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PC vs. PS4 vs. Xbox One Hardware Comparison: Building a Competing Gaming PC

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The 7 Year Console Refresh

Be sure you jump to the second page to see our recommendations for gaming PC builds that are inexpensive yet compete well with the capabilities and performance of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One!!

The consoles are coming!  The consoles are coming!  Ok, that is not necessarily true.  One is already here and the second essentially is too.  This of course brings up the great debate between PCs and consoles.  The past has been interesting when it comes to console gaming, as often the consoles would be around a year ahead of PCs in terms of gaming power and prowess.  This is no longer the case with this generation of consoles.  Cutting edge is now considered mainstream when it comes to processing and graphics.  The real incentive to buy this generation of consoles is a lot harder to pin down as compared to years past.

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The PS4 retails for $399 US and the upcoming Xbox One is $499.  The PS4’s price includes a single controller, while the Xbox’s package includes not just a controller, but also the next generation Kinect device.  These prices would be comparable to some low end PCs which include keyboard, mouse, and a monitor that could be purchased from large brick and mortar stores like Walmart and Best Buy.  Happily for most of us, we can build our machines to our own specifications and budgets.

As a directive from on high (the boss), we were given the task of building our own low-end gaming and productivity machines at a price as close to that of the consoles and explaining which solution would be superior at the price points given.  The goal was to get as close to $500 as possible and still have a machine that would be able to play most recent games at reasonable resolutions and quality levels.

Continue reading our comparison of PC vs. PS4 vs. Xbox One Hardware Comparison: Building a Competing Gaming PC!!

 

The Basis for Consoles

The overwhelming reaction to the latest generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft was how eerily similar they are in specifications.  Yes, there are some differences between the two, but the overall specifications are lock-step with each other.  The primary reason for this is that both companies tapped AMD’s custom silicon group to design the chip for each company.  The design is then signed off on and Sony/Microsoft takes care of the fabrication (eg. order wafers from TSMC).

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Since Sony launched the PS4, we shall take a look at them first.  The heart of the console is the AMD designed APU.  It features two quad-core Jaguar based processors, so it has eight cores in total.  This is clocked between 1.6 and 1.7 GHz in speed, but Sony claims that it can go as high as 2.75 GHz.  Obviously Sony is utilizing some of the Turbo Core functionality inherent in AMD’s CPU designs.  Clockspeed will depend on load and available TDP overhead.  In some situations where the GPU portion is working extra hard, the CPU will be as low as 1.6 GHz.  In situations where performance is balanced, we could expect the cores to go into the 2 GHz range.  Only when no graphics workload is present would we expect the 2.75 GHz number.

The graphics portion is a GCN based architecture that features 18 CUs, which make up a total of 1152 shaders.  This portion is clocked around 800 MHz and in total the APU gives around 1.86 TFlops of computing power.  The PS2 had around 6 GFlops of performance, and that was embargoed from certain countries because supercomputing trade rules.  The compute power of this particular console is very impressive, and the GCN architecture allows for very efficient use of power and an impressive amount of flexibility in programming.

The APU’s crossbar and memory controller are not well known, but it does appear to be off-the-shelf technology from AMD.  The twist here is that Sony utilized a full 256-bit GDDR5 interface running at 5.5 GHz, giving around 176 GB/sec of bandwidth.  It is well known that GPUs love large amounts of bandwidth, and Sony gives it in spades.  GDDR5 is more expensive than DDR3, but not excessively so.  It more than makes up for the cost by providing plenty of bandwidth to run at resolutions of 1080P with varying amounts of AA as required by the game developers.

The PS4 comes standard with a 500 GB hard drive spinning at 5400 RPM.  It also features a modern Blu-ray drive that can run many times faster than the BD drive of the PS3.  Oddly enough, it does not play back DVDs.  The interesting part here is that the hard drive is easily accessible and upgradeable by end users.  Ryan wrote an article exploring the performance possibilities of such an upgrade.

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The Xbox One is very similar, but slightly different in a couple of major areas.  First off they do bundle the device with the latest generation Kinect.  Their OS and media support is a big step above the PS4, but time will tell if that investment will pay off for the Xbox One.  It is still primarily a gaming machine, no matter what other bells and whistles we see.  Choices were made with the hardware that could affect performance in the long run, but we are not entirely sure what those effects will be.  The APU is again designed by AMD and integrates two quad-core Jaguar based units along with 12 GCN based compute units which comes out to be 768 stream units, or the same as a Bonaire based graphics card.  It is clocked at 853 MHz rather than Sony's 800 MHz, but the difference in stream units is a limiting factor against the PS4.  The Xbox One also features a 256-bit memory bus connected to 8 GB of memory, but it is DDR3 based and quite a bit slower at 63 GB/sec of bandwidth.  This is offset by the inclusion of 32 MB of eDRAM on the APU that services the GPU portion.  We have yet to see how this hardware tradeoff affects performance and abilities overall, but most expect the PS4 to be the faster overall solution.

This console has a Blu-ray drive and a 500 GB hard drive.  This drive is not user accessible, but MS does provide USB 3.0 ports that can access external hard drives.  This will of course incur a performance hit, but at least hard drive space can be increased rather cheaply (we think).  MS does provide a very interesting software stack, as it appears as though gaming and media features are supported by separate virtual operating systems.

Be sure you jump to the next page to see our recommendations for gaming PC builds that are inexpensive yet compete well with the capabilities and performance of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One!!

November 20, 2013 | 10:35 PM - Posted by KevTheGuy (not verified)

I would just go with an Athlon x4 750k and a dedicated GPU like the hd 7850 or 7790 and get slower RAM. It is going to be a bit more expensive but way better. :)

March 14, 2014 | 04:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I second this guy .... that is what i did

November 20, 2013 | 11:26 PM - Posted by boothman

Micro Center has an ongoing deal where you can get an FX-4130 for $90 with a free motherboard. I've cashed in on this deal a few times for builds, and now they even offer a Gigabyte board with 2x USB 3.0 (plus header) & 2x SATA 6Gb.

Pair that deal, with a 7850 & 1TB HD also from MC, and for under $300 you have a very solid foundation that will provide better performance than an APU based build.

Worth a look...

CPU + MB Deal
http://www.microcenter.com/site/products/amd_bundles.aspx

1TB HD (says its only sataII, but I think its sataIII)
http://www.microcenter.com/product/424488/1TB_5,700_RPM_SATA_30Gbps_35_I...

Radeon HD 7850
http://www.microcenter.com/product/411476/AX7850_1GBD5-DH_AMD_Radeon_HD_...

November 22, 2013 | 02:23 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Well said Boothman. It's frustrating to read a great article like this to get to the bottom and see the person picking the parts is overpaying because they don't know where the deals are. Overpaying and picking the wrong parts limits the performance. My opinion is if you are going to compare a gaming computer to a console you should build for the highest FPS at the lowest cost. Be thrifty on everything but the video card. Buy refurbished, often it's the same as new. Don't buy a blu-ray drive...you'll never use it.

-FX 4130 Black Edition 3.8GHz Quad-Core Socket AM3+ Boxed Processor $89.99 Microcenter
-GA-78LMT-S2P Socket AM3+ 760G mATX $0 Microcenter
-Intel 32GB SSD 2.5" SATA Solid State Hard Drive SSDSA2SH032G1GN $33 eBay Refurb
-Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS8G3D1609DS1S00 $54.99 Newegg
-Western Digital WD Caviar SE16 500GB SATA 3.5" Hard Drive WD5000AAKS $20 eBay Refurb
-MSI AMD Radeon HD 7870 ( R7870-2GD5T/OC ) 2GB GDDR5 $129.99 AR Newegg
-LG 24X Internal DVD ReWritable Drive SATA $15.99 Microcenter
-Xigmatek CCM-23ABX-U01 (Aeos) Black SECC, Plastic Micro-ATX Computer Case $29.99 Newegg (will fit big video card)
-EVGA 500B 500 Watt ATX Power Supply $29.99 AR Microcenter
-Coolit Systems 120mm Case Fan $2.39 Microcenter
-Windows 8 Pro Upgrade (you don't need a previous installation for the upgrade to work) $39.50 ebay
Total
-$412.83, and that's with an SSD.

*Also remember you can try SteamOS as a free alternative to Windows, but there are some popular games that aren't on steam (like smite).

November 23, 2013 | 01:41 PM - Posted by boothman

Thanks, I believe its truly the way to go if you have the means & access. However, on the podcast Ryan made a good point...there are only a hand full of MCs around the country, and many deals they have, they dont offer via their webstore. Guess I'm spoiled being northeastern Ohio and having one 25min away :P

On the flip-side, and I'm not sure if this point has been made or not, but who says that you have to buy parts from this generation? You'd still get comparable performance out of a build based around Phenom/Athlon x4 + HD 5830-6870. Finding those parts new or recertified may be challenging, but they should be dirt cheap by now.

Thoughts anyone? Agree/Disagree?

November 21, 2013 | 12:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You should also consider about $70 for bluray playback software in this equation. If that is something you're interested in.
Built something real similar last year except with a media center slim case.
$60 PSU + case bundle for like
$130 6800k APU,
$50 MSI fm2+ MoBo,
$60 8GB corsair for $60
$170 250GB Samsung 840,
$100 windows 8 pro w/ media center,
$40 Thermaltake heatsink,
$50 Pioneer Blu ray drive
$70 for blu ray playback software.
$20 wireless mouse and keyboard combo.

All in all though, windows 8.1 has given it a healthy boost, and it's been versatile, hitting medium at 1080p on most games with bearable framerates. The solid state definitely adds A LOT to the feel of the machine and most people think I spent twice that amount on the setup.

November 21, 2013 | 12:26 AM - Posted by Lou (not verified)

$5492 for an APU build? Like, for a 10-pack? :P

November 21, 2013 | 12:29 AM - Posted by IRQ6

What about mandatory subscription fees for online play?

PS4 is $50/yr
XBO is $60/yr

7yrs = $350-420
10yrs = $500-600

November 21, 2013 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

Excellent point that no console gamer I know ever takes into the cost equation.

November 21, 2013 | 01:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

These comparison articles always ignore the fact a console will offer far better efficiency and hardware maximization for a game than the Windows PC can give.

November 21, 2013 | 02:30 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Perhaps for the first year, but then the console remains static while the PC world evolves.  Consoles are very efficient, and are essentially appliances... but hardware is soon overshadowed.

November 21, 2013 | 10:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No not just the first year Josh. Look at the games that come out on the A system like the PS3 at the later stages compared to its start. Those far exceed what was offered at the beginning. Sorry but this was a pointless article. You cannot just look at a spec sheet, find the closest thing you feel is a match and say well that's it. It doesn't work like that and you know better.

November 21, 2013 | 12:39 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Nah, it wasn't pointless.  I thought we brought up some interesting discussion.  Also, consider this...  This time next year we will have 20 nm graphics parts that are a generation+ away from the current APUs.  In fact, there is talk that some may in fact skip 20 nm and go directly 16 or 14 nm (bulk, finfet, or FDSOI).  So, you will have advanced architectures and much smaller chips that can do more.  All the while those console APUs will be based on the same architecture for the next... 10 years?

Yes, games that come out later will look better than what we have now, but how much better?  Development tools now are so much better than what was offered for the PS3 throughout its entire lifespan.  X86 is easier to develop for.  So how much better will titles look a few years down the line vs. what was released now?  I don't know if we will see that big leap that we saw in the previous generation?  Hard to say.  Anyway, throwing out ideas and creating discussion is good.  Unless you don't like discussion or the free exchange of ideas.

November 22, 2013 | 07:15 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

I totally agree Josh especially because of 4k gaming. The xbox 1 and PS4 are not capable of playing something like BF4 at 4k resolution even with the eyecandy turned off. Today 4k is not really popular yet because it costs so much for the TV/Monitor. For example - 65" 4k TVs are generally around $5,000 and the 32" asus 4k Monitor is $3,500. Sure there's the Seiki stuff, but 30fps doesn't cut it for gaming. In a few years those prices will have dropped like any other technology and if you want to play your favorite game @ 4k Resolution while sitting on the couch you'll need a PC and a controller (steam?) because these consoles just won't cut it. Based on today's graphics cards you need 2 high end graphics cards to get in the 60FPS ballpark. In most cases we are talking around 8-12 TFLOPs of graphics power. The PS4 has 1.8 TFLOPS and the Xbox 1 has 1.3 TFlops. It's not 100% apples to apples, but seriously, a 7870 just doesn't compete with two Nvidia Titans in SLI.

Another comment addressed to you said that the consoles will improve over their lifespan. Sure they will. Someone mentioned that the consoles don't have windows bloating up the performance. Also true. But seriously, how do you make up 6+ TFLOPS of pure graphics power without new hardware? It's not possible. And as you said, the graphics cards will only be that much better in a few years with 20, 16, and 14nm lithography. These consoles *WILL NOT* last 10 years. They will last 5.

December 6, 2013 | 11:45 PM - Posted by Sam (not verified)

Yeah, I agree. This will not be a long cycle for the reasons you stated. By 2017, 4k will be the dominate format in terms of market share. By 2018, the XBone and PS4 will be at their prime, but they will seem beyond primitive. When the Wii was released, Nintendo, stated that HD was not important because most people still used SD TVs. That was true in 2006. By 2011, hardly anyone had a SD TV and the Wii stalled as the other consoles peaked. I think that the next generation--PS5--will be a much-larger jump. The XBone can can't even max out my ten-year-old HD TV at 60FPS. How will it hold up to the 4k-era that is quickly approaching? HD is the new SD. I suggest that people keep playing ps3 or 360 instead of investing in a five-year console that is a mere stepping-stone. Cool new games will continue to be released on ps3 and 360 for several more years. By the time you are tired of ps3 and 360, you will have upgraded to a TV that blows you current one away. The upcoming 4k-era may open the door for new competitors that embrace the new format sooner rather than later.

November 21, 2013 | 11:16 PM - Posted by Scyy (not verified)

There is only so much a low level console api can do for hardware. You can already get computers with 10x+ the power if you are willing to spend the money compared to how the ps3 and 360 were proprietary versions of some of the best hardware of the time. I doubt we will ever see the consoles running something on the level of crysis 3 at max settings at even 1080p whereas you can run that at 4k on current computers if you are willing to throw enough money at your computer.

November 21, 2013 | 02:54 AM - Posted by hosko

They also don't take into account that when the APU on a PC is starting to not give the required performance in a couple of years, a GFX card can be purchased that will boost performance back up.

November 21, 2013 | 11:54 AM - Posted by KittenMasher (not verified)

Another argument I like to make is how many people own a console and have no computer? If you consider the fact that most people have at least a $500 comp already, and are adding a $400/$500 system on top of that, the actual budget can be closer to $1000. With that you can easily get a proper gaming pc that'll trounce a console either via upgrade (add $300-$400 gpu + $100 psu) or as a new system.

Of course in reality it's a bit more complicated...

November 28, 2013 | 03:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Alot of people have a laptop and not all desktop PC's are very good to upgrade. Besides, why upgrade a PC for slightly better graphics when you could get a whole bunch on amazing looking exclusives on the PS4.

December 22, 2013 | 02:55 AM - Posted by JohnPd (not verified)

> why upgrade a PC for slightly better graphics

Adding a discreet GPU gives you a huge graphics boost, not a slight boost.

> when you could get a whole bunch on amazing looking exclusives on the PS4.

The PC also has many amazing looking exclusives.

November 22, 2013 | 06:02 PM - Posted by Tim Thrush (not verified)

That's negated and then some if you're a pay-to-play MMORPG player.

November 22, 2013 | 07:19 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Or a Pay-2-Win player ;)

November 21, 2013 | 12:52 AM - Posted by Joe (not verified)

I would rather pay the extra money and go intel/nvidia. For an extra 250 dollars you can get the cpu replaced with an unlocked i5-4670k and a geforce gtx 770, I'd spend an extra 300 and get a nicer motherboard too. So for 1050-1100 over the 780 you can get loads more performance.

Now is a really good time to get a PC. Broadwell wont be socketed and next year is mainly just a chipset refresh to series 9 with more haswell processors. What I would probably do is just go for a cheaper gtx 760 since 20nm maxwell will be out next year then splurge on a top end gpu. By buying a pc now you can easily assure yourself you will have the latest cpu architecture for over a year and easily get maxwell gpu when it comes out. Skylake the 14nm socketed desktop shrink is still a long way out so now is a good time to get a pc.

November 21, 2013 | 02:57 AM - Posted by hosko

You can't really say an extra $300, you could almost get two PlayStations for that much. The idea is to keep the costs as similar as possible or a slight increase. If price isn't an option then just go here http://www.pcper.com/hwlb

November 21, 2013 | 12:52 AM - Posted by Joe (not verified)

I would rather pay the extra money and go intel/nvidia. For an extra 250 dollars you can get the cpu replaced with an unlocked i5-4670k and a geforce gtx 770, I'd spend an extra 300 and get a nicer motherboard too. So for 1050-1100 over the 780 you can get loads more performance.

Now is a really good time to get a PC. Broadwell wont be socketed and next year is mainly just a chipset refresh to series 9 with more haswell processors. What I would probably do is just go for a cheaper gtx 760 since 20nm maxwell will be out next year then splurge on a top end gpu. By buying a pc now you can easily assure yourself you will have the latest cpu architecture for over a year and easily get maxwell gpu when it comes out. Skylake the 14nm socketed desktop shrink is still a long way out so now is a good time to get a pc.

November 21, 2013 | 02:06 AM - Posted by Amrael (not verified)

Intel Core i3-4130 129.99
BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z87W 99.99
Mushkin Enhanced STEALTH 8GB 74.99
MSI R9 270 GAMING 2G 179.99
Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 59.99
NZXT Source 210 39.99
OCZ ZT Series 650W 74.99
LG Internal Blu-ray Drive 49.99
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM 99.99

809.91

And it will evolve really nice. Very much prefer to spend this much on a PC than $500 on a bloatware nest like Xbox one or $400 on a PS4. I like both consoles, still like the XB360 more than the new one of course but would better spend my cash on a PC which I can upgdate/upgrade and do everything plus really evolved gaming, its less restraining than any console.

November 21, 2013 | 02:24 PM - Posted by anon (not verified)

Biostar start fires.
Also, I'd just stick to the $45 Corsair 430M modular PSU.

November 28, 2013 | 03:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For half-price and a soon to be optimized pc, I'd think the PS4 is a steal.

November 21, 2013 | 02:18 AM - Posted by anon (not verified)

I understand wanting to get as close as humanly possible, but I question if completely applicable. While surely things like a blu-ray drive are nice, netflix and steam are things that inherently are advantageous to the platform that allow you to bypass that expense. Even on my high-end gaming htpc, I have used my blu-ray burner for anything (including as a reader) approx 0 times.

Suddenly you could take the higher-end rig, and it make it dollar comparable.

Take everything listed, perhaps find a cheaper case/psu and ram, and replace it with a 7870 (they are available for as low as $130AR at newegg which is absurdly cheap for decent 1080p performance), realize that most everyone has a copy of windows available to them one way or another, and you're darn close to the price of an xbone for a much better gaming experience.

Link to cheap 7870 (which essentially similar to a 270x):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127722

November 21, 2013 | 03:00 AM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

The comparison is welcome, but somehow I (like many) think I can do better on the PC hardware config. I would really replace the 6800K with either an Athlon x4, FX 4xxx or a Pentium plus discrete GPU. For the GPU one would have 50-70$. I would also get a cheaper but good 400W-ish bronze-rated PSU as it is largely enough.
The better option is more to my liking for whatever it's worth, but I'd still get a smaller PSU in order to improve efficiency at low loads and save some cash,only to spend them on a CPU cooler.

November 21, 2013 | 03:45 AM - Posted by hosko

I know this is purely looking at hardware but eco-system is a major driving force. Call of Duty: Ghosts on the PS4 is $60 on Amazon and you can get the PC version for $45

November 21, 2013 | 04:20 AM - Posted by razor512

Keep in mind that people will have both a console and a PC. you generally do not get a console if you do not have a PC since it is such a vital part of everyday life now.

So do a build where you take the average cost of a non gaming PC, then add on the cost of the console and then see how good of a gaming PC you can build for that money.

November 22, 2013 | 06:43 PM - Posted by Tim Thrush (not verified)

Exactly. I personally have a few computers, PS4, and 360.

Being a new Dad, I find it easier to game on a console than my aging gaming PC (i7 2600/gtx 670).

December 17, 2013 | 07:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's still quite a competent rig....

November 21, 2013 | 05:08 AM - Posted by Gadgety

Interesting read. I'm looking for a system for my 10 year old kid. The main advantage of the consoles I see are ease of use and some of the game titles, most notably GT4.

Currently my kid spends most of the time online either with a PC/tablet or with a phone. The Wii console sits mostly idle unless friends come over to play. As has been mentioned in the article and the comments, the PC will bring other advantages, too, apart from when doing homework - i e productivity usage - the surfing, chatting, but also for my kid who plays instruments, in addition it will bring the ability to function as a recording studio, and as a synthesizer bringing an upgrade to the sound of the digital piano with Pianoteq, and additional instruments, record singing and own tunes. As for gaming it could even run an Android emulator to play Android games.

Furthermore with AMD's Kaveri in the pipeline sufficiently high quality integrated graphics will be available presumably bringing excellent value for money while still providing upgrade paths.

In addition, putting together the system will educate my kid on what a computer is, what's inside the box, the different parts, the difference between hardware and software, and how it's all put together. Who knows might even get interested in running Linux and getting to coding. It will be able to grow with my kids interests, and also influence them in a good way.

IRQ6's point in the comments by about the mandatory subscription fees for online play I hadn't considered, but it only adds to my thinking that PC is the way to go.

November 21, 2013 | 08:37 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

Our PS3 basically became a multi-purpose Blu-Ray player and NetFlix server. We may have bough a half dozen games for it? It was kind of nice to have friends over to do some MP with, but.... It just died, so we're looking at the PS4. $400 for another BD player with a subscription fee? I don't know....

November 21, 2013 | 09:27 AM - Posted by YTech

Typo found - On page "Why-Go-PC":
"[...] The price ($5492) is above the $499 mark of the Xbox One, and well above the [...]"

I believe the price should be $549 instead of $5,492

Other than that... nice comparison.
This all comes down to the primary usage for the user. :)

November 21, 2013 | 09:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

as someone mentioned you forget the fact that sony and msoft subsidize the price, because highly likely you will be paying for gold or now PS+ AND they get a share of everything else such as game sales, you buy ps4 now for 400 but build a computer that is equal to it for 550 but thats it, in less then a year that 400 dollars is prolly going to become 500-600 for sony from a user

November 21, 2013 | 10:25 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

I think the way to sell more consoles is to make them more modular than being able to upgrade the HD. Someone might have a decent component market if they could swap out graphics modules, memory and CPU- much like a PC but dedicated to that form factor. Then a 7 year update might find more life and revenue. I think it would heat up the market across the board.

???

November 24, 2013 | 06:45 AM - Posted by future knight (not verified)

Theres no need for a user upgrade if the next itteration of the PS4 instead of being slimmer is more powerful, As long as the games scale as they do with PC's they will be backward/forward compatible.

What PS4 gamer wont want the next more POWERFUL!! (an extra 1ghz here and there) PS4 in 3 or 4 years time just in time for when 4K is within normal people's budgets?...

November 24, 2013 | 06:45 AM - Posted by future knight (not verified)

Theres no need for a user upgrade if the next itteration of the PS4 instead of being slimmer is more powerful, As long as the games scale as they do with PC's they will be backward/forward compatible.

What PS4 gamer wont want the next more POWERFUL!! (an extra 1ghz here and there) PS4 in 3 or 4 years time just in time for when 4K is within normal people's budgets?...

November 24, 2013 | 06:46 AM - Posted by future knight (not verified)

Theres no need for a user upgrade if the next itteration of the PS4 instead of being slimmer is more powerful, As long as the games scale as they do with PC's they will be backward/forward compatible.

What PS4 gamer wont want the next more POWERFUL!! (an extra 1ghz here and there) PS4 in 3 or 4 years time just in time for when 4K is within normal people's budgets?...

November 21, 2013 | 11:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If Sony was smart, as they do not make much, if any money at all on the PS4 hardware, they should have added one PCI expansion slot and a more powerful power supply! Sony makes most of its profits off of the PS4 ecosystem! The ability to add an extra GPU, if only a midrange one, at the owners extra cost at purchase, or at a later time, would have insured a longer useful life to the PS4, This would not have been very difficult to do, now that the console is using an AMD APU! AMD, at some point in time, once they sell enough APU units to SONY and M$, is going to go all in, and produce a gaming console on a PCI card, with its latest x86 APUs, and high end GPU cores! This will be a system unto itself, with x86 cores shareing a 512, or larger, bit GPU type data bus, and GDRR5 memory! This gaming card will be uHMA, HSA aware, with a tuned for gaming on board OS, CPU(8+ cores), and GPU! Latency and bandwidth will not be an issue, with this gaming system on a PCI card!

-Carnac the magnificent-

November 21, 2013 | 11:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You can most definitely build a pc that is much better in gfx performance that costs less than an xbox one -
Total: $471.90\

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2615K

It may not be the best cpu or gpu, but it will do productivity work and will outperform the consoles in the gfx department and an important factor here is that it is expandable and upgradeable, something that locked down consoles can not do.

November 21, 2013 | 11:49 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

While a good build, the 7790 is clearly not as fast as the GPU in the Xbox One.

November 21, 2013 | 03:15 PM - Posted by KevTheGuy (not verified)

But if the Xbox One's gpu is capable of 1.27 TFLOPS, and the hd 7790 is capable of 1.79 TFLOPS (according to AMD's site) then the hd 7790 should be better. ._. or am I missing something?

November 21, 2013 | 03:47 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

You're right - I was incorrect in my statement.  Sorry!!

November 21, 2013 | 12:13 PM - Posted by Jim Cherry (not verified)

7790 would equal a xbox one not exceed it

November 21, 2013 | 12:04 PM - Posted by clblanchard (not verified)

Everyone seems to forget that these consoles are typically sold at a loss for the first couple of years. If you build a better PC for around $800 and it remains static for the next 8 years you would still come out ahead. No online fees, way cheaper games, and imo a better play experience.

If you buy game for game (even allowing used console games) you'd make most of your money back in those savings alone (If you buy a lot of games lol).

November 21, 2013 | 12:18 PM - Posted by Jim Cherry (not verified)

In my opinion very few people should by an 800 pc just for gaming though. Which I think is the real issue here if your going the pc rout you should also consider upgrading the multipurpose pc you already have that is unless you have a laptop or really old pc.

November 21, 2013 | 03:24 PM - Posted by clblanchard (not verified)

Oh, my PC isn't just for gaming. It's my entire entertainment hub and workstation. I agree that no one should build an expensive PC just to play games, but some do and more power to them. But even those people will use it for more than games even if that is it's primary purpose.

No matter how you slice it, everyone would benefit more from building a PC than buying a console. And you are correct about upgrading the PC you already have. I have a friend who has a Dell with an i5 Haswell (forget which part exactly) but is buying an Xbox One because "It's a better gaming investment." When he could easily drop in an R9 290, or GTX 780 and have money left over for games. It baffles me.

November 21, 2013 | 03:25 PM - Posted by clblanchard (not verified)

Oh, my PC isn't just for gaming. It's my entire entertainment hub and workstation. I agree that no one should build an expensive PC just to play games, but some do and more power to them. But even those people will use it for more than games even if that is it's primary purpose.

No matter how you slice it, everyone would benefit more from building a PC than buying a console. And you are correct about upgrading the PC you already have. I have a friend who has a Dell with an i5 Haswell (forget which part exactly) but is buying an Xbox One because "It's a better gaming investment." When he could easily drop in an R9 290, or GTX 780 and have money left over for games. It baffles me.

November 21, 2013 | 01:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Man that's a tiny pansy ass CPU. Almost looks like an ARM chip lol. Could they not have done better? Gonna take some massive parallel programming skills to maximize that thing.

November 21, 2013 | 03:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not more so massively parallel than the GPU, and the available software toolchain/IDE/gaming engine's API abstracts away, the need for programmers to worry about parallel programming skills! However weak, you think the CPU is, it is attatched to and shares a fat GPU BUS, and on the PS4, a fat bus to GDDR5 memory, with most of the grunt work in the hands of the GPU, those 8 CPU cores will not have the latency and bandwidth issues, that are common on general purpose computing paltforms! Yes they could have done more, and they will have to update the platform more often, with a more powerful AMD APU, but that should no be to costly for future versions, since the majority of the platform development costs( software, motherboard, peripherals, OS, developer IDEs) have already been spent.

November 21, 2013 | 02:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Silly article .You didn't mention The hidden tasks that usually WINDOWS OS demand it more from the hardware other than give it freely to gaming benefits.

December 22, 2013 | 03:01 AM - Posted by JohnPd (not verified)

That argument is moot with this console generation. They are running multiple operating systems simultaneously. Also, the "hidden tasks" can be turned off as you please since the PC is entirely under your control.

December 22, 2013 | 03:02 AM - Posted by JohnPd (not verified)

That argument is moot with this console generation. They are running multiple operating systems simultaneously. Also, the "hidden tasks" can be turned off as you please since the PC is entirely under your control.

December 22, 2013 | 03:02 AM - Posted by JohnPd (not verified)

That argument is moot with this console generation. They are running multiple operating systems simultaneously. Also, the "hidden tasks" can be turned off as you please since the PC is entirely under your control.

December 22, 2013 | 03:06 AM - Posted by JohnPd2 (not verified)

That argument is moot with this console generation. They are running multiple operating systems simultaneously. Also, the "hidden tasks" can be turned off as you please since the PC is entirely under your control.

November 21, 2013 | 03:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well its simple really people know when they buy a game console that the point is to play games on it. People that buy a PC either think they need a PC or they are smart enough to know they can do more with it than play games and build it to play them better for a premium.

November 21, 2013 | 03:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A good tip would be:

Do you already own a pc purchased in the last 3-4 years with at least an i5 and a pci-e 16x slot?

well, congrats, because for approx. 400usd u can get a new AMD gpu or the asus gtx770 with 4 gigs of vram and exceed the graphics performance of either console.

U already own the O/S and everything else u might need.

Bluray drive: Download (legally) your movies and backup on hard drives. Steam and generally digital distribution is your friend :)

Sure the CPU's and other parts have become a bit more efficient, but seriously, u could pump bf4 @ 1080 with an i7 920 or a mid-high i5 with more settings turned on than either of the consoles considering u bought a current gen GPU in the 400 range.

I still don't get it, here we are, next-gen just released, some titles look "ok" but nothing we havent seen in the pc side yet. Its as if the new consoles aimed to cater TODAY's needs and forget TOMORROW entirely, i can't see how XB1 will cope with tomorrows tech when today can only pump titles like COD or BF4 at 720p. Behold, the shackles that will hold gaming back for another 7 years.

At least we're getting slightly better ports.

November 21, 2013 | 03:21 PM - Posted by pc4ever!!!!! (not verified)

MY xbox 360 is a glorified netflix / mediaplayer :0)

November 21, 2013 | 03:47 PM - Posted by Tralalak (not verified)

Josh: Sizing up the console vs. your option PC war

• • • Playstation 4 vs. Xbox One • • •
Width: 27.5 cm / 10.8 in vs. 34,3 cm / 13,5 in
Length: 30.5 cm / 12 in vs. 26,3 cm / 10,4 in
Heigth: 5.3 cm / 2 in vs. 8 cm / 3,2 in
Case capacity: 4,45 liters vs. 7,22 liters

vs.

• • • Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case • • •
Width: 21 cm / 8.3 in
Length: 49.7 cm / 19.6 in
Heigth: 43 cm / 16.9 in

This is absolutly differend size world and power consumption world. „Gozdzilla“ (your option PC) vs. „small is beautiful“ (PS4 or Xbox One).

•• My Option PC 1: Personal Gaming a Home Entertainment Console ••
• Processor: Intel Atom C2750 2.4GHz (@2.6GHz Turbo) „Avoton“ 8C/ 8T SoC 20W
• Motherboard: Supermicro A1SAi-2750F (380,99 €)
• Memory: Kingston SO-DIMM 8GB KIT DDR3 1600MHz CL9 HyperX Plug and Play (2x4GB) (77,30 €)
• Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE HD 7750 1GB GDDR5* Low Profile, 1 slot (88,78 €)
• Storage: Western Digital 2.5" Black Mobile 750GB 16MB cache 7 200 ot/min (66,59 €)
• Case: SilverStone Milo ML05 Mini-ITX 35 cm (W) x 9,9 cm (H) x 20,4 cm (D), 7,07 liters (48,07 €)
Power Supply: SilverStone ST30SF 300W SFX series 80PLUS BRONZE (56,58 €)
• Optical Drive: Samsung SU-208DB slim (20,69 €)
• OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 ENG 64-bit (OEM) (87,05 €)
• Peak Compute: 819 GFLOPS (GPU) = 8 CU (512 SPs + 16 ROP)
• Total Price: 826,05 EUR with VAT

•• My Option PC 2: Personal Gaming a Home Entertainment Console ••
• Processor: AMD A6-5200 2.0 Quad-Core processor „Kabini“ 4C/ 4T SoC 25W
• Motherboard: ECS KBN-I/5200 Mini ITX Motherboard (105 €)
• Memory: Kingston SO-DIMM 8GB KIT DDR3 1600MHz CL9 HyperX Plug and Play (2x4GB) (77,30 €)
• Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE HD 7750 1GB GDDR5* Low Profile, 1 slot (88,78 €)
• Storage: Western Digital 2.5" Black Mobile 750GB 16MB cache 7 200 ot/min (66,59 €)
• Case: SilverStone Milo ML05 Mini-ITX 35 cm (W) x 9,9 cm (H) x 20,4 cm (D), 7,07 liters (48,07 €)
• Power Supply: SilverStone ST30SF 300W SFX series 80PLUS BRONZE (56,58 €)
• Optical Drive: Samsung SU-208DB slim (20,69 €)
• OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 ENG 64-bit (OEM) (87,05 €)
• Peak Compute: 819 GFLOPS (GPU) = 8 CU (512 SPs + 16 ROP)
• Total Price: 550,06 EUR with VAT

* In present time is highest graphics card for Low Profile, 1 slot: only SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7750 1GB GDDR5. If AMD or NVIDIA will bring in future more perfomance graphics card - than we can change.

November 21, 2013 | 04:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A very interesting article. In my opinion the console, pc comparison is always a tricky subject to approach. One could argue that many console gamers have different wants and needs when compared to their pc gaming brethren. A computer with similar performance to pricepoint qualities as the next gen consoles is certainly an appealing prospect to some, but a few points need to be kept in mind-

1. Not everyone wants, or knows how to build a PC.
2. Console = one warranty. Home build PC = many warranties
3. You buy a game for a console and you know it will run at full speed/quality settings with no nasty hidden surprises.
4. Now this may seem a strange one but bear with me... once you have your console you are stuck with it. No hardware upgrades every few months/years for you. Bad right? No! Remove the temptation to upgrade parts and your money stays in your wallet!

November 24, 2013 | 06:59 AM - Posted by future knight (not verified)

No, Your money goes to Sony and MS in the shape of supscriptions and 25%? license on games.

Console gaming is cheaper if you dont buy any games.

When I upgrade my PC I sell my old hardware and it costs a pittance (less than the price of a new 360 game).

November 21, 2013 | 04:19 PM - Posted by Buyers

My attempt to build a PC equivalent:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/269Fx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/269Fx/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/269Fx/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-8120 3.1GHz 8-Core Processor ($139.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G43 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital WD Blue 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDC-207DBK Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($45.98 @ OutletPC)
Keyboard: Logitech MK120 Wired Slim Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($12.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $498.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-21 16:17 EST-0500)

November 21, 2013 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You know I hope you guys follow this up with software comparisons to see how these builds do running multiplatform games, Like AC4 for instance.

November 21, 2013 | 04:39 PM - Posted by Matt (not verified)

Pretty liberal on the thermal paste there... looks like one of my builds :)

November 21, 2013 | 09:34 PM - Posted by hagfish (not verified)

I prefer to see a new generation of consoles absolutely *trounce* the PCs of the day. PC gamers have to suck it up at first, but then games developers start taking advantage of the extra power and pushing the limits of what the consoles can do. The benefits flow through to everyone.

Once PCs catch up, there's a 4 or 5-year ice-cap on development while the consoles eke out the second half of their life-span. It's pointless (too strong a word?) developing games that consoles can't run. For this reason, I think it's great when the consoles get a solid head start. If a budget PC can already match these new ones, the next 10 years might be 'more of the same'.

November 21, 2013 | 09:45 PM - Posted by EBrogen (not verified)

Not caring to much about the consoles. Truth be told, sell me an encrypted drive for Sony, Nintendo and Microsofts consoles. I'll use my own hardware and have a pc, Sony, steam, Nintendo and Microsoft A.I.O.. Hell that would make all my kids happy, less maintenance, cheaper and the developers could go to town on whatever.

November 21, 2013 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I use my PC for everything else also,

my PC is like 2000 dollars or more

1000w power supply
2600k at 4.5ghz ( 3 years old now, still going strong)
16gb ddr3
2 SSD drive
2 7200 drive

2 GTX 780 ( just got this )

playing games using three monitors > console

November 21, 2013 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I use my PC for everything else also,

my PC is like 2000 dollars or more

1000w power supply
2600k at 4.5ghz ( 3 years old now, still going strong)
16gb ddr3
2 SSD drive
2 7200 drive

2 GTX 780 ( just got this )

playing games using three monitors > console

November 21, 2013 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I use my PC for everything else also,

my PC is like 2000 dollars or more

1000w power supply
2600k at 4.5ghz ( 3 years old now, still going strong)
16gb ddr3
2 SSD drive
2 7200 drive

2 GTX 780 ( just got this )

playing games using three monitors > console

November 22, 2013 | 11:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How about a gaming console with 2 or more gigabit ethernet ports, so 2 or more gaming consoles could daisy chained togather, for LAN partys, or some sort of Lan/HDMI hub with up to 7 ethernet and 7 HDMI connections could be plugged in at once!
The HUB could have its own CPU/encoding/mixing/video processor to process the output and send it to a large display/projector, or groups of monitors. Games could be written to make use of all the consoles in in unison for some true 4k gaming. It is going to be intresting to see what the modders are going to do with these consoles.

November 22, 2013 | 10:54 PM - Posted by IronMikeAce

$540 goes a lot longer way than what was listed. You could have easily come up with a better system with BluRay for less than $499. No reason to go with corsair case or power supply and ram when there are much cheaper options. Looking for the best bang for your buck as far as performance goes and there isn't really a reason to compare PC if the BluRay isn't included.

November 24, 2013 | 03:19 PM - Posted by Joe (not verified)

I own a ps3,xbox360,pc (i7 3770..16Gb ram..crossfire 6970 and now an xbox one. I can tell you it all comes down to what works for you and your needs.
The ps4 and xbox one are both great systems. Will either one match what a good gaming pc can do graphics wise...no. Will they still look great and be acceptable for the average gamer...yes The ps4 and xbox one are a squash on graphics so let the debate go.

so why if I own a rockin gaming pc do I own these consoles? Now this may vary from individual to individual but for me personally it two things. More people I know will own a console so I can play with them online and I game from my couch and the use of a controller (in my opinion)is so much better than keyboard and mouse. Now before you start debating mk vs controller I realize for fps on pc the mouse is dead accurate but now you know why I play consoles.Its just more comfortable to be a couch gamer with a controller and playing against km players isn't much fun in fps when i get my butt handed to me.

In the end just buy what works for you.Stop debating and start gaming.

November 26, 2013 | 11:56 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is a lot of talk about the cost of the machines and that you have to pay more for a PC of equal or better performance what about the price of the games. New games for both the consoles will be about £60 as for PC games they come in around £30. So if you bought 10 games for each that an extra £300 so over the life time of all three a pc is the cheap option

November 27, 2013 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think we all should just look for instance at Crysis 3 on Xbox 360 or GTA V. Or maybe Battlefield 4 on old generation consoles. Compare these games with the games that appeared when the consoles entered the market. Compare GTA San Andreas with Crysis 3 on Xbox 360. The difference is amazing, we could all agree with that. And think that Xbox 360 has approx 200 GFlops of GPU+CPU computing power. It has old hardware architecture. It has slow memory. And still, with optimised drivers and APIs, just look how much room for improvement there was.
So, just imagine for a second how all the games could look like on a 10 times more powerful console.
I think today, the barrier in getting better visuals is just the speed of development, the limitations of the engines used for developing games. It's going to take some time until the developers will learn the ins and outs of these new consoles. Just, be patient...

November 28, 2013 | 11:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Pc is PC !!!!

December 15, 2013 | 12:03 PM - Posted by Milli (not verified)

Josh, you're overspending on PSU and case on your option 1 system. You really don't need a 500W PSU for that system. A Corsair CX350 wouldn't break a sweat for this system (trust me, I've tried). Also why not take a mini tower for that system since your MB is mATX. A Cooler Master N200 is an amazing case for it's price.
With these two changes you could have a $500 system that actually costs $500 (and not $549).
Instead of your $80 1866 memory kit, I would take a 2133 kit for $85. Just saying.

January 24, 2014 | 08:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sorry, people who keep using the argument that games CAN be 'optimized' on consoles have misunderstood. It may seem like a positive, and the console developers sell it to you as one, but it really is a negative. As a 4 year plus xbox360 developer, optimizing for console is synonymous with 'reducing'. In other words, games written on PC (yeah, your precious console games are created on a PC lol), often face performance problems when compiled on console. Basically some game code written on, and running fine on my +-10 year old Athlon x2 with Geforce 8600gt, would struggle to achieve 30 frames on the XBOX. So 'optimizing' became a matter of reducing resolution, locking frame-rates, reducing texture sizes as well as filtering, reducing model poly counts, or out-right limiting the number of particles in a scene. Also, chatting to various console users, it quickly became apparent that they have no clue in the actual difference in video quality between a high-end pc and a console. One guy actually told me he didn't like all the video settings in PC games. I had to explain to him that most of those fancy anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, and soft shadow settings and resolutions over 720p, don't exist on his console version of the game because they've been 'optimized' out, so the game will run at a decent framerate on really old hardware.

February 11, 2014 | 08:15 PM - Posted by PacoFuentes (not verified)

//a 7870 just doesn't compete with two Nvidia Titans in SLI.//

Holy crap do people seriously say things like this and completely leave out the fact that they're talking about having TWO $1000 video cards?!

PC gamers and console gamers will never agree, because convenience and cost matter to console gamers, and having the cutting edge matters more to PC gamers. Do people who have 60" HDTVs give this much crap to people who are happy with a 32"?

Come on.

June 6, 2014 | 06:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

where we get those parts

June 6, 2014 | 06:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

where we get those parts

June 6, 2014 | 06:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

where we get those parts

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