iBUYPOWER Trace 9240V2 Review
The iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 9240V2 is a sleek gaming desktop that packs a 9th-Gen. Core i9-9900K processor and revamped Nvidia RTX 2070 Super graphics card, making for a true powerhouse that will last you years.
- Strong Intel Core i9-9900K processor
- Latest GeForce RTX 2070 Super graphics card
- Uses standard parts
- Top-end part options
- Would do with more SSD storage
- Lacks USB-C port
The days of gaming PCs built by popular vendors with custom parts may soon be behind us. However, the late 2019 edition of the iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 9240V2 takes a simple premise and upgrades it: a reasonably priced gaming desktop from an OEM cut from standardized parts, but now with high-end chips, a clean design and strong overall performance. To prove it, our review unit is maxxed with an Intel Core i9-9900K chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD + 1TB hard drive storage.
With standard parts, this machine should be easy to upgrade, but iBUYPOWER’s decision to use an easy-access side glass panel means that major upgrades are even easier as one would hope. Nonetheless, strong overall performance and nice looks make this one of the best pre-built gaming PCs you can buy.
Built into a standard tower case, the iBUYPOWER Trace 9240V2 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 two LED fins cutting from the front-straight to the bottom on both sides.
It looks more appealing than a traditional black tower chassis, with the signature gamer looks. At 19.76 by 8.54 by 19.48 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 that 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, air vents on the opposite side panel and a standard iBUYPOWER gaming keyboard and mouse.
The iBUYPOWER Trace 9240V2 doesn’t have an optical drive, which is fine given that these days you occasionally need to play from DVDs, as most PC games can be downloaded from digital services like Steam and Origin. Plus, having one on the front would be a scratch on the case’s stylish austerity. As it is, there are easy-access ports on the top panel (towards the front): two USB 3.1, microphone and headphone, and a Reset button.
On the back, it’s a completely different story, it’s there you find the rear panel ports: two USB 2.0, two USB 3.1, one RJ-45 Network Ethernet, and Audio 7.1 channel. The new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super graphics card also includes one HDMI 2.0b and two DisplayPort 1.4, alongside a VirtualLink connector, the latest versions of the ubiquitous technologies you’d need to power most G-Sync HDR monitors. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11AC Wi-Fi and is Bluetooth ready.
As for the components packed inside, it’s very easy to see why this gaming desktop is taking competition to the next level. The hallmark component here is the Core i9-9900K, Intel’s 2018 flagship processor on its 9th Generation mainstream desktop CPU line. The Core i9 chip is part of the main consumer platform, released alongside the enthusiast Core X-Series, which on itself is muscular enough to turn some heads.
As of now, the Core i9 chip is the bet you can get for multi-threaded applications. It is an eight-core, 16-thread CPU capable of boosting to up to 5Ghz, a feature Intel bills to be the ‘best thing’ to happen in gaming. In fact, it is not only beneficial for gaming, but also for professional creatives and multi-taskers who sometimes need to stream content side-by-side with CPU-intensive application.
More important, this is the only chip among the initial 9th Generation Core releases to support Hyper-Threading. Upon launching the 9th Generation desktop version, Intel removed that feature from the Core i7 and made it available only at the Core i9 level, something that won’t augur with some shoppers. To keep it running, the iBUYPOWER Trace 9240v2 is fitted with a closed-loop liquid cooler that can be seen as a nifty clear cover over the CPU heat sink.
Alongside the chip is the still-hot Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. While these new pieces of hardware may offer moderate upgrades for those already rocking systems with GeForce ‘Pascal’ and GTX 1080, they are downright powerful in their own right. iBUYPOWER also packed 16GB of DDR4 memory in this build, alongside 256GB M.2 solid-state drive (SSD) and a 1TB platter-based hard drive.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super vs RTX 2070
Thanks to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, the Pro Trace 9240V2 is capable of gaming at the highest settings without much hassles, as well as enabling ray tracing in select games. Back in October 2018 when the Nvidia Turing line was released, it promised stellar performance coupled with ray tracing in games. And, while some of the graphics in the line delivered fantastic gameplay, like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, some mid-range cards, particularly the RTX 2070 came off rather subpar.
With the RTX 2070 Super graphics card, Nvidia is here to course correct a little bit with the newer GPU, promising much stronger performance in this edition, by making it the already successful Nvidia Turing architecture more available to the masses. It takes the RTX 2070’s 2,304 CUDA cores and bumps everything up to 2,560 and also builds on higher clocks with a 1,770MHz boost clock. The only thing that remains the same between the two is the memory, that is constant at 8GB, but the newer iteration features more RT and Tensor Cores, and is rated for better ray tracing performance at 7 Giga Rays.
Gaming, Graphics & VR
You will get smooth frame rates on modern games, making it a meaningful upgrade over the base RTX 2070 GPU. When you play Metro Exodus (2019) on Ultra settings at 4K, it runs between 33 and 36 frames per second (fps), with some screen tearing. But when you turn it down to FHD, it runs at a smooth 80-4 fps, only dropping those fluid frame rates during some intense scenes.
The GXiVR8080A8 plays the Hitman 2 (2018) benchmark (ultra-settings) at 81 fps in FHD, tying the Trace 9230 and beating the average. The frame rate dropped to 61 fps in 4K, just below the gaming desktop average and MSI’s machine.
On Shadow of the Tomb Raider (highest settings), the Gamer GXiVR8080A8 hits 109 fps in FHD and 43 fps in 4K, falling just above the gaming desktop averages (94 fps and 34 fps, respectively) but only below the Vengeance in terms of our comparison group.
On the Grand Theft Auto V (2015) benchmark (very high settings), the Gamer Xtreme runs at 140 fps in FHD and 102 fps in 4K. The former number is higher than average, but the latter is lower.
The Xtreme GXiVR8080A8 earns a perfect score of 10 on the SteamVR performance test.
iBUYPOWER’s refreshed Trace 9240V2 is a sleek gaming desktop. And with the addition of a 9th-Gen. Core i9-9900K processor and revamped Nvidia RTX 2070 Super graphics card, it can be a true powerhouse that will last you years. The standard tower case is upgradeable, and we laud it for using exclusively standardized parts. It’s small, but if you’re looking for something more petite, the Corsair One i160 packs a punch in a smaller space, but it’s significantly harder to upgrade and costs more.
All said and done, if you’re looking for a gaming desktop to buy, the iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 9240V2 is good value and a strong performer. Now if only iBUYPOWER would add more SSD storage.