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PS5 vs PC – should you buy a PS5 or gaming PC?

Stuck choosing between a gaming PC or PS5? The latest generation of consoles has thrown a spanner in the works, so we take a look at the differences between the two

Updated: Sep 28, 2022 8:38 am
PS5 vs PC – should you buy a PS5 or gaming PC?

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The PS5 has now been out for over a year and it really has shown the power of what next-gen console gaming is all about. The processor, graphics, memory, connectivity, and storage have all seen an upgrade.

When it comes to whether the PC or PS5 is the best for gaming, there has never been a debate worth having, the gaming PC is too strong to compete with. When you throw convenience and value into the conversation, consoles like the PS5 start to enter the equation, offering gamers an affordable way to play games in 4K. A Playstation will also plug and play (aside from the odd update). The alternative is very expensive and if you were to spend the same amount of money on a PC as you would a PS5, you’d struggle to play a lot of games outside of 1080p.

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PS5 specs vs PC

In some instances, the PS5 specifications aren’t really comparable to PC because the majority of people will have different components. The performance of a PS5 has confirmed there to be value, with it being very hard to get similar 4K results from a PC at the same price. Outside of 4K, say 1080p, price-conscious builders could still get something decent for slightly more. The PC gamer will have the added benefit of not being FPS capped on all games, so if their PC outperforms 120 FPS in say Warzone, they gain an advantage over the console player.

PS5 Specs: 

  • 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked at 3.5 GHz
  • 16GB GDDR6 RAM
  • 825GB SSD
  • 4K Blu-Ray

We all know that a big question a lot of people are going to have when it comes to PS5 versus PC is going to be about the graphics card. For some gamers, it’s going to be the only question. So, to that end, what performance can we expect in the PS5?

With these specs, you can play some games in 4K with Ray Tracing, sometimes capped at 30FPS but not always. 4K gaming on a PS5 without Ray Tracing is often capped at 60 FPS, and then a plethora of games in 1080p can be played at 120 FPS. The console is also capable of rendering games up to 8K and supports VR.

The end result is exactly what console gamers enjoy, flawless gameplay in high settings, something only a very powerful gaming PC could match in 4K. Of course, Nvidia’s RTX 30 series of graphics cards have made 4K gaming much easier but you’ll have to fork out quite a lot to get one.

What can you do on a gaming PC?

Even if you buy yourself a mid-range gaming PC, it is going to be capable of playing every game you want, in 1080 or 1440p. You can obviously do everything from general work, to playing games on a PC. You can tailor your PC build to fit your personal budget and gaming needs. You can personalize every aspect of a PC, where you get what you are given with a PS5.

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A PC is easily upgradeable, as long as you have the money, so no need for a new model every generation.

Almost every game is available on PC, with the odd exception, and while some games may not be ideal on keyboard and mouse (FIFA, Racing games, Rocket League), you can just buy/use a compatible controller.

You can also get all the same access to media and applications as a console, however, a PC is often at a desk rather than a comfy couch, so you may need to consider your gaming setup.

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With a PC, there is no need to worry about backward compatibility, if the game was released for PC and still has support, you can just jump in. You can take advantage of exclusive modern titles on a gaming PC and if you can afford a high-end rig, the experience is superior.

So what can’t you do on a gaming PC? You obviously can’t play PS5 exclusives but everything else is fair game. 

What can you do on a PS5?

The PS5 has come a long way from the older generation predecessors but its primary focus is still playing games. The addition of being able to install applications is one of the better features to come from next-gen consoles, allowing gamers to watch Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, and plenty more.

Additionally, the PS5 benefits from its own line of VR headsets, and the recently announced PSVR 2 is looking like it’s going to be a Valve Index competitor.

That is about it for PS5 functionality but as far as multimedia goes, it does reasonably well.

A gaming PC and PS5 differ in price

At the time of release, the PS5 cost around $450 – $500. This has come down a lot since then, with the disc version retailing at under $400, and the digital version at around $350. Unfortunately, this means no gaming PC can compete with the value.

At the same price, a gaming PC would be seriously underpowered and would only cope with 1080p gaming in low-medium settings (depending on frame rate). This is partly because of the GPU shortage and price hike, making it near impossible to get a decent budget system. You have to settle for integrated graphics, which are good for the price but you’ll never be able to play in 4K.

Of course, you aren’t just going to be buying the console, you may pick up an extra controller and you are likely to want the PS Plus membership. Even with this, your total isn’t going to be above $600. To put it in perspective, this is roughly the amount a GPU would cost that is capable of 4K gaming.

A PC may cost a lot more than a PS5 but you get the added benefits of being able to use it for much more than gaming. Don’t forget, you can upgrade your PC slowly too and don’t need to buy the latest console just to play with friends.

PS5 vs PC: Which should you buy?

As far as gaming consoles go, the PS5 is exceptional. It is superb to see how far the console has come. In an ideal world, we would see consoles slowly become upgradable gaming machines and we still might in the near future. For the time being though, a gaming PC is far superior in every way, however, they cost a lot of money in comparison.

So why should you buy a PC? If you are enthusiastic about the idea of gaming on a PC but also need a machine for work, there is nothing better. If, however, you don’t need a PC for anything other than gaming and mostly enjoy single-player games in 4K, the PS5 is going to be your best option. It is also worth noting that if you love keyboard and mouse, you can always utilize these with the PS5, so no need to suffer at the hands of a controller.

Sure, the gaming PC may not be the most affordable, convenient bit of kit but they pack a punch and give you chance to learn new skills.

Shaun, with a computer science degree and 15 years of computer experience, has been passionate about competitive FPS gaming since the mid-2000s.

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