The PS5 is arriving by the end of this year, promising advanced features such as ray tracing, instant SSD load times and frame rates as high as 120 fps. But if you don’t want to wait for the PS5, you can enjoy all of those technological perks by investing in a high-end gaming PC right now.
The choice between PS5 vs. PC comes down to a few factors. You’ll need to buy or build a pretty expensive rig to replicate some of the PS5's features, and you’ll have to decide which kinds of games you’ll want to play.
But if you’re torn between saving for a PS5 or investing in a gaming PC, here are all the major differences you need to know about between the two platforms.
PS5 vs. PC: Specs
The PS5 will be powered by a 3rd Gen, 8-core AMD Zen processor, as well as a custom AMD Radeon Navi GPU. We also know the system will pack a solid state drive (SSD), and while we don’t know the exact capacity or type, this component should allow for near-instant load times in games, according to an interview that Sony gave Wired last year.
Other key specs include support for 3D audio, a 4K Blu-ray drive, ray tracing capabilities and the ability to render content at up to 8K resolution, and at 120 frames per second. But realistically, you should expect most games to target a steady 60 fps at 4K.
Naturally, the specs of any PC you buy or build are limited only by your wallet, but we can break down some of the key components that are comparable to what the PS5 offers. The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X has the same core count as the PS5’s CPU, and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super GPU would get you dependable 4K gameplay complete with ray tracing. We don’t know how much RAM the PS5 has just yet, but you’d want at least 16GB for decent performance that can keep up with the new consoles.
PS5 vs. PC: Price and value
The PS5 doesn’t have an official price yet, but recent reports are pegging it in the ballpark of $500. That price range seems reasonable, considering that the base PS4 launched for $399 in 2013, while the 4K-enabled PS4 Pro followed in 2016 for $499.
It’s impossible to perfectly price out a PC that would perform just like the PS5 might. But if you bought a Ryzen 7 3700X ($300), an Nvidia RTX 2080 Super ($700), 16GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM ($70) and a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO solid state drive ($80), you’re looking at a starting price of at least $1,150. And that’s before you buy a case or 4K Blu-ray drive to truly make your PC a PS5 replacement.
You could technically find a prebuilt gaming PC for close to the PS5’s price, such as the $559 CUK Continuum Micro Gamer PC. However, with a Ryzen 3 CPU and Radeon Vega 8 graphics, this machine isn’t going to pump out ray tracing or handle games in 4K.
However, while gaming PCs are a more costly investment, they’re also arguably a better value. PCs can be upgraded with new components over time, whereas PS4 gamers have to buy a PS4 Pro if they want better PlayStation performance. You can also buy or build a PC that fits your personal tastes, whether you want a subtle black box for your living room or a shiny RGB-lit monster for your command center. And for folks that have the money to spend, PCs let you enjoy games like Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and Doom Eternal at much higher settings than consoles can muster.
Plus, if you invest in a high-end gaming PC, you’ll also have a versatile machine that can power through video editing, graphic design and just about any other productivity task. We don’t yet know exactly what the PS5 can do, but most consoles focus on playing games and streaming media.
PS5 vs. PC: Games
As with any choice of two platforms, the decision between PS5 vs. PC really comes down to which games you want to play.
PC is the clear winner here in terms of sheer volume, as there are thousands upon thousands of titles available on storefronts such as Steam, Origin, Battle.net and the Epic Games Store. The best PC games span decades, from classics like World of Warcraft and Quake to modern AAA hits such as Control, Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2. And with Sony’s PlayStation Now service, you can even stream PlayStation titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy to your PC.
The library of PS5 games is slowly taking shape, with third-person shooter Outriders, and melee-looter Godfall among the console’s first confirmed titles. The PS5 will also be backwards compatible with PS4 titles, so you’ll be able to play favorites such as Spider-Man, The Last of Us and God of War on Sony’s new console. But the real reason to invest in a PS5 is the promise of more exclusive Sony games. So if you’re looking forward to sequels in franchises such as Horizon and Uncharted, the PS5 will likely be your best bet.
PS5 vs. PC: Outlook
The PS5 isn’t out yet, and its price and specific features are still largely a mystery. But if you’re not willing to pay more than $500 for a gaming machine, or simply love Sony games like God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted, the PS5 is probably for you.
But if you want a ton of choice, from the price and power of your machine to a near-endless library of games from all eras, a good gaming PC is the way to go. You can buy or build anything from a humble living room box to a beastly 4K ray tracing powerhouse, and can always upgrade your investment as better components come out. And thanks to PlayStation Now, you can even play select PlayStation titles on PC.
As with any decision between console and PC, deciding between PS5 and a gaming computer ultimately comes down to convenience and cost vs. flexibility and power. There’s no wrong choice — just the one that fits your gaming habits (and budget) best.