Unhappy with the price of the PlayStation 4? You’re not alone. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend all that moolah to get a gaming machine that’s just as good, if not better. Here’s what you need to buy to get a kickass gaming PC for the price of a PS4.
The PlayStation 4 sports a $399 price tag internationally
CPU – Intel Core i3-3220
Price: Rs 7,650
Since this is a strictly gaming machine, we don’t need too much computing power. Instead the Intel Core i3-3220 is stable enough for everyday tasks and when combined with some of our other component picks, it has enough firepower to play most games. It doesn’t make use of Intel's Turbo Boost technology, but is able to execute more instructions per cycle than comparable AMD processors such as the FX-4170.
Motherboard – ASRock B75M-GL
Price: Rs 4,250
Featuring an LGA1155 Socket, this microATX board has very good set of ports and features, especially for its price. The rear I/O panel gives you separate PS/2 ports for the keyboard and mouse, three kinds of video outputs (D-sub, DVI and HDMI), four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and jacks for 6-channel audio (courtesy a Realtek ALC662 chip). ASRock has included an additional SATA 6Gb/s connector in addition to five SATA 3Gb/s connectors.
RAM – Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz
Price: Rs 5,500
Vengeance is the performance series RAM series from Corsair. The 8GB single RAM stick is rated at 1600MHz, it includes a 10-10-10-27 CAS Latency and quad-channel memory configuration. In addition, the mean-looking black heat spreader should keep things running cool even under high load. If you want to save money on RAM, you can check out GSkill NT DDR3 8GB at Rs 4655 or Corsair XMS 3 8GB at Rs 4850.
Dressed to kill
HDD – Seagate Barracuda 1TB
Price: Rs 4,100
Since you will be playing a lot of games, you will need a higher capacity drive than the PS4’s 500 GB HDD. The Seagate Barracuda 1TB drive makes more sense than something like the WD Caviar Green 1TB even though they are in the same price bracket. That’s because the Seagate drive at 7200RPM is speedier than the 5400RPM WD Green drive. If you want even more speed, you may add in a cache SSD (SanDisk Ready Cache 32GB at Rs 2500).
GPU – ASUS R9270X DC2T 2GD5
Price: Rs 15,750
The ASUS R9270X-DC2T-2GD5, as we saw in our review, delivers performance that is comparable to the Nvidia GTX 760. The GTX 760 is about 8 percent faster, but is also much more expensive at nearly 1.5 times the price of the AMD card. When seen from a pure value perspective, the performance difference does not seem that significant. Build quality is great with this particular model. The heat pipes on top and bottom help keep the temperatures lower and we get two DVI ports, HDMI and DisplayPort on the back panel. The box also bundles a CrossFire cable, which is always a bonus.
The ASUS R9270X also has a black and red coloured metallic shroud which covers the heatsink.
PSU – Antec VP450P
Price: Rs 2,500
This entry-level solution gives you everything you need in a power supply without breaking the bank. If you are looking for jazzy lights and glittery paint jobs, then look elsewhere. Here you will find a 120 mm fan for quiet cooling, dual +12V rails for greater stability, and heavy-duty protection circuitry. With 450 watts of Continuous Power, the VP450 is ATX12V version 2.3 compliant. The matte black exterior will also match our next pick. It comes with a single 6-pin PCIe power connector, so you can use a molex-to-6-pin adapter for the other 6-pin port on the graphics card.
Cabinet – Cooler Master Elite 310
Price: Rs 1,800
With the same understated look that has made many fans of the Playstation 4, this cabinet is timeless and will certainly not polarise with its looks, unlike some of the other gaming cabinets. The air vent in the front provides superior ventilation. There’s a front I/O panel for easy access and a security lock on the side panel. This even supports the Antec VP450 which has a 120mm fan, and there’s another 120mm fan in the rear to keep your machine constantly cooled.
Elite 310, a simple cabinet that's built to work
And that’s that. We know we haven’t included a keyboard or a mouse, as those are highly subjective parts of PC building and each person has a different comfort zone for these. In all, our rig comes up to Rs 41,550, around the price of the PS4. But on the positive side, you have games selling at a much lower price point than PS4 launch titles. Add to this the perennial Steam discounts and sales on various games – new and old – which put the PC gamer at a definite price advantage over the console gamer.
Component prices are based on current market prices and they are likely to fluctuate. The memory in particular is very susceptible to price changes. As is usually the case components prices differ from city to city and from shop to shop, so you may end up getting all of these for under Rs 35,000 too. You could also throw in an Xbox 360 controller for Rs 2,525, if you want and it will still be only slightly more than the PS4's price tag. What’s more, unlike the Playstation 4, you will be able to play any game that was released in the past, so no backwards compatibility issues either.