$500 Budget Intel Core i3-8100 and Radeon RX 550 Gaming PC Review and Benchmarks

Updated on November 21, 2017
whcobb profile image

I'm just a small time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.

Intel Core i3-8100 Coffee Lake Gaming PC

Hello everyone. Will here and today in this article, I will be bringing to you benchmarks of the recent budget build PC I did for a friend at work. The system is an Intel Core i3-8100, Coffee Lake series processor based system. The system was built with the budget of $500. This did turn out to be a decent performing system but for another $100, you could have a system that meets that magical 60 frames per second (fps).

First, let’s talk about what comprises this system. The system was assembled using the cheapest parts from Amazon, B&H Video, Newegg, and others. At the heart of the system is Intel’s newest line of processors, the Coffee Lake series. The Intel Core i3-8100 processor was chosen here. This is a four core, four thread processor with a base clock of 3.6GHz. The Core i3-8100 offers a 6MB cache and operates at just 65 watts TDP. The i3-8100 supports up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM up to 2400MHz in dual channel setup. The processor also offers Intel’s UHD Graphics 630 and supports DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.5. This processor was dropped into a Gigabyte Z370-HD3 motherboard, which has everything a budget build motherboard needs as it gives you 4 RAM slots supporting 64GB of DDR4 RAM and the board also supports crossfire for around $100. The RAM is nothing special as I purchased the G. Skill NT Series RAM, 8GB with 2 modules of 4GB ach, clocked at 2133MHz. I placed a $30, 3.5” Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM mechanical hard drive in the system for storage. The graphics card that was chosen was more for keeping this build in budget. I went with the AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB graphics card. This card is the XFX Radeon RX 550 and was purchased for just $80. This RX 550 has 512 stream processors. The XFX RX 550 operates at a 1203MHz core clock and the 2GB of GDDR5 video memory operates at an effective 7000MHz. It is a single fan card and requires just 75 watts TDP. The case I chose was the very budget DIYPC Solo T1-R ATX mid tower case. Powering the build is the EVGA 400 watt power supply.

Now, what this article is all about, which is, “How does this system fare for gaming?” Well, let’s find out. In these tests, I cranked all of the settings up to the highest levels to attempt to get some benchmarks. For testing, I chose 6 total games and tested them at 1080p and settings ranging from medium to very high settings. For the most part, all of the games played fairly well with this setup but we unfortunately did not get the requisite 60 fps on any of the games at the highest settings. Let’s take a look at the numbers

Grand Theft Auto V

GTA V
1080p, Very High Settings
Minimum FPS
43
Average FPS
48
 
 

First up is GTA V at 1080p and very high settings. The game played fairly smooth without lag or stuttering. There was however some stuttering in the more populated areas. I did managed to squeeze a minimum of 43 fps and an average of 48 fps with the very high settings. If you were to drop the resolution to 720p and lower the settings slightly, you could get 60 fps average, I do believe. The game did play as well as it would on consoles and did maintain the console standard of 30 fps overall.

Player Unknown's Battle Ground (PUBG)

PUBG
1080p, Medium/High Settings
Minimum FPS
34
Average FPS
38
 
 

Next game tested was Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds. This game is notorious for making all computer hardware look weak given the lack of optimization since launch. The game faired okay ate 1080p on all medium and high settings. There was some occasional stutter but overall, the gameplay was okay.

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1
1080p, High Settings
Minimum FPS
51
Average FPS
53
 
 

Battelfield 1 was tested next at 1080p on high settings. The game was smooth and looked really good, even with this lower end budget graphics card. There was minimal stutter during the more intense battles but overall, not bad.

Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Witcher III
1080p, High Settings, Hair Works Off
Minimum FPS
39
Average FPS
43
 
 

Witcher 3 followed at 1080p on high settings and hair works off. Again, not a bad experience but this game, outside of one other, had more stutter, more often and made the game somewhat difficult to play. However, the RX 550 held it’s own and the game was playable.

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal
1080p, High Settings
Minimum FPS
27
Average FPS
32
 
 

Far Cry Primal was the last “real” test. At 1080p and high settings, the game played okay but we were unable to maintain the 30 fps at all times and barely maintained over 30 fps on average.

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ghost Recon Wildlands
1080p, Low Settings
Minimum FPS
20
Average FPS
26
 
 

Finally, there was Ghost Recon Wildlands. I debated even posting the benchmarks given how bad the game played. I will say that if you have this set up, do not even try to play this game because you will be sorely disappointed. This game barely stayed in the 20 fps range and was an absolute stuttering mess over the 30 minute or so time I tried to run the game.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it. For a $500 system, especially one that gives you a Coffee Lake processor, you have a decent entry level gaming PC. Now, if you were to spend around $100-$150 more, you could get an nVidia GTX 1050 Ti or possibly an nVidia GTX 1060 3GB model and probably hit the magical 60 fps in many of the current Triple A games. Overall, the system is a good entry level system and will give you good performance for the next couple of years.

Now, would I buy this system and replace my old budget build system? Probably not given how much better that old G4560 system looks. I definitely would not replace my current Kaby Lake series, Intel Core i7-7700K system. If I was to build a system on a budget today then, yes, I would definitely get this system. However, I would probably wait until early 2018 when the Coffee Lake budget boards come out. Still, this is a pretty good system for the price, especially if you are getting this system just as a gap filler until you can purchase a Core i7-8700K CPU. All in all, it was a good system and a great challenge trying to build a decent Coffee Lake system for $500 or less.

JayzTwoCents

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • whcobb profile image
        Author

        William Cobb 4 months ago from Clarksville, TN

        It would handle streaming but probably only stream at 720p and 30fps. The GPU is a weak link. Throw a GTX 1060 6GB in there and it should do 1080p at 30fps streaming.

      • profile image

        Andre 4 months ago

        i love this build! is it also capable of streaming?

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)