Efor a while, when for 1,000 euros you received quite a lot of computer, and a top configuration did not cost more than 2 – 3,000 European pennies. But times have changed, and the pandemic and the semiconductor crisis have shown us how money can lose its value, and PC components can become extremely expensive rarities. And now it is not surprising to see video cards that cost 1,500 – 2,000 euros each… genre, just the card. And you’re wondering, how much does a decent gaming PC cost, so you can play around with everything new?
This is where PC Garage talks about their pre-built systems; it’s just not the classic systems you bought a few years ago from specialty stores. You know, those cheap tin boxes, a source that doubles as a home firefighter and configurations so unbalanced and weak that you say they were fighting for a mediocre prize. No, no, it’s about pre-assembled head systems, made by the PC Garage team, and today we’re talking about the Dragon, the newest PC in the dealer’s offering. It’s not the most expensive or the most powerful, but I have to admit one thing: it’s a gaming system with a damn correct setup, an equally fair price, and proof that we can finally buy PCs at affordable prices. decent after voi you know… crisis, pandemic, these.
And as with any Windows installation party, we need to know what we are dealing with. So I unzipped the safety glass from its edge and stuck my curious nose inside. And among the wires pulled nicely through the wire management spaces and the attention to detail shown by the Garage, I found an interesting configuration, so to speak. The first 11 with which the PC Garage Zmeu system scrolls looks like this.
|Processor||Intel Core i3-12100F|
|Cooler||Intel Luminar RM1|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte B660M DS3H|
|RAM memory||Exceleram Dark 16GB 3200MHz CL16 Dual-Channel|
|storage||Intense Premium 500GB PCI 3.0 x4 NVMe|
|Video card||Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC 8G|
|Source||Inaza Odyssey 80+ Bronze 600W|
|HOUSING||Aerocool Trinity V3|
About choosing components
I don’t have much to say about component choices in this price category. The processor is a quad-core with Hyper-Threading technology, which means it offers a 4c / 8t configuration with a frequency of up to 4.3GHz in Turbo mode. The processor cooler, ie an Intel Luminar RM1, takes care of cooling the processor. Next to it we have a set of RAM memories in dual-channel configuration, with a capacity of 16GB and a 3200MHz CL16 configuration. The latter do not matter so much on the Intel platform, so they are a good compromise.
And after looking at the memories, it is clear that we are dealing with a motherboard with chipset for Alder Lake, but with DDR4 memory support. It’s about the Gigabyte B660M DS3H, a mid-range card that gives you just about everything you could need on a modern platform in 2022: 2.5GB network card, USB 3.2, and so on. For storage we receive an Intenso Premium SSD in M.2 format, with NVMe support and PCIe 3.0 x4 connectivity. It’s not high-end, and it doesn’t give you PCIe 5.0-worthy speeds, but neither is SATA, so get a green light from me. It also has a radiator, which should keep the temperatures in a safe area.
But the jewel in the crown is the video card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC 8G. PC Garage has tried to squeeze the best video card the budget allows into Zmeu’s case, and the 3050 is a decent choice. Even though it is not the most successful video card manufacturer in terms of value, it does support Ray-Tracing, DLSS and all NVIDIA technologies. This means that it will be able to run the coolest games without too many problems, and if you get stuck, DLSS will take you ashore.
We also reach the last part of this configuration, namely the housing and source assembly. These are important issues for me, especially since my job involves assembling PCs quite often. So I tend to be a little more critical here. But in such a configuration, the 600W Inaza Odyssey source is ok. I love that 80+ Bronze certification that I consider a minimum bar for a system in 2022 and it has black cables, so it looks a bit modern. That white sticker is annoying, but you can live with it or not, if you have a hair dryer and patience.
The housing that houses all these components is Aerocool Trinity V3. That is, a fairly high-quality board, without sharp edges, well ventilated and equipped at the factory with three RGB fans. Of these, the two mounted on the front are 140mm and the one on the back is 120mm. The perforated front panel ensures decent airflow and in use, the PC is unexpectedly quiet. It’s not the toughest case I’ve ever gotten, but it’s okay. It also offers a fairly rich I / O, consisting of the two Power and Reset buttons, headphone and microphone jacks, a USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0. I haven’t found a way to control RGB lighting, but the default is set to a rainbow mode that is quite pleasing to the eye, so I have no complaints here; not with this money!
PC Garage Kite raises your butt ‘
I have to admit that I laughed a lot when I saw what this PC is called and what its slogan is. Listen to them, you know FPSU picks you up ‘. These English words are translated word for word, but I do not interfere with their marketing decisions, especially when in the context of the performance offered, it is really a suitable slogan. It may not sound good, but it does give you what it promises, and in the PC Garage Zmeu test session, we used seven games. The list looks like this: Apex Legends, Call of Duty Warzone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Cyberpunk 2077, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V and Horizon Zero Dawn.
I didn’t even bother to upload the resolution over FullHD, especially since this is the target set by the manufacturer. The graphics settings were in the High and Very High area, so I didn’t compromise and the results look pretty good. Especially since such a system works in combination with a 1080p monitor at 144Hz as well as tomatoes with cucumbers in salad.
With the exception of Cyberpunk 2077, which is a damn hard-to-play game, all the other titles ran excellently at the given resolution. And even in my favorite abomination from CDPR, Zmeu got 42FPS without DLSS. So it can clearly run at over 60 frames per second once you turn on NVIDIA’s super-sampling technology. In Apex Legends we have an average of 92FPS at High settings, Warzone is a short distance with 95FPS, also at High, and CSGO goes over 240FPS at maximum settings, so it’s enough for competitive gaming.
We stay in the territory of multiplayer games, because this is the largest audience and we have Fortnite run at Preset High with an average of 184 frames per second. GTA V is old and runs on a potato, so I’m not surprised we see over 100FPS at Very High. And in the end, we chose Horizon Zero Dawn because it is a very well optimized game, and at Ultra settings we reach a sweet spot of 61FPS. It should be noted that none of the games played recorded significant decreases in FPS, so without stuttering and other such issues.
PC Garage Kite is the protagonist of today’s story
In traditional culture, the kite is often the antagonist who wants to beat the hero; only today’s story is different. Okay, the fairytale kite is PC Garage’s older cousin the kite, and this little one isn’t as upset. On the contrary, he descended among ordinary mortals to help them get as many frames per second in their favorite games. And it does this without consuming too much and without being a bright microwave. So we have more than decent temperatures. PC Garage claims that in gaming, the processor and the video card record about 60 degrees of boy. In the tests I did, the values were still there, with a maximum of 64 degrees on the Core i3 and a fixed 61 on the video card.
The construction is also ok, with all the beautifully hidden threads and no elements left to chance. Even the ones from Garage did something that I forget, that is, they put all the screws, whether they were necessary or not. Joke aside, I’ve seen pre-assembled systems I’ve taken care of: some more tidy, some more messy, and PC Garage Kite scores super well in this ranking, and from my point of view it’s just below the assembled systems. IT Direct as quality. And that’s a big compliment from an OCDist like me.
But let’s talk about today’s sensitive topic, namely price. Most of the time, pre-assembled systems have problems when it comes to quality / price ratio. That is not his case Kite from the Garage, which comes with a price tag of 4,500 lei. If you want to buy it in pieces, once added to the cart, the pieces will cost you 4,492 lei. This means not only that PC Garage does not burn you at the price, but it also gives you assembly and the guarantee that all the parts are functional for just under 10 lei. And if that’s not a good offer, then I don’t know what else!