This is not the primary Alder Lake gaming PC we have checked out this yr, however the ones earlier than it have all been very, very costly. If you’ve got received the price range to stretch to an all-singing all-dancing high-end system, then you definately’re spoiled for selection, with the likes of the Velocity Micro Raptor X55, Corsair One i300, and Origin 5000T Millenium all being tremendous machines when you’ve received $5,000 burning a gap in your again pocket. Which frankly, not many people have.
Time for one thing utterly completely different: A price range Alder Lake PC. While the earlier machines we have checked out centered on 4K gaming and showcasing the highest of Intel’s twelfth Gen stack, right here Cyberpower is extra involved with 1080p gaming and hitting a much more affordable value level.
To do that you are looking at an Intel Core i5 12400F and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050. Much extra modest fare. And at £1,055 ($999 for a similar core spec in the US) way more reasonably priced too. There was a time when that is how a lot you’d count on to pay for an affordable gaming machine, so it is good to see that we’re lastly returning to some form of normality right here.
Of course, graphics playing cards aren’t fairly all the way down to their MSRPs but, and so the choices for price range machines are restricted to the latest releases from AMD and Nvidia, with a toss-up between the Radeon RX 6500 XT and GeForce RTX 3050. Cyberpower has gone for the latter on this machine, and whereas it is not a powerhouse by any stretch, it’s an Ampere chip that comes full with RTX cores, so that you get such goodies as ray tracing help and body rate-boosting DLSS.
The different notable selection dictated by the general system value is the choice to go together with DDR4 RAM versus DDR5—Intel’s Alder Lake chips help each reminiscence varieties. Pricing for the brand new reminiscence commonplace is beginning to come down, however DDR4 is certainly in a greater place for gaming. And for the cash, we might a lot somewhat see the wholesome capability and pace that this provides over simply utilizing the most recent funkiest factor.
CPU: Intel Core i5 12400F
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3050 8GB
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200
Motherboard: MSI B660M-A WiFi DDR4
Storage: 1TB MSI Spatium M390 NVMe SSD
PSU: InWin A65 650W 80+
Connectivity: 6x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, RJ45, 3x Audio, Wi-Fi 6, PS/2 keboard/mouse
OS: Windows 11 Home
Warranty: 5 Years Labour, 2 Years Parts
Price: £1,055 | $999
This additionally impacts the motherboard selection, as DDR5 motherboards are inclined to price notably greater than their DDR4 brethren. Here Cyberpower has used a price range MicroATX B660 motherboard from MSI, the PRO B660M-A WIFI, which because the identify suggests, provides Wi-Fi 6 help to the combo. Don’t fear although, there’s an ethernet port of speedy wired connections too. This motherboard additionally homes the machine’s 1TB SSD, which sits under a heatsink between the CPU and graphics card.
All of that is bundled neatly right into a surprisingly good trying chassis for a price range construct. This has been kitted out with 4 RGB followers to tick that gamer aesthetic as properly, though you may be happy to know you possibly can flip this gentle exhibit utilizing the included distant management simply, too. This is a glass-fronted case, however don’t be concerned there’s loads of airflow because of the grills on the right-hand aspect and a wholesome hole between the followers and that entrance panel. It’s an excellent answer, that runs quiet and retains the system elements operating cool.
The solely draw back with this case is that there aren’t any USB Type-C ports on the entrance panel, simply USB 3.0 Type-A. There is a USB 4 port on the motherboard itself, however this hasn’t been linked to something, one thing that’s compounded by an absence of Type-C ports on the rear I/O—a shocking omission for any motherboard in 2022.
Cinebench R20: 4,735 (multi-core), 656 (single)
Cinebench R23: 12,395 (multi-core), 1,719 (single)
X264 v5.0.1: 35.26 fps
SiSoft Sandra RAM bandwidth: 38.4 GB/s
3DMark Port Royal: 3,541
3DMark Time Spy: 9,641 (CPU), 6,220 (GPU)
Hitman 3 Dartmoor: 90 fps
Hitman 3 Dubai: 118 fps
F1 2020: 118 fps
F1 2021: 76 fps
Metro Exodus (Ultra): 50 fps
Metro Exodus (RTX): 41 fps
Horizon Zero Dawn: 71 fps
FFXIV Shadowbringers: 9.435 seconds
Max CPU temp: 79°C
Max GPU temp: 66°C
When it involves efficiency, the Infinity X125 sits precisely the place you’d count on—nearly succesful at 1080p, though it is a powerful name at occasions. You’re going to wish to tweak among the settings to keep up a clean body charge, notably on the subject of extra exacting video games, which most likely is not what you wish to hear after dropping a grand on a brand new gaming PC.
Metro Exodus, for example, averaged 50fps on the highest settings, whereas turning on RTX pretties drops this all the way down to 41fps, and sure, that is with DLSS turned on. You can tweak the settings to hit 60fps, however then you definately’re not getting the perfect visible expertise. At least you’ve gotten GeForce Experience readily available to make the entire thing as straightforward as doable.
Less exacting video games carry out higher, unusually sufficient, with the likes of F1 2020 hitting a silky 118fps while hurtling round a wet Vietnam circuit. Horizon Zero Dawn additionally managed a decent 71fps on common, with lows of simply 58fps.
These body charges are all recorded at 1080p, and upping the decision to 1440p proves that the RTX 3050 merely does not have the uncooked grunt to deal with increased resolutions.
The identical is essentially true of ray tracing as properly, with one of many lowest scores I’ve ever seen in 3DMark Port Royal. If you are after critical ray tracing efficiency, it’s best to actually have your sights set on the RTX 3060 at the very least.
In reality, you possibly can tweak the configuration on the time of buy to improve to an RTX 3060 for a mere £42 further. That’s simply the perfect improve you may ever make—much better gaming efficiency for the value of a sport? You understand it is smart.
It’s price highlighting that this machine runs quietly and coolly even when pushed exhausting too. Even although Cyberpower has used the inventory Intel cooler, the temperature nonetheless solely hits 79°C. The RTX 3050 maxes out at simply 66°C as properly. Those case followers aren’t only for the beautiful RGB lights.
Overall then, there’s lots to love right here. Component choice largely is smart and it is a surprisingly good trying system given its price range nature. I’d advocate upping the graphics card to an RTX 3060, for positive, and the dearth of USB Type-C ports is annoying, however it’s nonetheless a good PC for the cash. It’s properly constructed, utilizing well-known elements, and there is loads of house for additional upgrades too.