Review: iBuyPower Video Pro

iBuyPower may not be the biggest name in video editing hardware, but buyers looking to find a rig that can handle loads of video content without costing a small fortune would do well to consider this lower-tier manufacturer.

Though it feels minimalistic, the iBuyPower Video Pro is awfully capable … at least on paper. Running 64-bit Vista Home Premium, it’s powered by a blazing 2.83-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad CPU and features a full 8-GB of RAM. The primary optical drive is a high-end LG model, which reads both Blu-ray and HD DVD (remember those?) and can burn Blu-ray discs as well as DVD and CD media. (A second DVD burner is also included.) Two 500-GB hard drives are striped at the factory into a 1-TB array, which should be plenty of space for even the most exhaustive high-definition video jobs. Graphics crunching is courtesy of ATI’s HD 4850 graphics card.

After seeing its heavy benchmark numbers (although on gaming benchmarks it’s not quite as hot as you’d expect), we were ready to crown the Video Pro a champ, but over several days of tests a curious problem became apparent. Namely: Random hanging during computing sessions (even while the PC was sitting idle) and failure to boot up, with the Video Pro freezing during the Vista splash screen roughly half the time we turned on the machine. It’s strange that we’d see no problems one hour, then have a major glitch the next. We’ll give iBuyPower the benefit of the doubt and assume that these problems are rare and unique to our machine, but they do make us worry — deeply — about quality control.

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