The iBuyPower Element CL Pro wants to tackle one of the toughest challenges PC makers face – liquid cooling. And after some time with the system, it’s clear that this machine is up for the challenge.
The Element CL Pro is the updated and improved version of iBUYPOWER’s Element CL Plus, which was an equally impressive build but unable to use RTX 3070 cards. The Element CL Pro, however, is here. to get the most out of next-gen GPUs while delivering a truly wild build that uses a custom liquid cooling system and lots of RGB. And it can all be yours for under $ 2,000 – seriously.
Browse the iBUYPOWER CL Pro range | Starting from $ 1,999.99
Pre-built, liquid-cooled gaming PCs are often a pipe dream for gamers, as the dangers of shipping mean manufacturers charge extra for shipping fragile machines. A leak could mean the end of your PC, and iBUYPOWER has sought to avoid these potential horrors with the Element CL Pro by creating a system that can be assembled and maintained by someone with minimal training and shipped pre-populated via the standard shipping. My rig arrived and was incredibly well packed, with soft foam inserted around the cooling lines and no leaks in sight.
The liquid-cooled design and RGB lights mean the Element CL Pro looks as cool as it looks – and I’m happy to report that it performs great too, displaying numbers that might come out with some of the best gaming PCs and surpass those of the best gaming laptops (for what it’s worth). Here’s exactly how the iBUYPOWER Element CL Pro stacks up.
Examine the model specifications
Here are the PC specs sent to GamesRadar for review:
Processor: Intel Core i7-11700K / KF
Graphic: RTX 3070 MSI Ventus 2x
Memory: 16 GB ADATA DDR4-320 RGB
Storage room: WD SN550 M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD
Ports: Before: 2 USB 3.2 ports; 1 x headphone / line output; 1x mic / line input
Back: 4 x USB 3.1 1 x USB 3.2; 1 x HDMI; 1 x USB-C; 1xEthernet
Connectivity: RJ-45 Ethernet, Z590 Wi-Fi
Dimensions (HxWxD): 18.1 “x 8.5” x 18.1 “(460 x 215 x 460 mm)
Price: $ 1,999
guarantee: 3 years labor, 1 year parts
The iBUYPOWER Element CL Pro is a sexy piece of hardware – if the hardware can be sexy. The case is matte black and simple, with a see-through mesh panel on top that lets you peek into the glowing RGB innards. The left side panel is all glass, giving you a better look at the amazingly cool custom bent cooling lines and RGB lighting, which bounces off the clear lines and creates a wonderful little light show. The right side of the case is almost entirely solid, except for a metal grille towards the front.
The all-glass side panel allows incredibly easy access to the rigid tube, GPU, and processor if you like to DIY. Servicing the buckles on this system is designed to be easy and relatively dumb-proof (a necessity for me), with the drain ports easily accessible behind the front panel and completely outside the system, you don’t need to. So you don’t have to worry about accidental spills.
At the top, for the ports, there are your typical audio input and output jacks, and two USB ports, as well as the power button. The rear ports will easily accommodate the best gaming mouse, the best wireless gaming headset, and the best gaming keyboard – even the one that requires two USBs – and more. There are no ports on the face of this PC, but that’s because there is a cold glass panel showing some of the liquid cooling in action.
I work with limited space in my New York apartment, so my leg hits the PC tower often, and I can tell I was shocked every time my bare leg hit the metal and it’s cold, and it there is almost no noticeable heat. It is very clear that the custom loop cooling system works, as the machine has never heated up since I tried it.
It’s also a very stable and simple shape, with no funny lips or edges, and four small, stocky legs keep it stable. My cats often have little brawls under the desk, and they never even budge from the thing.
Overall, this thing looks great and fits easily under a desk – or above one if you’ve got the space and want to see RGB lights in all their glory. Oh, and changing the RGB setup is easy: there’s a preloaded app on your desktop called ASRock Polychrome sync that will let you customize your lighting setup.
How does the iBUYPOWER Element CL Pro perform on some industry tests? We’ve included them below to give you an idea of how it performs.
3DMark Shot: 26136
3DMark Firestrike Ultra (1440p): 15609
3DMark Firestrike Extreme (4K): 15565
3DMark Port Royal: 8002
3DMark Timespy: (CPU) 8937, (GPU) 12379
PC Mark 10: 7251
Cinebench processor: 10291 (multi-core), 1513 (single-core)
CrystalDiskMark: SSD: 2449MB / s read; 1974.92 MB / s write
Exodus metro: 4K high: 49 frames per second; RTX 4K: 56 frames per second; 1440p high: 82 frames per second; 1440p RTK: 60 images per second; 1080p high: 115 images per second; RTX 1080p: 80fps
Total War: Three Kingdoms: High 4K: 49 frames per second; Ultra 4K: 33 frames per second; High 1440p: 100 images per second; Ultra 1440p: 69 frames per second; High 1080p: 142 images per second; Ultra 1080p: 106fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 4K high: 74 images per second; Highest 4K: 63 frames per second; 1440p high: 122 images per second; Highest 1440p: 114 images per second; 1080p high: 131 images per second; Highest 1080p: 129fps
Red Dead Redemption 2: (Highest settings): 4K: 60 images per second; 1440p: 60 images per second; 1080p: 60fps
I’m fortunate to have a nominee for the best 4K monitor for gaming – which are truly some of the best gaming monitors, by the way – so I really put the iBUYPOWER Element CL Pro to the test when ‘this was performance testing, running multiple games at high-end settings at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p resolutions.
This PC can’t hit 4K 60fps for titles like Metro Exodus or Total War: Three Kingdoms, but it can easily achieve that with Red Dead Redemption 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, delivering an absolutely breathtaking amount of detail with high frequencies. ‘fantastic images. And if you turn the settings down a bit and go for 1440p gaming, it easily delivers 60fps gaming with Ultra settings for The Division 2, Metro Exodus, and Total War. As a result – obviously at this point – this thing absolutely outperforms it at 1080p resolutions, rejecting a ridiculously high number of frame rates.
The PC has never had a hard time running an AAA game that I launched, which gave me fantastic fidelity and smoothness whether I’m running for material in Apex Legends or galloping in the Far West in Red Dead Online. I even used this PC to stream to my Twitch while playing Call of Duty: Warzone and there weren’t even the slightest hiccups – it kept moving forward while I cursed a three hour stream.
Element CL versions from last year were not designed to support 30 series cards, and while this model can only support 3070 cards, iBUYPOWER noted that Element CL Pro systems with Support for the 3080 GPU will be released “at a later date.” So if you’re looking to hit the holy grail of 4K 60fps in any game you play, you might want to wait for the 3080 versions. However, I found the experience with this current version fantastic, the RTX 3070 card. being one of the better graphics cards – I was sometimes speechless at the beauty of Red Dead Redemption 2. And, as always, you can lower some settings to get closer to 60fps at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p, depending on your monitor configuration.
I’m not a high-profile PC gamer who focuses on the differences between Ultra and High settings – I have poor eyesight, and I’m honestly floored by either – so for someone who can enjoy smooth gaming experience with excellent graphics and good fps (especially in multiplayer matches), the Element CL Pro is a great option. And if you’re a DIY enthusiast and want to keep improving the build, you can easily access all the guts of the machine and make this thing even better. The options are endless.
Overall – should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a pre-built, custom, liquid-cooled desktop computer, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better on the price side. While last year’s model was equally impressive and affordable, the iBUYPOWER Element CL Pro offers affordable liquid cooling for the 3070 mount. This means you’ll get all the performance you’re looking for from next-gen graphics cards, with all the flashy styling and excellent cooling of a liquid cooled RGB system.
And for those who aren’t quite so familiar with customizing and maintaining PCs, the Element CL Pro is also something that can be easily tweaked and improved as needed. With easy access to the drains, I don’t have to worry about a shaky hand or a hyper cat bumping into me and pouring fluid into my system. It was also a snap to remove and plug into my existing setup.
While the Elements CL Pro might not be a “cheap gaming PC,” it’s certainly fantastic value for what it offers, and as a full-fledged RTX 3070 PC, it’s tough. to see why you wouldn’t want to spend your hard earned money on it – even in the face of the more powerful RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 PCs that will be increasingly available this year. However, if the 3080 is indeed over your speed, you might want to switch on this one – but only for now until this card is fully supported. The CL Pro is a great gaming machine in every sense of the word.
Browse the iBUYPOWER CL Pro range | Starting from $ 1,999.99