The $1,500 gaming PC is a competitive space to be in, especially as the price of components has trended downward to near-normal levels in the past few months. There are a lot of people that have held out on looking for the best gaming PC, waiting for prices and inventory to stabilize so that they can make a big purchase without worry or guilt. The iBuyPower Gaming RDY SLHB216 (rolls right off the tongue) comes into this hotly contested category of modest gaming PCs with a build that's impressive, but isn't without its caveats for the pickier players out there.
The Gaming RDY SLHBG216 isn't customizable. You can't pick and choose what sort of processor, graphics card, RAM, and storage go into it. You add it to cart and it'll be shipped to you exactly as it's listed on the website. Like a lot of other PC building companies, iBuyPower lists the average framerate for modern games, including Elden Ring, Lost Ark, Fortnite, GTA 5, League of Legends, CS:GO, Call of Duty Warzone, and Valorant. It's a solid list for online multiplayer games, although it's lacking some singleplayer options on there, if that's your thing.
At $1,499, or $1,269 in a sale that's been going on since I received my review rig in late May, it's a fairly standard build. It's got an Intel Core i5 12400F, an Nvidia RTX 3060, 16GB of DDR4 3200MHz RAM, and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. All of it sits inside a sleek black iBuyPower case with tempered glass panels and RGB fans throughout. The case design isn't flashy or particularly modern looking with its jagged front panel and plastic top. That's likely where some of the costs got cut: it's a rather unimpressive, yet ultimately serviceable case.
CPU: Core i5 12400F
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB (2x 8GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 3200 MHz
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, headphone, microphone
Back I/O: 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Type-C, 4x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, audio, LAN, PS/2
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 5.2, Ethernet
PSU: 600W 80 Plus Gold
Case: iBUYPOWER Slate HAKO MR Tempered Glass ARGB
OS: Windows 11 Home
Dimensions: 9.7 x 20.5 x 20.5 inches
Warranty: 3 year
This PC is also completely air-cooled, which hinders its overall performance in games, but keeps the price about $100 lower than its closest competition. The five case fans maintain a cool temperature for the components, primarily the CPU, at the cost of making it stir up some noise under load. The PC was never so loud that it would seep into headphones or overcome speakers at mid-level volume, even in the toughest benchmarks I ran on it, but if you want a silent rig, this is obviously not it.
Compared to a gaming PC like the Redux 'Good' Tier PC, the Gaming RDY SLHBG216 ekes out wins over it in performance, give or take a few frames. That's good news, considering the price tag. For 1080p performance, the SLHBG216 came in just a few more frames above the Redux PC in Hitman 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Metro Exodus. In F1 2020, it surpassed the Redux by about 24 FPS.
These numbers are fairly standard for an Nvidia RTX 3060, which largely excels at 1080p gaming. The 1440p tests on the iBuyPowerRDY were strong too though. It matches the framerate in similar priced desktop PCs like the NZXT Streaming PC and the CLX Set Gaming PC. Its 4K FPS is, unsurprisingly, not as good, struggling to hit anything close to 60 FPS in any of our tests, and its where the air-cooling started to buckle. This is a PC built to tear through 1080p games and manage 1440p games with some tweaks; it's simply not made for 4K.
It's worth noting that, for whatever reason, I couldn't get the PC to successfully run through the Horizon Zero Dawn 4K benchmark without having the game sit on a black screen or crash altogether. It worked fine at 1080p and 1440p, but 4K wouldn't behave. Regardless, I wouldn't expect those benchmarks to change my mind on its 4K performance.
The SLHBG216 also sneaks in a 1TB NVMe SSD at this price. It performed well in our FF14 load time test too. Other PCs that throw in a 500GB SSD are kind of an insult to anyone that dabbles in even a few modern games; it doesn't cut it with all the huge install sizes these days. The SLHBG216, much like its overall build quality, understands what a pure PC gamer wants at this budget. It's not a fancy addition, but it's a commendable one.
The knocks against the SLHBG216 aren't huge, but they could hurt if you want to push this PC to its limits. Primarily, it falls short when it comes to its cooling. It runs hot, with the CPU climbing to 100°C in our tests. Presumably you wouldn't run it this hard on a regular basis, but other similar PCs didn't get that hot, so it's something to keep in mind. Dust will inevitably accumulate in the chassis and potentially make it worse, so you might be looking at regular cleaning maintenance if you decide to bring this one home—the lack of dust filters makes this worse. The graphics card didn't jump as concerningly high, but it still ran a few degrees hotter than other rigs.
The PC also lacks USB Type-C ports on the top-front panel which is a disappointment, although there is one pocketed in the back panel, where you'll also find a PS/2 port like it's the early 2000s. If you need loads of USB 3.0 ports, the Gaming RDY SLHBG216 will come up short. The PC is built for a fairly modest person looking to play games and not much else. In an age where streaming and working from home is common, I'd like to see a few more ports on this thing for external hard drives, webcams, and the like.
That's what you get in the Gaming RDY SLHBG216: a gaming PC that nails exactly what it says it will do and not much else. It doesn't surprise with any particularly useful additions, but it also squeezes in at a slightly lower price than other PCs of this caliber. iBuyPower has built a deft enough competitor for the $1,500 gaming rig race to convince you to sacrifice bells and whistles for a modest PC. The complete lack of choice in what goes into it might nudge you in the direction of something like the CLX Gaming PC, but choice isn't always better. The SLHBG216 makes an argument to keep things simple and get you right to playing games. I can't really say no to that.