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Build Redux Review: Solid Budget-Minded PC Gaming With A Few Hiccups – Forbes

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Build Redux
If you’ve been shopping for a pre-built gaming PC in the last year or so you may have come across Build Redux. It’s a relatively new brand situated under the umbrella of acclaimed system integrator Digital Storm, seemingly aimed at “bringing PC gaming to the masses”, at least according to the company’s magnanimous website copy.
A website, by the way, that turns your mouse cursor into a FPS aiming reticule. How very gamer. Corny UI gimmicks aside, from what I’ve experienced thus far, Build Redux does attempt to make the custom PC building process as accessible and approachable as possible. Not a bad thing when it comes to the potentially overwhelming world of PC hardware.
To start, you pick between ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ as starting points based on your budget. These labels essentially correspond with the quality and power of the components used. After you secure a decent foundation, then you choose which sorts of games you want to play on your rig, and also what resolution you’re targeting (1080p or 1440p).
From there, like a machine in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the website spits out the supposed ideal build for your gaming needs, which you can then tweak further if need be. The build complete, it’s off to checkout and also Build Redux’s claim to fame: A rather reasonable $75 build fee, which falls under something like NZXT’s $99 custom build fee.
You also get a 2 year warranty, one of the attractive options when it comes to pre-built PCs, as you don’t have to go tracking down a dozen different manufacturers to replace broken or malfunctioning parts.
So yes, at the outset, things seem promising for Build Redux, but are one of these shiny builds worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out.
Build Redux sent over one of its modified ‘Best’ rigs, valued at a total of $2,093.99, which includes the $75 build fee. The team essentially swapped in an AMD 5600X and an RTX 3070 for the usual 5800X and RTX 3080 that are usually installed on BR ‘Best’ systems. I’m not sure if this had to do with supply shortages or what, but you can see the full component list below:

There’s plenty to anticipate here in terms of potential gaming performance, though I dislike how Build Redux isn’t very forthcoming with exactly what brand of RAM (and specific brand of chipset, for that matter) is being installed. With my review unit, it turns out that it’s two sticks of red-accented Patriot Viper 3200 MHz DDR4, and an ASUS X570 motherboard.
With a Ryzen 5 5600X CPU, I think I’d have preferred 3600MHz DIMMs, but 3200MHz is more than serviceable. At least it’s dual channel, though. Just remember that you’ll have to turn on the DOCP/XMP profile in the BIOS to achieve the advertised 3200MHz frequency. System integrators really need to start enabling this basic overclocking right out of the box, because the average user will likely never go digging around in the BIOS to turn it on. Leaving performance on the table, basically.
Build Redux
To give some context on delivery times, my Build Redux review unit order was placed on September 23 and was delivered on October 3. 11-ish days doesn’t strike me as ‘speedy’ necessarily, but I do have to cut Build Redux some slack in this regard, because the pandemic has adversely affected FedEx truck delivery efficiency in my area. On the other hand, I know that some system integrators are currently posting 6-8 week lead times, so perhaps just under 2 weeks from order to delivery isn’t bad at all.
The review unit arrived in a black and blue box with no visible damage and was relatively easy to move around, clocking in at roughly 35 pounds. I opened the package to find a giant “Welcome to PC gaming” message and an accessories box atop the tower, which contained things like the motherboard manual, Wi-Fi network card installation CD (in 2021!), extra screws, alternate CPU bracket, RGB remote and plenty of loose cables for future upgrades like storage.
Opening up a pre-built system after a long time in transit is always a sort of hold-your-breath-moment. That said, the Build Redux unit showed up mostly in one piece. The tower itself was well-protected with strong rigid foam, and no portion of the tinted tempered glass panel was cracked or shattered. All the internal components were nicely secured with expandable foam and the GPU hadn’t come loose or snapped off from the motherboard. The motherboard itself, however, was another story.
Short of some brief text on the box, I couldn’t find any sort of pamphlet to guide me through the setup process. Having covered NZXT’s BLD Kit so recently, I found this omission to be notable. I also couldn’t locate the promised Windows 10 recovery USB stick anywhere, either. Kind of strange.
I was disappointed to see that, for whatever reason, the motherboard was misaligned with the rear I/O shield. This error rendered the top two USB ports on the motherboard inaccessible and unusable, as the barely-off metal edges blocked any possible plug insertion. To fix this, I ended up having to tear down most of the Build Redux unit, detach the motherboard from the chassis and realign/reseat the board with the I/O shield.
Interestingly, during that process, I realized one of the standoffs underneath the motherboard had been stripped and would no longer stay in place while fastening the motherboard to the chassis. So, after reassembling the rig, all but one of the Build Redux motherboard screws could be re-tightened. Perhaps this loose standoff initially caused the misalignment in the first place, but I can’t know for sure.
I also don’t know if the mishap occurred while in transit, or if my particular TD500 case is defective, or if the issue was overlooked during the assembly process.
I think it goes without saying that for someone just entering the PC gaming world (i.e. Build Redux’s target buyer), this sort of USB port mishap is pretty glaring. I doubt the average customer would be willing to — or even have the know-how to — essentially tear down the entire PC just to gain access to several USB ports they originally paid for. That sort of customer might simply accept they’re missing two USB ports or instead contact Build Redux for a complete repair/replacement. The latter, of course, would be a potentially avoidable cost that the company would simply have to eat.
This sort of quality check error (if it indeed is one) may seem little or silly, but considering Build Redux’s target market of beginner PC gamers, I consider the mistake rather egregious. It’s just bad for both parties involved. The customer is frustrated and Build Redux has to pay for extensive customer support or an outright shipped replacement.
Build Redux
My Build Redux review unit came assembled in Cooler Master’s TD500, a pretty solid chassis, at least as far as airflow it considered. There’s a fine fractal mesh front panel that provides plenty of breathing room (and also looks kind of cool) as well as chunkier mesh along the top and back panels. The top area has a removeable dust filter for easy cleaning.
Additionally, this rig came with a whopping six fans, which some might consider to be a bit overkill, but I welcome that kind of overkill. The build stays very cool while gaming. With a noise floor of around 40 dBA, the review unit peaked around 52 dBA during demanding game sessions and synthetic stress tests.
On that note, it’s a bit silly that Build Redux mentions that this rig comes with four free CM MasterFans, because the TDR500 actually comes with these four fans by default at retail, three of them sporting RGB. So really, you’re just getting an extra RGB rear fan out of the deal. Clever marketing, I suppose.
Front I/O includes two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, a microphone jack and a reset button. I’d like to have seen at least one USB-C port up top, especially since the included motherboard doesn’t have a single one.
The AIO pump is often audible, emitting some whine and gurgling/trickling now and then, which could have possibly been remedied by changing the orientation of the radiator. As the AIO was installed by Build Redux, the tubing cascades from the top of the case down to the CPU block, when ideally it would climb upward from the bottom. Or better yet, Build Redux could have top-mounted the radiator and had the tubing hang down.
Still, it’s not a huge deal, though it may, over time, shorten the lifespan of the AIO.
The Build Redux rig booted up with zero issues, and not to the standard Windows 10 setup screen, but straight to a surprisingly uncluttered desktop. The only two shortcuts present were NVIDIA GeForce Experience and Microsoft Edge, and the browser’s homepage was set to Build Redux, naturally.
As far as bloatware is considered, my Build Redux review unit had virtually none. The downside to this is that there was no pre-installed RGB software to control the lighting on the AIO or fans, so I had to go track that down online. There was always the included RGB remote control, but we’ll get to that next.
I launched AIDA64’s system stress test and the CPU topped out at around 46 C. During the Heaven synthetic graphics benchmark, the RTX 3070 peaked at around 68 C.
You get a good deal of RGB aesthetic in this system, though the lack of any strip lighting was a bit disappointing. I’ve come to enjoy being able to see the illuminated internal components on my gaming builds, and because this Build Redux machine doesn’t have any strip lighting, it’s rather dark within the chassis.
You do, however, get to control fan RGB with the included remote, and there are tons of interesting lighting patterns to choose from. The downside of the remote is that it only controls the outermost intake and outtake fans, and doesn’t touch the lighting on the AIO fans or cooling block (or the GPU, for that matter). You’ll need to download something like ASUS’ Armoury Crate software, which wasn’t included on this rig.
The review rig came equipped with a 500GB ADATA Gen3 NVMe M.2 SSD and a 2TB 7200 RPM BarraCuda 3.5” mechanical HDD. 500GB is practically nothing in this day and age when it comes to downloading large game files (read: Call of Duty) and it’s unfortunate that the boot drive is only Gen3 PCIe. Still, it will suffice in the short term, and unloading extra games to the 2TB HDD is always an option, even if playing games off it won’t yield shorter load times.
You can check out the M.2 NVMe read and write speeds below:
500GB ADATA M.2 NMVe read and write speeds.
Similarly to XMP on the NZXT Streaming Plus PC I recently covered, my Build Redux review unit arrived without DOCP (Direct Overclock Profile) enabled. This resulted in the Patriot Viper DDR4 running at a lowly 2666 MHz and timings listed as 20-19-19-43 in CPUZ, noticeably shy of the DIMMs’ factory-advertised speed.
I went into the ASUS motherboard BIOS, found the DOCP toggle and switched it to Profile #1, which bumped the Viper RAM into the proper 3200 MHz with timings of 16-20-20-40. It’s a shame that system integrators don’t enable these XMP/DOCP DDR4 profiles out of the box, because the average user, especially someone new to the gaming PC space, isn’t going to know how to even check their RAM speeds, let alone go tinkering around in the BIOS so they get the frequencies they paid for.
This seems especially so with a “Welcome to PC gaming” brand like Build Redux, which is positioning itself as a purveyor of accessible beginner gaming PCs. Regardless, you can peruse the AIDA64 benchmark results below:
Patriot DDR4 benchmark.
For the gaming benchmarks, I ended up deciding on general ‘high’ graphics settings for most titles, as that was the area the Build Redux rig could pull off baseline 4K/60fps performance. This was true for most games, with the exception of the notably demanding Cyberpunk 2077, which understandably posed a serious challenge for BR’s machine and really couldn’t achieve playable 4K using ‘high’ settings.
You can see all the benchmark results below, broken out by game title and also resolution:
Far Cry 6 (High): 70fps (4K), 81fps (1440p), 83fps (1080p)
New World (High): 62fps (4K), 88fps (1440p), 112fps (1080p)
Cyberpunk 2077 (High): 37fps (4K), 76fps (1440p), 116fps (1080)
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ultra High): 61fps (4K), 81fps (1440p), 95fps (1080p)
Back 4 Blood (Epic): 111fps (4K), 189fps (1440p), 260fps (1080p)
It’s apparent from these scores that you can squeeze some low-end 4K gaming out of this build, at least on ‘high’ graphics settings in most titles, though the rig will struggle with graphics settings that push any harder. Still, 1080p/1440p gaming is more than stable and responsive, which is probably where most Build Redux buyers will be using a system like this.
Despite some sloppy build quality, a missing accessory and website component listing that isn’t exactly transparent, I found Build Redux to be a rather competent pre-built system. The rig stays seriously cool during gaming due to its overabundance of fans and meshed case, the 5600X/RTX 3070 combo handles most games very well at 1080p and 1440p (even at lower graphics settings in 4K) and the price feels about right for this kind of rig.
Plus, there’s no proprietary parts that I can see and a decent upgrade path present, so if you want to swap in a beefier GPU or more memory down the line, it’s totally within the realm of possibility. Just don’t expect proper Digital Storm levels of care and attention here, and you might find a completely serviceable gaming PC. And if you do buy a Build Redux rig, hopefully your motherboard won’t arrive dislodged like mine did.
Disclosure: Build Redux provided review product for coverage purposes.

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$500M blockchain gaming proposal Game7 to come online with backing from industry veterans – Cointelegraph

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Ohio State vs. Penn State: Live stream, watch online, TV channel, prediction, pick, football game spread, odds – CBSSports.com

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No. 20 Penn State travels to Columbus on Saturday to square off with No. 5 Ohio State in a game that once looked to be one of the best games of the season. The divisional showdown has lost a bit of luster in recent weeks, however. Earlier this month, many anticipated this being a clash between two top-five teams battling for Big Ten East supremacy and a possible College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, a lot has changed since.
While the Buckeyes recovered nicely from its early-season loss to Oregon and dominated its Big Ten competition, the Nittany Lions cannot say the same. Going on the road and losing to Iowa 23-20 after losing quarterback Sean Clifford late in the first half was forgivable and understandable. Losing 20-18 in nine overtimes to 3-5 Illinois last Saturday is something different. Not only did that knock Penn State down 13 spots in the AP Top 25, it all but eliminated it from Big Ten title contention. The Nittany Lions now have two conference losses in a division with three teams that have yet to lose a conference game. 
The good news for Penn State is that it still gets to play all three starting this weekend, but the bad news is there’s little reason it can beat all three. 
It’s better for the Big Ten if Ohio State wins: We’re almost to the time of year when playoff rankings will be released. If you’re the Big Ten, the most important thing is that you get at least one team in the playoff, but ideally, you’d love to get two. A Penn State win here would seriously hurt any chance of the latter coming to fruition. It would be Ohio State’s second loss of the season and history has shown that two losses are one too many.
With both Michigan and Michigan State playing earlier in the day, the conference will be down to only one undefeated team by kickoff. Of course, if you’re a Penn State fan, you don’t care about any of this, nor should you. All you care about is ending a two-game losing streak and getting the season back on track. 
This could be the start of C.J. Stroud’s Heisman campaign: Stroud has been on fire in October. Although he threw for 484 yards and three touchdowns in Ohio State’s loss to Oregon, he’d been failing to live up to the lofty expectations that Buckeyes fans have for their QB after watching Justin Fields. 
After sitting out of the Akron game because of an injury, Stroud has been lighting up the Big Ten. Over his last three games, he’s thrown for 1,032 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. Of course, he’s done this against Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana, so it hasn’t garnered much attention. But if Stroud can keep that up by lighting up a good Penn State secondary, you can be sure his Heisman candidacy will receive a significant boost.
Penn State needs to figure out a way to run the football: It’s been a serious problem for the Nittany Lions all season long, not just in their last two losses. This offense ranks 99th nationally with an average of 3.54 yards per carry, 99th in rushing success rate (48.7%) and 116th in total rush EPA (-40.73). There’s only been one game this season in which the Lions averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry, and that was a 44-13 win over Ball State in which they finished with exactly 5.0 yards per carry.
One of the best ways to slow down the Ohio State offense is to keep it off the field, and the best way to do that — particularly when you have a banged-up QB like Clifford — is handing the ball off. If the Nittany Lions are going to go to Columbus and shock the world, they’re going to have to run the ball somehow.
Date: Saturday, October 30 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ohio Stadium — Columbus, Ohio
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
This point spread is not an accurate reflection of the difference between these two teams at their best, but it accurately depicts where they are right now. Clifford was well below 100% during Penn State’s loss to Illinois, and if he’s not healthy, an already limited offense becomes even more of a liability. Also, losing defensive lineman P.J. Mustipher for the season had a noticeable impact on the Penn State rush defense against Illinois. Now that same unit has to stop running back TreVeyon Henderson while also covering all the weapons Ohio State has in the passing game. I just don’t see how Penn State can keep up with this Ohio State team right now. Prediction: Ohio State (-18.5)
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 9, and which top-10 team will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,900 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.
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Sony's PS5 redesign is much lighter – but does it look any different? – Creative Bloq

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By Daniel Piper 21 July 2021
We just hope it’ll be easier to get hold of.
If you’ve managed to get anywhere near a PS5 in the last few months (no mean feat considering the console’s popularity), you’ll know that it’s big. Very big. Ever since the machine was launched last year, its gargantuan size has been the subject of countless mocking memes. But a slightly more svelte PlayStation 5 could already be on the way.
As spotted by one Twitter user (below), tweaked PS5 manuals appear to confirm a new ‘digital edition’ model, which is a whole 300g lighter than the standard version. It isn’t clear exactly how this weight loss will be achieved, but the arrival of a new model could be good news for anyone who hasn’t managed to get hold of one yet (here’s where to buy a PS5 if you fancy your chances).
It appears a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition revision (CFI-1100B) is being listed by Japanese retailersThis revision is 300g lighter than the previous model (CFI-1000B) and also features a different screw https://t.co/zQOSkzfdn8July 20, 2021
It seems the new PS5, listed as CFI-1100B, will weigh around 3.6kg as opposed to the current model’s 3.9kg. Not only that, but the new model will no longer require a screwdriver when adding or removing the stand. Hardly a groundbreaking design tweak, but hey – perhaps you’ve found yourself desperate to stand your PS5 up sans screwdriver.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Sony has made any other design changes to shave off that 300g. We’ve already heard that the company is planning a redesign in an attempt to get stock moving again – a shortage of semi-conductors is behind delays to the production, and Sony is keen to “find maybe a secondary resource”, or speed things up by “changing the design.”
Playstation 5
We can’t help but hope Sony does take the opportunity to tweak the appearance of the PS5. Maybe it could take a cue from this wildly popular all-black PS5 mod. Or even this ridiculous water-cooled PS5. Whatever happens, anything that speeds up the production line is a good thing in our book. Until then, check out today’s best games console deals below – and be sure to take a look at these awesome Nintendo Switch deals.
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Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an ‘iSheep’, but he’s fine with this. It doesn’t bother him at all. Why would it? They’re just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.
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