Wondering what kind of PC could go toe-to-toe with the Xbox One or PS4? If you were to combine the best PC components on the market into one desktop, the PC would claim a staggering victory, but your wallet would take as much of a beating as the consoles. However, if you just want the same level of performance as the Xbox One and PS4, that PC won’t leave your bank account in as sorry a state. But in order to figure out what that PC would look like, we’ll need to crack open the Xbox One and PS4 to see what kind of hardware they use.
The PS4 has a eight-core AMD CPU, 8GB GDDR5 RAM, and a AMD Pitcairn GPU. The Xbox One also has an AMD eight-core CPU, combined with an AMD Bonaire GPU and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. The difference in RAM (or memory) is bandwidth or the speed at which data can be transferred—GDDR5 is considered faster than DDR3. The extra RAM speed and more powerful GPU helped the PS4 come out on top over the Xbox One in WCCFTech’s benchmark tests. Keep in mind that clean room tests can vary from real-world instances, and Microsoft and Sony have tweaked and clocked their units to compete and (hopefully) last as long as the last console cycle. But in the course of these tests, they found that the AMD Radeon HD 7850 and R7 265 PC graphics processors most closely resembled the graphics power of the PS4. Of course, before we include one of these GPUs in our hypothetical PC, let’s make sure the current games on the market will support it.
Console owners are fortunate that they don’t have to review system requirements before purchasing a game—they know that if it’s coming out for the Xbox or PlayStation, it’ll run. For PC owners with rigs that are getting a little long in the tooth, reviewing system requirements for a new title becomes necessary before pre-ordering or purchasing a game. If we’re going to build a PC that’s on par with the Xbox One and PS4, we need to make sure it can handle the system requirements of recently released titles. Take Watch Dogs, its recommended requirements include…
- Processor: Eight-core – Intel Core i7-3770 @3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 X8 @ 4 GHz
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: 2 GB Video RAM – Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 ti or AMD Radeon HD 7850
A newer game, like Shadows of Mordor has even higher recommended requirements.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950
Recommended requirements aren’t the be-all and end-all. You just won’t be able turn on every visual effect the game has to offer, but if you can, the difference between console and PC makes itself well known in the latter’s favor. That’s what IGN critic Ryan McCaffrey found of Bioshock Infinite.
But these aren’t the only specs to consider. There’s the 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray/ DVD drive, Wi-Fi, a power supply, and a chassis to hold everything together. Not to mention a mouse and a keyboard to control it.