iBUYPOWER Element Mini 9300 Review
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iBUYPOWER has manufactured some mind-blowingly powerful gaming PCs over the years, including a game-ready Omen 30L competitor and the most affordable VR-ready system you can ever get in the market. However, even among all these innovative machines, the Element Mini 9300 remains the most stylish mini gaming PC iBUYPOWER has ever made.
iBUYPOWER touts the Element Mini 9300 as the ultimate small form factor with the same reliable performance, and it’s not hard to see where it’s coming from – it’s about the same size as a typical SFF PC, but packs way more power – thanks to its AMD Ryzen 3 processor and AMD Radeon RX 550 graphics card.
It’s an attractive small rig, at a very affordable price – which makes the Mini 9300 one of the best tiny gaming PCs you can buy – even in 2020.
Measuring 20.2 x 19.3 x 12.5 inches and weighing 24.8 pounds, the Element Mini looks like its other gaming stablemates, but has a smaller footprint. It gets a midsize motherboard and a chassis that is spacious enough to accommodate more components, like storage should you decide to upgrade it later.
The machine has a tool-less design, meaning you only have to unscrew four thumbnail screws holding the tinted glass panel – here, you find the motherboard, solid-state drive, RAM and graphics card. The power supply is found on the opposite side behind a metal side panel, while the front panel features a pair of concentric circles behind a transparent glass panel.
Cable work is excellent, and that works well with the system’s ample I/O panels. The top panel has a removable dust filter, separate and microphone jacks, a pair of USB Type-A ports, a power button, a reset button and drive activity lights. On this spot, we’d appreciate a flash-card reader, but it’s a painful omission that has been done here.
Around the back, you have six USB ports (2 x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0), Ethernet, and audio 7.1 channel. The new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card also includes one HDMI, one DVI and one Displayport. It doesn’t have a VirtualLink connector, the latest versions of the ubiquitous technologies you’d need to power most G-Sync HDR monitors but found on the Turing RTX 2070 and above.
To connect to wireless networks, there’s 802.11AC Wi-Fi and is Bluetooth ready.
Also bundled into the package are an iBUYPOWER Gaming Keyboard & RGB Gaming Mouse. A monitor isn’t included, but you can buy the system with a 23-inch HP 24MH monitor as part of the package.
While the iBUYPOWER Element Mini 9300 is billed as a gaming rig, the feature set makes it a good candidate for pretty everything else. Our configuration ships with a 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 3 3100 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 240GB solid state drive for storage. Its bigger sibling, the iBUYPOWER Trace 9230 features a high-end spec sheet – Intel Core i9-9900K processor and Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB) graphics card.
As mentioned, storage comes in way of a snappy 240GB solid state drive, which you can always top up with more storage via an available M.2 slot. We appreciate this storage option, delivering fast 1,249 MB/sec read and 1,012 MB/s write speeds.
Our review unit features an AMD Radeon RX 550 (2GB) graphics card, which competes with Nvidia’s GTX 1050 graphics card. This is a budget graphics card, but for budding gamers, it should be fine, and the price is quite favourable for many shopping on a tight budget.
It averages 63 fps on most games such as Battlefield 1 and GTA 5, both played at 1080p (Low setting), which is quite acceptable for such an affordable gaming PC. If you reduce the graphics details, you’re assured of better fps, but not the kind of detail you’d get with our Editors’ Choice the SkyTech Shiva, that rocks AMD’s Ryzen 5 CPU and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card.
The iBUYPOWER Element Mini is a handsome and compact gaming PC, but it isn’t as compact as the competing MSI MPG Trident 3, that’s both thin but packs powerful components including a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10700F processor and Nvidia’s GTX 1660 Super graphics card – but it costs almost twice as much. And, looking at the Mini’s design, it isn’t an ultimate space saver, rather a money saver as you’re paying much less than competing gaming PCs.
It’s not the most powerful mini desktop rig in the world, but it’s got more than enough gusto to play games at higher graphics settings that your budget laptop can push. The design allows for future upgradability of this system, and with what comes in the box, you can go far with gaming at FHD quality.
The most delightful thing about the iBUYPOWER Element Mini 9300 is how cool it looks and how affordable it is. this is by far the most affordable gaming PCs you can have sit alongside your tv or on a small computer desk.