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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Redux ‘Good’ tier PC

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You did it. You set some money aside for a new gaming PC but then realized you didn’t know where to start. You sort of have an idea of what you want, but the thought of hunting down parts and building a PC stresses you out. That’s where Redux hopes to step in by making you a PC based on what you’re going to play and not charge a premium for parts and labor. 

Redux supplied one of its ‘Good’ models for review, which is priced at $1,415, placing it at the higher end of their budget tier of PCs, with an Intel Core i5 12400F and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 powering all the fun. If you’re looking for a solid performer 1080p gaming machine, Redux’s Good tier PC is a good place to start.

The Redux website has you choose from different base types: Good, Better, and Best, with three different price points. That way, if you’re coming in with a budget, you can pick your lane right off the bat. Next, Redux has you pick your top three games from a list of popular PC games and your ideal resolution for playing those games. It generates a build list with components that fit under criteria (which you can edit), and you’re good to go. 

Other boutique websites also do this, but Redux’s feels the easiest to use.

The build, set up, and testing (basically labor) only adds a $100 build fee to the overall price regardless of which config you go with. You’re mostly paying MSRP prices for all components except, inevitably, for the GPUs. You’re still paying, on average, $200 over listing on most of the RTX 30-series video cards, which is pretty typical these days.

Redux ‘Good’ specs

CPU: Intel Core i5 12400F
Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 ARGB
Motherboard chipset: Asus Prime B660M-A AC D4
Memory: 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4
Graphics: Asus Phoenix GeForce RTX 3060 10GB
Storage: Kingston NVMe M.2 SSD 500GB
Power: High Power 700W 80+ Gold
Warranty: 1 year
Price: $1,415

It’s surprising considering this area where most PC builders make the most profit is the assembly of your PC, which can easily add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your custom rig. 

What you can’t seem to customize is the case, the fans, the motherboard, and the power supply. It appears Redux uses the same case, a custom Cooler Master TD500 RGB with a nice-looking front panel showcasing a trio of RGB fans (five in total inside). One weird letdown is that there is no USB Type-C connectivity anywhere on the PC. 

A casual user probably won’t care if they can’t choose the power supply, but for me, I’d like some options in case I want to upgrade the GPU down the road. I may opt for a beefier PSU now, but that’s just me. 

Though Redux’s semi-auto configurator will adjust what level of power supply comes with your rig if you opt for a higher-power GPU. This RTX 3060-powered machine comes with a 700W PSU, while an RTX 3090 Ti system will rock a full 1KW brick. 

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Inside is an Asus Prime B660M-A AC D4, which as you can see from the photos, is a pretty small, micro ATX motherboard. So much so that it leaves a comically large amount of negative space inside of the case. While the system works perfectly fine visually, it makes the desktop look almost as if it’s missing something since all the bits are regulated to the top left corner when looking at the system from the side. 

I almost would have preferred a non-glass panel or a smaller case to make things look less awkward. That said, the cable management is immaculate, and setting up the PC had no issues whatsoever. So, credit to the Redux shipping team. 

Another small upgrade to consider is a larger SSD. While the Kingston NVMe M.2 SSD is a pretty good drive, it being only 500GB means anyone with a large library will have to make some choices or spend a little extra. Upgrading your build to a 1TB drive will only cost another $40. 

On the benchmarking front, the Redux Good model’s closest competitor is the similarly specced out Ryzen 5-powered NZXT Streaming PC, which is within $10 of the Redux system. The NZXT, too, has an RTX 3060 under the hood. 

During my testing, the Redux PC slightly edges out NZXT’s slightly higher-priced mid-range PC by a handful of frames in nearly all of the gaming benchmarks we threw at it; except F1 2021, where it trounces NZXT’s rig by nearly 30fps. 

However, both systems had almost identical scores in more demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Metro Exodus. In Cyberpunk 2077, the Redux stays around on average 29 fps which isn’t great. But once you crank on DLSS, I was able to dork around in Night City at 61 fps. I probably could have squeezed out more frames had I decided to turn the graphics settings down from Ultra, but why would I do that?

Gaming performance

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System performance

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On the CPU front, the Intel i5 12400F inside the Redux easily beats NZXT’s Ryzen 5 5600X in almost all the benchmarking categories. We saw similar CPU performance in our review of the Cyberpower Infinity X125, which remains one of the better gaming PCs under $1000. 

Redux’s ‘Good’ gaming PC left me with a good impression. It’s a well-built system with a nice case design and performs great for around $1400. The fact that there is no USB Type-C port is concerning, but if you’re looking for a great starter PC with some upgrade potential down the road, Redux has got you covered. It’s a good system for PC gamers who just want to play games and not worry too much about what they’re actually putting inside of it. 

The Verdict


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Redux ‘Good’ tier PC

This entry-level system is perfect for anyone who wants a gaming rig but doesn’t have the time or the patience to pick every tiny detail for their build. However, the lack of a wireless network card and USB Type-C ports, while a necessary compromise at this price, might be a dealbreaker for some.

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