Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One X console will cost $499, but when you consider that it is set to bring 4K gaming to the living room, that’s quite an aggressive price.
For PC gamers, is it possible to put together a PC will similar functionality for around the same amount of money? We take a look to see if we can throw together a number of builds at multiple price points to return different results in quality and performance.
It is quickly clear that we’re going to have a hard time picking components (that are actually in stock) to match those offered by Microsoft in its $500 console form factor. The company (as well as competitors) has the ability to pack in serious power without the asking price skyrocketing. Not only is it able to take a hit to push out more units to consumers, the console itself really isn’t going to be powering through anything other than games.
The same can’t be said for an average PC, and that is where things become a little cloudy. With Windows 10 installed, a gaming PC (especially one that can game at 4K) can perform a wide array of tasks that a console simply cannot.
Our first build is a PC that we feel is capable of some solid gaming but that will hit some bottlenecks. That is to be expected when you choose an older AMD FX processor and prig it with an affordable GTX 1060 with only 3GB of VRAM.
This PC build will set you back $782.53 and will only yield 4K gaming at around 30 frames per second (FPS) at best. It won’t be the best experience and may not even match that of the Xbox One X. Toning things down a notch in the settings or opting for a still respectable 1440p resolution will still result in quite the capable machine. We opted to include a Blu-ray drive to match the console for reading disks (though you won’t be able to enjoy 4K playback), and upgraded to AMD’s new Ryzen processors.
This is where the PC can really shine over any Xbox. Adding the most powerful components available to the cart and neglecting to check the price will unlock immense amounts of potential in-game. NVIDIA’s GTX Titan XP is overkill for most PC gamers but this GPU card will offer incredible performance at 4K. We also bumped the amount of DDR4 RAM to 16GB, replaced the Ryzen 5 chip with a Ryzen 7 1800X, and opted for a more capable motherboard with the X370 chipset. It’s expensive but awesome.
If you’d rather not build your own PC, and if money isn’t really an issue, there are a number of powerful mid-tower builds available from various manufacturers. Some of these PCs sport hardware capable of smooth 4K gaming if push comes to shove, but it should be noted that in order to hit 60 FPS at such a high resolution, you’re really going to need to invest in the best components on the market (namely the GPU).
If all you care about is gaming at 4K and you don’t want to invest in a prebuilt PC or put together one yourself, the Xbox One X is worth consideration. The bottom line is that building a capable PC to take on the new Xbox spec to spec will cost a fair amount for the time being.