Trying to game on a Dell All-in-One Office PC

in Hive Gaming4 months ago

I know, this sounds like an awful idea, but I was so preoccupied with if I could, I didn't stop to think if I should.

Recently my father had to bring his work PC home because of a surgery, so he's been doing home office, I asked for his permission to try out some games on it and he accepted out of curiosity.

On paper this Inspiron 5400 AIO doesn't sound too bad, with a 11th gen i5 and Intel Iris Xe graphics, it sure does sound powerful enough to handle some gaming maybe at 720p.
The screen is a nice crisp absolutely gorgeous 1080p panel at just the right size, so hey, maybe even some lower end 1080p games would look beautiful here.

But I didn't want mercy. I wanted VIOLENCE.

I started off with something simple though.

CSGO on low, at 1080p. It should be able to handle this, right?
I ran the classic workshop benchmark map and besides the obvious frame drops during the smoke areas, it kinda held its own not too poorly. With maxs of 110 and an average of 70.

If one were to buy this just for CSGO at 720p or even lower, I think they'd be golden... But one would not do such a thing and I'll get into why a little soon.

After CSGO I went for the original Tomb Raider, and oh boy... my expectations were low but this brought them to a new low. At medium settings, 1080p, the same way I used to play this on my Ryzen 3 with a Vega 8 3 years ago, it only managed this:

Womp womp womp.
My PS3 was more consistent than that. Come on Intel!

After that I made this thing suffer more than any Excel spreadsheet could ever do and ran two tests that this tiny poor CPU+iGPU won't ever forget.

Resident Evil 2 was promising at first, when running on low at 720p... But I was indoors. My initial excitement quickly turned into a sigh, as I realized what I was doing was absolutely pointless.
This thing was not meant for gaming, I thought the Xe would absolutely destroy ye old HD Graphics of past, but I was wrong.


After that I went brutal. Totally brutal.
WIth DOOM 2016.

At the lowest possible settings without messing with .ini files and at 720p, it hovered around 20 to 27FPS.
By then my disappointment had actually turned into something of a surprise. Such a weak chip actually delivering an almost playable result that could be playable if I decided to sacrifice even more graphical fidelity? Awesome!

But as with what I said on the CSGO portion, there's no reason to buy this for gaming. In fact, I don't think there's any reason to buy this for your office.
This particular unit cost R$6000 (BRL) at the time of purchase straight from Dell. That's R$1000 more than my PC.
My PC can handle DOOM 2016 at 4K... It can handle DOOM Eternal at 4K.

This is cheaper with all new parts (except the GPU).

I don't understand why make such an underpowered product for such a high price. I understand that this was meant for offices, but an office could choose a gaming laptop over this and get better performance per buck.
They don't need that performance though, so they most certainly don't need to spend over 1000 dollars on overpriced setups like this.

I don't blame logistics, which decided to buy this. I don't work there, I couldn't have given my two cents, but I do blame Dell or whoever the seller was who managed to convince logistics into buying these things for this price.
The ironic part is that just 1 year after these were bought for that price, the price was already halved.

So, can you game on a all-in-one? Yes. If you're fine with spending too much and getting too little.
Honestly, a laptop is a wiser choice here, unless you really need one - in which case you can find better deals.
I dislike Apple, but for just a little bit more they could've gotten M1 equipped iMacs and the performance would've been so insanely better, even for the office things they do.

Alright, I'll stop. I'm bullying a poor mobile chip, and that isn't my point here. Just be careful with what you spend your money on - people are more than willing to sell you something bad if you don't understand it.
And whilst this wasn't meant for gaming in the first place, the lesson still stands, better could've been bought for less.


I've never been a fan of Dell computers and this is proof why I'm not. They sell really poor quality products at expensive prices. An average gaming PC can give much more performance than this. Not only for games but also for office work.

Indeed! Any other brand or even custom built PCs sold by small reputable stores would be better.

Not to mention that by buying from small reputable stores you're helping break the stronghold of these overpriced companies and are easily upgradable and recyclable later on to become capable gaming machines.
Dell used to be good at this with the old Optiplex PCs, but they've fallen a long way.

I guess it really depends on the era of Dell you are talking about. Nothing beats building your own but Dell made pretty good PCs through at least the Pentium III era (though I always preferred Gateway 2000 then) but have been more hit or miss since. I loved their Sandy Bridge to Haswell era Precision notebooks (portable workstations really). I have also liked certain XPS desktop models over the years but I don't know about recently. Certain older Precision and Optiplex desktops are really good as well. I did buy an Alienware laptop a couple of years ago and it seems to be decent quality. However, the newest Dell desktop I've worked with is probably 10 years old. All-in-one's are almost always a poor buy no matter who makes them, including Apple. Why confine yourself to laptop hardware in a desktop? Too limited, too hard to repair and too hard to upgrade.

I think it's higher priced because of the fact that it's used widely in office use.. So company's tend to buy them in bulk so the company makes more I suppose??

Pretty much it. Companies tend to care less when buying stuff like this if their focus isn't IT - which is a shame, it only screws up smaller companies.

Indeed it would have run better with a system like Emuleg to make it an arcade machine! That is a very Good post! Maybe with some software improvements, I can run things in the Fortnite style. Thanks for sharing

At my university in the computer room are those dell models but with an i7 instead of an i5 and well, for office use is a team that meets perfectly and for games that are not demanding, but definitely for AAA games still lacks a lot to intel with its integrated.

can you play games with it? YES.
do you want to? NO.

hahaha. good info. thank you.


"I'm not stopping you but..."


Any PC can be great for gaming. It's just a matter of how old you have to go.

Great point!