Build Redux aims to make buying a new gaming PC much easier than usual. The traditional frustrations of wading through nonsensical names to find out if they can handle your favorite game will be familiar to any PC gamer. This system builder offers three main gaming PCs to choose from and each PC can be configured a little further by throwing a little more cash at the system if you want to dig into the details.
You can also select which games you want to play, and it will recommend a system for you. There isn’t an exhaustive list of games to choose from here, but enough to give you an idea of what the overall performance might be.
The most affordable of these is simply labeled “Good,” which 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 costs $1,878, while the ‘Best’ has a starting price of $2,228 and is built around an Intel Core i7 12700F and an Nvidia RTX 3080 (opens in new tab).
If you’re feeling good, a fourth build recently came out, this ‘Ultimate’ build will get you an RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) machine for $3,644. Gulp.
Build Redux ‘Good’ spec
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5 12400F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE
RAM: 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: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth, Ethernet
PSU: 700W ATX 80 Plus Gold
Case: Cooler Master TD500RGB
Operating system: Windows 11 Home
Guarantee: 2 years parts and labor
Price: $1,504 (opens in new tab)
Back to reality and the machine Build Redux submitted for review is based on the ‘Good’ build, but with one major change: instead of using the stock RTX 3060, the company has instead upgraded it to a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab). This is a smart move as it offers much better performance for your hard-earned cash and should keep the machine relevant for much longer. Even ray tracing is possible here, especially if the game in question has support for DLSS 2.
This upgrade means you’re looking at a $1,504 system price, which also nets you an Intel Core i5 12400F, 16GB Patriot DDR4-3200, and a Kingston NV1 500GB NVMe SSD, all in a large Cooler Master TD500 case decorated with RGB fans. It’s not subtle, but it runs cool and never gets too loud even under a heavy load, thanks in no small part to the mesh-fronted case that doesn’t block airflow with a silly glass panel. It’s a real shame there aren’t any USB Type-C ports.
Unfortunately, shipping the machine across the Atlantic for testing didn’t go quite smoothly and the graphics card was damaged along the way. Build Redux used foam packing in the machine to avoid such horrors, but it wasn’t quite as snug as we would have liked, and it didn’t come with a stiffener mount to make sure it didn’t shift in transit.
Booting up resulted in a flickering screen and attempting to game caused a complete system crash. Clearly not happy. Reinserting the card seemed to fix things for a moment, only to crash out once games started running.
Fortunately, 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 apparent damage elsewhere. It’s also worth noting that US shipping shouldn’t be that stressful, although it’s a big place and couriers aren’t known for being particularly careful with large boxes. In principle, more packaging would be preferable, even if we were a bit unlucky here.
There’s nothing surprising here in terms of the system performance benchmarks aside from the SSD performance. The 3DMark Storage Benchmark simulates game loading, and here the Build Redux ‘Good’ doesn’t exactly impress – and that’s when compared to the less than stunning SN570 found in the similarly priced NZXT machine and iBuyPower installs.
The Core i5 12400F is a capable CPU that manages reasonable results in Cinebench R23 and the X264 video encoding benchmark. If you want more raw CPU grunt you’ll want to upgrade to a Core i7, as found in the iBuyPower machine, but that requires compromises elsewhere.
The good news is that the Build Redux Good is a solid machine when it comes to gaming. The key component here is the RTX 3060 Ti, which can handle anything you can throw at 1080p, and as the benchmarks show, it’s capable enough at 1440p too. There isn’t much between this machine and the ABS Master, which includes the same GPU.
Even in the form of the heavy ray tracing Metro Exodus Enhanced, you’re looking at 55fps at 1440p, and that’s on the ultra setting. You don’t have to compromise much, if at all, to get smooth frame rates in the latest games.
The only minor niggle here is that the NZXT Streaming Plus BLD kit comes in for the same price, but comes with the RTX 3070. That’s just a more capable card, which shows in the frame rates, although in some cases the difference is small – you’re looking at only 3 fps difference in Far Cry 6. Most games show a bigger delta though.
So this is a capable gaming system, although it’s a shame about that Kingston NV1 SSD, which has maximum read/write speeds of just 2,100 MB/s and 1,700 MB/s. It’s better than a SATA drive, of course, 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 also pretty tight – we struggled to get all of our benchmark suite on at once here.
You can upgrade this to a 1TB drive at the time of purchase for an extra $30, which doesn’t seem bad, but it will still be a slow drive. You can upgrade this yourself later easily enough, and there’s plenty of room to do so, but for that much money I’d rather not have to worry about space.
It’s worth emphasizing that Build Redux has gone for an air cooler for the Core i5 12400F (opens in new tab), specifically the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. This means the chip can get a little hotter than some machines under load, but not to dangerous levels, and thanks to the overall airflow through the machine, this is never an issue. The cable management is also well done here, which helps on this front.
Overall, the Build Redux ‘Good’ is a capable slot that offers great value for money. The component selection is spot on most of the time and SSD aside, this should see you gaming for a few years without worry.