Gaming PCs are expensive

Gaming PCs in the test: What are computers for 1,200 euros?

Gaming PC test: high speed, great features? COMPUTER BILD had current gamer computers in the price range around 1,200 euros in the test.

What a finale: At the end of the year there will be four hotly anticipated game hits with "Assassin's Creed Valhalla", "Call of Duty - Black Ops Cold War", "Cyberpunk 2077" and "Medal of Honor - Above and Beyond". So Christmas is saved - at least for all gamblers who have a computer with a lot of power. But does it really have to be a 3,000 euro bolide right away? Or do mid-range models also provide fun for around 1,200 euros? COMPUTER BILD tested current gaming PCs in this price range.

Gaming PC test: why not a notebook?

The gaming PC is still the first choice for many gamers. And for good reasons: most manufacturers install slimmed-down processors and graphics cards in gaming notebooks due to the cramped conditions. They also want to save the battery. There is no need for such compromises in PCs. Another advantage over gaming notebooks: if the PC is getting on in years, components such as graphics cards, CPUs, hard drives and SSDs can usually be replaced with new ones without any problems - and that also works with the five tested models.

What must be in a good gaming PC?

What should actually be in a € 1,200 gaming PC?
  • Processor: A good processor should also be found in a comparatively cheap PC - such as Intel's upper-class CPU Core i7-10700 or AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X.
  • RAM: Buyers shouldn't be satisfied with 8 gigabytes of RAM - 16 gigabytes are better.
  • Graphics card: A graphics card with Nvidia's RTX 2060 chip should be installed in a 1,200 PC - also the RTX 2060 super model or a picture maker with the Radeon RX 6800 chip from AMD.
  • Storage: An M.2 SSD with a fast PCI Express connection and at least 500 gigabytes of storage is mandatory, as is a hard drive with 1 terabyte of storage.

This is what the test candidates offer

Not all test candidates fulfill the compulsory program: For example, the One with the Core i5-9600 only has a mid-range CPU, while graphics cards with Nvidia's entry-level chips GTX 1660 Ti or GTX 1660 Super calculate the image reproduction in three of the five test items. There are also huge differences in the memory sizes: Only the Acer has a combination of a 500-gigabyte SSD and a 1-terabyte hard drive, while the Dell Inspiron G5 5090 (N5JTn) has a 500-gigabyte SSD.

Speed ​​comparison of gaming PCs: Gaming in 4K with 3840x2160 pixels is a real challenge for gaming PCs. Compared to the game in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels), only a third of the performance remains. Number one in this test: the One High End Ultra IN04.

That is how fast the test items are

And how fast are the tested gaming PCs? Office tasks as well as photo and video editing were a piece of cake for all candidates in the test. The fastest here was the Acer Predator Orion 3000 (DG.E21EG.00R), followed by the Medion Erazer Bandit P10 (MD34888). The One Gaming PC High End Ultra IN04 brings up the rear because the Core i5 CPU cannot keep up with the Core i7 processors of the competition. On top of that, the One uses a 2.5-inch SSD with a SATA socket instead of an M.2 SSD with a fast PCI Express connection. And that slows the pace even more. On the other hand, the One had the edge in terms of the actual purpose of the test candidates - when playing. Thanks to the potent RTX 2060 super graphics card, it offered the highest speed when gaming, followed by the Acer (see comparison above). The Acer and the One are also fit for playing games in sharp 4K resolution. For the remaining three test candidates, gamers have to reduce the detail reproduction - otherwise the proud Northmen in "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" jerk across the screen in slow motion.

Who will win the arms race?

Another strength of the One: It remained nice and quiet while gaming - in contrast to the Acer, whose fans with high speeds and corresponding volume protect the processor and graphics card from death by heat. Incidentally, the testers missed some upgrade options on the Acer. There are no free slots for expansion cards or for an additional M.2 SSD. A DVD drive like the one found in Medion cannot be retrofitted in the Acer or the other three candidates. Anyone who still has films or games on Blu-ray or DVD looks into the tube or has to use an external DVD drive with a USB connection (from 20 euros).

1st place: Medion Erazer Bandit P10 (MD 34888)

If you are looking for a gaming PC with great features at a fair price of around 1,000 euros, the Medion Erazer Bandit P10 (MD34888) is the right choice. In the test, it wasn't the fastest in comparison, but it offered an all-round carefree package: Its work speed was high, it still has plenty of reserves for playing Full HD games, and nobody can complain about the standard equipment. All in all, the bandit not only achieved a good grade, but also impresses with its price.
  • Complete equipment including DVD burner
  • Game speed in Full HD good
  • Smooth 4K experience only with reduced details
  • Loud under load

2nd place: One Gaming PC High End Ultra IN04

If you have a 4K screen and want to play current games such as "Cyberpunk 2077" with fine-grained 3840x2160 pixels, you should use the One: The One Gaming PC High End Ultra IN04 was extremely fast when gaming in 4K. Because of the slow SSD and the not-too-potent Core i5 CPU, he screwed up the speed tests while working - and thus gave away valuable points.

3rd place: HP Pavilion Gaming PC (TG01-1300ng)

Almost 6 kilograms light and with dimensions of 34x16x31 centimeters only slightly larger than a shoebox: the HP Pavilion TG01-1300ng (200B2EA) is not only stylish, but also compact. Practical: In addition to connections for a headset, it has five easily accessible USB sockets including a USB-C connection on the front. Apart from 4K games, it offered a decent pace in the test, but was a little noisy when gaming under full load. For around 1,200 euros, the Pavilion is a solid gamer.

4th place Acer Predator Orion 3000 PO3-620

Powerful gaming PCs don't have to be bulky or unaffordable! Acer proves this with the discreet and affordable Predator Orion 3000 (DG.E21EG.00R). It offered a lot of speed in the test and even ran 4K games smoothly on the screen. The equipment with fast WLAN-ax is also right. However, the noise level under full load and the not-too-abundant upgrade options could be improved.
  • Very high work speed - even with computationally intensive tasks
  • Very high game speed - even with 4K titles
  • Very loud under full load
  • Memory card reader missing

Gaming PC test: test conclusion

The test shows: Even if money is not an issue, it doesn't have to be a 3,000 euro gaming PC! In this comparison, even the cheapest test candidate took the lead. For a moderate 1,170 euros, buyers get the best overall package: The Medion Erazer Bandit P10 (MD34888) is fast, economical, quiet and well equipped. Logically, there was also the price-performance victory.

* The cheapest price may be higher in the meantime.

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