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)

[img]http://i.imgur.com/PMHvS1x.png[/img]

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 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127722 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

December 27, 2014 | 07:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well atm im building a budget gaming pc and these are the specs (600-650€)
Intel Core i5-4570
Nvidia GTX750 Ti EVGA FTW w/ACX
8Gb 2x4 G.skill RipjawsX DDR3 1600Mhz
Western Digital 1Tb Sata3 7200RPM
Zalman Z12 Plus
XFX Pro 550W Core Edition
MSI B85M-E45

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?

March 5, 2015 | 12:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

won't be a problem to only change processor with your mobo, only the max memory from 16gb is different from other motherboards

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.

December 27, 2014 | 07:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you can't get an ethernet cable to your pc, just buy a cheap PCI wireless card, here in Portugal they sell for less than ~20$ (I got a 15€ one)

January 6, 2014 | 03:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And here I thought they were actually going to try to build a PC within the same price range. I don't know why they don't list the specs of the $550 machine. I would like to see someone actually do it, but it is unlikely. The manufacturing costs for consoles are usually less than individual computer part costs. Of course, there are differences between the purpose of a console and a PC, but I am just considering comparing them in pure specs vs cost ratios.

January 8, 2014 | 01:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You can cut out $98.00 for this build if you just go with Linux / SteamOS. With Steam suporting more and more games on Linux, who needs WinBlows?

January 17, 2014 | 02:51 PM - Posted by Leehwak (not verified)

Me

January 12, 2014 | 10:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So how well will this computer run games like battlefield 4 and games like minecraft that really tax the system.
.???

February 10, 2014 | 06:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

REALLY??? wow and minecraft??? how the fuck do these "tax" the system? these are 2 of the lowest visual quality games available..... and minecraft is literally pixels LMAO

March 7, 2014 | 01:49 AM - Posted by OMG!!!! (not verified)

hahahaha this fool says minecraft lags his system. what a crackhead.

February 22, 2014 | 01:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Firt off the only cpu taxing game that you listed is Battle Field 4. MInecraft is not even close to cpu taxing, not even with the shaders mod, thats GPU taxing. PLease get your facts straight before you go commenting incorrect things.

January 12, 2014 | 10:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How well can it run bf4

January 23, 2014 | 06:54 AM - Posted by LordBlox3 (not verified)

I was wondering if anyone could tell me the parts I also need besides the computer. I have a link for a website and the things I'm mentioning are in the second list. I'm new to the world of building computers. However, I wish to learn more. So if anyone is willing to explain that would also be great.

http://www.davesite.com/computers/system/checklist.shtml

January 23, 2014 | 06:55 AM - Posted by LordBlox3 (not verified)

I was wondering if anyone could tell me the parts I also need besides the computer. I have a link for a website and the things I'm mentioning are in the second list. I'm new to the world of building computers. However, I wish to learn more. So if anyone is willing to explain that would also be great.

http://www.davesite.com/computers/system/checklist.shtml

January 27, 2014 | 02:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

besides the point that the pc is being used for doing productivity stuff not available to consoles (word , photoshop etc. ) the BIGGEST thing people never consider and go over HURR PS4 OWNS PC FOR LESS $$ is the price of the games! YEAH go pay 70 euros for a crappy ea game when on steam you can just get it for less or wait for a sale and get 5 games on the same price.Thank goodness you measure costs but you dont even consider game prices.hell one can even pirate games . 0 cost for 10 games vs 700 euro for consoles.gee gtfo my master race console plebs

February 1, 2014 | 11:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Plus you can re-use the HDD of your gaming console/old computer

Upgrading is way cheaper

Replacing stuff such as keyboard + mouse is cheaper than gamepads and also more durable, while you can also use a console gamepad on your PC

No need to pay fees to some company every month to be able to have limited funcionality on your internet

Cheaper games

Overall, PCs are cheaper

February 9, 2014 | 12:09 AM - Posted by pomark14 (not verified)

why is the graphics card not 209 in amazon its 250!so the total is not right?! 209 no its $249.99 -.-!

February 9, 2014 | 12:13 AM - Posted by pomark14 (not verified)

Roll over image to zoom in

Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP Dual-X with Boost and OC Version PCI-Express BF4 Edition Graphics Card (11217-01-25G) price is not 209 in amazon its 2499.99 so whats the real prize???

February 13, 2014 | 10:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this build costs $876...

February 13, 2014 | 10:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

and that's if you don't spend the $ on a blu-ray optical drive.

February 13, 2014 | 10:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

and that's if you don't spend the $ on a blu-ray optical drive.

February 24, 2014 | 03:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was thinking of building this soon, but was considering buying a GTX 760 instead. Worth it? Or should I just stick with the AMD Radeon R9 270?

March 10, 2014 | 04:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

for everyone, you could build a multipurpose computer with small tower --" like damn... my PC is way better then XBOX One and it sits on a mini tower if you saw my tower you would think that it's a console ( steam machine ).

March 16, 2014 | 06:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

can you make more cheaper
more like $400+ ore $400-

March 29, 2014 | 08:39 PM - Posted by Mindstab Thrull (not verified)

First time looking at this site so..
I'm curious what it would take to make an Intel system that can toe-to-toe with XBox/PS4.

Also @ Anonymous from Mar 16: It's theoretically possible but you lose out on a lot. It won't be a system you will want for gaming per se unless they're old games or ones that don't require much in the way of resources. I tried putting one together for $600 by Newegg.com pricing and I had to cut a *lot* to be able to do it. Any lower than that and I was looking at things like no-name power supplies, highly-outdated graphics cards, and the like.

April 5, 2014 | 11:14 AM - Posted by David Greenhalgh (not verified)

I built this system, only change was graphics card was 260x and power supply slightly different Corsair CX600M

turns on, no beep (looks like no speaker in motherboard or case. dvd powers up, same for hard drive, and fan running on graphics card.
However no signal no monitor.

took the chance on building my 1st computer followed video carefully.

Mother board used in guide does not have own video out so have to rely on graphics card.

Suggestions?

December 9, 2014 | 08:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So the graphic card he suggested in amazon and the one he actually used isn't the same ? And does all graphic card has an hdmi outlet ?

December 9, 2014 | 08:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So the graphic card he suggested in amazon and the one he actually used isn't the same ? And does all graphic card has an hdmi outlet ?

April 5, 2014 | 05:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

SHUT UP

April 5, 2014 | 05:25 PM - Posted by Yolo Mcswaginstons (not verified)

That pc looks awesome

May 17, 2014 | 11:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How would I add a hdmi port

May 19, 2014 | 10:18 PM - Posted by Mrs. Austin E. (not verified)

soooo!! expensive...thats price is twice of ps4 and xbox1

January 27, 2015 | 07:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In the world of PC's, this thing is cheap. As said above, when you factor in subscriptions with consoles, it's much more expensive. Plus, this gets you so much more performance. To put this into perspective, people spend up to $4000 on really nice PC's...

May 31, 2014 | 10:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I got all the parts from amazon but got stuck on connecting some wires that were shown being connected in the video. :(

June 1, 2014 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

werent*

June 1, 2014 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

werent*

June 1, 2014 | 12:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

werent*

July 29, 2014 | 10:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

why not spend that little bit more and get the FX8350? its a better processor for basically a tenner more if you look in the right places!

July 31, 2014 | 02:53 AM - Posted by jon mauck (not verified)

i am building desktop computer and i was a wondering what happens to a computer if the power supply is more than the Estimated Wattage

July 31, 2014 | 01:49 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

If you mean that PSU can provide more wattage than your system needs then it is a good thing.  You won't have to worry about instability because the PSU doesn't provide enough power when under load and gives you the ability to upgrade components in the future.

It will only provide as much power as the components draw from it, it will not electrocute them.

August 9, 2014 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does this build work with Windows 7?

August 9, 2014 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does this build work with Windows 7?

September 18, 2014 | 04:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

think my hardware is good?:

FX8320 OC 4.8Ghz
16GB Ram Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz
MainBoard GA 990FXAUD3
R9 270X Toxic Crossfire
SSD Kingston V300
Corsair TX850M
Case Obsidian 350D
RL Thermaltake Water Pro 3.0
HDD Seagate 4T
LG 3D D2343P

October 9, 2014 | 07:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

abc is 1234, 123 12-1 = 11 half life 3 confirmed

November 20, 2014 | 10:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is my PC good for heavy gaming
GPU-nvidia gtx 660 2 GB not ti
Cpu-i3 4130 dual core intel
Hard drive-same shown up
PSU- coscair 550 walts
Case- cooler master force 500
Os- windows 8.1x64bit
Motherboard- gigabite ga-b75m-d3h
Ram- transend 2x4=8gb
Windows Xbox controller Bluetooth and adapter wireless
!!!!PLS REPlY ME!!!!

January 27, 2015 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not quite, that gpu really bottlenecks your system. If ur budget is flexible, at least go for the 750ti, but a 960 would be much much better. Your current build wont go far in terms of "heavy gaming"

December 9, 2014 | 08:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How to change the 1333MHz of the speed to the speed actually mentioned to be. He said its fairly simple change it but still didn't give any kind of explanation pertaining to that information.
Please and Thank you.

January 22, 2015 | 10:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was just buying components to assemble my new pc. I had a question, do we have to buy power supply seperately or does it come with the case.

January 27, 2015 | 07:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Some cases have a PSU, most don't. I would buy at least a 600w PSU...

April 2, 2015 | 06:42 PM - Posted by A.G. (not verified)

Hey guys,
i just wanted to say sth maybe important for you if you plan on building a system like this just because i wouldn't choose a 270x anymore if u look at the pricing oft the r9 280.
Herr in germany an acceptable 270x costs about 180€-200€ and the r9 280 which has a gig of gddr5 RAM more and is a lot more powerful comes in at about 190€ for a Gigabyte windforce or a Saphire dual x oc.
And because oft the small difference between € and $ you should look at simmalar prices in the US (about 1.08$ per €) and if this isnt the case in the US i would reccomend this at least to all guys living in europe :)
And if u wanna save even more money in ya build you possibly should wait until AMD releases their New r9 3xx series cause then the prices for the 2xx will fall
I hope i could save/help you :)

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