Newegg has just announced a new tool on the Hardware Store to recommend a prebuilt gaming PC to its customers based on a selection of today’s best games. Sounds like a good idea, but does its recommendation engine measure up? In some ways, it does a pretty decent job of giving potential buyers a rough idea of what to buy, though I wouldn’t rush to checkout its recommendations on my own.
The Gaming PC Finder lives on Newegg homepage (opens in a new tab)and it works like this: you enter your target resolution (1080p, 2K, 4K), select up to four games from a collection of popular choices, then click “Show Results”.
You will then be presented with three PC recommendations: Beginner, General Public, and Enthusiast.
The Starter PC is, you guessed it, a more entry-level machine. So you’re looking at a modern low-end CPU and probably an RTX 3060 (opens in a new tab)but perhaps something lower. Then there’s the mainstream PC, which has a more powerful processor and an RTX 3060 Ti (opens in a new tab) or RTX 3070 (opens in a new tab). And finally, the enthusiast PC, which tends to come with a high-end processor and an RTX 3080 Ti (opens in a new tab)or something around that mark.
That’s the rough idea, anyway. The PCs he ultimately recommends depend on the games you choose and appear to be based on Newegg’s sales at the time, so results may vary. This is where it goes wrong the most, in fact. It’s great that Finder shows you PCs on offer right now, but it’s not smart enough to detect the best deal for every scenario.
Here is an example of a search I did earlier. I picked four fairly low-rent games as my go-to titles: Apex Legends, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Valorant. Mostly titles that work pretty well on entry-level hardware. Then I chose to run them at 1080p.
Now, the PC recommended by Newegg actually looks like a decent machine for the money. For $1,200 you get an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, an Intel Core i5 12400F processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD. That’s actually a 17% drop in the sale, which now seems to be over .
That’s a bit pricey for an RTX 3060 compared to some we’ve found in recent sales, but it’s not quite a terrible price by today’s standards for this type of kit. Customer reviews for this PC seem pretty decent, although I haven’t tested an ABS machine, so I can’t tell you if they hold up.
Now where I disagree with Newegg’s sensitive dog is choosing this PC over another he recommended to me earlier today, which also costs 1200 $ (opens in a new tab) but instead offers 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 hit that same price. So it’s not quite a match in some ways. 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 will impact your fps, but it has the biggest, and the RTX 3060 Ti is around 20-40% faster than the RTX 3060 in our tests.
For the same price, I would take the fastest graphics card.
If I put more demanding games in the Finder, it recommends the RTX 3060 Ti machine instead. Alright, that makes sense. But if I then ask the system to find a PC to allow me to play these demanding games, but instead of 1080p I want to play at 2K (1440p), it recommends a completely different PC: one with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and RTX 3060 for $1,259.
It’s certainly not a better deal, nor better for my selection either.
As such, it’s not a system you should completely trust to make your PC buying decisions for you. It’s varied, which is good, but there’s too much variation from result to result to find the absolute best PC for your money. Even if you don’t leave Newegg, you can often find a better deal, or at least other options. Of course, other sites and PC manufacturers exist.
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a PC, and that’s why it’s a good idea to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal of the bunch.
I can see the Gaming PC Finger being a handy tool for, say, a parent who wants to buy their kid a gaming PC but isn’t familiar with RTX from RX, or Ryzen 5 from i5 – wait, does this stuff is supposed to be dense so what? The recommendations it makes are a decent enough baseline of what to look for and what performance to expect. This is valuable information for anyone unfamiliar with today’s PC gaming hardware, but it’s just not all you need to checkout knowing you’ve saved the most. silver.