needs memory is intensive gaming and 4K rendering. For this level of gaming, 16GB seems to be the sweet spot, meeting all of the memory needs for unimpeded gameplay without throwing extra money into an already-expensive system.
As for storage, iBuyPower did a great job including a 1TB mechanical hard drive and 240 GB solid-state drive. That’s plenty of storage space for saving all your favorite games and saving your content. The 1TB HDD should provide space for multimedia, data, and games while the 240GB SSD space to load your Operating system from. Loading the OS from the SSD allows fast boot times which means you won’t have to wait for your PC to load up, longer than a few seconds.
The highlight of it all is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card that our unit comes with. This is Nvidia’s new graphics card, with the lowest price and as a result more reach to PC gamers. Out of Nvidia’s Turing card, the GeForce RTX 2080, RTX 2080Ti and RTX 2070, the RTX 2070 is the more popular and close to being the most reasonably affordable.
Not only is the RTX the cheapest Turing card, but it also packs more power that allows it to leapfrog it’s GTX 1070 predecessor in performance. That means it packs enough muscle to knock on the doors of the high-end GPUs.
Compared to Nvidia’sTuring RTX lineup, the RTX 2070 has significantly fewer Ray Tracing (RT) cores and AI-powered Tensor cores. For that reason, it is the least powerful card in the lineup. However, because there still aren’t any real-world ray tracing or deep learning super-sampling (DLSS) benchmarks, we don’t yet know how well this GPU will handle Nvidia’s latest graphics technologies.
One of its biggest flaws is that the RTX 2070 does not support pairing multiple GPUs through SLI. Nvidia did introduce a new way of pairing Turing cards, one with higher bandwidth (NVLink Bridge connector). The RX 2070, however, doesn’t have this new connector which means if you want a multi-GPU setup you will have to spend more for a higher-end Nvidia GPU.
RTX 2070 and Gaming
As I earlier mentioned, the RTX 2070 is the lowest card in the Turing lineup and that also applies to performance. It has the lowest amount of Tensor cores and ultimately the lowest performance of the three in HD gaming and 4K. On the flip side, there is a stark difference compared to its predecessor; the GTX 1070. The RTX 2070 delivers double-digit frame rate increases over the GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti and other cards above that. It’s without question a remarkable graphics card that puts 4K gaming within reach of mid-range graphics cards.
The RTX 2070 brings Ray tracing and DLSS to the table, features not available on other previous cards. However, since there are no games out yet to leverage this technology, we’ve yet to see how well it will work on this or any Turing GPUs in a real-world scenario. With that said, we can still measure gaming performance without the new technology.
In real-world gaming scenarios, the RTX 2070 manages good performance on 1080p settings. Few gamers even bother aiming for 4K gaming, as it’s simply too demanding. As a result, we focused more on 1080p performance. The RTX 2070 managed 47 fps on 4K very high settings and 153 fps on 1080p very high settings.
|Battlefield 4 (2013)||199||201||200||195.7||102.3|
|GTA V 3 (2015)||166.6||153.8||135||107||79|
|The Witcher 3 (2015)||297||237||164||89.9||64|
|Rainbow Six Seige (2015)||316||265||251||240||115|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||262||191||156||130||58|
|Far Cry Primal (2016)||124||111||101||94||59|
One of the Intel i9-9900K’s biggest caveat is heat generation. The processor is so powerful, consumes plenty of power and dissipates a lot of heat, especially under load. This means that you need to have a powerful fan to handle the heat, otherwise the CPU will be suffering from overheating issues. Fortunately, iBuyPower included a water cooling solution to handle this problem. One of the other things they did is include a cleverly designed case with improved side panel vents for optimized airflow. The design is neat as it allows accumulated heat to escape therefore preventing heat build-up in the system. This works well with the removable magnetic filter that also acts as a vent for hot air to escape.
The processor comes with a stock cooler, a 120mm fan. If you’re planning to game, we recommend changing this to a 240mm fan to better handle the heat.
An all-around Winner
If you’re looking for a rig to get you through some AAA titles at great frame rates quickly and cheaply, the iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 is an excellent introductory option. It features some of the best high-end components to get you the performance edge over other similarly priced PCs. Right off the box, it is VR ready and gaming ready thanks to an Intel i9-9900K processor, 16GB of RAM, plenty of HDD and SSD storage. But perhaps the most powerful component of them all is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card (Turing). With this card, you’ll always be well ahead of the curve in terms of the next generation of PC gaming.
Of course, the fun doesn’t end there. Perhaps the most impressive part is of the iBuyPower Pro Trace 9240 offering is the price tag. Despite a new, high-end RTX card and that rock-solid CPU, the Trace 9240 comes in at just under $1600. This is mostly attributed to iBuyPower trimming off all non-essential frills that usually add up the price of a similarly specced machines from other manufacturers. You won’t find an over-elaborate liquid cooling system, overdone RGB lighting, or muscle lines on the design. The aesthetic is simply put, enough. There’s also plenty of space in the case to muck around when upgrading. And also a side panel to see through the internals. It’s the epitome of function over form and available at a nearly unbeatable price point. It easily makes our Editor’s Choice for budget mainstream gaming desktops.