Dell, HP, and iBuyPower Back-to-School PC Roundup

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iBuyPower Gamer Power BTS11 Configuration and First Impression

Last up is iBuyPower's Gamer Power BTS11, the tall man on campus in this back-to-school roundup. Unlike the other two contenders, iBuyPower is a boutique system builder that uses off-the-shelf components, hence why the BTS11 brings a showy NZXT Phantom case to class.



iBuyPower Gamer Power BTS11
Specifications and Features (as tested)

Model

Gamer Power BTS11
CPU

Intel Core i5 2500K with liquid cooling
Memory

8GB DDR3 1333MHz
Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Storage

Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB (6Gbps, 7200 RPM)
Optical

Lite-On 24X DVD Burner
Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Internet

10/100/1000 Ethernet
Front Panel Ports

2 x USB 2.0; eSATA; Mic/headphone
Rear Panel Ports

4 x USB 2.0; 2 x USB 3.0; GbE LAN; Optical SPDIF; Audio inputs, Serial
Sound Integrated 7.1 surround sound
Power Supply Xion 700W
Keyboard / Mouse HP wireless keyboard and mouse
Dimensions

8.74" x 24.26" x 21.29" (WxDxH)
Warranty

1 Year Limited
Price

$1,000 (as configured)


The first thing that stands out is the price tag. At $1,000, this is the least expensive machine in our roundup, a tradeoff that comes at the expense of a Blu-ray drive or larger hard drive. It's also the only machine to employ liquid cooling, which along with the unlocked Core i5 2500K processor seems to suggest iBuyPower expects users to at least entertain the idea of overclocking. iBuyPower also separates itself from the pack by being the only one to bring an Nvidia GPU to class, whereas both Dell and HP went with AMD Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cards.

Contents

  • iBuyPower keyboard
  • iBuyPower mouse
  • Quick Start Guide and related documentation
  • Windows Reinstallation DVD
  • Gigabyte Motherboard Manual
Notice anything missing? iBuyPower inexplicably neglected to bundle a power cord with our system, which makes turning it on a bit of challenge. We always have a supply of power cords in our endless bin of computer parts, but iBuyPower shouldn't assume every customer will have one on-hand. Based on prior experience with iBuyPower, we're willing to chalk this up as an anomaly.



Getting back to iBuyPower's status as a boutique system builder, we were greeted to a squeaky clean desktop completely devoid of any third-party cruft. The upshot is you don't have to spend the first 15 minutes or so uninstalling junk software, though that also means you won't find any proprietary utilities or special overlays that can sometimes add to the Windows experience. That's fine by us, as we typically prefer to customize our setups on our own.

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