Loaded with Intel’s flagship Core i7-8700K CPU and Nvidia’s GTX 1070 ti GPU, the iBUYPOWER Slate 9210 is a compelling blend of gaming and processing power at a very reasonable price.
- Outstanding configuration and pricing
- Elegant case design
- Smooth gaming performance
- Room for expansion
- Lacks USB-C port
- Screen panel doesn’t add much utility
Gaming systems are pushing the boundaries with top-notch components, alluring designs and good scores on productivity pursuits. The high-end built of the new iBUYPOWER Slate 9210 gaming desktop we’re reviewing here is testimony of what gaming PCs have become, lately. Nvidia’s Pascal graphics and Intel’s latest generation of processors have taken gaming to unfathomable heights.
Both of these platforms are on full display here, with the GTX 1070 Ti graphics card and hexa-core i7-8700K processor helping the system deliver butter smooth playability on modern titles. The casing has the lights and logos that will keep you awed, and you get lots of storage to boot.
This configuration is pretty expensive, but iBUYPOWER’s pricing is fair. Given it superb performance and overall execution, the Slate 9200 is a recommendable choice for anyone in the market for a midrange gaming desktop.
Design and Build
Built into a standard tower case, the iBUYPOWER 9200 is relatively unassuming if you look at it head on, and if you poke around, there’s a lot to like on the sides. The black tower has a steel frame with an LED fin cutting from the front-upper left, a slight intersection on the upper middle, then straight to the lower-left side. It looks more appealing than a traditional black tower chassis, with the signature gamer looks. At 21.38 by 12.5 by 25 inches (HWD) and 30 pounds, the system will take some space on your desk. If you have limited space on your desk, a small-form- factor (SFF) desktop like the ASUS GR8 II-T044Z is a better choice.
On the left flank is a nice looking, tempered glass side panel than open up to the interior compartments and components. Instead of a plain glass panel, the case features an innovative 16 color RGB lighting, that’s remotely controlled. The glass tempered side panel gives you a gaming aesthetic that can be seen from any direction, and displays the interior cabling, dotted with LED lights. To that, it adds a liquid cooling compartment, and a standard iBUYPOWER gaming keyboard and mouse.
Port and Storage
Connectivity is excellent. Just about the only lackluster thing is the lack of USB-C port. You’ll find a total of four USB 3.1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, an RJ-45 connector and a 7.1 audio channel. On the dedicated graphics card, you get an array of ports that include: one DVI ports, one HDMI and a display port. In addition to the RJ-45 port, it gets wireless connectivity via 802.11 USB Wi-Fi adapter.
For storage, there’s a 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive installed, and the SSD has a 240GB capacity. If you want more storage capacity, it’s very possible to upgrade these drives or even add more in the available drive bays. There isn’t an optical drive, which is fine given that you’re more likely to download your PC games from services like Steam or Origin. In fact, having an optical drive would simply break the stylish design. The system comes with Windows 10 Home (64-bit), alongside a wired gaming keyboard and mouse bundled into the package.
The iBUYPOWER Slate isn’t all flash, when you look at it head-on; it has plenty of power. As configured, our review unit is fitted with an 8th Gen., 3.7GHz Intel Core i7-8700K processor (Max Turbo 4.7GHz), 16GB of DDR4 memory, and an Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti (8GB) graphics card.
For general productivity, this is a solid combination, that will deliver better performance than most mainstream PCs. For professional tasks like media creation, video encoding, photo editing among others, it will live to the hype. So, if you’re looking for something that lets you work while not playing, the Slate is worth a long look.
With the quad-core processor, it does edge-out the AMD Ryzen-equipped CYBERPOWERPC BattleBox Essential GMA2000A (AMD’s chip is cheaper, is of course, cheaper) though the latter delivers better multimedia performance. Nevertheless, the feature set and components are fast enough for day-to-day use, multitasking, and any media projects you’ve always had on your desk.
Gaming performance is the main highlight here. Last year, Nvidia released a couple of graphic card in the Pascal architecture lineup, and the installed GTX 1070 Ti with 8GB is among the best you can have on these sides Of course, it isn’t Nvidia’s top-of-the line card, we have GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti, but it’s still, a very strong performer for any system its installed, at this price range.
Tested on 4K, the much it gets is a paltry 36 frames per second on Heaven and Valley, but when the resolution is set to Ultra quality, it cruises to more than 109 fps at 1080p. 4K gaming does push even the heavyweight Nvidia GTX 1080 card to the wall when gaming, and we’ve seen systems like the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Panzer PVP3020LQ with that card only crank up 43 fps in the same tests.
For a gaming PC, having a GTX 1070 Ti card, counts for so much, it can allow you play modern games at acceptable frame rates and even work on graphic-intensive projects. However, you’ll have to tone down the resolution or some settings for smooth 4K playability.
It’s a compromise you’ll have to accept from the onset, and the reservations are quite clear, though. When playing in 2K and VR, smooth playability is guaranteed on modern titles, with gorgeous 1080p gameplay. Just like other GTX 1070 Ti-outfitted PCs, you buy knowing you won’t be doing 4K at the very best fps.
The Bottom Line
The iBUYPOWER Slate 9210’s main strengths are its top-tier performance for the price and looks –sure to seduce gamers who love some bling– as well as configurable options. For the price, you’re getting a midrange gaming PC masquerading as a dedicated gaming machine and a powerful content creation tool, that will get the job done, even though it drops a few frames on 4K games, as compared to its competitors. For that, it compensates with seamless VR playability and a sleek case.
Buying it is a matter of taste, but the components and clean aesthetic add a little reason to buy it. The midrange gaming Editors’ Choice CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8080A2 offers more gaming power, thanks to its Nvidia GTX 1080 card, is an overclockable champ with its Intel i7-8700K CPU, but the iBUYPOWER Slate 9210 is an attractive option that will save you a few hundred dollars.