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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  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - link

    I think these 2 things are a really poor decision. The DVD burner is a complete joke as I just built a system with a 22X SATA DVD burner...I think it was $25 shipped from NewEgg. And the stock cooler on a $2 grand system also seems like a poor decision. There are a large number of people that do not feel comfortable building their system, but do feel comfortable trying to overclock (moderately). Even a $25 less than fantastic cooler would have decreased the temps and given some headroom to OC, but more importantly would have brought that idle/load noise level down significantly as it's the diameter of the fan that really makes the biggest difference in noise levels.

    Maybe they'll get it next time, but I'm not sure. Overall seems like a low margin product that just has some critical flaws that make it not very attractive when compared to the 920 system you referenced in the article for....$500 less.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - link

    Wanted to also add I think with this being a "gamer" system the 4870 seems a bit weak. You could definitely build a significantly better gaming system with the cheaper 920 and a better video card (or 2). With the 4890 now out, it would be a bit better, but you will still be GPU limited in most cases. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    Do people really still spend 2 grand on computers without an SSD?
    Reply
  • Hxx - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    It comes with a free game, you cant beat that lol, people spend over $500 on watercooling, 2k seems pretty reasonable for an upper mid range box. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    I've configured a system from iBuyPower in the past and basically found it cheaper than some other sites, until it came to the shipping. Other sites might do $20-$40 on shipping, whereas iBuyPower seemed to knock it up to $80+

    Does the $1720 include shipping?
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    No it doesn't, but neither does the $1975. That system ships for about $85, which is a little steep, but this is a very large case and box. Others we've seen in this range cost about $60-65 to ship, so the margin isn't too large. Reply
  • jmekelb - Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - link

    As far as shipping goes... If you start with one of their "Free Shipping" builds, you can build it however you like and it still ships for free. I built an i7 rig on IBuy and they actually came in about $40 less than my build on Newegg with the exact same parts. Coincidentally, that's almost exactly what the shipping charge was from Newegg. Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    I haven't tested iBuyPower, but I was really looking at it for the low-end midrange gaming-like system as this seems to match pretty well with price points.

    I don't know if this has changed, as I haven't been to their site in a while, but I also noticed their SSDs were way overpriced compared to the market. If you want an SSD in your system it seems best to just buy off newegg.
    Reply
  • Souka - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - link

    "All of the components in this system price out for just about $1720 on Newegg.com. With a sticker price of $1975, iBUYPOWER has a margin of about 13% to cover a 3-year labor/1 year parts warranty, 30-day money back guarantee (not including shipping) and lifetime technical support"

    $255 isn't bad considering the system is already built, tested, and has a warranty behind it...

    Yes I know many of you are enthusiasts and wouldn't consider this...ok fine...go buy the parts then build it yourself.

    However...if you have a kid, or kid-relative, and need a gift...systems like this would make them quite happy...and keep you from having to build or perform tech support for the little brat! :)

    My $.02
    Reply
  • mariush - Monday, April 20, 2009 - link

    if you don't have experience on building computers, then yes, it's a good investment.

    Otherwise, that 10-15% can be invested in better hardware or on other things. It's just not worth paying 250$ for the three hours of your time, required to build the computer and install the operating system.

    The 3 year warranty you already get for parts, separately, 3-5 years for hard drive, 3 years for processors, 2 years for motherboards, 1-5 or even lifetime for video cards, lifetime for memory modules and so on.

    Besides, you'll probably get replacement much faster from NewEgg on individual parts, instead of sending the whole computer to be repaired and waiting for it to come back.

    In the extreme case when something breaks after warranty, you can prepare for that by setting aside 150$ out of those 250$ in a bank account. If you no longer have warranty on that specific item, you'll be simply able to buy a much better part straight from NewEgg.

    I doubt their "lifetime technical support" means taking free calls from brats, it's probably some basic email support or forum.
    Reply

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