i3-7100 meet your DOOM
By Community Member: Justin Millard
Have you ever wondered just how far you can push gaming on a budget PC?
Turns out you can take that little CPU to hell and back.
A friend of mine was laughing about playing DOOM with Intel HD graphics.
That’s the kind of little graphics chip that comes built inside a CPU and is probably what your family usually uses for typing and browser games. I laughed hard and then I had a look.
I looked closely at the newest Intel i3-7100 and i5-7500 CPUs, the kind of desktop CPUs people on a tight budget will buy. The graphics chips inside them called the HD 630 iGPU could do a lot more than I thought. After cranking every setting down to low and changing the resolution down to 1280×720, DOOM becomes playable at a near constant 30 frames per second. It’s not perfect, but it’s playable.
When we’re on a tight budget there is a thrill that comes with seeing how much fun we can have with the little that we’ve got. Playing DOOM on a budget CPU definitely has that kind of thrill.
And of course, the beauty of PC gaming is that when you decide you want more, you can get it by slotting in another graphics card later. If you want that computer to match a PlayStation 4, you can probably make that happen.
Honourable mention goes to the older AMD 7860K.
It’s slightly cheaper than the i3, but can play DOOM at higher settings.
If the system is purely for budget PC gaming without buying another graphics card, the old 7860K still does a surprisingly good job.