Can you build a PS5 or Xbox Series X PC for $800?

You can’t match a PS5 or Xbox Series X on price—not if you want similar performance. So how much more does it cost to build a comparable PC? We take our first stab at it.

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We built a tiny next-gen console PC!

For this article, we’ve focused on the basics of re-creating the PS5 and Xbox Series X in PC form. But I also wanted to see how much more the cost rises when attempting to imitate size. So I built a wee version of our PS5 PC. Kinda.

In one of our November livestreams, I assembled a mini-ITX variant of the PS5 PC in real time on YouTube. It closely resembles the parts list above, but with one notable swap: The use of an RTX 2080 Ti instead of the RTX 3070.

Why? Well, two reasons. First, the 2080 Ti and 3070 essentially post the same level of traditional game performance. Second, the 2080 Ti has more memory (11GB vs. 8GB) and thus offers some wiggle room when benchmarking at 4K. I might not need that extra memory, but I’ll take it while figuring out what video card to settle on.

All together, squeezing into a mini-ITX case adds about $300 to the RTX 3070-based build for a total of $1,800~. (Small ain’t cheap in the world of DIY PC builds.) If you factor in the current street cost of a 2080 Ti, then tack on another $500 to $700 for a total of $2,300 to $2,500. A refurb 2080 Ti sold directly by Newegg will set you back $1,000, while a new one sold through third-party vendors goes for about $1,200.

As for performance, I’ll share one teaser chart for now.

PS5 / Xbox Series X PC Gears 5 benchmarks PCWorld

Since our PS5 and Xbox Series X PCs really only differ in color (especially in this mini-ITX rendition), I willfully crossed party lines to take a look at Gears 5. This game has been heavily promoted for its Xbox Series X enhancements—namely, native 4K/60-fps output during the single-player campaign using the PC version's Ultra textures and 120fps during competitive multiplayer. So I spun up its PC benchmark with Ultra textures installed to see what the 2080 Ti would do on the campaign side of things.

Overall, it's a good showing for the Series X. Next-gen console performance out the gate looks impressive, even knowing that the console version of Gears 5 has fine-tuned adjustments that dial back visual fidelity in places. (My former colleague Destin Legarie dives into those details in his coverage on the Series X version of Gears 5 for IGN.) I think that the 2080 Ti has the edge though, as the PC variant of Gears 5 is full fat. If anything, this first quick set of benchmarks illustrates the inherent apples-to-oranges nature of comparisons between console and PC, and how easily one might believe the consoles win against the PC on paper.

That’s it for the moment—as I said, I stlll have a fair amount of benchmarking and comparing ahead. Game delays have spread launches more widely over the holiday season, and so we’re still awaiting big multiplatform titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite. I’ll be following up in the coming weeks with updates on these first stabs on next-gen console builds as games hit shelves and the GPU landscape settles down.

What about the Xbox Series S?

Given all the hubbub surrounding the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it may seem like we’ve forgotten about the Xbox Series S, which also launches on November 10. We haven’t. We’re interested in also creating a doppelganger for that $300, all-digital 1440p console—so it’s part of this project and will get its own separate rundown in an upcoming article on PCWorld.

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