iBUYPOWER Same Day RDY Gaming PC Review: Cheaper Than DIY?
A Pre-Built AMD Ryzen Gaming PC That Isn’t Overpriced
Building up a system from scratch isn’t for everyone, and while many of our readers are enthusiasts that build and upgrade their own PCs (as well as being full-time tech support for family and friends), sometimes it’s just easier for someone to buy a complete system. In fact, depending on the current market for individual components it can even save some money vs. DIY if you shop around.
If you’ve shopped for an affordable gaming PC the iBUYPOWER brand may already be a familiar one, particularly if you have looked at Best Buy’s gaming PC offering at any point in recent memory. The company offers direct sales of built-to-order systems online via their “Custom Configurator”, and also a line of “RDY” systems which are pre-built and ship on the same business day (if you order by their 1:00 PM Pacific cut-off time).
Sure, we are an enthusiast-focused PC hardware website that has been testing and publishing reviews of individual components for many years now, but complete systems can be fun, too. And when iBUYPOWER offered to loan us an AMD Ryzen 3000-powered gaming PC for review we were interested. So, how does the value, component quality, and overall build with this system stack up against a DIY gaming PC? Let’s find out.
Shortly after we returned this system to iBUYPOWER its exact model number/configuration was discontinued. It turns out these Same Day RDY systems are subject to change, though another system with identical components but a different case has been added in its place. I reviewed model SLIIRG201, and model TRIIRG202 has replaced it.
Because all of the internal components are identical and it’s still being offered at the same price, I went ahead with the review. After all, it’s what’s inside that counts. The computer, I mean.
- Model Number: 5000
- Intel: Thing1, Thing2
- AMD: Socket Thing3, Other uses
- Dimensions: 105 x 104 x 135 mm / 4.13 x 4.09 x 5.31 inches
- Overall Weight: 560 g / 19.75 oz (including fan)
- Material of Base Plate: Nickel-plated copper 38 x 38 mm
- Fan Specifications:
- Dimensions: 92 x 92 x 26 mm / 3.62 x 3.62 x 1.02 inch
- Air Flow: 11.46 – 83.04 m³/h = 6.75 – 48.878 CFM
- Fan Speed: 300 – 2,300 rpm (regulated via PWM)
- Static Pressure: 7.35～22.46 Pa / 0.75～2.29 mmH2O
- Interesting Other Things
- Which Can Be Removed, or added to
- New Sub Listings of grouped items can be added:
- Multiple Sub Sections Can be added
- With as many items as needed
- This should be the “dry” specs, no editorializing.
$28.45 USD list (returns to stock in USA this month)
“This should be quoted and leave the EM brackets, as it is set up to be a real description from the Manufacturer themselves”
Packaging and Contents
Our loaner Same Day RDY system arrived in a standard enclosure box inside a larger outer box, and it survived the perils of ground shipping without issue. Inside the system was adequately protected with the usual styrofoam pieces, with the keyboard, mouse, and power cable tucked inside next to the case.
In the last photo from the gallery above you might have noticed the large piece of packing material, and this is made of an instapak expanding foam section that fully encompasses the heatsink. This is an important consideration, and prevents what can be catastrophic damage during transit when larger heatsinks are dislodged from rough handling (I’ve seen it, and it’s not pretty). So, A+ for packaging.
Design and Build Quality
While the front panel of the case offers some visual interest via an RGB strip (that actually looks quite a bit better in person), the overall design is not going to come as any surprise. This is a standard mid-tower computer, with an otherwise familiar-looking case. I’m not complaining – so far this looks like a DIY computer in a nice case. (As reviewed this was using iBUYPOWER’s “Slate 2 Pro ARGB” case, and the current version uses the “Trace 2 PRO Tempered Glass ARGB” case, instead.)
Cable routing is OK, and taking the rear side panel off we see where the cable mess is hiding. It could be better, but it’s out of sight and of course you’d have the option of cleaning it up a bit yourself. I left everything as-is for these photos. Of note is the integration of an ASUS Addressable RGB Card on the case floor, as well as a hub behind the motherboard tray. I’m not familiar with this ASUS card – with the closest thing I can find being the ROG Aura Terminal ARGB Controller – though this could be an OEM equivalent minus the enclosure and accessories.
The Gaming RDY SLIIRG201
With the packing materials removed and the system components exposed, we see a clean, unassuming build comprised of off-the-shelf components. No OEM-specific parts or generic green PCBs here.
A gaming PC is only as good as the parts within, and I appreciate the fact that a full list of the components used in these RDY systems is provided on the product page. Sure, the exact PSU model is not provided, but that’s the only thing missing.
For its $949 asking price this is what you get (from the iBUYPOWER website):
- Case: iBUYPOWER Slate 2 Pro ARGB
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor (6x 3.6GHz/32MB L3 Cache)
- Processor Cooling: ENERMAX 120mm T40FIT CPU Cooler
- Memory: 16GB [8GB x 2] DDR4-3000MHz ADATA XPG
- Storage: 500GB Western Digital Blue SSD
- Video Card: MSI VENTUS GeForce GTX 1660 Ti – 6GB GDDR6 (VR Ready)
- Game Bundle: [FREE] – Get Xbox Game Pass for PC Game Bundle – w/ Purchase of AMD Graphics or AMD Processors
- Motherboard: ASUS PRIME B450M-A
- Power Supply: 500 Watt – Standard 80 PLUS Bronze
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home + Office 365 Trial [FREE 30 Day Trial]
- Keyboard: iBUYPOWER Standard Gaming Keyboard
- Mouse: iBUYPOWER Gaming Optical Mouse
- Warranty: 3 Year Standard Warranty Service
- Rush Service: 2-Day
Since I could go hands-on with the system we borrowed for this review I was able to look at each component and identify the PSU, which was a CWT (Channel Well Technology) model GPT500S-A. CWT is a solid OEM, and can be found inside power supplies such as the CORSAIR RM750 we reviewed this year. (It’s worth noting that a lack of a particular PSU model in the spec list could indicate that iBUYPOWER is sourcing more than one model.)
For those interested the included ADATA XPG memory is model AX4U300038G16-BSZ, and the full GPU product name from MSI is VENTUS GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6G OC.
The Value Proposition
Here we come to the biggest topic for a DIY enthusiast: how much would I spend the build this system myself? Granted, part of the appeal of a pre-built system is warranty/support from a single company, but if we’re just talking about component cost here’s what I could come up with on Amazon based on the build list (prices current as of 11/26/19):
- Motherboard: ASUS PRIME A450M-A/CSM, $76.99
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600, $194.00
- CPU Cooler: ENERMAX 120mm T40FIT, $36.70
- Memory: 16GB (8GB x 2) ADATA XPG DDR4-3000, CL16, $56.99
- Graphics Card: MSI VENTUS GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6G OC, $279.99
- Storage: 500GB Western Digital Blue SSD: $64.99
- Power Supply (approximate equivalent): Seasonic S12III 500W 80 Plus Bronze PSU, $54.98
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home OEM, $96.99
Total without case: $861.63
While the iBUYPOWER system we borrowed used a case that you can’t currently buy separately, the update seems to be a Phanteks Eclipse P360X (or something very similar), which currently sells for $79.99 + $13.99 shipping on Amazon.
Total with a Phanteks Eclipse P360X case: $955.61
Bottom line? iBUYPOWER is spot on with their pricing even compared to a nearly identical DIY build when buying the parts separately on Amazon (and yes, as you read this pricing could have gone up or down on any or all of the linked components). The Slate 2 Pro ARGB case featured in this review is exclusive to iBUYPOWER, and we estimate it be at or slightly above the $100 level thanks to an integrated ARGB lighting controller and front panel lighting integration.
So what level of performance can you expect from a build like this? Without going in-depth here (any review of a Ryzen 5 3600 or GTX 1660 Ti can give you a better picture of what to expect) I did complete some basic benchmarks as I tested the system for stability, with the results presented in the screenshots below.
There isn’t much to say, other than to point out that this is a thoroughly modern system with a fast 6-core processor, 16GB of memory, and a solid state drive. Windows booted quickly, application load times were good (these WD Blue SSDs are a solid option) and I ran into zero thermal or noise issues during my time with the system.
I appreciated the fact that the system didn’t have any bloatware pre-installed, unless you count an Office 365 trial. Here’s a look at the Programs and Features window from the system after initial setup:
Can you build a gaming PC for less than the cost of this iBUYPOWER system? Of course you can. But can you build this particular configuration using all new parts for less money? That might be harder than you think, as iBUYPOWER has priced this so close to the actual street prices of these components.
About $95 of our DIY total was an OEM Windows 10 license, and if you have other means of adding an OS or prefer Linux then you can certainly save that money, and have a lower total build cost. But when the price of the OS is the primary difference in how much more a pre-built system costs over DIY, they got the pricing right.
Bottom line, the iBUYPOWER Gaming PC is an attractive alternative to a DIY system build that isn’t overpriced, and offers great performance. There’s just nothing wrong with a system offering a Ryzen 5 3600 processor, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics, and a solid state drive for the OS, and I had no complaints with the thermals or noise levels with these components or the case.
Many enthusiasts are still going to favor building their own systems, but it’s still nice to see fair pricing and good build quality from a pre-built system like this. I’d have no problem recommending this to someone who wasn’t comfortable building their own PC – or just didn’t want to deal with things like separate warranties for each component. Honestly, the older I get the more systems like this appeal to me, and having options at fair prices can only be a good thing.
“the older I get the more systems like this appeal to me”
Ah, Sebastian, you’re just jaded from all those case reviews and system builds you do all week long. I haven’t built myself a new system since my 4790k, and I’m really looking forward to building a new one soon.
Considering I’ve built a couple of hundred systems (at least) from parts in the last five years, I’d probably need a break before I could get excited about yet another build.