System/Board Features

The iBuyPower Element systems are designed to be 'visually stunning, both inside and out' with good airflow in mind. The use of tempered glass on the front and side panel of the case along with the red LED fans and strip under the case, give the all black Element a red glow that will surely catch people's eyes. iBuypower offers the Element in four different versions, the Vein (AMD Ryzen based), Eternal R (Intel Z370 based), Void (Intel X299 based), and the VR (Intel Z370 based). Graphics card wise, the AMD solutions range from an AMD Radeon RX 550 up to a RX Vega 64 and on the NVIDIA side from the GeForce GT 1030 up to the flagship GTX 1080 Ti. Between the system/CPU options as well as video cards, there is likely a system configuration that will work for most anyone. 

iBuyPower Element with ASUS TUF Z370-Plus Gaming
Warranty Period 3 Years (Labor), 1 Year (Parts)
Product Page LINK
Price $2199
Size ATX
CPU Interface / CPU LGA1151 / i7-8086K @ 5GHz
Chipset Intel Z370
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Dual Channel
Supporting 64GB
Up to DDR4 4000
Network Connectivity / Wi-Fi 1 x Intel I219-V Gigabit LAN 
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC887 codecs 7.1ch surround
Video Outputs 1 x DVI-D
1 x HDMI (1.4b)
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU)  1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 (full-length slot)
3 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Onboard SATA 6 x RAID 0/1/5/10 (from PCH)
Onboard SATA Express None
Onboard M.2 2 x PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA
Onboard U.2 None
USB 3.1 ASMedia 3142
2 x Type-A ports (back panel)
USB 3.0 Chipset
1 x USB Type-C port (supports 3A output)
6 x (2 back panel, 4 through headers)
USB 2.0 Chipset
6 x (2 back panel, 4 though headers)
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 8-pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x 4-pin CPU 
2 x 4-pin Chassis
IO Panel 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard port
1 x DVI-D
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45)
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C
2 x USB 3.1 (teal blue)
2 x USB 3.0 (blue)
2 x USB 2.0 (black)
3 x audio jacks

***For this specific review, the iBuyPower system hardware is different than the other datasets used. We wanted to test performance out of the box with the factory overclocked Core i7-8086K CPU (in this case iBuyPower set it to 5 GHz all cores) along with the included video card, a reference GTX 1080 Ti running at stock speeds.

AnandTech Test Bed

As per our motherboard testing policy, we take a high-end CPU suitable for the motherboard that was released during the socket’s initial launch and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the processor maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC sub timings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend our testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date. It's also worth noting that for stock systems we test with multi-core enhancement disabled.

Test Setup
Processor Intel i7 8700K (6C/12T, 3.7G, 95W)
Motherboard MSI Z370-A Pro (BIOS 2.5)
Cooling Corsair H115i
Power Supply Corsair HX750
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 4x8GB DDR4 2666 CL16
Corsair Vengeance 4x4GB DDR4 3200 CL16

(used in 2x 4/8GB capacity on dual Channel Platform
Memory Settings DDR4 2666 CL16-18-18-35 2T
Video Cards ASUS Strix GTX 980
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Optical Drive TSST TS-H653G
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our multiple test beds. Some of this hardware is not in this testbed specifically but is used in other testing.

Thank you to ASUS for providing us with GTX 980 Strix GPUs. At the time of release, the STRIX brand from ASUS was aimed at silent running, or to use the marketing term: '0dB Silent Gaming'. This enables the card to disable the fans when the GPU is dealing with low loads well within temperature specifications. These cards equip the GTX 980 silicon with ASUS' Direct CU II cooler and 10-phase digital VRMs, aimed at high-efficiency conversion. Along with the card, ASUS bundles GPU Tweak software for overclocking and streaming assistance.

The GTX 980 uses NVIDIA's GM204 silicon die, built upon their Maxwell architecture. This die is 5.2 billion transistors for a die size of 298 mm2, built on TMSC's 28nm process. A GTX 980 uses the full GM204 core, with 2048 CUDA Cores and 64 ROPs with a 256-bit memory bus to GDDR5. The official power rating for the GTX 980 is 165W.

The ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB (or the full name of STRIX-GTX980-DC2OC-4GD5) runs a reasonable overclock over a reference GTX 980 card, with frequencies in the range of 1178-1279 MHz. The memory runs at stock, in this case, 7010 MHz. Video outputs include three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI 2.0 connector, and a DVI-I.

Further Reading: AnandTech's NVIDIA GTX 980 Review


Thank you to Crucial for providing us with MX300 SSDs. Crucial stepped up to the plate as our benchmark list grows larger with newer benchmarks and titles, and the 1TB MX300 units are strong performers. Based on Marvell's 88SS1074 controller and using Micron's 384Gbit 32-layer 3D TLC NAND, these are 7mm high, 2.5-inch drives rated for 92K random read IOPS and 530/510 MB/s sequential read and write speeds.

The 1TB models we are using here support TCG Opal 2.0 and IEEE-1667 (eDrive) encryption and have a 360TB rated endurance with a three-year warranty.

Further Reading: AnandTech's Crucial MX300 (750 GB) Review


Thank you to Corsair for providing us with Vengeance LPX DDR4 Memory, HX750 Power Supply, and H115i CPU Cooler

Corsair kindly sent a 4x8GB DDR4 2666 set of their Vengeance LPX low profile, high-performance memory for our stock testing. The heatsink is made of pure aluminum to help remove heat from the sticks and has an eight-layer PCB. The heatsink is a low profile design to help fit in spaces where there may not be room for a tall heat spreader; think a SFF case or using a large heatsink. Timings on this specific set come in at 16-18-18-35. The Vengeance LPX line supports XMP 2.0 profiles for easily setting the speed and timings. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Powering the test system is Corsair's HX750 Power Supply. This HX750 is a dual mode unit able to switch from a single 12V rail (62.5A/750W) to a five rail CPU (40A max ea.) and is also fully modular. It has a typical selection of connectors, including dual EPS 4+4 pin four PCIe connectors and a whopping 16 SATA power leads, as well as four 4-pin Molex connectors.

The 135mm fluid dynamic bearing fan remains off until it is 40% loaded offering complete silence in light workloads. The HX750 comes with a ten-year warranty. 

In order to cool these high-TDP HEDT CPUs, Corsair sent over its latest and largest AIO in the H115i. This closed-loop system uses a 280mm radiator with 2x140mm SP140L PWM controlled fans. The pump/block combination mounts to all modern CPU sockets. Users are also able to integrate this cooler into the Corsair link software via USB for more control and options. 

BIOS and Software System Performance
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  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    The use of stock photos with an SLI configuration is a bit weird.
    I'm not a fan of these big cases anymore. Look at all the wasted space inside. This configuration could have been done with an ITX motherboard and corresponding case that fits the radiator. Or at the very max mATX if you want to have some expandability. I'd also rather see a beefy CPU heatsink instead of the middle of the road H60. If you go CLC in such a big case, at least get a 240 / 280mm radiator. Shipping issues of an attached 1kg+ heatsink might have prevented going down that road. The only thing this large case is used for is to hide all those cables in a really messy way.
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    I've got to agree about the stock photos. 1 vs 2 GPUs is just too different. If it was just a different mobo and 2 vs 4 dimms I wouldn't've cared even if I noticed (and if just the mobo I probably wouldn't).
  • WasHopingForAnHonestReview - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    For those of us who like expand-ability and room to work, these larger cases are a must.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    How much expandability will someone do, that buys a pre-configured PC? Ease of use, I give you that. But again, if someone buys a ready made PC, I doubt he will do a lot of work on it. At least that is my experience.
    I've personally used three non GPU PCIe expansion cards in the last 10 years. One soundcard, one ethernet card and one NVME SSD adapter. I've also never seen someone use more than three PCIe cards in one PC. So I still maintain that ATX cases and motherboards should be considered the niche these days, not mATX or ITX. If you need more than the motherboard offers you, mATX gives you two to three non GPU PCIe slots and if you need more than that, you are likely using some exotic things.
  • philehidiot - Saturday, July 7, 2018 - link

    I have a double width Corsair Carbide case and, aside from the size occasionally getting in the way, it makes it loads easier to work inside and you just never even have to consider the size or number of components. Also gives loads of space to mount radiators and have large, slow spinning fans rather than smaller noisier faster ones. I can however see the use for smaller cases and why people would want them. I just can't be arsed fiddling.
  • 3ogdy - Saturday, July 7, 2018 - link

    Big cases are awesome. Better airflow, more space to route the cables and keep them hidden...more space for further upgrades / additions. All this nanoscaling in everything is just crazy.
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - link

    Well prepare yourself, because soon upgrading wont be a think at all. All-in-ones are going to be the norm sadly. If business and gaming is what drives upgrades, then the way the games and businesses are going to reason to upgrade much anymore. The most popular PCs for business are cheap $200 hubs with built in everything. Gaming the most popular games fot years now dont require anything special.
  • bigboxes - Sunday, July 8, 2018 - link

    No, desktops are niche these days. For those of us that are enthusiasts, a larger case is easier to perform maintenance and upgrade. You're right about today's motherboards have more on-board features and quality parts. However, you may not need be as much of as enthusiast as you once were. I remember putting in all video cards, tv tuner cards, sound cards, ethernet cards, usb cards, firewire cards, etc. Whenever you want to do more than what your motherboard came with you have to use expansion cards if you want to keep it all inside the case. I also upgraded my P6T Deluxe v2 a few years ago with updated USB and SATA expansion cards. Can't do that without expansion slots.
  • hansmuff - Monday, July 9, 2018 - link

    For an 'average user' desktop, you're certainly correct. For an enthusiast, the amount of airflow alone makes a larger case worthwhile in terms of noise. I have two 140MM intakes on 'low' and another 2 140mm as exhausts, also on 'low', ML fans all of them. Coupled with a 115i I can NOT hear my system unless the graphics card goes under high load. A small case would have maybe 1/2 the airflow, MAYBE, and then the fans would have to spin much faster and be louder.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, July 6, 2018 - link

    " The PC sits in styrofoam shell protecting the PC inside. "

    Wouldn't static electricity be a concern?

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