One of the charms of PC gaming is building your system to the specs you need. Last year, while I didn’t choose my components, I built a machine using NZXT’s Streaming PC bundle, which includes all the parts needed and a handy guide to walk you through the steps. Construction took about three hours, with only a few hiccups along the way.

If you don’t want to spend time on the build and would rather have someone else put it together, there are plenty of pre-built PC options on the market. One of the newest companies exploring this space is Build Redux, a sister company to Digital Storm, the longtime boutique PC maker.

If you go to the Build Redux website, you will see the option to build your PC, but not in the way you would expect. You choose your top three games from a preset list of fifteen titles. Options include many reflex-based shooters such as Call of Duty Warzone, Overwatch, and Apex Legends. When you click on a game, a frame rate is shown above the box graphic. Clicking on Apex Legends shows a reading of 70 frames per second for Build Redux’s “good” PC model. The “better” model increased the frame rate to 110 and the “best” model to 145.

The price difference at this point is a good $1,415, better $1,879 and best $2,259. After selecting the option you want to explore, a screen will display all of the components in your tower. In my “best” option, I see that I’m getting an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB graphics card. This is a nice card but I could upgrade to something better like the 3090 Ti 24GB but that would add $888 to my cost. You can tweak most options, from memory and cooler to storage and power.

Once my build is complete I see a build fee of $99. Also, I learn that all machines come with a two-year parts and labor warranty to replace or repair faulty hardware as long as it has not been physically damaged.

Build Redux sent me a default “best” model to review. The cardboard shipping container is quite large and is made of thick padding for the impressive foot and a half tower. At the top of the box is a long black container that says “Welcome to PC Games”. Inside, I first see a quick start guide that consists of just a handful of steps, e.g. B. removing the padding inside the tower, making sure the cables look good, and learning where to connect the peripherals.

After just a minute or two, I fire up the machine with a symphony of colors. Rainbow colors spin and rotate brightly from three circular LED lights on the front of the machine. If I turn the device slightly to the right, a glow is emitted from another light behind a pane of glass, giving me a good view of the hardware on display. It’s a beautiful sight, and I’m free to change what colors I see and how intense they are with a small remote control in the box.

Seconds later, I see the machine’s desktop, and moments later I’m downloading Steam, followed by several games I plan to use to test the hardware’s capabilities. The only sound I hear at this point is my keyboard clanking; The machine is eerily quiet during basic web browsing and app interactions. Build Redux offers an out-of-the-box, pug-and-play experience that’s just as easy to set up as a console.

Here are the specifications of the test devices:

CPU: Intel Core i7 – 12700K – 12 cores
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founder’s Edition
Memory: Patriot Viper Elite II 16GB 3200MHz BULK (32BG Kit 2x16GB)
SSD: Kingston NV1 NVMe M.2
Cooling: Cooler Master CN REDUX 240mm
motherboard: ASUS Prime Z690-P WiFi D4
Power adapter: HighPower HP1-H 850W Gold, fully modular
Case: Redux TD500

When asked what people can expect from the specific hardware, a Build Redux rep tells me that my configuration is a bit old and has now been updated slightly with other technology, but assures me it’s on par with what it was what people can get today. The company does not publish the brands for each component, as they often change depending on the offer. This last point is a bit of a concern as the consumer should know what is in it. There’s a bit of blind faith, but Build Redux ensures compatibility.

The first game I test is Elden Ring as I recently saw it on another high-end computer with max settings. The RTX 3080 copes with this without any problems and delivers a silky smooth frame rate at a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and all settings at the highest level. The only change is a slight increase in fan noise. The fan is silent but visible under my desk, a few feet from me. I also watched Stray with an uncapped framerate and it looks amazing.

Then I spend time with some of the more graphically demanding titles of this generation. Cyberpunk 2077 ran smoothly on the Ultra Raytracing setting with all other fields set to their highest levels. Horizon Zero Dawn looked incredible even on maximum settings. This machine has the horsepower to get the most out of the current gaming generation and should be fairly future-proof for the next few years of new releases.

The high-end model is a little pricey, but it delivers on performance and exterior beauty. It looks like a machine someone would custom build and should be great for streaming purposes given its customizable lighting. Build Redux’s best foot forward impresses and is a great entry-level device for people getting into PC gaming that roars with performance at a reasonable price.

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