Once a bargain price for RTX 3080-beating gaming PCs, Nvidia x Intel makes rigs like this the new normal

ABS Stratos Aqua gaming PC
(Image credit: ABS)
ABS Stratos Aqua | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB DDR5-5600 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,499.99 at Newegg

ABS Stratos Aqua | Intel Core i5 13400F | Nvidia RTX 4070 | 16GB DDR5-5600 | 1TB PCIe SSD | $1,499.99 at Newegg
It may not be on sale, but we'd happily pay that price. Considering we're still seeing $1,500 machines packing RTX 3080 and 12th Gen Intel CPU combos, this 13th Gen machine is a steal right now. With access to DLSS 3.0 and Frame Generation, that 40-series card will have today's ray-traced games running at 4K. Paired with a 1TB wad o NVMe storage and 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM, and there's not much to complain about. Plus, you can always add more later.

Around a month ago we saw an RTX 3080-powered Alienware gaming PC deeply discounted down to $1500. That was a bit of a bargain to be sure, but that level of gaming performance looks set to stay at that price point with the standard price of this ABS Stratos Aqua PC being $1,500 at Newegg today.

That's all thanks to the RTX 4070, launched last week and in affordable gaming PCs this week. It's that GPU inside the ABS Stratos Aqua rig which gives it the same level of gaming performance as an RTX 3080-based machine, and gives it the potential to even push past that.

Despite the similar rasterised gaming performance between the RTX 4070 and RTX 3080, the newer Ada GPU has the opportunity to go further in terms of future gaming performance because of its access to DLSS 3.0 and Frame Generation. The voodoo of Nvidia's AI frame interpolation tech can deliver entirely unrendered frames into a game's output, making a huge difference to the overall smoothness of supported titles.

The ABS rig is ostensibly sporting a lower tier CPU—the Intel Core i5 13400F—compared with the previously mentioned Alienware machine. But only in that the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is an eight-core, 16-thread chip while the Intel processor is a hybrid 6+4 core CPU that also has 16 threads.

It will still outperform the last-gen AMD chip, however, and more than ably supports the Nvidia graphics card. The ABS machine also comes with 16GB of memory, but in this instance it's DDR5-5600 instead of DDR4-3200, and it also sports a full 1TB of NVMe SSD storage.

Honestly, there's nothing here that gives me any pause recommending this as a well-priced, well-performing gaming PC. The air cooler will be fine for a Core i5 13400F, and you get a decent 700W 80+ Gold power supply, too. 

The ABS Stratos Aqua isn't on sale for a discounted price right now, so this is its standard retail level. Which hints that we should be able to see this sort of gaming performance down below the $1,500 mark when the deals seasons roll around.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.