Newegg has just announced a new tool in the PC hardware store to recommend its customers a pre-built gaming PC based on a selection of today’s top games. It sounds like a nice idea, but is the recommendation engine up to standard? In a way, it does a decent job of giving potential buyers a rough idea of what to buy, although I wouldn’t rush to checkout based on its recommendations alone.
The Gaming PC Finder lives on the Newegg home page (opens in new tab)Here’s how it works: you enter your target resolution (1080p, 2K, 4K), select up to four games from a collection of popular picks, then click View Results.
You’ll then be presented with three PC recommendations: Starter, Mainstream, and Enthusiast.
The Starter PC is, you guessed it, an entry-level machine. So you’re looking at a modern, low-end CPU and probably an RTX 3060 (opens in new tab)Then what perhaps a bit lower. Then there’s the mainstream PC, which has a more powerful CPU and an RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab) or RTX3070 (opens in new tab). And finally the enthusiast PC, which tends to come with a high-end CPU and an RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab)or something around that mark.
At least that’s the rough idea. The final recommended PCs depend on the games you select and appear to be based on Newegg sales at the time, so results may vary. This is actually where it slips the most. The fact that the Finder shows the currently available PCs is great, but not smart enough to sniff out the best offer for every scenario.
Here is an example from a search I did earlier. I’ve picked four relatively inexpensive games as my favorite titles: Apex Legends, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Valorant. Mostly titles that run fairly well on entry-level hardware. Then I selected that I want to run these at 1080p.
Now, the base-recommended PC that Newegg offers actually sounds like a decent machine for the money. For $1,200 you get an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, Intel Core i5 12400F, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD. That’s actually a 17% drop in the sale, which now seems to have ended.
It’s a little pricey for an RTX 3060 compared to some we’ve found in recent sales, but it’s not a bad price for this type of kit by today’s standards. Customer reviews for this PC seem decent enough, although I haven’t tested any machines from ABS so can’t tell you if they hold up.
Now, where I disagree with Newegg’s sentient PC dog is choosing this PC over one he recommended to me a little earlier in the day, which also costs $1,200 (opens in new tab) but instead features one of my favorite graphics cards of this generation, the RTX 3060 Ti.
This RTX 3060 Ti PC from MSI comes with an 11th Gen 11400F, a 500GB SSD and requires a $50 discount to match the same price. So it doesn’t quite add up in a way. But the RTX 3060 Ti is a much more powerful graphics card than the RTX 3060. The GPU isn’t the only part of your PC that impacts your fps, but it has the biggest, and the RTX 3060 Ti is about 20-40% faster than the RTX 3060 in our tests.
For the same money I would then take the faster graphics card.
When I put more demanding games in the Finder, the RTX 3060 Ti machine is recommended instead. OK, that makes sense. But when I then ask the system to find a PC that I can play these demanding games on, but want to play in 2K (1440p) instead of 1080p, it recommends a very different PC: one with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and RTX 3060 for $1,259.
This is definitely not a better deal, nor is it better for my selection.
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As such, this is not a system that you should trust completely when making your PC purchasing decisions. It’s varied, which is good, but there’s too much variation from score to score to pin down the absolute best PC bang for your buck. Even if you don’t leave Newegg, you can often find a better deal, or at least some other options. Of course, there are other websites and PC manufacturers as well.
I can imagine the gaming pc finger being a handy tool for say parents who want to buy their kid a gaming pc but don’t know RX’s RTX or i5’s Ryzen 5 – wait, is this stuff meant to to be tight the hell? The recommendations that are out there are a decent base on what to look for and what to expect in terms of performance. That’s valuable information for anyone unfamiliar with today’s PC gaming hardware, but it’s just not all you need to actually check out and know you’ve saved the most money.