Think you can build a 4K gaming PC for the price of an Xbox One X? Think again.

Thermal Core P5
Thermal Core P5 (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

For PC gamers, is it possible to put together a PC with similar functionality for around the same amount of money? We take a look to see if we can throw together a number of builds at multiple price points to return different results in quality and performance.

It is quickly clear that you're going to have a hard time picking components (that are actually in stock) to match those offered by Microsoft in its $500 console form factor. The company has the ability to pack in serious power without the asking price skyrocketing. Not only is it able to take a hit to push out more units to consumers, the console itself really isn't going to be powering anything other than games and some streaming.

The same can't be said for an average PC, and that is where things become a little cloudy. With Windows 10 installed, a gaming PC (especially one that can game at 4K) can perform a wide array of tasks that a console simply cannot. But PC builders have to deal with paying for individual components from different companies, whereas console manufacturers likely enjoy a discount for purchasing in bulk.

Matching the Xbox One X


GTX 1060

Our first build is a $683 PC that is capable of some solid gaming but that will hit some bottlenecks. That is to be expected when you choose a less powerful 2nd-gen AMD Ryzen 3 processor and GTX 1060 with only 3GB of VRAM.

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ComponentOur ideal pickPrice
PSUEVGA 500 W1$39.99
MotherboardASUS PRIME A320M-K$59.99
CPURyzen 3 2200G$98.89
RAMPatriot Viper 3 Series 8GB$59.99
StorageWD Blue 1TB$43.99
GPUPNY GeForce GTX 1060 3GB$229.99
OSWindows 10$99.99
TotalRow 8 - Cell 1 $682.82

Mid-range PC

Zotac GTX 1070

How does the NVIDIA MX150 compare to other hardware?

This is where PC starts to really shine. Our mid-range build will set you back about $920 and may allow you to enjoy 4K gaming at around 30 frames per second (FPS) at best with the settings turned down a little. Still, it will offer more raw performance than an Xbox One X and you'll be able to enjoy more than respectable 1440p gaming. The combination of a Ryzen 5 CPU and GTX 1070 makes for quite the experience.

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ComponentOur ideal pickPrice
PSUEVGA 500 W1$39.99
MotherboardASUS PRIME A320M-K$59.99
CPUAMD Ryzen 5 2400G$159
RAMHyperX FURY 8GB$89.85
StorageWD Blue 1TB$43.99
GPUEVGA GTX 1070 8GB$379.99
OSWindows 10$99.99
TotalRow 8 - Cell 1 $922.79

Powerhouse PC


1080 ti

If you truly wish to leave the Xbox One X behind in the dust, go all out with our powerhouse build for around $3,488. Adding the most powerful components available to the cart and neglecting to check the price will unlock immense amounts of potential in-game. NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti is overkill for most PC gamers, but this GPU card will offer incredible performance even at 4K.

We also bumped the amount of DDR4 RAM to 32GB, replaced the Ryzen 5 chip with a Ryzen Threadripper, and opted for a more capable motherboard with the X399 chipset. It's expensive but truly awesome.

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ComponentOur ideal pickPrice
CasePhanteks P400S$89.99
PSUEVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2$142.03
MotherboardASUS PRIME X399-A$299.01
CPUAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X$779.97
RAMKingston HyperX FURY Black 32GB$349.99
SSDSamsung 970 EVO 250GB M.2$107.99
SSDSamsung 860 PRO 2TB SSD$789.99
GPUEVGA GTX 1080 Ti$829.42
OSWindows 10$99.99
TotalRow 9 - Cell 1 $3,488.38

Prebuilt towers

MSI Trident 3

If you'd rather not build your own PC, and if money isn't an issue, there are a number of powerful mid-tower builds available from various manufacturers. Some of these PCs sport hardware capable of smooth 4K gaming but it should be noted that in order to hit 60 FPS at such a high resolution, you're going to need to invest in the best components on the market (namely the GPU).

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CategoryASUS GR8HP OMEN 880-040MSI Infinite X
CPUIntel Core i7-7700AMD Ryzen 7 1800XIntel Core i7-8700
Storage512GB M.2512GB M.22TB HDD256GB M.22TB HDD

Building a 4K gaming PC for the price of Xbox One X ...

If all you care about is gaming at 4K, and you don't want to invest in a prebuilt PC or put together one yourself, the Xbox One X is worth consideration. The bottom line is that building a capable PC to take on the new Xbox spec to spec will cost a fair amount, but the PC is better value for what you can do with one, and one has to take further upgrades into consideration when consoles simply become obsolete.

Updated August 10, 2018: We updated our PC builds to take into account price fluctuations and to remove listings that were no longer available.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.