The NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit isn't your typical off-the-shelf gaming PC. You end up with an absolute monster of a machine, have no fear, but it isn't quite as straightforward as most gaming systems. There are pluses and negatives to NZXT's way of thinking here, and indeed NZXT offers more traditional builds for would-be buyers, but this doesn't feel too much for most PC gamers to handle.
As the name suggests, this is a full PC kit instead of a pure pre-built. Everything you need for a fully functioning machine is here, but unlike most machines, you've actually got to piece this together yourself. In many ways, it's akin to building a PC completely from scratch yourself, something that plenty of PC gamers do, but NZXT has taken the hard work out of the component selection. This means you won't come unstuck mid-build because a cable is too short, you don't have enough cooling, or because your graphics card simply won't fit.
Some readers will be eager to point out that this part of the building process isn't too hard these days either, and they'd be right, but there's something eminently pleasing about receiving a box filled with everything you need (i.e. the components), along with some clear instructions, and piecing it all together.
It's like Lego, but Lego that can run Metro Exodus Enhanced at 60fps. It also just so happens that the money NZXT is charging makes for a far better deal than you generally see with actual pre-built systems. I'm talking in very real terms here—you're looking at an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 for your $1,500 whereas you'd usually top out at an RTX 3060 Ti outside of sales events.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
GPU: PNY GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200 Teamgroup T-Force
Motherboard: Gigabyte B550 UD AC
Storage: 1TB WD_Blue SN570
Front I/O: 1x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C, 1x audio
Rear I/O: 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.2, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2x USB 2.0, 3x Audio
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
PSU: NZXT C650 650W
Case: NZXT H510
OS: Windows 11 Home
Warranty: 2 years parts
Opening the BLD Kit makes for a delightful experience, with a mix of NZXT-branded boxes peppered with plain brown boxes containing some of the third-party elements, such as the motherboard and graphics card. You also get a chunky build guide that takes you through the whole process like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Literally.
I've built more than a few systems over the years, but I followed the guide as if I was a novice, and there were no nasty surprises. It's only at the end when dealing with the wiring that the generic nature of the manual makes things a little tricky, but still not frustratingly so. You're looking at around one-to-two hours for the full build, which isn't too bad at all.
Some more time given over to cable management in the guide would have been good, although that's much more of an art form, anyway. If you want to spend an extra hour making sure the back of your machine looks perfect, then knock yourself out. And there's a good chance you will, because building the system yourself means you'll care about the final form just that little bit more.
I was pretty pleased with the final result, and the temperatures suggest that there was plenty of airflow in the case itself.
One thing of note is that NZXT has updated this kit since we first got it in for review—it has replaced the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X with the 5700X for the same money. That means you jump up from a six-core, 12-thread chip to an eight-core, 16-thread CPU. The 5700X does have a lower base speed of 3.4GHz, but it has the same max boost of 4.6GHz, and that's where it'll sit most of the time when gaming anyway. Essentially, it won't make much of a difference in your games, but if you do more serious work those extra cores are definitely welcome, especially if you do focus on the streaming side of gaming.
The rest of the spec is solid, with a 1TB NVMe SSD and 16GB of DDR4-3200. You're only looking at a PCIe 3.0 SSD, specifically the WD_Blue SN570, but at least you've got plenty of capacity to play with. This SSD comes with Windows 11 Home installed by default and seeing your new build boot into Windows for the first time is always a pleasing experience. The only thing NZXT has left for you to do is to download and update the graphics drivers. There are plenty of Windows updates to work through too, but it's not an arduous process.
There's no bloatware on the machine either, in fact, the only thing that comes pre-installed is the NZXT CAM software, which you use to control the RGB lighting of the Kraken 120 all-in-one cooler. On that point, this may be a windowed case, but it isn't awash with LEDs—just the aforementioned CPU cooler. Something that I absolutely don't mind at all, but worth bearing in mind if you're in need of a little bling from your new machine.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X in this machine is fine for gaming, although it can lag behind the similarly-priced competition in some tests. The likes of the ABS Master and Build Redux 'Good' come with an Intel Core i5 12400, and that chip turns in more impressive numbers in the Cinebench R23 test—both in terms of single-core and multithreaded performance.
It isn't an all-out loss though, with the X264 video encoding test showing that AMD's Zen 3 architecture can still kick out the numbers. You're looking at 39fps in that benchmark, which is a shade quicker than both of those machines. If you're looking for serious CPU performance though, then the iBuyPower SLMBG218 is the way to go, as that system comes with the Core i7 12700F—that chip offers almost double the multithreaded performance in Cinebench and X264.
When it comes to gaming, the RTX 3070 is the star of the show here. With most similarly priced machines shipping with an RTX 3060 Ti at best, this NZXT system is just simply the better option for gamers. The lead may be subtle at times, but it's absolutely the smoothest experience in every game we tested with.
This is the only machine that we've seen at this price point that can hit 60fps in Metro Exodus Enhanced using the ultra settings at 1440p. This game may be getting on a bit, but it still looks great, and really shows off what your machine can do. Elsewhere, you're looking at roughly 10% improvement in most games at 1440p over 3060 Ti-based machines, with the one exception being Far Cry 6, which manages just 3fps over the Build Redux 'Good' machine.
Essentially, you're going to be able to play pretty much any game at the top settings at 1440p without issue. And with DLSS on hand to help out in ray tracing heavy titles, you can easily show off what the best games are capable of with this machine and not feel like you're missing out. 4K isn't too much of an ask either, making this a versatile option for plenty of gaming setups.
Overall, the NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit is easy to recommend, and a great option for anyone looking to buy a gaming PC right now. Sure, you're going to have to spend some time piecing it together, but you'll do so knowing that all the components are guaranteed to work well together and you'll potentially get a better understanding of your PC in the process.