Can You Build a $500 Gaming PC to Match the Xbox One X? – ExtremeTech

Microsoft’s Xbox One X got an official price tag at E3 last week. At $499, it’s coming in at the same price the original Xbox One debuted at. In this case the additional cost has been directly spent on the platform’s gaming horsepower rather than its ill-fated Kinect 2 peripheral.

There’s a lively debate that goes on between computer and console gamers over which platforms offer the best horsepower for your gaming dollar. Whenever a new console hits, it’s interesting to compare what it packs with what you can buy in equivalent PC components.

The Xbox One X is expected to broadly target 30fps @ 4K, though some games, like Forza Motorsport 7 will have a 60fps frame rate. For our comparison purposes, we’ve targeted the 30fps mark. But whether you can match the Xbox One X with an equivalent PC build isn’t just about horsepower; it’s also about how you define the word ‘match.’

Setting some ground rules

The first thing I want to do is acknowledge there’s never going to be a 100-percent-clean matchup between a console and a PC. Not only are the two machines aimed at different environments and have different use cases, but people perceive these benefits differently. To one buyer, spending more money on a PC still makes good sense, because that system is also the primary way they access the internet, work from home, or use social media. Another buyer may handle their browsing from a tablet or smartphone, and find little additional value in a PC’s flexibility.

These aren’t factors we can put a dollar value on, or cleanly estimate for any PC versus  console matchup. Even if we confine ourselves solely to the gaming question, the relative value of each platform’s ecosystem varies depending on how invested you

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