Introduction

Our last look at iBUYPOWER was with a fully loaded quad-core system and Triple SLI 8800 Ultras. Today we're looking at a different tier system, a Gamer Paladin F860-a that falls into the upper midrange bracket.

iBUYPOWER - Overview

We spent some time looking into the company, website, ordering process, and so on in our previous review. Reseller Ratings has a score of 8.49/10 for the last six months, and 7.16/10 lifetime, which is reasonably good (but as we've said before, reading the actual customer comments is often more helpful than the raw scores).

We found that their profit margins were very low (i.e. good value for the consumer), but as is so common with suppliers of this sort, it's difficult to provide a high level of personal attention and uniqueness that high-end buyers often look for. However, for mid- and entry-level systems, value often takes the forefront, and in this arena we think that low-margin suppliers particularly shine.

Specifications
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  • Hxx - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    Buying a prebuilt computer has pros and cons. U dont know what u get, for all i know they could use some refurbished components and charge u full price. Putting together a computer on your own is still the way to go. It takes the average user a couple of hours to do it. A little research will save u from doing any testing in most cases; and u end up saving a couple hundred bucks. They one and only benefit is that u get it at ur doorstep and thats about it. Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    IBUYPOWER is hardly a rich person's computer supplier... IBUYPOWER is much more like someone putting your newegg-bought parts together. I like seeing just how much (how little?) I'm saving by putting my own machine together.

    http://www.falcon-nw.com">Falcon Northwest... now THAT'S a luxury supplier.
    Reply
  • gwolfman - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    Was nero InCD installed or any type of packet burning software? I've seen that cause errors just like you ran into. Die packet writing software, die!!! Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the input, I'll take a look at that. Reply
  • gwolfman - Thursday, April 16, 2009 - link

    Any news on whether this was installed (or similar software) or not? Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Sunday, April 19, 2009 - link

    Nothing of this nature - in fact, the only 3rd party application installed was Cyberlink PowerDVD. Reply
  • gwolfman - Monday, April 20, 2009 - link

    Ouch. Thanks for the update! :) Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    You bash because it has windows update turned on but then turn around and say they don't do enough hand holding for prospective buyers?

    Yeah...
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    quote:

    For high-end systems, we recommended looking around at other suppliers, since they don't offer the "uniqueness" or handholding that buyers in that market enjoy.


    They say they don't do enough hand holding compared to other high-end system suppliers. When you're paying someone to build you a $2000 machine, you don't want some impersonal warehouse-feeling website.

    quote:

    Windows Update is turned on and set to automatic, which we dislike seeing on a gaming machine.


    Windows Update alerting you there are updates isn't bad, but most gamers prefer to choose when to download and apply them so they don't interrupt their gaming plans.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    while i agree with you about the windows update, i also disagree with you. when buying a prebuilt computer, many times they're already loaded/configured and just sitting in a lot with one or two plug and play needed to be added... then things like the blasterworm come along.

    having windows update already turned on for the initial load is actually a good thing. it will help identify new drivers that might not have been installed when the system was configured... and then the user can turn it off.
    Reply

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