Intel/AMD $300 Gaming PC Build – 8GB Sleeper Benchmarks!
Howdy howdy guys, Ponchato here, and in this video we’re going to be taking a look at the benchmarks for my sleeper build, this time with a proper 8GB of memory. [intro] So this PC is powered by an Intel G4400 at 3.30GHz, an Asus RX 460 2GB graphics card, and now, 8GB of DDR4-2133 memory. If you want to see the build video, you can check it out by following the link in the description. Originally it only had a single 4GB stick of memory, so if you’re curious about how terrible playing with 4GB of memory is, that benchmark video is linked below as well.
Right now my benchmark lineup consists of 4 games that cover a decent mix of CPU and GPU intensity: GTA V, Battlefield 1, Just Cause 3, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. I’d like to keep the benchmark list short so I’m not boring people with every single release. But after all, these videos are for you guys, so if you’d like me to include another game, let me know in the comments. First up, GTA V. I used the last portion of the built-in benchmark to collect data, since it includes lots of movement across the map and involves NPCs for a good estimate of in-game performance. Here are the frame rates. At first glance, it looks like playing on “normal” (the lowest settings) would give you the best performance. But the issue with using minimum and average framerates on low-end PCs like this one is that these measurements don’t show stuttering. In reality, despite High settings on DirectX11 having the lowest average framerate, it actually gave the smoothest performance. You can see that if you look at this, the frame times from the benchmark. This graph shows the amount of time in milliseconds that it took to render each frame.
Lower is better, and those tall spikes indicate stuttering – frames that took a long time to render. Over the course of the roughly 2 minute benchmark, the game only stuttered (or ‘lagged’ though that’s not the correct term for it) in 9 frames, and even then the worst case was still under 300ms. Considering the total cost of this computer was under $400 and the processor choice was admittedly terrible, that’s not too bad. Just to give you an idea of how bad it was with only 4gigs of memory, the original amount, here’s a graph with the 4GB frame times in red.
Yeah. Not pretty. Actual gameplay is pretty smooth. Most of the time it’s around 40 to 50 frames per second and, though it does stutter fairly often, it doesn’t detract too much from enjoying the game. That said, screen recording with a dual core processor really hurts performance – that’s why this gameplay looks so bad right now. Next, Battlefield 1. To benchmark it, I played the first two minutes of the first campaign mission. The game doesn’t have a built-in benchmark, so to ensure consistency I repeat the same run 3 times at each quality preset and perform as close to the same actions as I can each time. Here are the frame rates. At low and medium settings, the game averages above 40fps never dropped below 30. Not bad. You may notice that there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Low settings and Ultra – less than 12 frames per second delta. In this case, that’s because the game is being bottlenecked hard by the G4400, a dual core CPU. Looking at a hardware monitor graph while running the benchmark demonstrates this well. Top left is GPU usage, bottom left is the processor. You can see that the processor stays completely pegged essentially 100% of the time, while the GPU usage dips to 0% pretty often.
What this means is, basically, the GPU spends a lot of time waiting for the processor to catch up, so it just goes idle half the time. Here are the frame times from the benchmark on medium settings. You can see it’s not terrifically consistent – some frames only take 8 milliseconds to render, some take more than 50, but generally the game keeps frame times reasonable, and doesn’t stutter (at least in single player). And, unlike when I benchmarked the Sleeper PC with 4GB of memory, online multiplayer is not just possible but actually pretty decent. Here’s a graph of the frame times from a couple minutes of Domination gameplay. There is slight, occasional stuttering and the frame rate only hovers around 30-40fps, but overall, playing online is just fine. The larger maps with more players and more vehicles hurt performance a bit, but are still playable. Again, screen recording with a dual core processor really kills performance, which is why this footage looks so bad; actual gameplay is very reasonable. Third in line is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
This game and Just Cause 3 are the most intensive – Deus Ex tends to be more GPU focused while Just Cause 3 tends to stress the processor more. Sort of… I’ll get to that in a minute. I ran the built-in benchmark at each quality preset, including DirectX12, and here are the frame rates. I’d call anything that averages under 30fps to be, more or less, not enjoyable, so presets above medium are out. Using DX12 bumps up average performance a couple percentage points, so it’s worth using. Here are the frame times from the benchmark on low settings with DX12. Of the games I benchmarked, Deus Ex was actually graphically the most consistent.
At least, in the benchmark. Actual gameplay is acceptable in low-intensity situations but as soon as I got to the first major fight, the game got slow. Real slow. Like “freezing every few seconds and frame rate through the floor”, slow. Deus Ex is the least forgiving when it comes to using a dual core processor, and even when I wasn’t screen recording, the game would freeze for multiple seconds at a time. Because of the terrible performance in even slightly complex scenes, I’d call it essentially unplayable. Last, Just Cause 3. I like Just Cause 3 because it seems to be completely arbitrary as to what systems it runs well on.
For the benchmark I grappled over a field, deployed the parachute, and floated toward a town. Here are the frame rates. Low, medium, and high all provide roughly the same performance with only a slight hit from each step up. Again, this is most likely due to the RX 460 being bottlenecked by the G4400. Looking at the frame times from the benchmark at low settings, you can see a fairly junky but not unplayable amount of stuttering.
Now, for another comparison to how atrocious performance was with 4GB of memory, here are the frame times from walking through a town – 8GB in green, 4GB in red. Turns out game developers give you minimum requirements for a reason. Overall, this build is… okay. Some games like Deus Ex remain basically unplayable, but more mainstream games like Battlefield 1 are actually enjoyable. This build is definitely not ideal if you’re starting a gaming channel or streaming, but if you just play games to play games, it’s not too bad. Many of you in the comments have noted that a G4560 would be way better due to it having hyper-threading which the G4400 does not.
And that’s probably true – I’m considering a new budget build with the G4560 to test it out in the near future. But for now, I have all the components for a mid-range $800 computer sitting on my desk and I want to get that started. Stay tuned for that build video. So guys if you liked this video hit the like button, if you want to see more hit subscribe, and if you have any questions about this build, the benchmarks, or why I suck so much at Battlefield 1, ask ‘em in the comments below.
Thanks for watching, I hope I helped, and I’ll see you in the next video. Oh, and, if you do decide to build a computer like this one, just get an SSD. Seriously. Just get an SSD.
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