System builder iBuyPower is an old hand at assembling gaming PCs. So it is well known that not all gamers are the same and some want a slot machine that can also handle more serious tasks. Such is the Gaming RDY SLMBG218 (opens in new tab) (he really stumbles off the tongue) bucks the trend of focusing on the graphics card, and goes big on processing power instead, opting to give Intel’s Core i7 12700F room to show off.
If you’re not quite up to date with your Intel processor generations then it’s worth highlighting what the Core i7 12700F actually is. As the naming suggests, this is a 12th generation Intel processor, using Intel’s Alder Lake hybrid architecture (opens in new tab). You’re looking at eight Performance cores working alongside four Efficient cores for a total of 20 threads.
The Core i7 12700F is actually a bit of a beast when it comes to serious work. Add to that the fact that it has a Max Turbo of 4.9 GHz and you are also looking at an impressive chip for gaming.
As I said in the introduction, if you’re looking for a gaming machine that punches above the norm when it comes to raw processing power, this is definitely the kind of system that should arouse your interest. The fact that iBuyPower has paired this with 16 GB of DDR4-3200 and a healthy 1 TB NVMe SSD gives you a strong foundation for plenty of applications. Granted, the WD_Blue SN570 is just a PCIe 3.0 drive, but I’d rather have a slightly slower 1TB SSD than a faster 500GB model simply because there are so many games these days.
iBuyPower Gaming RDY SLMBG218 Specifications
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7 12700F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB XPG Gammix D10 DDR4-3200
Motherboard: Gigabyte B660 DS3H
Storage: 1TB WD_Blue SN570
Cooling: iBuyPower 120mm RGB all-in-one
Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0, 1x audio
Rear I/O: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C, 4x USB 2.0, 3x Audio
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Ethernet
PSU: 600W 80plus gold
Case: iBuyPower Slate Mono MR
Operating system: Windows 11 Home
Guarantee: 3 years labor + 1 year parts
Price: $1,499 (opens in new tab)
This machine is certainly capable when it comes to gaming too, although not quite on the same level as some similarly priced systems. The much more powerful RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab) is generally available at this kind of price, and if you’re willing to put in some time and effort then you can grab the NZXT BLD kit with an RTX 3070 (opens in new tab) for as much as this.
It’s worth noting that you don’t get such a powerful CPU for your money from such machines, but be aware of the sacrifice you’re making.
iBuyPower agreed to ship the machine to the UK for testing, and there is a clear fear of the PC being damaged in transit. To mitigate this, it’s opted not to install the graphics card before delivery – a reasonable thing to allow, as graphics cards get heavier and shipping them can be a worrying experience. You don’t want a graphics card to come loose in transit and bounce around the inside of your case.
Actually installing the RTX 3060 (opens in new tab) is not difficult in any case, and even if you’ve never done this yourself, you shouldn’t have too much trouble here. The graphics card mounting screws are in place and you must remove them before you put the card in place. In other words, this isn’t a tool-less job, and maybe not what you’d expect when buying a new machine, but honestly you’d be hard pressed to get this wrong if iBuyPower decided to do this all over the US, at.
Even with internal packaging in the machine itself, one of the RAM sticks had still managed to shift in transit, meaning only 8GB was visible on first boot. However, a quick reset fixed this and once done the full 16 GB was visible to Windows. You have the option to upgrade this to 32GB if you’re into serious computing, but 16GB should really be enough for most normal work, and certainly enough for gaming.
As I mentioned earlier, the RTX 3060 is fine for 1080p gaming, but at this kind of price you’d expect 1440p to be realistic focus. Unfortunately, you’ll struggle with many games at this resolution, especially if you want to crank everything up to the highest settings. You can game on this machine, don’t get me wrong, but there are better options if that’s your main focus.
For example, Metro Exodus Enhanced tops out at 40fps, which isn’t quite smooth enough for my taste and won’t let you get the most out of a high refresh rate monitor. Given the ABS Master (opens in new tab) and Build Redux ‘Good’ cost about the same, but come with RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards, and that will offer much smoother frame rates into the mid-50s.
F1 22 also only manages 34 fps in ultra settings. You’ll get smoother frame rates in the likes of Hitman 3 and Far Cry 6, but overall I’d much rather have a faster GPU than a super meaty CPU at this price point. The 3DMark Time Spy Extreme benchmark shows that there is power to the games that are CPU bound, but the vast majority of titles beat your graphics card more than your processor.
The real standout of this machine compared to similarly priced systems is its Cinebench R23 multithreaded score. It’s almost double what you’d normally find at this price, at 20,740 points. The likes of the Build Redux ‘Good’ and ABS Master both use the 12th Gen Core i5, with a score of just over 12,000 for comparison.
This raw processor performance also translates into higher memory throughput, with the AIDA 64 delivering nearly 47 GB/s. Again, that’s significantly better than those two Core i5 machines, despite seemingly the same DDR4-3200 RAM. Disk performance is also better, with this machine outperforming the 3DMark Storage Benchmark even with the NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit, which has the exact same SN570 SSD. Ah, the power of a good CPU.
Still, iBuyPower has put together a solid machine here, and it clearly knows what it’s doing. Component selection is good and build quality is reliable. It also comes with a keyboard and mouse, although to be fair, neither is particularly good.
The case won’t be for everyone either, with glass front panels feeling a little dated as the industry moves to systems with mesh fronts for better airflow. This machine has three fans on the front to help push air through the system, and also an exhaust on the back, allowing the Core i7 to reach a top temperature of just 73°C, which is impressive considering its power.
If you need some serious processing grunt with an ancillary interest in gaming then the iBuyPower Gaming RDY is definitely worth considering, especially if there’s an iBuyPower coupon up for grabs. However, most gamers would be better served with a switch in focus, or at least if the machine comes with an RTX 3060 Ti. The good news is that iBuyPower lets you build your perfect machine from scratch, so if you want a more powerful GPU in addition to your CPU, it can definitely build just that (for a little extra cash).