a "best of" compilation of budget gaming components
We're used to testing gaming systems with powerful hardware, but sometimes we lose sight of the fact that most gamers do not allow such computers. That is why, from time to time, we also test a less-performing system that puts into context the prices and capabilities of the "budget" components. This is how the Ranger v6 system, a small-budget gamer system, or the need for processors capable of rendering video clips and video cards for 4K resolutions has come to our attention.
Ranger v6 is a system configured by PC Garage with many of the components we can find in its offer or other online stores. The advantage of a Ranger system for homebuilding is that it benefits from assembling by professionals and can cost even less than if they were purchased separately, especially if they are gathered from multiple stores, adding transport costs or lost time. Considering the list of components, it is certainly not a system dedicated to those who would know how to configure their own system, but rather is thought to be the "first PC of gaming" for someone who is just entering this world of gaming computers.
At the core of the system is an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G, a surprisingly advanced quad-core 3.5GHz processor, considering its shelf price, which is also equipped with a Spire AMD "box" cooler. It comes with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 video card in a Gainward implementation, a 2GB DDR5 memory model and 8GB of RAM, using the ADATA XPG Z1 RED DDR4-3000. Being a budget system, we only have a memory stick, and there's room for another one for those who want to upgrade. Note, however, that the memory should be identical in order to benefit from dual-channel functionality.
The MSI A320M PRO-VD / S motherboard is factory-backed with the new Ryzen "2" processors and supports up to 32GB of RAM when needed. Being a budget system and considering the price of memories in the last two years, it is probably not the case to think of such "missiles."
For storage, we have only 1 TB hard drive from Seagate, the famous BarraCuda series. It is not special in any way, the speed of 7,200 rpm and a 64 MB buffer is already standard. It will perform like any budget HDD on the market and should resist over time, these models being pretty reliable. There is plenty of space to add an SSD (or two), but such upgrades will have to be purchased separately. We need to keep in mind that "budget" is the key word in Ranger v6, and SSDs are considered to be "luxury" accessories, given the price per GB, despite the fact that prices have fallen slightly in recent years. However, many prefer pre-loaded storage space first and then speed.
All these are powered by a 500W nJoy Ayrus 500 with an efficiency of 80%, enough to supply these less demanding components. This source, if it proves to be time-resistant, should support just about any upgrades for this system, whether we're talking about extra storage, a stronger video card or a stronger processor. Of course, given the motherboard and the source, we can get out of the equation overclocking over some basic level
Finally, we have the casing, the Segotep LEGEND C2, a compact middle tower equipped with two fans (one front and one rear). They are illuminated with red LEDs, but it should be noted that they are not the most quality models. Thus, even if they run at a low speed, they will make some noticeable noise, even when the system is idle. Otherwise, the casing is quite spacious for a budget model and well-partitioned. There are two 2.5 "SSDs, two 3.5" HDDs accessible by removing the right-hand side, where the cables and the source are hidden. At the top of the case there is room for mounting two fans or an AIO cooler with small liquid (max. 240mm). Plastic finishes are not "impressive", but the overall appearance of the carcass is not bad at all. On the front panel there are three USB sticks (two 2.0 and one 3.0), headphone jacks and Power and Reset buttons
As a general impression, the Ranger v6 is well established, being virtually a "big hits" of budget components currently available on the market. PC Garage's "Gold" assemblage meets the normal standards, allowing an optimal airflow within the enclosure with respect to the hardware we have at our disposal
If you did not closely follow the above paragraphs or if you wanted to have a complete overview of the configuration, I've attached a complete list of hardware components in Ranger v6 below:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G OC @ 3.5 GHz (4 core / 4 threads)
- Cooler: AMD Spire (box)
- Motherboard: MSI A320M PRO-VD / S
- Chipset: A320
- GPU: Gainward NVIDIA GTX 1050 2 GB
- RAM: ADATA XPG Z1 RED @ 3000 MHz (1 x 8 GB)
- HDD: Seagage BarraCuda 1 TB (7,200 rpm)
- Source: nJoy Ayrus 500 W
- Housing: Segotep LEGEND C2
We can not talk about the experience of using Ranger v6 without reminding us that the lack of an SSD is probably the biggest drawback of the system. Anyone using a desktop or portable computer with SSD knows that Windows should load in seconds after the startup and that almost all applications should open immediately after accessing. Well, in the case of Ranger v6 it takes little patience. If you consider this model, you have to put some money aside for an SSD, any model, however inexpensive and as efficient as it may be. Even the cheapest SSD on the market will make an enormous difference in use.
Otherwise, there are few things to be reproached. Being a small system equipped with not very demanding components, it does not produce much heat or consume much current, but we would have preferred red LED fans to be more qualitative and therefore quieter. Also, the option to turn off the LEDs would have been appreciated.
Ranger v6 can be used in many gaming activities, the purpose for which it was built. As long as you do not have the requirement to stream live on Twitch or YouTube, edit videos or run AutoCAD design software, the system is very capable of running productivity software. Of course, even the applications I mentioned work, but the user experience would be too cumbersome to be recommended.