Video: How to Build a Gaming PC to Beat the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Subject: General Tech, Systems | November 22, 2013 - 07:45 PM |
Tagged: xbox one, video, r9 270x, ps4, playstation 4, fx 6300, amd, 200r

After Josh and I discussed and debated which components would be best suited for a low cost gaming PC to compete with the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One, Ken and I set about to create a video to show those users nervous about the idea of building a PC how easy it can be. 

Though Josh and I built systems at $550 and $750 price tags that compare to the new gaming consoles in different ways, for this build I thought it was best to focus on the higher performance, though higher priced option, detailed below.

  Gaming Build PlayStation 4 Xbox One
Processor AMD FX-6300 6-core CPU - $109 8-core Jaguar APU 8-core Jaguar APU
Motherboard MSI 970A-G43 AM3+ - $59 Custom Custom
Memory Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB 1866 MHz (2 x 4GB) - $80 8GB GDDR5 8GB DDR3
Graphics Card AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB - $209
(Alternate: ASUS GTX 760 - $259)
1152 Stream Unit APU 768 Stream Unit APU
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM HDD - $64 500GB 5400 RPM 500GB
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $59 Custom Custom
Power Supply Corsair CX 600 watt 80+ Bronze - $69 Internal External
Optical Drive Pioneer Blu-ray Reader - $49 Blu-ray Blu-ray
OS Windows 8.1 OEM - $98 Custom, FreeBSD Custom, Windows
Peak Compute 2,690 GFLOPS 1,840 GFLOPS 1,270 GFLOPS
Total Price $790 - Amazon Full Cart $399 - Amazon $499 - Amazon

The links above will take you to the Amazon pages if you want duplicate our setup for a system of your own. 

If you have never built a PC before, gaming or otherwise, it can be a little intimidating to see the list of parts you need to order.  But don't fear!  The build process is surprisingly easy if you pick the right parts and have the right help.  The video below will detail the exact installation process for the components listed above (or close proximity thereof) to get you up and running! 

If you happen to have missed the video where Josh and I discuss the REASONS for selecting the above hardware, I have included it below as well.  Stay tuned in the next day or so for our video that shows the operating system installation process, Steam installation, gaming and Big Picture Mode.

November 22, 2013 | 09:55 PM - Posted by KevTheGuy (not verified)

Well that's interesting. The picture of the motherboard in amazon doesn't look like that one. That looks way better

April 1, 2014 | 03:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

because he's using a Asus motherboard and the one on amazon is a msi motherboard completely different mobos but there basically the same thing

August 15, 2014 | 07:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i got that the exact one-ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 Motherboard

November 22, 2013 | 10:22 PM - Posted by Buyers

One argument i've heard in the pc vs console debate is the 'overhead' that PC's have with drivers and the OS and having to support wider ranges of different hardware where the consoles are much more refined with a specific unchanging configuration. With both the new consoles being X86 based, running more 'media' oriented hardware/software (in the case of the XBone, virtual environments), and overall trying to be able to do more, is there as much of an 'overhead' penalty with PC's still? And how much do you think the Mantle API will come into play in alleviating some of that overhead on the PC side?

Also, Josh, i'm willing to take some of that dust-collecting hardware behind you off your hands ;-) Ya know, to clean up the office clutter.

December 29, 2013 | 06:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yea there is a bit more overhead but you also have to realize that a PC can do a hell of alot more than a console can do not to mention out of the box a console doesn't have much HD memory I think the most I have seen is what 500gb compared to your normal PC that comes with about 1 terabyte worth of HD memory nowadays.

November 23, 2013 | 01:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


November 23, 2013 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You should also add the price of a controller, mouse and keyboard.

November 24, 2013 | 12:48 PM - Posted by mLocke

Consoles only come with one input device and it's perfectly possible to use any modern operating system with just the keyboard. $10 for keyboard, while both the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers for go $60.

November 23, 2013 | 03:38 AM - Posted by razor512

The $780 system comes out to less than the xbox one and PS4 when you consider the long term cost. plus you can overclock it for even more performance as well as a lot more functionality.

Since having a PC is vital either way, it is best to consider the cost as more of adding the price of the console, to the cost of a non gaming PC and using that money to build a PC.

Overall, the consoles have a lower initial cost as compared to a gaming PC, but they have a higher overall cost when you add in all of the fees associated with the console.

November 23, 2013 | 05:37 PM - Posted by Andrew (not verified)

The PC doesn't even really need the blu-ray player.

November 23, 2013 | 08:26 PM - Posted by biohazard918

It should be pointed out that you can get a 7870 for $160 with a $30 rebate you would have to be nuts to choose the 270x over the higher preforming 7870 while they are in stock.

November 24, 2013 | 12:26 PM - Posted by Robert23655124 (not verified)

Kind of funny to see all the youtube comments claiming that they can build a better ($550.00) system, but not actually listing their "magic build" that's way better/cheaper :)

I think people forget how much a scratch build actually costs.

February 10, 2014 | 06:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i could totally build a better system for 550

November 24, 2013 | 10:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

One of the big caveats that these type of articles almost always miss is the case. Anyone can build a powerful PC that sits in a big, ugly, noisy, plasticky case. The real trick is put all that power in a small, attractive, quiet case that comfortably sits in most people's entertainment center. Until you can demonstrate a build that does that, you're really not comparing apples to apples. Getting all these parts to work together in a small space and not overheat is not an easy or cheap task.

Believe me I'm no fan of Alienware at all, but this is precisely what their x51 rig does and I give them a ton of credit for doing a good job of it.

April 8, 2014 | 08:35 PM - Posted by zajc3w (not verified)

Not overheating.... i have about 100 scrapped ps3's and xbox360(slims too) all failed due to overheat an APU separation from mobo. Tell me again about that "not overheating" hardware in small box ;) funny enough in 50% of xbox 360 slim failed BGA soldering is on chip prepared to have heatsinkbut no heatsink on it. Measured temperature after 30 minutes of playing is 65 celsius. with CASE OPEN.

November 25, 2013 | 04:15 AM - Posted by IRQ6

What about the $60/yr subscription fee to play online? Times 6 or 10 years, that adds up.

November 26, 2013 | 12:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Isn't it basically anyone with a decent computer buy a 700 series card and have a better experience. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that just need to spend a few hundred dollars on a new card or second card for an equal to or better experience. There's a lot of those people out there in this situation.

November 26, 2013 | 05:30 AM - Posted by Naqqash Latif (not verified)

A very good job Ryan and team.

BTW, I thought CHA_FAN# stand for CHAssis FAN#, but nvm.

December 1, 2013 | 03:11 PM - Posted by Diego Santos (not verified)

I have an Asus M4A88T-V EVO + Phenom II X4 965 BE, I didn't had any issue until now but I've been thinking about change the Phenom for FX 6900 or FX 8350 using the same motherboard, they have the same socket and they work together but I am not sure if it has an effect on performance cause the motherboard is kinda old. Can someone help me on that question?

December 14, 2013 | 03:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey I was just wondering what the adapters were for the front panel connectors. Please tell me because I am building a new PC after Christmas. Thanks

December 14, 2013 | 03:45 AM - Posted by mr_charlo (not verified)

Hey guys i was just wondering what the adapter was for the front panel connections. Thanks.

December 14, 2013 | 03:56 AM - Posted by mr_charlo (not verified)

Hey I was wondering what was the adapter called from the motherboard

December 14, 2013 | 03:58 AM - Posted by mr_charlo (not verified)

Hey I was wondering what the adapter from the motherboard box was called

December 16, 2013 | 06:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The motherboard in the video is slightly more expensive than the one listed but they are pretty much the same...

December 19, 2013 | 12:26 AM - Posted by 1Step (not verified)

I've spent about 1400$ on my build. I love it. I don't discrminate between consoles and pc's. I just don't.But the ps4 looks like it may have better hardware. But the xbox is better optimized. And us pc gamers know optimazation is KEY.

December 20, 2013 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

that's a very big box to have on the living room.

December 27, 2013 | 02:38 AM - Posted by Driver004b (not verified)

After I watch this video, It make me want to build myself a PC :( but i don't have enough money.

December 30, 2013 | 03:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

what about the wireless conection?

April 1, 2014 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ethernet only
you can get a wireless extender with ethernet ports for 60$ on amazon and a ethernet cable is 5 dollars on there to.

April 8, 2014 | 08:38 PM - Posted by zajc3w (not verified)

2$ usb wi-fi donngle(adds ~20ms to ping) Online gaming using wireless is rather bad idea anyway.

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