The gaming PC you can build for the price of a PlayStation 5

It is possible to build a decent mid-range PC gaming rig for the price of a PlayStation 5 in South Africa.

The standard edition of Sony’s next-generation console with a Blu-Ray drive is priced at R11,999, while the digital-only version comes with a price tag of R9,999.

Sony has claimed its console will be able to run games in 4K resolution at 60fps, and even some titles at 120fps. Hardware-based ray tracing will also be supported on the console.

This performance is due to its combination of a custom-built AMD processor and graphics, as well as super-fast SSD storage technology.

Sony provided the specifications of the PS5 as shown in the table below.

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

MyBroadband previously assembled a PC with hardware that would make its performance comparable to the PS5.

Unsurprisingly, our build was far more expensive than Sony’s console.

Gaming consoles generally offer great value for money to their buyers, with manufacturers often selling them at a significant loss to establish a solid customer base.

They then recoup the cost through subsequent game sales and downloadable content spend on the platform.

Same-price build

We configured a gaming PC build that will cost you the same as the PS5.

Since retailers have been receiving very low allocations of the digital-only system, the most popular console will likely be the standard model at R11,999.

We assembled parts from two of South Africa’s best-known and most affordable PC hardware retailers – Evetech and Wootware – to build the most powerful setup possible with a budget of R11,999.

The table below shows the setup we were able to come up with.  Note that for the motherboard, CPU, and RAM, we used one of Evetech’s upgrade kits, which offers a significant discount as opposed to buying the parts on their own.

Specifications Parts Price
Case Antec NX120 Mid Tower Gaming Case R489
Motherboard  ASUS Prime A320M-K AM4 AMD Motherboard R5,199
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
RAM Klevv 16GB 2,666MHz DDR4
GPU Palit GeForce GTX 1660 Super R4,849
Storage WD Blue 1TB 7,200 RPM HDD R729
Power supply Antec VP500P 500W R699
Total R11,965

Expected performance

With the above setup, you should expect mid-range gaming performance.

The system will likely be able to run a number of AAA titles at 1080p resolution on high or maxed out settings at around 50-60fps.

More graphically demanding titles might hover between 30-40fps, however.

Two key changes could be made to the system, although this will push the price beyond the PS5’s.

Swopping the hard drive out for a solid-state drive will make games and application content load significantly faster.

One of the cheapest options available for this is the 1TB Hikvision C100 at R1,799 on Evetech.

Additionally, to boost graphics performance and add ray tracing capability, Wootware offers the Palit RTX 2060 graphics card at around R1,000 more than the GTX 1660 Super.

4K gaming will still likely not be possible or will require you to turn down the settings to achieve playable frame rates.

How it compares to the PS5

The PS5’s specifications and Sony’s claims over its performance mean it will likely outrun our build.

The console’s custom-built AMD CPU not only offers double the cores and threads of the Ryzen 5 3400G but uses new and improved design architecture.

Its AMD Navi GPU is also capable of delivering 10.28 teraflops of graphics power, more than double the 5 teraflops of the GTX 1660 Super.

In addition, the console will be highly optimised for gaming, with resources primarily dedicated to this purpose.

If your interest is purely on gaming and media consumption, then the PS5 is a great option for powerful gaming at R11,999.

However, a PC offers a more meaningful return on investment if it is used for purposes other than gaming.

There is also a far wider variety of games to choose from on Windows than on the consoles.

Now read: Watch – First PlayStation 5 hands-on gameplay

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The gaming PC you can build for the price of a PlayStation 5