Sleeper Gaming PC Benchmarks – Intel G4400, Asus RX 460 2GB, 4GB DDR4
Today we’re going to be taking a look at the benchmarks for my Sleeper build. [intro] In case you haven’t seen the build video, which you can check out by clicking the card in the top right of this video, my Sleeper build is a super budget (under $300) gaming PC powered by an Intel G4400, Asus RX 460 2GB, and 4GB of DDR4. Wait. 4GB of DDR4? Many of you in the comments have noted that this is wholly inadequate for a gaming PC or, really, any PC that’s used for more than Facebook. And to those folks, I have a message: You are right. You are absolutely right, 4GB is stupid and I should have started with 8.
But, in the build I used 4 so I’m going to benchmark it with 4, so people can see how it performs. I’ll redo the benchmarks with 8GB of memory and you’ll be able to watch that by clicking the card on this video. First up we’ll take a look at GTA V. Fan favorite and a shockingly good looking game for being a 4 year old Xbox 360 port. I ran the built in benchmark at each quality level at 1080p and here are the results. As you can see, average framerates are not too bad; hovering around 45-55 depending on your settings. However, the minimum FPS is atrocious. At best, the game “only” dropped to 11 frames per second. At worst, 3. You’re probably also wondering why the framerate increased when I turned up the settings. That doesn’t really make any sense. And that’s a good thing to wonder because I have no idea why it happened and it gets weirder if you look at the frame times.
Here you can see the frame times on normal in green and on high in red. Quick FYI if you aren’t familiar with frame times: these are the amount of time in milliseconds that it takes for the computer to render each frame. For example, high framerate, consistent gameplay would look like a smooth, tight line. What you see here is janky, laggy crap. Each of these spikes would be considered jitter or freezing, depending on how bad it is. That one frame sticking waaay up in green, near the middle? That single frame took over 600 milliseconds to render. That was, most likely, the game fetching a single texture from the hard drive that it didn’t enough have room for in memory, so it had to go back and forth between the page file. Which is slow. Really slow. But anyway, the weird thing is how much worse the game played on normal settings, than it did on high. If you look at the frametimes in green, normal settings, you’ll see spikes throughout the entire benchmark.
In red, high settings, the game is much, much smoother most of the time. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve experienced it with a handful of games and setups over the years, so I’ve just accepted it as a quirk. Actual gameplay isn’t terrible… sometimes. You’ll experience hard jitter often, and if you drive too fast, the textures won’t load in front of you so you may just float through the ground as it tries to load. Overall, I’d call GTA V with this setup “barely playable”. Next up, Battlefield 1. To benchmark it, I ran through the first 2 minutes of the first campaign mission and repeated it 3 times at each quality preset to ensure accurate data. Here are the framerates. Average FPS is a bit lower than GTA V starting at 43 on low and as poor as on ultra.
When you look at minimum FPS, which is arguably a more important metric than average FPS for budget builds, again we have that weird “turn up the quality settings and the game runs better” thing. At medium settings, the framerate never dropped below 30 fps. That’s not bad. Looking at the frame times in BF1, at medium settings, you see a much more consistent picture. It’s still not great, but the vast majority of the time the game runs consistently with only occasional slow frames. If you’re just running the campaign, I’d call Battlefield 1 playable. Online is a different story and it’s terrible, like “under 25 frames per second and freezing every two seconds” terrible. Next up, the Ghost Recon Wildlands Beta. I know the game has since been released but I wanted to include it because it was actually one of the most forgiving games when it came to not meeting the minimum system requirements. Here are the frame rates recorded with the built-in benchmark. At low settings, the game averaged 43 frames per second and never dropped below 27.
It wouldn’t run at all on Ultra, but at anything above medium settings the frame rate didn’t even average 30 so I’d call it a moot point. Looking at the frame time graph, it’s not that bad, all things considered. There are some harsh spikes here and there and a bit of jitter throughout, but it’s far from unplayable. In fact, the game even handled screen recording pretty well.
Next, Deus Ex Mankind Divided. This game is gorgeous and very taxing. It’s actually the only game I’m running in these benchmarks that recommends 16GB of memory, rather than the standard 8. Here are the minimum and average FPS marks at various quality settings. At low it averages 38 but will drop to 0 sometimes; at medium the average is only 33 but the game never completely freezes. Once again, that weird “turn up the settings and it runs better” thing. The good news is, looking at the frame time graph, the game is actually fairly consistent. In the benchmark, anyway. In the campaign, more complicated sections with more AI and more stuff going on really kills performance. Like, to unplayable levels. Finally, Just Cause 3. Subjectively, of all the games I tested, this one was probably the worst. The opening mission ran at like 5 frames per second and it freezes, all the time. Here are the framerates from a simple benchmark that involves grappling over a field, deploying the parachute, and floating toward a town. At least these results make sense; both the minimum and average frame rates get lower as you turn up the settings.
The way I benchmarked isn’t great at showing jitter from not having enough RAM; I put it together in a way that focuses as much as possible on the GPU and processor, rather than storage and memory, so that I can more easily compare setups in the future. So, instead of showing frame times from the benchmark run I’ll show you frame times from floating through a town. I know I said Just Cause 3 was subjectively the worst but based on this I think it’s actually objectively the worst. Note that the vertical scale is on the order of hundreds of milliseconds. Many frames took longer than a quarter of a second to render, some more than half, and one frame, this guy, took nearly 2 full seconds. This is beyond unplayable, it’s more like the computer can barely keep the game running. So there you have it, modern gaming with 4GB of memory sucks.
I’ve since upgraded to 8 and you’ll be able to watch the updated benchmark video soon. Now if you’re playing older games, like Just Cause 2 or Saints Row 3, performance is decent across the board. You can crank up the graphics settings since those games, played on modern hardware, go very easy on GPU, CPU, and memory. The takeaway from this video should be “just spend the extra $30 so you can have a full 8GB of memory.” So if you guys liked this video hit the like button, if you want to see more hit subscribe, and if you have any questions (other than “4GB isn’t enough, why are you so dumb?”) leave em in the comments. Thanks for watching, I hope it was interesting, and I’ll see you in the next video.
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