While many major games release across multiple platforms, the experience on different hardware can differ drastically.
This is most notable when comparing the gaming experience on PC versus modern consoles; controls are extremely different, distribution platforms vary wildly, and graphical fidelity can differ greatly depending on the PC’s system.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro has been available in South Africa for more than two years now, and while it has not delivered native 4K gaming at high framerates, the hardware inside the machine is powerful enough to deliver some impressive performance at lower, up-scaled resolutions.
Gaming PCs have continued to evolve however, with powerful hardware becoming cheaper as new products are launched.
To see which of these two devices is the best purchase for gamers in South Africa, we compared the specifications and pricing of a PlayStation 4 Pro console with those of a modern equivalent PC build.
PlayStation 4 Pro
While other specifications could affect performance, the most important component in this comparison is the GPU.
The PlayStation 4 Pro shares 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM across its CPU and GPU, and boasts 4.2TFLOPS of processing power.
This figure will help us to determine an equivalent graphics card when designing a comparison system.
Below are the specifications of the PS4 Pro. It should be noted that the console also supports Blu Ray DVD playback.
|PlayStation 4 Pro|
|Processor||8-core AMD Jaguar CPU @ 2.13GHz|
|Graphics||4.2TFLOPS AMD Polaris GPU|
|I/O||1x HDMI, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1x S/PDIF, 1x Ethernet|
The graphics processor performance of the PS4’s Polaris GPU is rated at 4.2 TFLOPS, which is surpassed by AMD’s Radeon RX 570 graphics card and its 5.0 TFLOPs of floating-point performance.
We therefore decided to use the AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU in our comparison to ensure a fairly similar level of performance between the two platforms.
Other components would have a much lesser effect on graphics performance than the graphics card, and subsequently, we selected budget parts which would not limit any of the GPU’s performance.
The components of what would be a PlayStation-equivalent PC, along with their South African pricing, are detailed below.
|Intel Pentium Gold G5400||R1,139|
|MSI H310M Pro-VD Motherboard||R999|
|G.Skill Aegis 8GB DDR4||R589|
|XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX from Wootware||R2,479|
|WD Blue 1TB Hard Drive||R639|
|Raidmax 500W PSU||R579|
|Raidmax Exo SE Chassis||R399|
Pricing and value
The price of a gaming PC which delivers equivalent theoretical performance to the PlayStation 4 Pro is now cheaper than the console itself, with the system above priced at just less than the PS4 Pro’s R6,999 price tag.
Some might argue that it is not a great time to buy a PlayStation 4 Pro right now anyway, as the PlayStation 5 is expected to launch next year.
The upcoming console is expected to offer true 4K gaming capabilities as well as a long-overdue upgrade to SSD technology in the storage department.
However, even if the PS4 Pro were more expensive than the theoretical equivalent PC, it should be noted that PS4 and Xbox One games are significantly more expensive than their PC counterparts.
A desktop PC can also be upgraded gradually with new components instead of replaced entirely each generation, lending gamers more control over their budget and upgrades.
The gaming experience offered is also vaster, with a greater number of games and control options available, in addition to the ability to use the PC for more non-gaming purposes.
Of course, buying into a console ecosystem also grants you access to numerous exclusives, many of which have high production values and are extremely popular.