iBUYPOWER Slate2 070iV2 Review
The iBUYPOWER Slate2 070iV2 is a custom mid-tower gaming desktop that delivers peppy performance in a package that highlights the forward-looking components inside as it does the exterior design. With a newer Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card, a hexa-core Intel Core i7 8700 processor and a signature Slate Tempered glass RGB gaming case, the State 2 070Iv2 is an over-engineered rig that tactfully celebrates gamers.
Custom built to meet individual needs, the Slate2 starts at at a midrange price, but you can get a upgraded configuration, iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 9240 with a flagship Nvidia RTX 2070 (6GB) and a 9th-generation Intel Core i7-9700k 8-Core Processor. If you’re not on a tight budget, the Trace 9240 delivers unmatched performance that will make you the envy of any gamer.
Apart from the power packed inside, the Slate2 070iV2 is about looks. This gaming has a simple block-shaped enclosure, the front panel has an LED strip, side air vents that give the entire design an edgy vibe. Overall, it’s devoid of the garish LED colors on competing gaming desktops. The combination of a muted front grill and simple side panels add up to a modern design that most gamers will love.
Measuring 19.45 x 9.05 x 19.45 (HWD), the Slate2 070iV2 shares a similar case size with other mid-sized towers, like HP’s Pavilion 790-0020, CyberPowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8560A and the mainstream Dell Alienware Aurora R7. Compared to the Aurora R7, the larger Intel B360 motherboard not only provides ample space to add components, but is roomy enough to accommodate upgrades down the road.
The unit’s internals can be accessed via a removable tempered side panel, which is secured by thumbscrews to provide a tool-less way to access the insides. Once you remove the tinted glass panel, you are welcomed by THE motherboard, solid-state drive, RAM, and graphics card, while the power supply and hard drive are shielded behind the metal casing on the opposite side.
Cable management on the system is excellent and the tinted glass gives the system a clean look when not powered on. When you turn it on, there is plenty of lights to relish, from the RGB backlighting throughout the case., to the liquid-cooled processor, with sweet cooling vents on the sides.
In keeping up with its gaming pedigree, the Slate2 070iV2 ships with all the ports you’d need to connect most of your devices. The front ports, accessible on the top case, include two USB-A 3.0 ports, audio and headphone jacks, and a power button. The rear panel hold more ports, including two more USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet jack, audio and headphone jacks. For display connection, there is an HDMI port, HDMI, one DVI and one DisplayPort on the graphics card.
That said, the Elite Slate2 070iV2 lacks a USB-C port, making this rig less future-proof even in its upgraded version. Still, it delivers plenty of power to drive virtual reality (VR) headsets on the GTX 1660 GPU, the lack of a USB-C port means that this system might not benefit from the VirtualLink connector. Instead, you’ll have to connect multiple cables to drive your headset.
When buying the Elite Slate2, you’re most definitely looking at it as a gaming powerhouse, and maybe nothing else. Sure, it is even advertised as a gaming PC, only that its feature set adds more functionalities to the system’s primary role. If you run a small business or create media occasionally, the hardware here will benefit your line of work. All systems in the iBUYPOWER Slate2 line feature high-end processors and graphics cards.
Our review unit, iBUYPOWER Elite Slate2 070iV2 ships with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 8700 processor (6-core), with a base clock of 3.2GHz, but can max up to 4.60Ghz in Turbo mode. This is a six-core chip released last year, but we’ve seen it persist into newer systems, marked by stable performance while keeping the prices affordable. If you fancy newer hardware, the iBUYPOWER TRACE 9240 maxes everything with a 9th-generation Intel Core i7-9700K 8-Core processor, for a few hundred dollars more.
The main difference between these two processors – other than price and clock speeds– is that the Intel Core i7-9700K comes with two extra cores but a lower thread count than its predecessor from last year. Meaning, the Core i7-9700K gets eight-cores and eight-threads, 12MB cache and a TDP of 95W and a base clock of 3.6GHz which it can boost all the way to 4.9GHz.
Intel Core i7-8700 (6 Core) vs. Core i7-9700K
Compared, the Intel Core i7-8700K starts a tick higher 3.7GHz base frequency and can get as nearly as fast with its maximum 4.7GHz boost clock, alongside six-core and 12 threads, 12MB cache and a 95W TDP. It is in overclocking where the Intel Core i7-9700K really gains over the Core i7 8700, thanks to a soldered integrated heat spreader (IHS) which keeps the chip cool, making room for better overclocks.
All these differences suggest that the main defining factor across the range of Intel processors rests in multi-core workloads, and the Core i7-8700K does a good job keeping up with the latest flagship Core i7-9900K found on more premium units. In real-world usage, whereby you will be using the Elite Slate2 for web browsing, moderate photo-editing, and intense productivity tasks, you’ll not readily notice any performance hit with the Slate2’s Core i7.
Most intense productivity tasks will load well, and you will need less wait time for everything to complete. Our Slate2 unit features 16GB DDR4 memory, a speedy 240GB solid-state drive coupled with a larger 1TB hard drive to house larger files. While 240GB is a bit lean for a gaming PC, it’s still acceptable considering that you have a larger hard drive for storing your files and games. Otherwise, it delivers fast read/write speeds. And, both drives are easily upgradeable should you find yourself needing more space.
Game-ready for 3D and VR
One thing most people will always want to know about such a relatively inexpensive desktop is whether it can play games. In this case, the answer is YES, especially if you’re talking about 1080p.
Outfitted with a Nvidia’s newer GTX 1660 GPU, an upgrade to last year’s GTX 1060, THIS GAMING pc delivers smooth playability, handling at a steady 68 FPS (frames per second) on The Division and 62 FPS on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, all played in 1080p High Settings. It even handles the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt than some of its competitors, averaging 52 fps on High graphics setting, over the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Ultra GUA883 and the SkyTech Shadow.
With these scores, it’s hard not to be impressed, considering the look of the chassis and the price you’re paying. It continues to outperform its competitors in Overwatch, where it was tested at both Medium and Ultra graphics detail in 1080p. Either way, you’re getting lots of performance out of that new GTX 1660, surpassing similarly priced units. Obviously, you’ll get more from a system with a RTX 2080 – or even a GTX 1080 Ti – but we’re quite impressed with how well Slate2 handles modern AAA titles in 1080p.
The iBUYPOWER Slate2 070iV2 delivers the performance you need in a very uniquely pre-built design. With the newer Nvidia GTX 1660 graphics card and a capable hexa-core CPU it does a nice job for both gamers and professional creatives. At this price point, this Slate2 can either be an economical system for casual gaming or a worthy investment for enthusiast gamers.
Are there any alternatives?
The closest competitor is the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8560A that packs a 9th gen Intel Core i7-9700F processor, Nvidia GTX 1660 GPU (6GB), 16GB of RAM, but opts for a smaller 120SSD + 1TB hard drive. That’s if you want the newer CPU, but it won’t have much difference when it comes to gaming.
On the other hand, if you want to flex everything, the iBUYPOWER Trace 9240 is a worth buy. For a few hundred dollars more, you get an 8-core 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K processor, 16GB RAM, and 240GB SSD + 1TB hard drive. In addition to that, it throws in a high-end Nvidia RTX 2080 (GB) graphics card, that lets you play even in 4K at the highest settings.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The iBUYPOWER Slate2 070iV2 is a solid gaming PC that offers excellent performance for its price. With lots of room for future upgrades, it stands out as a system that will last you for years, while still delivering punchy performance going forward.