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iBUYPOWER’s new Trace is a capable gaming desktop for enthusiasts. Our review configuration is the iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 9240V2 is top-tier model over last year’s Trace 9240 equipped with an Intel Core i9-9900K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super graphics, 16GB of memory, and a boatload of storage.
As configured, it’s more than capable of playing games at 1440p at high refresh rates, and can even handle 4K gaming at good fps. With its striking and efficient case design and powerful performance, we can happily recommend the new Trace 9240V2.
The iBUYPOWER Pro impresses on first viewing, partially from its size alone. While it has the same as a standard tower, its build with minimal LEDs on the front panel keeps the volume down, measuring 23.1 by 11.5 by 21.6 inches (HWD). That height isn’t particularly remarkable, but you’ll appreciate the space available on the case for future upgrades. On looks, the Trace 9240V2’s chassis is both tame and attractive enough for me to recommend.
A full-length tempered-glass window makes up the left panel, through which you can see the perfect cable work silhouetted by LED illumination on the inside, and the only branding is a moderate-size logo on the front panel. This rig is in a category that often goes over the top with flashy LEDs, but this model keeps it simple, but with just enough bling to avoid being boring.
Accessing the interior components couldn’t be any easier. The tempered side glass panel is held in place by four thumbscrews, allowing you to pull it free without much effort. The inside is visually spectacular, clean and very organized. Cable work is fine, as they disappear behind the motherboard, with no excess wires hanging free, making it easy to do maintenance or swap out parts down the line, since nothing obstructs access to the motherboard.
Like its predecessor, the iBUYPOWER Trace 9240V2 doesn’t include an optical drive, but makes do with most of the ports you’d need. On the front, there are easy-access ports on the top panel: two USB 3.1, microphone and headphone combo, as well as a separate Reset button.
Around the back, you find two more USB 3.1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, an RJ-45 port and an Audio 7.1 channel. The refreshed Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super graphics card holds 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.
Thanks to a relatively spacious build, there is plenty of room to work inside the case, should you desire to swap out a few components or do some maintenance. You’d be hard-pressed to throw in new parts over what comes pre-installed, however. Here, we’re talking of a Core i9-9900K, Intel’s unlocked 2018 flagship processor on its 9th Generation mainstream CPU line. The Core i9-9900K chip is an 8-core processor that’s part of Intel’s flagship chip offerings in the main consumer platform.
Released around the same time is the 18 cores and 36 threads Intel Core X-series processor family, billed as the most powerful thing to ever happen to a desktop PC. As we move into the year, all eyes are AMD to counter with peppy Ryzen CPUs but the Core i9-9900K is among the best in the market for multi-threaded applications. At least for now, alongside the Core i7-9700K. It is an eight-core, 16-thread CPU with base clock of 3.6 GHz (5.0 GHz Max Turbo) on an Intel Z370 Express chipset.
The i9-9900K is a component Intel bills to be the best thing to ever happen in gaming, which practically makes it an excellent choice for professional creatives and multi-taskers who find the need to stream content side-by-side with CPU sipping apps. To that, add 16GB DDR4 system memory, a 256GB M.2 solid-state drive (SSD) and an additional 1TB spinning hard drive, while the HP Omen Obelisk wraps up storage with a 1TB SSD only.
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2070 SUPER VS RTX 2070
Thanks to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, the Gamer Trace Pro 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 Trace 9240V2 plays the Hitman 2 (2018) benchmark (ultra-settings) at 81 fps in FHD, tying the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8080A8 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 Pro Trace 9240V2 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 Trace 9240V2 earns a perfect score of 10 on the SteamVR performance test.
When all is said and done, it not easy to find any real faults with this configuration of the the iBUYPOWER Pro. It’s a performance beast in a clean case that doesn’t carry a premium price. Sure, you could probably save a few dollars building a similar system yourself, but I’m comparing it with ready-to-buy prebuilts, which there is clearly a big audience.
For the speed, price, and feature set, the iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 9240V2 is an easy choice to recommend for midrange gaming desktops
iBUYPOWER Gaming PC Computer Desktop Element 9260 (Intel Core i7-9700F 3.0Ghz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB, 16GB DDR4, 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD, WiFi & Windows 10 Home) Black
2 used from $998.99