NZXT has released an intriguing pre-built PC for the age of graphics card scarcity: one powered by a Ryzen 5600G, a CPU with a built-in GPU that can be used for gaming. While NZXT’s $800 Foundation PC might not be the first choice for individuals wishing to get into PC gaming under normal conditions, the limited availability and high prices of dedicated GPUs (and machines that feature them) make it an appealing option for budget-conscious shoppers.
The AMD processor and graphics card are the highlights of the design, but the rest of the specs are as impressive: it includes a 500GB NVMe SSD and 16GB of RAM. While its 650W Bronze power supply isn’t going to win any efficiency prizes, it should be able to run an RTX 3060 in the future if you can get your hands on one.
Of course, having a dedicated GPU is preferable in nearly any gaming scenario, which is why most suppliers provide one – even the GTX 1650 included with the lowest-end HP Omen can exceed the graphics on the 5600G.
If you’re looking for one of those models, be aware that they’re a gold mine for scalpers, who may occasionally “shuck” an expensive GPU off a pre-built and sell the card and now-GPU-less PC separately (the $900 Omen’s Nvidia 1650 could go for upwards of $300 on eBay). You won’t have to look long on eBay to find listings for pre-built gaming PCs with the words “NO GPU” or “without graphics card” in the headline.
If you’re brave and know what to look for, you might be able to get a good deal on one of those scalper leftovers. While the integrated graphics on newer Intel CPUs aren’t as powerful as the 5600G, they’ll get you by until you can find a GPU.
Once both were supplied with a dedicated GPU, I was able to discover at least a couple of shucked PCs in the $500 to $600 region that would likely perform better than the Foundation. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to support someone who most certainly scalped a GPU or not – but if you do, keep in mind that the only desktop Ryzen CPUs that can be utilized without a dedicated graphics card is APUs with a G at the end of the model name.
THE SELLING POINT OF THE FOUNDATION MIGHT BE THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY BUY IT.
Because you can’t detach the graphics card from the 5600G and sell it separately for a profit, the Foundation may not be as appealing to scalpers, keeping it from becoming continually out-of-stock as many of NZXT’s other pre-builts.
Some manufacturers can at least alleviate concerns about scalpers snapping up their pre-builts by equipping base models with low-end GPUs that aren’t particularly desirable — iBuyPower’s AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen Starter PC, for example, ships with a Ryzen 3600 and an Nvidia GTX 1030 (which Tom’s Hardware claims is a tad slower than the 5600G’s integrated graphics for most games). However, that setup is over $300 more expensive than the NZXT, and the CPU will be slower – iBuyPower will let you upgrade to a 5600G, but your 1030 will be rendered useless
If the 5600G’s lack of utility to scalpers helps NZXT keep the Foundation in stock, it could be a suitable option for folks who don’t want to construct their own PCs but would be comfortable installing a graphics card later when they become more widely available. While some dealers will now allow you to use the 5600G with an external graphics card, that combination is unlikely to be worth fighting scalpers for.