SkyTech ArchAngel FX 6300 + GTX 1050 Ti
SkyTech have been putting together good prebuilt gaming desktops for a long time now. But, how does their ArchAngel Gamer GTX 1050 Ti stack up against its competition? Is it worth buying this far in 2020? Well, the short answer is yes.
That's exactly what we're going to discover in this overview where I use my knowledge of hardware performance and pricing to break down whether or not this build would be a good buy. If it's not, then we'll go over some good alternatives before the end!
Have a question? Drop it in the comment section!
Ratings based on price relative to components used in 2018
The SkyTech ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti was a solid build, once upon a time. However, since the 6-year-old FX 6300 CPU it uses has become all but obsolete, you can easily find desktops running modern processors with even more power for roughly the same price.
- Case: Thermaltake Versa N21
- Fans: 2x 120mm
- Motherboard: AMD AM3+ socket / 970 chipset (manufacturer varies)
- CPU: AMD FX 6300
- CPU Cooler: Stock 2012 AMD heatsink
- GPU: Zotac GTX 1050 Ti Mini 4GB
- RAM: 1x8GB 1866MHz DDR3 (manufacturer varies)
- Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD
- PSU: Thermaltake 500w 80+
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Optical Drive: 24x DVD+CD R/RW
The first thing to know when you’re buying a prebuilt desktop is you’re not guaranteed to get the same components as the next person who buys the same computer. Sometimes, companies like iBUYPOWER and other popular builders might use a variety of different but relatively equal components in their setups.
That said, breaking a prebuilt desktop down to the core components used can help us determine whether or not its a good deal. Sometimes, as is the case with the SkyTech ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti, you end up getting a solid gaming computer for an equally solid price.
Processor (CPU): AMD's FX 6300 is a processor that's definitely getting on in age, especially when we're talking about tech. At this stage, we're looking at a 6-year-old CPU that's coming up on the cusp of being considered obsolete - especially when you look at the most recent processors like Intel's 8th gen Core lineup and AMD's 2nd gen Ryzen.
In terms of performance, it's a 95W CPU with 6-cores/6-threads and runs at a base clock of 3.6GHz but boosts to 4.1GHz when under load. Being an AMD processor, it's unlocked and can be overclocked on the included 970 chipset motherboard. But, before you do any major overclocking you'll want to upgrade the heatsink as AMD's older models weren't known to be the greatest performers.
Motherboard: The brand of motherboard you get with the ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti seems to vary based on when you buy, but you're always going to get an mATX-sized AM3+ socket board running the 970 chipset. The mobo will always have 4 DIMMs for RAM and will at least support the basic necessities of this desktop.
Graphics (GPU): A GTX 1050 Ti is actually a pretty good graphics card for 1080p gaming. It won't let you crank The Witcher 3 to ultra settings, but it will get you gaming at 60fps in pretty much anything as long as you don't mind tweaking in-game graphics settings to somewhere around medium-high depending on the game.
The card that comes with this desktop seems to be consistently a Zotac GTX 1050 Ti Mini 4GB which in itself is a great option.
Memory (RAM): The ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti comes with a single 8GB stick of 1866MHz DDR3 RAM from a variety of manufacturers depending on when you buy. This leaves you with 3 extra DIMMs to expand RAM up to the system's supported max of 32GB.
The problem with DDR3 RAM is, modern CPUs don't support it anymore. So, if you're going to upgrade to a new CPU down the line at some point you'd also have to upgrade your RAM to DDR4 which just adds another cost. Probably not ideal.
Storage: Here you get a 1TB 7200RPM HDD, again from a variety of manufacturers depending on when you buy. 1TB is a great amount to start out with and when you start to run short there are plenty of leftover SATA headers to hook up more HDDs or SSDs as you see fit.
Power supply (PSU): As you're probably expecting, this desktop doesn't come with a top-of-the-line Gold-rated power supply. It does, however, come with a modest non-modular 500W Bronze-rated supply from Thermaltake. It's not the best, but it'll do.
Connectivity, OS, Etc: There should be roughly 8 USB ports spread out between the case and motherboard. 5 on the mobo and 3 on the front i/o panel of the case where you’ll also find both a 3.5mm headphone and 3.5mm microphone jack. The GTX 1050 Ti graphics card has DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort inputs for connecting your monitors or even TVs to. You can also find audio jacks on the motherboard for speakers, etc.
The case used is a Thermaltake Versa N21. This has always been a super popular case to use; although it's starting to become a little dated in its design. That being said, it's still a good case and there's no major downsides to it in terms of this build. However, you should note that the Versa N21 only supports graphics cards up to 250mm (9.8") so a lot of the full-sized cards might not fit well, or at all.
Windows 10 Home comes installed by default and all you have to do is go through the first-boot setup process. That said, do not turn your PC off during this! It’ll require a clean install which is just a headache, even with the included boot disc.
On top of that, you're also getting a relatively basic keyboard and mouse pair. They're not mind-blowing or anywhere near high-end, but they're not bad at the same time.
Performance-wise, the SkyTech ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti is fairly solid, but it is held back by its FX 6300 CPU. When paired with a modern processor like the i3 8300, a card like the GTX 1050 Ti could perform a lot better - there could be up to a 20fps difference or more depending on the game!
Here's a benchmark ran and recorded on a very similar system in GTA:V. This is a good test of a build's overall abilities due to GTA:V being both hard on graphics cards as well as CPUs when on higher settings.
Now, here's a similar GTA:V benchmark on a system running a more modern setup including an 8th generation Intel i3 8100, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a GTX 1050 Ti just like the first benchmark. The last 60-seconds or so is the most important point to watch as it's not only the same between both benchmarks but it's also a more accurate representation of actual gameplay.
If you were watching the FPS counter, you probably noticed that the more modern i3 8100 build outperforms the older FX 6300 one by nearly 20-30fps in some instances. The craziest part? You could nearly build the i3 8100 desktop for the exact same price as the SkyTech ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti costs, including Windows 10.
To build it yourself...
- Case: Thermaltake Versa N21: $60
- Motherboard: mATX AM3+ 970 chipet: ~$70
- CPU: AMD FX 6300 + CPU Cooler: $99
- CPU Cooler: included with CPU
- GPU: Zotac GTX 1050 Ti Mini 4GB: $180
- RAM: 1x8GB 1866MHz DDR3 with heatspreader: ~$75
- HDD: 1TB 7200RPM HDD: $45
- PSU: Thermaltake 500W 80+: $45
- Mouse + keyboard: ~$35
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home: $100
- Optical Drive: ~$20
- Baseline cost: $739
Some prices estimated
You have to hand it to SkyTech, considering a rough estimate of the price of this build comes out to more than they're actually charging for it - not bad!
For roughly the same price, including Windows, you could build my $600 cheap gaming PC and end up with a much more powerful system. My $600 build comes with an i3 8100, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a GTX 1050 Ti, 1TB of storage, and more (as of the most recent update - late 2020).
Or, if you really want to avoid building your own desktop, you could get the CyberPowerPC GXIVR8020A5 which is only $30 more (as of the most recent update - late 2020) than the SkyTech ArchAngel but comes with WAYYYYYYYYY more power. It comes with an i5 8400, an RX 580 graphics card, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB of storage, and everything else you would expect out of a prebuilt desktop like a mouse + keyboard.
At the end of the day, The SkyTech ArchAngel just isn't worth the price anymore. The extremely dated CPU is readily outperformed by modern processors and if you want to upgrade you're almost just better off starting from scratch again. So, save yourself the hassle and just buy something more modern and updated.
It does have its merits, and if you're currently running one there's probably not a huge reason to upgrade. There's just no reason to be buying one this far into 2021 (or even back in 2020 if we're being totally honest)
If you have any questions about this review or the SkyTech ArchAngel GTX 1050 Ti, feel free to drop them in the comment section and I'll reply ASAP!