The iBuyPower Trace2 9250 Desktop represents the shortlist of powerful gaming desktops with a budget price to their name. It packs a solid assembly of features that make it deliver not just high productivity levels but also drive the latest games on Full HD and 1440p. The iBuyPower Trace2 9250 takes up the Editor’s Choice award for best budget gaming desktops in place of the iBuyPower Trace 9240 desktop.
- 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
Like its predecessor, the iBuyPower Trace 9240 desktop, the iBuyPower Trace2 9250 is this year’s new fantastic value prebuilt gaming PC. It shares a feature-rich assembly of components with noticeable improvements on a few items. I’m talking about an Intel Core i7-9700F processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB, 16GB DDR4 memory, 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Wi-Fi and Win 10 Home. Simply put, the Trace2 9250 is a breath of fresh air to avid gamers.
You get a few other perks with this build including an attractive 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 $1000 which is a reasonable price for an entry-level gaming desktop. Simply put, the Trace2 9250 is a breath of fresh air. Nowadays, it’s within almost every determined PC shopper’s grasp to get a PC with the graphics power necessary to drive the latest games on a full HD (1080p) monitor at lofty detail settings. We’re glad that the iBuyPower Trace2 9250 joins the ranks of such budget-minded PCs. But how does it stack up against other entry-level gaming PCs?
iBuyPower Trace2 9250 Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9700F|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||240GB SSD and 1TB HDD|
|Graphics card||Nvidia RTX 1660 Ti 6GB|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||23.1 x 21.9 x 13.5 inches|
Design and Features
Like the iBuyPower Trace 9230 and iBuyPower Trace 9240, our review unit Trace 2 9250 takes up a traditional desktop-tower shape. That means you get 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 sleek-looking machine and when it turns on, it’s a futuristic box aglow with a broad spectrum of throbbing lights. The case stuns at first glance but the two LED strips of light at the front panel are the hot-rod of the PC. The side panels would have been dull were it not for the glass panel and the blue RGB light that steals the show.
In terms of dimensions, the iBuyPower Trace2 9250 casts a wide net. It measures 23.1 x 21.9 x 13.5 inches and weighs 29.9 pounds. That is certainly a larger footprint than its predecessor the iBuyPower Trace 9240. Also, the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A7 desktop (18.5 x 7.9 x 17.9 inches, 27.3 pounds) is a few inches smaller. As a result, you should be ready to clear out a reasonable amount of space on your desk. Since it will take up a good chunk of your work area and weigh like a fat brick, we wouldn’t advise moving it around often.
Lastly, we loved that iBuyPower made accessing the interior a walk in the park. All you need is to pop off the thumbscrews on the tempered glass’ edge and you’re in. The easy-open door at least makes it simple to tinker with cable routing, and components should you need to. This is a common attribute among most of the iBuyPower desktops we’ve reviewed and it makes it pretty easy to upgrade. The HDD bay, power supply, liquid cooling vents, and cables become immediately visible on opening and it’s clear that there is plenty of space for expansion. On the whole, I find the aesthetic design is much similar to the predecessor but overall appealing.
One of the more practical features of this desktop is the ‘removable ceiling’. Like on the iBuyPower Trace 9240, there is 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’s a good dust-free airway to let in cool breeze into the system. Since dust can be a computer system’s worst enemy, the filter cleans all the air making entry into the system. It’s definitely a remarkable way of keeping the system unclogged with dust and running at tip-top shape.
There is a rich assortment of ports on this PC and to say the least, iBuyPower has never been guilty of not having plenty of ports both at the front and rear. However, our gripe with this new version, like its predecessor is the lack of a futuristic port. This is a modern gaming PC and it should at least have a single USB Type-C with charging capacity at the front. Still, on the lack thereof, there is no optical drive as well.
The front top panel has but just a few ports for easy access. You get two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A), microphone and headphone ports, a reset button and a power button. Meanwhile, the rear holds the larger portion of the port system. You get two USB 2.0b, two USB 3.1, one RJ-45 Network Ethernet, and Audio 7.1 channel. The high-end Nvidia GTX 1600 Ti GPU, there are a few extra ports including a single HDMI 2.0, a single VDI port and DisplayPort 1.4. The HDMI and DisplayPort come in handy when setting up a dual/ triple monitor setup.
There is no VirtualLink connector, the latest versions of the ubiquitous technologies you’d need to power most G-Sync HDR monitors. Notably, the connector is found on the Turing RTX 2070 and above.
Other connectivity options include 802.11AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also included in the package are an iBUYPOWER Gaming Keyboard & RGB Gaming Mouse. iBuyPower does not include a monitor as part of the package but you can buy the 27-inch Dell D2719HGF monitor (with AMD FreeSync) and a high-speed 4K HDMI cable as part of the package.
As for what you’ll find inside, iBuyPower spared no expense. The Trace2 9250 is fitted with an Intel’s 9th Generation Core i7-9700F (eight-core) processor, 16GB DDR4 memory, 256GB solid-state drive and 1TB hard drive storage. That alone speaks volumes of the PC’s productivity and gaming performance. I must say, this is a notable improvement from its predecessor’s (iBuyPower Trace 9240) Intel i9-9900K processor 16GB DDR4 memory, and 1TB hard drive storage…with more emphasis on the processor and storage. The iBuyPower Trace 9230, its bigger sibling, features a high-end spec sheet too – Intel Core i9-9900K processor and Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB). But the rest of the features are similar.
Other desktops aside, the Trace2 9250’s processor is one of a kind. Based on Coffee Lake architecture, the Core i7-9700F processor (F means it has no integrated graphics) is a high-end CPU, identical to the Core i7-9700 but without integrated graphics. It’s made for web browsing, photo-editing, heavy productivity tasks, and some moderate video encoding. That means it should easily handle office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing and video conferencing with aplomb.
Memory and storage
Storage was one of the features that iBuyPower upgraded. In our review unit, storage comes through snappy 240GB solid-state drive which isn’t available on the predecessors. 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. You also get additional 1TB hard drive storage. The large storage option is essential for storing huge volumes of data, games or multimedia.
The system also includes a 16GB DDR memory for handling all the multitasking tasks. 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. However, if you need more memory, it is easy to upgrade.
As far as gaming and graphics go, the Trace2 9250 flaunts an RTX 1660 Ti graphics card. This is clearly a first for iBuyPower considering the Trace 9230 and 9240 both came with RTX 20 series cards such as the RTX 2070. With that said, unlike the RTX 2070 and 2080 cards, the RTX 1660 Ti has no Real-Time Ray Tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) capabilities. That translates to no RT and Tensor cores. On the whole, the GTX 1660 Ti is an exceptional card and it delivers excellent frame rates with many games at 1080p for high-refresh play, certainly better than the GTX series cards. If you have a gaming monitor with a refresh rate higher than the 60Hz norm, the card will serve you.
Some of the gaming benchmark scores for AAA games:
|Battlefield 1||135 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (1080p)||109 fps|
|Destiny 2 (DX11)||122.1 fps|
On SteamVR performance, the desktop reaches a perfect 8, making it Oculus Rift and HTC Vive ready.
Thanks to the RTX 1660 Ti card’s big thermal solution, that helps the GPU operate in low temperatures, there is no much heating on this PC. There is a relative amount of heat under load at which point the cleverly designed case with improved side panel vents for optimized airflow comes into play. 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 iBuyPower Trace2 9250 is about as straightforward as it gets for most high-end gaming desktops. Aside from attractive build quality, it brags of a powerful i7-9700F processor, 16GB memory, 240GB SSD, 1TB hard drive and Nvidia RTX 1660Ti GPU. Any gamer would enjoy its power but most particularly its price to performance ratio. Some of the other aspects you’ll come to appreciate are the easy to access the tool-less interior, decent cable management, good cooling and plenty of space for expansion.
For the price the Trace2 9250 sells for, you will be hard-pressed to find better value for money. It’s certainly a recommendable option for users looking for an affordable entry-level gaming desktop with RTX 1660 Ti performance and productivity.
Is there another alternative
One of the alternatives to our unit could be the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8060A7 desktop that sells for about $100 less than our unit. It packs a similar Intel i5-9400F processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6GB graphics card, 8GB DDR4 memory, 120GB SSD and 1TB HDD storage. From the specification list, it’s obvious you lose half the memory capacity and half the SSD storage. Nonetheless, it is still a good option if you need a more budget option and don’t mind the design and brand change.
A second good option would be the high-end brother of our unit, the iBuyPower Trace 9230. It offers a new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU and a peppy Intel Core -9-9900K processor but it costs a few hundred bucks more. It would be recommendable for avid gamers looking for the RT and Tensors cores and Real-Time Ray tracing capability for their games.
Should you buy it?
Yes. As priced, the iBuyPower Trace2 9250 easily falls in the category of budget entry-level gaming PCs. With the features it comes with, it’s an effective all-rounder managing to demonstrate strong capabilities in general use and 1080p gaming as well. It’s a very capable gaming machine that beats mot pricier systems with its price to performance ratio.