Build Redux aims to make buying a new gaming PC much easier than normal. The traditional frustration of digging through nonsensical names to see if they’ll work in your game of choice will be familiar to any PC gamer. This system builder offers three main gaming PCs to choose from and each can be configured a little further by throwing some extra money into the system if you want to delve into the details.
You can also choose which games you want to play and a system will be recommended for you. There’s not a full list of games to choose from here, but enough to give you an idea of what overall performance might be like.
The cheapest of these is simply marked “Good” and starts at $1,305 (opens in new tab) with a $99 build fee, bringing it to $1,404 for the entire system. The “better” machine will set you back $1,878, while the “best” has a starting price of $2,228 and is based around an Intel Core i7 12700F and Nvidia RTX 3080 (opens in new tab).
If you’re feeling good then a fourth build came out recently, this “Ultimate” build will net you an RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) machine for $3,644. gulp.
Build Redux ‘Good’ specification
CPU: Intel Core i5 12400F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE
R.A.M: 16GB DDR4-3200
motherboard: ASUS B660
Storage: 500GB Kingston NV1
Front I/O: 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, headphone jack, microphone input,
Rear I/O: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4x USB 2.0, 1x PS/2, 3x audio
Connectivity: WiFi 5, Bluetooth, Ethernet
Power adapter: 700W ATX 80 Plus Gold
Case: CoolerMaster TD500RGB
Operating system: Windows 11 Home
Warranty: 2 years parts and labor
Price: $1,504 (opens in new tab)
Back to reality and the machine Build Redux sent for review is based on the “good” build but with one key change – instead of using the standard RTX 3060, the company has upgraded it to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti instead (opens in new tab). This is a smart move as it offers far better bang for your buck and should keep the machine relevant for that much longer. Even ray tracing is possible here, especially if the game in question supports DLSS 2.
This upgrade means you’re looking at a system price of $1,504 that also gets you an Intel Core i5 12400F, 16GB Patriot DDR4-3200 and a Kingston NV1 500GB NVMe SSD, all in a large Cooler Master TD500 chassis, which is adorned with RGB fans. It’s not subtle, but it runs cool and never gets too loud even under heavy loads, thanks in no small part to the mesh-fronted chassis that doesn’t block airflow with a stupid pane of glass. Too bad there are no USB Type-C ports.
Unfortunately, shipping the machine across the Atlantic for testing did not go entirely smoothly and the graphics card was damaged en route. Build Redux used foam packaging inside the machine to prevent such scares, but it wasn’t quite as tight as we would have liked, and no bracing mount was included to ensure it didn’t shift during transport.
Booting resulted in a flickering screen and attempting to play caused a complete system crash. Obviously not happy. Reinserting the card seemed to fix things temporarily, but only to end up crashing once a game was launched.
Luckily we had an identical Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE on hand so we could put the machine through its paces and there was no obvious damage elsewhere. It’s also worth noting that shipping across the US shouldn’t be quite as stressful, even though it’s a big old place and couriers aren’t known for being particularly careful with large boxes. More packaging would be desirable in principle, even if we were a bit unlucky here.
SSD performance aside, there’s nothing surprising here in terms of system performance benchmarks. The 3DMark Storage benchmark simulates games loading, and here the Build Redux “Good” doesn’t exactly impress – compared to the underwhelming SN570 found in the similarly priced NZXT machine and iBuyPower rigs.
The Core i5 12400F is a sufficiently powerful CPU that achieves reasonable results in Cinebench R23 and the X264 video encoding benchmark. If you want more raw CPU grunt you should upgrade to a Core i7, like that found in the iBuyPower machine, but that would require compromises elsewhere.
The good news is that the Build Redux Good is a decent machine when it comes to gaming. The key component here is the RTX 3060 Ti, which at 1080p can handle anything you can throw at it, and as you can see from the benchmarks, it’s capable enough even at 1440p. There isn’t much between this machine and the ABS Master, which contains the same GPU.
Even in games like the ray-tracing heavy Metro Exodus Enhanced you’re looking at 55 fps at 1440p, and that’s on the Ultra setting. You shouldn’t have to compromise much, if at all, to get smooth frame rates in the latest games.
The only minor fly in the ointment here is that the NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit comes at the same price but comes with the RTX 3070. This is simply a more powerful card, which shows in the frame rates in some cases. The difference is small – in Far Cry 6 you only see a 3 fps difference. However, most games show a larger delta.
So this is a capable gaming system, although it’s a shame for this Kingston NV1 SSD which has peak read/write speeds of just 2100MB/s and 1700MB/s. It’s better than a SATA drive for sure, but it’s only half the speed of a decent PCIe 3.0 SSD and almost a quarter the speed of a high-end PCIe 4.0 SSD. 500GB is pretty tight too – we struggled to get our entire suite of benchmarks here at once.
You can upgrade this to a 1TB drive for an additional $30 at the time of purchase, which doesn’t seem bad, but it’ll still be a slow drive. You can easily upgrade this yourself later and there’s plenty of room for it, but for that much money I’d prefer not to have to worry about space.
It is worth emphasizing that Build Redux has opted for an air cooler for the Core i5 12400F (opens in new tab), especially the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. This means the chip can get a little warmer under load than some machines, but not to dangerous levels, and thanks to the total airflow through the machine, it’s never an issue. Cable management is well done here too, which helps on that front.
Overall, the Build Redux “Good” is a powerful slot with a strong value for money. Component selection is mostly spot on and SSD aside, this should get you a few years of worry-free gaming.