The surprising price of a PC as powerful as the PlayStation 5

Building a gaming PC with hardware similar to the upcoming PlayStation 5 would cost significantly more than the expected price of the console.

Sony has announced there will be two PS5 models at launch – the standard version with a Blu-Ray optical drive, and a Digital Edition which won’t offer a disc drive.

Although no official pricing has been confirmed for either console, industry analysts estimate that Sony will price the two models at between $399 and $499.

This is based on calculations around the manufacturing costs and Sony having to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console.

If this turns out to be true, the PS5 will offer substantial value for money based on the powerful hardware Sony has detailed thus far, as shown in the table below.

Specifications PlayStation 5
CPU AMD Zen 2 (8-Core 3.5GHz)
Internal storage 825GB SSD
Expandable storage NVMe SSD
External Storage USB External HDD Support
I/O Throughput 5.5GB/s
Optical Drive 4K Blu-Ray

It remains to be seen how much the console will be priced at when it hits South African shores, however.

Assuming the Digital Edition’s price will indeed match the current $399 retail price of the PS4 Pro in the US, and it is sold with the same margin and import costs accounted for on that console, it could potentially retail for between the R7,999 (Incredible Connection) and R9,499 (Takealot) that the PS4 Pro currently sells for in South Africa.

We decided to calculate how much it would cost to build a PC which could boast similar performance to the PS5.

The build

We opted to use parts from Evetech, as the retailer offers great flexibility for customisation, as well as competitive pricing.

For the CPU, we chose the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, as it boasts the same number of cores and a comparable base clock speed (3.6GHz) as the custom AMD Zen 2 processor in the PS5.

Even though the console’s AMD Navi GPU is similar to the AMD Radeon 5700 in terms of compute units and memory bandwidth, it comes with a faster clock frequency.

Sony put its graphical computing performance at 10.28 teraflops, much higher than the 7.9 teraflops of the Radeon 5700 and closer to the 9.7 teraflops on the Radeon 5700XT.

However, it also offers support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which meant we had to go all the way up to the GeForce RTX 2080 Super, a part which by itself currently costs more than the PS5’s expected launch price.

For our memory, we went with two sticks of Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 RAM from Corsair to match the PS5’s 16GB of GDDR6 RAM.

To match the PS5’s PCIe 4.0 SSD storage, we chose the Corsair Force MP600 1TB PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD.

To bring all these components together, we found the MSI X570 A-Pro motherboard was the most affordable chipset which offered PCIe 4.0 support.

Big price difference

As we began adding the costs of these parts for our PC station, it became evident that we would have to opt for cheaper components in areas which were not sensitive to performance.

We therefore decided on a basic Antec NX600 gaming case and Antec VP500P 500W 80+ power supply.

Despite this, the total for our basket came to an astounding R38,223.

This is more than four times the-price on the PS5 Digital Edition, and this is without including a controller or any form of input device.

Below is a full breakdown of the costs of each part of our PS5-equivalent PC build.

Parts Price
Case Antec NX600 R1,099
Motherboard MSI X570 A-Pro R3,999
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3700X R6,999
GPU GeForce RTX 2080 Super R18,299
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 x 2 R1,799
Storage Corsair Force MP600 1TB PCIe Gen 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD R5,199
Power supply Antec VP500P 500W 80+  R829
Total R38,223

Important note

This comparison should not be taken as a guarantee of accurate like-for-like performance.

Due to the custom purpose-built hardware and software of consoles, it is difficult to provide an equivalent configuration based on hardware alone.

Additionally, it should be noted that consoles like the PS5 are designed solely for gaming, whereas a PC offers many alternative uses.

Now read: Cheaper Xbox Series X to be unveiled in August – Report

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The surprising price of a PC as powerful as the PlayStation 5