The Xbox Game Pass for PC machine

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There has been a lot of interest in the latest generation of consoles, but if you haven’t been able to get your hands on one you might be feeling a little left out.

Thankfully for us all, the latest generation of consoles are based on the latest tech from AMD which also refreshed its retail lineup just ahead of the consoles becoming available.

With that in mind you might be wondering what an equivalent PC looks like and we’ve managed to put together a parts list that mirrors the PlayStation and Xbox.

There are however a few caveats to make note of.

The first is the GPU performance. Right now getting a hold of a Radeon RX 6000 series GPU is tricky and pricey. Unfortunately the only GPUs that offer up the VRAM that the consoles offer are the RX 6000 series and the NVIDIA RTX 3090 which boasts 24GB of VRAM.

As such our recommendation is based on affordability, availability and performance.

Our goal was to build a machine that was as budget friendly as possible but that would also handle a bit of light content creation as well as gaming. This is mainly because building a PC on par with a new console for a similar price is nearly impossible when looking at brand new parts.

We are also not recommending a case as this is a matter of personal preference.

CPU

As AMD is powering the latest consoles so we have no reason to break this trend especially when the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is available for R4 299 on Wootware.

Since upgrading to this CPU a year ago there has been little to nothing that it hasn’t been able to handle. While our focus is on gaming, this CPU annihilates work loads such as video editing and image editing.

We also recommend pairing this CPU with a B550 chipset motherboard. We recommend this as should you want a bit more grunt from your CPU in future, this motherboard will allow you to upgrade to at least the Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs.

We’ve selected the ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4.

As for RAM, we recommend at least a 16GB kit that offers up speeds of at least 3200MHz to take full advantage of your system.

GPU

Picking a GPU for this system is tough for the reasons we mentioned earlier. Unfortunately gaming at 8K 120FPS as the PlayStation 5 claims it can takes a fair amount of grunt work for a PC.

The RTX 3090 is more than capable of hitting that 8K target. Unfortunately that GPU costs R41 499 so we can’t really recommend it here.

Instead we’re going to shop in the R12 000 price range as there are a fair number of options that pack the performance you’ll want for a smooth, high fidelity visual experience.

Our first pick is the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, provided you can find one. The reason we’re picking this GPU is because it’s affordable and it features 2nd Gen Ray Tracing Cores and 3rd Gen Tensor Cores. This translates into a better RTX and DLSS experience for gaming and Nvidia’s CUDA cores are primed for professional design software such as CAD. Prices range from R9 999 upwards depending on the OEM and retailer.

Our next suggestion is an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT which you can pick up for R9 000 on a good day. What it lacks in RTX and DLSS support it makes up for in raw performance in traditional rasterisation. You could wait for the latest RX 6000 series to introduce a lower spec’d card or save up and get yourself an RX 6800. We do recommend the previous generation though as its performance is rather good.

Both of these cards support PCIe 4.0 which is why we recommended that B550 chipset earlier and both support resolutions up to 8K.

PSU

Having just had to replace a power supply we have one piece of advice here, spend as much as you can on a power supply. Every delicate component in your PC connects to the PSU and one surge or fault can be costly.

A system such as the one outlined above will require in the region of 750W depending on the GPU selected and other components. Look for certifications such as 80 Plus Gold as these will draw less power and save you the headache of paying a lot more electricity.

We also recommend using reputable brands. If you’re paying under R1 000 for a PSU 500W or higher, we would be suspicious of the quality of that PSU.

Storage

There is no point in beating around the bush here, an SSD is the way to go for gaming.

As such we’re looking squarely at the Sabrent 1TB Rocket Q M.2 SSD. This SSD costs R2 129 through Wootware which is a lot but, this is one fast SSD and it has a five year warranty.

Given the size that games have grown to in recent years, this should allow you to install a wide variety of games.

For bulk storage we recommend the Seagate Barracuda 3TB 5400RPM HDD which retails for R1 549.

The Price

As you are about to see, even this build which is being as frugal as possible (while still valuing frames and visual fidelity) comes out above the R20 000 mark.

The big cost item here is the GPU so you can bring the price down substantially by opting for an older GPU or one on the second-hand market.

With that having been said, the great thing about a PC is that you can upgrade components as you wish unlike a console.

Component Price
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 R4 299
G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB @ 3200MHz R1 469
Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Ti R9 999
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming 4 R2 479
Fractal Design 760W 80Plus Platinum R1 949
Sabrent 1TB Rocket Q M.2 R2 129
Seagate Barracuda 3TB HDD R1 549
Grand Total R23 873

 

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.

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