Newegg has just announced a new tool at the PC hardware store to recommend a pre-built gaming PC to its customers based on a selection of today’s top games. It sounds like a good idea, but is the recommendation engine up to standard? In some ways it does a decent enough job and gives potential buyers a good idea of what to buy, although I would not rush to the checkout alone with the recommendations.
Gaming PC Finder live on Newegg’s website (opens in 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, and then press “show results”.
You will then be shown three PC recommendations: starter, mainstream and enthusiast.
The boot PC is, you guessed it, a more entry-level machine. So you’re looking at a low-end modern CPU and probably an RTX 3060 (opens in new tab)but may be somewhat lower. Then there is the mainstream PC, which has a more powerful CPU and an RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab) or RTX 3070 (opens in new tab). And finally, the enthusiast PC, which tends to come with an advanced CPU and an RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab)or something around that mark.
At least that’s the rough idea. The PCs it eventually recommends depend on the games you choose and appear to be based on sales at Newegg at the time, so results may vary. This is where it misses the most, actually. It’s great that Finder wants to show you the PCs on offer right now, but it’s not smart enough to sniff out the best deal for every scenario.
Here is an example from a search I did earlier. I chose four fairly low rent games as my favorite titles: Apex Legends, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Valorant. Mostly titles that run pretty well on startup hardware. Then I decided that I would run these at 1080p.
Now the recommended PC that Newegg actually offers sounds like a decent machine for the money. For $ 1200 you get an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, Intel Core i5 12400F, 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD. It is actually down 17% in sales, which now seems to have ended.
It’s a bit on the expensive side 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 that kind of set. Customer reviews for this PC seem fair enough, even though I have not tested a machine from ABS, so I could not tell you if they stand up.
Now, where I disagree with Newegg’s sentient PC dog, choosing this PC over the one recommended to me a little earlier in the day, which also costs $ 1200 (opens in new tab) but instead has one of my favorite graphics cards from this generation, the RTX 3060 Ti.
This MSX 3060 Ti PC from MSI comes with an 11th generation 11400F, a 500 GB SSD, and requires a $ 50 discount to reach the same price point. So it’s not quite a match by any means. But RTX 3060 Ti is a much more powerful graphics card than RTX 3060. The GPU is not the only part of the PC that will have an impact on fps, but it has the largest, and RTX 3060 Ti is around 20-40% faster than RTX 3060 in our testing.
For the same money I would take the faster graphics card.
If I put more demanding games in the Finder, it recommends the RTX 3060 Ti machine instead. Okay, that makes sense. But if I then ask the system to find a PC to let me play the demanding games, but instead of 1080p, I want to play at 2K (1440p), it recommends a completely different PC: one with AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and RTX 3060 for $ 1259.
It’s definitely not a better deal, nor is it better for my selection.
As such, this is not a system you should completely rely on to make PC purchase decisions for you. It is varied, which is good, but there is too much variation from result to result to find the absolute best PC for the money. Even if you do not leave Newegg, you can often find a better deal, or at least some other options. Of course, there are other websites and PC builders.
There is a lot to consider when buying a PC, and therefore it is a good idea to shop around to make sure you get the best deal from the gang.
I can see that Gaming PC Finger is a handy tool for a parent who wants to buy a gaming PC for their child, but does not know RTX from RX, or Ryzen 5 from i5 – wait, this is meant to be tight as hell? The recommendations it gives are a decent enough baseline for what you should look for and what performance you can expect. It’s valuable information for anyone unfamiliar with today’s PC gaming hardware, but it’s not all you need to go to the checkout and know that you’ve saved the most money.