The new consoles promise an impressive visual world but can a PC compete with them? We built two machines and looked at what they were capable of compared to the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Gaming consoles and gaming PCs, and more specifically the battle between two camps of users who like them, have a long history. Of course, this is mostly in the form of a sword duel, and it is not possible to announce a clear winner, as there are many factors that make direct comparisons difficult, not to mention that every user or player has different needs. At the same time, new-generation game consoles have emerged, with both Sony and Microsoft scouring the people with more powerful hardware, and PCs are not left without a word.

In our article, we have put together a very powerful gaming PC and another one that fits the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles at a price level, according to the hardware capabilities of the consoles. In addition to the two configurations, we finally put together a third of the components available in the used products market to find out how much you can gain by building your gaming PC from second-hand (but preferably still warranty) hardware.

Mission Impossible

In this war between the two parts, the parties often toss TFLOPS, which is completely meaningless. This value shows the number of floating-point operations performed per second, however, it is not possible to measure it uniformly, and it does not reflect the total performance of a complete system. Another very difficult point of the comparison is that no two PCs are the same, plus a computer offers universal, unlimited freedom, and you can do a lot of tasks with it. In contrast, game consoles are fixed hardware throughout their lifetime, and their architecture and operating system are optimized for a single task: gaming.

The promise of the new generation of consoles, i.e. a stable speed of 60 fps at 4K resolution, can only be leapt by a high-end computer.

In other words, in order to run all games on a PC in 4K resolution, you need a high-performance video card, and this is just as much or even more than the price of the console itself. Though the consoles have long been based on PCs, these special chips are not available from Sony or Microsoft for as much as we do in the store, nor are they bound by hardware standards or expandability. That is why it is simply impossible to assemble a gamer PC with the visual world and in-game performance offered by the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X game consoles from the same price. However, you can build a PC that runs games very well and can later be upgraded easily and cheaply.

When calculating the cost of PC construction, two important factors were not taken into account: the peripherals and the display. From the above, you will automatically receive a controller for each game console, while for a PC you will need to purchase a separate keyboard, mouse and gamepad. From the latter you can now choose any of the game console models, the PC handles them well.

The display is also a cornerstone of the gaming experience. You need to get this for both a console and a gaming PC: for the former, you should usually choose a TV, for the latter you should choose a monitor, but of course, you can also connect a computer to a TV and a console monitor. The great advantage of monitors is that you can choose a 120/144/240 or even 360 Hz model with adaptive upgrades, much less input lag and response time, and you don’t have to give up HDR either. The advantage of TVs is the significantly larger screen size, and the game mode and the low input delay are no longer a rarity among them, thanks to the fast control.

A single VGA is not enough

You’ve heard many times that a video card turns your computer into a gaming PC. The truth of the matter is that you will actually need a more powerful VGA card for beautiful visuals and good speed, but this is just one of the important components. For example, if you’re using a five- to six-year-old PC several generations ago, but you suddenly get in the way of gaming and think you’ll have a 4K-capable powerhouse with a GeForce RTX 3070 card after a few minutes of installation, we need to disappoint. A modern video card is useless if the other components of your machine cannot serve with enough data. An outdated processor, low RAM, and slow storage will stifle the graphics chip, and it’s even unthinkable that your power supply won’t withstand the increased load.

When upgrading an older machine, you will not only have to get another video card, you will also be forced to replace the motherboard, processor, memory, SSD and power supply. And this essentially corresponds to a completely new machine.

Thanks to hardware standards, building a new PC is no longer such a difficult task. Every component, peripheral, connector has its place, the assembly can hardly be damaged. Of course, there are tricks and hidden pitfalls that few users know, but even without them, you can set up a working PC. And if you’re undertaking to build your own machine, you can experience what an uplifting experience it is when you first press the power button, and your computer starts up right away.

Against all odds

Yet why do many people bother using a gaming PC when it is more expensive than a game console? There can be many reasons for this, but perhaps the strongest argument is that you can also use a computer for work, study, and information. It is also a serious weapon fact that you can expand and strengthen a properly built PC easily and relatively cheaply for a very long time to always meet your expectations. And significantly cheaper games, multiple software stores, a free multiplayer option, a higher number of frame repeats, more accurate targeting, game modes, and unlimited compatibility without generations (your old games also run on your latest machine) make it even more attractive as a gaming platform. 

And of course, there is the other camp who uses their PC or laptop mostly for work. For these people, high-quality computing when it comes to gaming is only secondary. For these people, it’s more important to have huge space on their computer and minimal specs. This kind of people will only watch Netflix and play roulette for their entertainment. There is no need for a console or a gaming PC in their life. 

But for us, who can’t imagine our life without gaming we should really consider whether or not we should get a PC or a console. Which one do you prefer?