Consisting of the latest entry-level processor from AMD’s Ryzen series, the 8GB of DDR4 RAM and RX 550 (4GB) graphics card make for an incredible system that’s perfect for those new to PC gaming. Kitted in a stylish chassis by the way of the CiT Dragon3, a 1TB HDD and 80 Plus Bronze rated power supply provide enough space for games, with great reliability for the lifespan of components. These are the very components which power the Primal Ryze 3 Gaming system.
As the most attractive aspect of the Primal Ryze 3, the AMD Ryzen 1200 CPU features four cores at 3.4GHz, making it an attractive alternative to competing Intel Core-i3 processors. Seeing as this is an entry-level system, the chosen graphics card makes perfect sense for the build – balanced against the capabilities of the processor so that it may perform at its best. And the RX 550 does just that. Given the specifications of the GPU, initial expectations as well as prior testing with alternative CPUs were of console-level performance, falling very much in-line to that of the PlayStation 4. This is precisely where the performance of this PC should be measured against, as it will no doubt be competing for those looking to dip their toes into PC gaming.
AMD Radeon RX 550 (4GB) Specs:
Shader Cores: 512
Core Clock: 1203MHz
Memory: 4GB GDDR5
Memory Clock: 7000MHz
Memory Bus: 128-Bit
Requiring no additional power from the PCIe, the RX 550 draws a total amount of power rated at just 50W. As the card carries a single-slot form-factor with the cooling fan only being powered once the GPU reaches a specific temperature, gamers will be pleased to know that the PC is great for gaming in silence. Unfortunately this also limits overclocking, as seen during gameplay by the way of screen-flicker once I pushed the GPU to 1300MHz. Although being rated for 1203MHz, the RX 550 sat comfortably at 1264MHz – never exceeding this speed, mind you. The model of the RX 550 in this system is the RX 550 Slim by XFX, and it features a DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b and DVI-D connectors.
Gaming performance was measured against three Triple-A titles. These games consisted of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Batman: Arkham Knight, and Ryse: Son of Rome. No in-game benchmarks were run during the testing of this system, with actual gameplay being the only form of testing produced.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider proved to be the most interesting title of all the games tested. As the lead platform for the game was originally the Xbox One, it made perfect sense to simply dial in the equivalent visual settings to that of the console and scale back and forth until a stable level of performance was reached. Online outlets report that the former Xbox-exclusive runs the game at medium-high settings, 1920x1080p, at 30 frames-per-second – albeit with less detail levels, decreased texture filtering, and lack of tessellation.
Being able to match these settings with a modern graphics card that’s rated slightly lower in terms of performance specifications to that of the console is a testament within itself as to far AMD has come with the architectural improvements on their latest cards. This was achievable with texture filtering set far more higher than the Xbox One, and what’s even more interesting was that lowering the resolution down to 1600x900p allowed the game to run with tessellation and higher detail levels enabled. This, much like the console was able to run at 30 frames-per-second.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Pushing the detail levels further and being able to exceed the experience offered by the PlayStation 4 – Shadow of Mordor was playable at high settings, 30 frames-per-second, 1920x1080p. More times than none, the system powered through the game often fluctuating between 30-40fps. For those willing to decrease resolution or detail levels, 60 frames-per-second is indeed on the table. Exceeding these visual settings to those more demanding was by no means playable for the RX 550. And given its performance levels being very much in-line with that of a console, it shouldn’t be expected to perform that much greater.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Known for an incredible number of issues during its initial launch, Batman: Arkham Knight has certainly come along way. Plagued with numerous problems when running the game over 30 frames-per-second damned the game to Steam’s shopping category of eternal Hell, sitting alongside a selection of poor-console ports and non-recommended games. Interestingly enough, Batman: Arkham Knight was easily playable at both maximum settings and 1920x1080p on this system. While the game was set to a 30fps lock, it’s clear there was fuel leftover in the tank, and had the game received proper treatment then it’s clear the RX 550 would’ve been able to drive the game further.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Available exclusively to the Xbox One and PC, Ryse: Son of Rome is one of the most visually striking – if not thee number one for the most graphically impressive games released in most recent years. Keeping in-line with the console approach of baseline visuals before scaling as required, Ryse: Son of Rome was another interesting title – reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Knight. Targeting the normal settings at the exact same 1600x900p resolution as the Xbox One, the Primal Ryze 3 performed significantly better – not falling to the same shortcomings of failing to reach its 30fps frame-rate.
In-fact, the Primal Ryze 3 was able to run the game at maximum settings, hovering around 35-40fps at this resolution. Increasing the resolution to a full 1920x1080p wasn’t viable at the same visual quality, so this meant dialing settings back to normal – which again is inline with the Xbox One – all the while benefiting from an increase in clarity. Personally, the game looked a great deal better at the lower resolution, since the increase in shadows and textures brought out additional details.
The Primal Ryze 3 is certainly of the console-alternative variety. Where the entry-level performance of the machine allow it to exceed that offered by the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, the additional purposes offered by those of a PC provide a fantastic advantage. Powered by AMD’s Ryzen 3 1200 processor it’s clear the quad core design and incredible 3.4GHz clock speed deliver enough performance to drive the RX 550 graphics card. While the appearance of the system will be down to the users own preference, me personally, I think it’s quite stylish. The black and red colour scheme of the chassis, components and lighting work in favour of the AMD colour traits. Along with plenty of upgradability in regards to storage and RAM – of which the motherboard supports two DIMM slots, the Primal Ryze 3 serves as a great starting point for new gamers.