Should You Upgrade a Prebuilt Gaming PC?


Hey guys, this is Austin.
Today we’re going to find out,
can you buy a cheap computer
and turn it into a gaming PC?
So this is what we’ve got.
This is the Dell Inspiron i3650.
Obviously, none of these accessories
are really meant for gaming, but…
(laughs)
Inside, we have the computer itself.
Now, while this is a desktop,
one of the things that
jumped out to me about it
is it’s actually a really unusual shape.
Inside, this guy is rocking
an Intel Core i3-6100,
eight gigabytes of RAM, and
a one terabyte hard drive.
It’s actually really not bad.
The biggest thing holding
it back from gaming
are the integrated graphics.
That’s where this comes in.
This is the new AMD RX 460.
What makes the 460 an interesting upgrade
for a system like this is
the low power requirements.
So because it’s only a 75 watt card,
that means it’s able to
pull all of its power
straight from the PCI slot, which,
with a system like this with
a fairly low end power supply,
makes a big difference.
So open this up, and inside we’ll see
that it’s a little bit of
an unusual sort of layout.
So basically we have the hard
drive and the optical drive,
which are mounted vertically in the case.
That actually is not a big deal for us,
because that still leaves room
for a graphics card below.
Okay, you know what?
I’ve gotta say, I had
really low expectations
for a prebuilt system like this.
Installing the graphics
card is really easy.
All you need to do is
line it up with the slot,
make sure that clicks
all the way into place,
then swing the metal latch
to hold it into place,
and you’re good to go.
So now let’s find out,
did this single upgrade
turn our boring desktop into a gaming PC?
To start with, I tried a few games
using the integrated
graphics in the Core i3.
It wasn’t pretty.
GTA V just really isn’t playable.
Even when you turn settings
down to normal at 720p,
we’re consistently getting frame rates
that dip well below 20 frames per second.
Install the RX 460, however,
and it is a huge difference.
We’re able to bump the
settings up to 1080p on high,
and we’re getting around
60 frames per second.
Moving to Dota 2, we’re getting a game
that’s a lot more friendly
to integrated graphics,
so the Core i3 is able to run it
on the very lowest settings at 720p.
However, we are getting around 60 FPS.
Install the graphics card, though,
and you’re going to see a big difference.
So at 1080p at max settings,
you’re gonna get around
90 frames per second.
Rocket League is another game
that’s fairly easy to run,
and we are able to get it
playable on the Core i3.
Now mind you, we do have
to turn the settings
down to 720p and performance.
However, we are able to
get a fairly stable 30 FPS.
Move over to the RX 460,
and we’re getting a much
smoother 90 frames per second,
and that’s with the settings
turned up to high at 1080p.
Shadow of Mordor is a fun game,
but it’s a lot more demanding,
and the i3 really struggles here.
Even with low settings at 720p,
it frequently dips to around
15 FPS during the action.
Surprise, surprise, move up to the RX 460,
and we’re able to bump the
settings up to high at 1080p,
and we’re still getting
around 50 to 60 FPS.
As cool as all of this is,
it doesn’t make a ton of sense
to buy a prebuilt system
and then upgrade it to
make it a gaming PC.
If you’re willing to build it yourself,
you can get a very similar
level of performance
for a lot cheaper.
However, if you already
have a desktop at home
that could use an upgrade,
or even an older gaming PC
that just needs a little bit
more graphics horsepower,
for $120, the RX 460 is
actually a really solid card.

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