What Should I Buy: Xbox Series X Or A Gaming PC?

Struggling to make the choice between Xbox Series X and PC? Hopefully this helps...

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When it comes to the next generation of gaming, gamers are kind of spoiled for choice. On the one hand, they have the array of different components that make up a gaming computer – and what components they are. The brand new Nvidia cards are rocking the world of computer graphics, and the upcoming Big Navi GPUs from AMD are also going to be giving Nvidia enthusiasts something to think about when it comes to choosing the best graphics card.

But those aren’t the only options, are they? Most people are going to be aware that there are a couple of other options when it comes to gaming – options that aren’t PC based: Consoles. The next generation of console gaming (then ninth, for those keeping count) is upon us, with the brand new systems from both Xbox and PlayStation coming to shelves this November and offering console gamers a brand new way to enjoy their games.

The big question is though, what should gamers choose for their next platform? Xbox Vs PC, the clash of the Microsoft based titans. Well hopefully, this article will give those people out there agonizing over which to choose an idea of which is better – Xbox or PC? And which they should choose.

Xbox / PC Specification Comparison

Straight away the thing people are going to want to know first about the new consoles when they are deciding if they should buy an Xbox or a gaming PC is how the individual components stack up against each other.

So, this section is going to be dedicated to outlining all of the specs of the new Xbox, and how they stack up alongside a comparative PC build. So, the very first thing I have to say here is that one huge advantage that a gaming PC has over any console (including the Xbox) is that it’s customizable. This means that whatever parts you put into your PC are ready and available to change out in the future, so your PC is future-proofed and ready to be modded at any point.

However, the trade-off for that customizability is pretty great. Basically, as soon as you receive your Xbox it’s going to be ready to play. Sure there might be a software patch to download – but the bones of the console are firm, and they are going to be in place throughout the entire life cycle of the console itself. Every game will be optimized right out of the box, so you don’t have to do any annoying tinkering with settings, and you are going to be able to enjoy a wide variety of exclusives developed for consoles specifically.

Check out the full specifications for the Xbox Series X below:

Xbox Series X CPU Vs Gaming PC CPU:

So, with the notion that an Xbox is a set machine that has everything ready for you in mind, let’s look at some of the components on the new Xbox Series X that makes it so appealing. Firstly you have the Xbox Series X’s CPU. It is a customized AMD Zen 2 CPU, meaning that this is going to be a system with a CPU we can directly compare to a gaming PC’s CPU.

Ignore that for a moment, and let’s keep looking at the Xbox Series X’s CPU. You can expect eight CPU cores and 16 threads out of that – which is all pretty promising when it comes to performance. In fact, when it comes down to performance we can actually expect a lot from this new type of custom CPU for the Xbox Series X. it is reportedly very powerful, to the extent that the Series X processor could be capable of supporting the running of four separate Xbox One games at any one times – with a brand new internal video encoder that is apparently six times as fast as the encoder that the current CPUs powering project xCloud use.

And of course, this is all very promising. For gamers, we can boil this down into meaning that as they are playing their next-gen games on the Xbox Series X, there will be no bottleneck issues that restrict the gameplay from a processing perspective – nor will there be any real danger of restrictions in scope from the CPU in the future, with developers having quite a lot of room to grow in the future if they want to expand their vision when it comes to CPU use.

Basically, the CPU on the Xbox Series X is going to be future proof and more than sufficient for the type of games that are expected to run. How does it stack up against a comparable CPU for the PC though? Well, it’s not hard to find one. In fact, we can find one made by the same manufacturer – AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X for example offers similar performance in games, with the same eight cores and 16 threads that the custom AMD CPU for the series X will be using – but that’s only a comparable model.

We can look to the new lineup of AMD’s Ryzen chips for a better performing CPU than the ones currently available – apparently, the 4000 series is going to offer advanced overclocking features and up to 20 cores – so a pretty big leap over the Ryzen 7 3700X. but we don’t even need to jump to the new AMD lineup of processors to find one that can outperform the 3700X. Intel’s Core i7-9700K actually outperforms the 3700X in a number of ways. For example, the 3700X is clocked at 4.47Ghz at max boost, whilst the i7-9700K is clocked at 4.6Ghz. Basically, this chip offers better performance, and it isn’t even top of the line when it comes to gaming PC CPUs.

So, whilst the CPU inside an Xbox Series X perhaps isn’t as powerful as a top of the line gaming PC CPU, that doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive. You are still going to get top-level performance out of it where it counts – and that leads us to the GPU.

Xbox Series X GPU Vs Gaming PC GPU:

The Xbox Series X GPU is possibly the most powerful graphics card to ever be put inside of a console. It is said to offer 12.15 Teraflops of graphical processing power. Let’s break that down so it’s a more easily digestible bit of information rather than just a number. The Xbox One X had 6 Teraflops of power, whereas the PS4 Pro only had 4.2 Teraflops available.

Now you have an idea of how powerful the Xbox Series X’s GPU is going to be – double that of the previous top of the line model by Xbox themselves. According to Techpowerup, the Series X GPU has also been clocked in at 1825 Mhz and is based on RDNA 2 architecture. Plus, its going to be running 10Gb of GDDR6 memory, so you really can expect top of the line performance from this card.

If all those stats are still too much to take in at once, then I’ll compare the Xbox Series X graphics card to another on the market for easy visual comparisons. Basically, what you have inside the Xbox Series X is the equivalent of a 2080 Ti by Nvidia. If you are new or inexperienced with PC gaming, this was basically the top-rated card of the Turing generation of GPUs, the top of the line graphics card to have in your PC.

However, if we are really comparing an Xbox Series X to a modern gaming PC here, then there is no question that modern graphics cards seriously outperform the Series X’s GPU. Take the newest line-up of Nvidia GPUs for example. The flagship card, the 3080 is going to offer its users gameplay performance higher than that ever seen in a console. In fact, it’s going to offer better gaming performance on PC than anyone has seen before, with brand new GDDR6 memory coupled with AI and Ray Traced graphics combining to deliver a new level of gaming performance, all at a steady 4K resolution.

It goes without saying that all of this clocks in much higher than the 2080 Ti ever did. For a full range of specifications on the Nvidia RTX 3080, click here. But you don’t even have to splash out the cash for a 3080 to get Series X beating PC performance. The lowest-performing card of the new 3000 series graphics cards, the 3070 actually offers better performance than the 2080 Ti, and it launches at – get this – $499. Sure, that’s the exact same price as the Xbox Series X itself, but let’s have a closer look at what it offers.

It has 5888 Cuda Cores (1000 more than the 2080 Ti), with a boost clock of 1.73GHz (also higher than the 2080 Ti), with 8Gb of GDDR6 memory at its disposal alongside the superior Ampere graphics technology. Basically, you are getting around 1.5 times the performance of a 2080 Ti, for around half the price, which is pretty great.

Essentially what I have just told you there is that you can buy an Xbox Series X beating GPU at a similar price point. Also, consider that the Xbox Series X will be shipping with a one terabyte SSD and factory cooling – both good, but irreplaceable from their original components.

If you want a verdict here on a comparison between an Xbox Series X and a modern gaming PC, where I only take hardware and its performance into account: I have to say the gaming PC wins.

Xbox Series X Beating PC Build

I just told you that on their specifications alone that a modern gaming PC beats out the Xbox Series X in terms of performance alone – but what does that PC actually look like? Well, I will outline a PC build below that is sure to beat out an Xbox Series X in terms of performance alone – I’ll even recommend a monitor, mouse, and keyboard that will give you a true next-gen gaming experience.

It will be a great PC too. Not top of the line, but definitely capable of putting out some serious gaming performance in the long run. Just bear in mind that this isn’t the end of the article, and that the Xbox Series X isn’t out of the count yet – not by a long shot.

Xbox Series X Beating PC Build Specifications:

Part Product Review
Case NZXT H510i Found Here 
CPU Ryzen 7 3700X Found here
MOBO ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Found here 
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Coming Soon
Memory Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16Gb Found here 
Storage WD Black SN750 NVMe 1TB Found Here 
Cooling NZXT Kraken Z63 Found Here 
Mouse  Logitech G305 Lightspeed  Found Here 
Keyboard Corsair K63 Found Here 
Monitor Acer Predator XB321HK Found Here 

This right here is a PC that can best the Xbox Series X in a straight fight when it comes to performance. In fact, it will even beat the PS5 when it comes to gaming speeds and image quality. Which is brilliant – this is by far one of the best ways to experience next-gen gaming, with 4K, ray shading, HDR support, and high refresh rates that will keep the game looking brilliant, and keeping you at the forefront of performance when it comes to online games.

Which is brilliant really. Sure the Xbox Series X can give you 4K resolution, HDR colors, and even ray trace – but you are locked into the specifications you buy now. In 5 years time, technology will have moved on and a gaming PC can move with the times, you can replace any parts that aren’t holding up to modern standards, and stay on top of your build as the years go by.

However. Do I think it’s worth it?

Xbox Series X Versus PC: Which Is Cheaper?

That PC build I outlined before wasn’t cheap. In fact, I can give you a relatively accurate ballpark figure right now, and it’s pretty…staggering. You are looking at above 2,500 dollars for that whole build combined.

And that’s a relatively standard figure when it comes to entering into the PC gaming market and expecting performance that beats out the Xbox Series X and will offer consistent high, game beating specs until it comes time to upgrade again – I’m talking a five to seven-year lifespan here. So compare that to the Xbox Series X’s cost of $499.

They don’t even compare really do they, the Xbox Series X is far more reasonably priced than a gaming PC. I’m sure there will be some saying that I didn’t need to include a monitor, a keyboard, or a mouse in my round-up of costs for the gaming PC but the truth is that lots of people just don’t own those different secondary items for their computer.

They tend to browse the internet on a laptop and have Netflix connected to their TV via a console or a casting device. Realistically, this is the cost for someone new to the gaming world to get into PC gaming from scratch – and I didn’t even make mention of things like new routers, secondary monitors, optional gamepads – you get the picture.

My point here is this. If I went down to the electronics store (or Amazon, lets face it), and decided I wanted to get into gaming, I could drop an Xbox Series X into my cart, walk out of the store and have everything I need to get gaming as soon as I got home (assuming I already own a TV). Compare that to the cost and effort of making a gaming PC, and we have a real difference in value for money.

And I mean value for money because let’s look at the longevity and life cycle of the Xbox consoles for a second. It’s pretty much guaranteed that right up until the end of the Xbox Series X’s life cycle that it’s going to be supported by the Xbox dev team, the dev teams of all the major game studios, and Microsoft itself – making it a pretty safe bet when it comes to enjoying triple-A games long into the future.

Then you have the Xbox games pass. If you read any of my other articles (and if you haven’t, then know I’m offended) then you will know that I’m a huge fan of the game pass. Xbox is releasing all of their major first-party games onto the games pass, alongside its official release, making it a defacto ‘Netflix of gaming’ for Xbox gamers. Plus, a whole bunch of third-party developers have their games on the games pass as well – EA Access was just announced as being folded into the service for example.

This has a drastic impact on the real-life cost of an Xbox Series X. Let’s say I was to pick up a gaming PC right now, get everything installed and ready to go -you know what costs I have next? The costs of games. With an Xbox though, I install whatever updates I need, subscribe to the games pass for ten dollars or so, and now I have an exhaustive library of first and third-party games ready to download to my console and play online right away. You can see why that might be a game-changer.

Basically, if you care about your wallet and want a way into next-gen gaming, then the Xbox Series X is the way to go.