How to Build a PS4-Like Gaming PC for $600 (or Bust)
The PlayStation 4 was announced last week, and we got a surprising amount of hardware information out of the subsequent SCEI press releases (go take a gander at our initial PS4 hardware breakdown).
Based on what we know, the PS4 is packing some serious firepower for the presumed price ($600 or less). The AMD CPU and GPU aren’t going to be far off from the AMD FX/APU chips and Radeon cards you would find in a mid-range gaming PC nowadays, which would normally put you in the $800-$1,000 range. Storage is said to be “ample,” which means the PS4 is coming with some sort of high-capacity platter drive — our best guess is 500 GB. The world beater here, though, is the 8 GB of GDDR5 system RAM. While GDDR5 is commonplace in video cards, PC system memory is still on the DDR3 standard.
Overall performance is still up in the air – which will be the case until E3 2013 at the very earliest – and there are still a few minor hardware questions (Storage capacity? USB storage expansion? Will it blend?), but two points are certain: The PS4 is using hardware very similar to that found in most gaming PCs today, and the PS4 is being designed with another long-term console cycle in mind. Sony and AMD have worked closely to customize the CPU and GPU found in the PS4, and there’s no telling how the two will work in tandem until developers start leaking details.
PS3 PS4 is going to be one of this year’s hottest gadgets, but what if you’re interested in building a gaming PC that’s roughly on par with the PS4 in terms of price and performance? It’s tough, but the initial hardware investment can be made while staying close to the predicted PS4 price. For now, we’re using $600 as the bullseye, as the 60 GB PS3 launched at this price, and there’s no other concrete figure to go by. We’ll be using Newegg for all of our prices, but there are always great deals to be had on Amazon, TigerDirect, etc.
Spoiler alert: When this is all said and done, our PS4 PC is going to go over $600. While the hardware pricing should come close to this figure, the additional cash needed for Windows 7 and input devices is going to put a hurt on our final dollar amount.
This isn’t a “build a PC instead of buying a PS4″ editorial by any means; this is about exploring all of your options while figuring out which platform is right for you. You might already have a PC in the house, and a console is the scratch that gaming itch needs. But if you’re looking around for a new machine AND you want to get your game on, a gaming PC might be the path to take.