NZXT has introduced an interesting pre-built PC for the age of the graphics card shortage — one that’s powered by a Ryzen 5600G, a CPU with a built-in GPU that can reasonably be used for gaming. While, in normal circumstances, NZXT’s $800 Foundation PC might not be the first pick for those looking to get into PC gaming, the low availability and inflated prices of dedicated GPUs (and machines that include them) make it an interesting option for budget-minded buyers.
The AMD processor / graphics card combo is the centerpiece of the build, but its other specs are also respectable: it comes with a 500GB NVMe SSD and 16GB of RAM. And while its 650W Bronze power supply won’t be winning any efficiency awards, it should be able to power something like an RTX 3060 if you’re able to get your hands on one in the future.
Of course, having a dedicated GPU would be preferable for almost any gaming scenario, which is why most vendors include one — even the GTX 1650 included with the lowest-end HP Omen can outperform the 5600G’s graphics.
If you’re shopping for one of those models, though, you’ll likely have competition — they can be a gold mine for scalpers, who will sometimes “shuck” a valuable GPU from a pre-built and sell the card and now-GPU-less PC separately (the $900 Omen’s Nvidia 1650 could sell for upwards of $300 by itself on eBay). You don’t have to search for gaming PCs on eBay for very long before you run into listings for pre-builts with “NO GPU” or “without graphics card” in the title.
If you’re adventurous and know what to look for, you could potentially find a decent deal by buying one of those scalper leftovers. While the integrated graphics on modern Intel CPUs don’t match the power of the 5600G, they will let you at least use your computer until you can find a GPU. I was able to find at least a few shucked computers in the $500 to $600 range that would likely perform better than the Foundation once both were equipped with a dedicated GPU. Whether you want to support someone who likely scalped a GPU or not is really up to you — though if you do go this route, do keep in mind that the only desktop Ryzen CPUs that can be used without a dedicated graphics card are actually APUs that have a G at the end of the model name.
Since you can’t separate the 5600G’s graphics card and sell it for a markup, the Foundation may not be as enticing to scalpers, potentially preventing it from winding up constantly out-of-stock like many of NZXT’s other pre-builts.
Some manufacturers can at least mitigate concerns of scalpers snapping up their pre-builts by giving base models low-end GPUs that aren’t particularly desirable — iBuyPower’s AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen Starter PC, for instance, comes stock with a Ryzen 3600 and an Nvidia GTX 1030 (which Tom’s Hardware says is a tad slower than the 5600G’s integrated graphics for most games). But that configuration is almost $300 more than the NZXT, and the CPU is going to be slower — iBuyPower will let you upgrade to a 5600G, but then your 1030 would be next to useless.
If the 5600G’s relative uselessness to scalpers helps NZXT keep the Foundation in stock, it could be a good choice for those who don’t want to build their own PCs but who would be comfortable slotting in a graphics card at some point in the future when they’re more readily attainable again. Hopefully, it could inspire other vendors, too — while some will currently let you equip the 5600G alongside an external graphics card, that configuration likely won’t be worth fighting scalpers for.