The path of the PC and video game consoles converged a long time ago. Microsoft’s first console, the original Xbox , borrowed many components from the computers of its day, including a CPU very similar to the 733 MHz Pentium III processor and a GPU derived from 4th generation GeForce graphics processors. Although it didn’t look like it, essentially this console was a PC specifically sized for gaming.
Sony took longer than Microsoft to take the PC path. The PlayStation consoles for which Ken Kutaragi was responsible (the first three desktop and PSP) implement an architecture significantly different from that of compatible computers, but PS4 and PS5, the desktop machines conceived by Mark Cerny (he is also the main architect of Playstation Vita ), they are essentially a PC .
Both machines have hardware comparable to that of a very competent PC, although if we stick to the graphics, Xbox Series X is significantly more ambitious than PS5
Just take a look at the specifications of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 to confirm that both machines have hardware comparable to that of a very competent current PC , although if we stick to the graphics, Microsoft’s console is significantly more ambitious than Sony’s. . And this conclusion invites us to ask ourselves a question: how much would it cost us to configure a PC that has features reasonably similar to those of these two new consoles?
The purpose of this article is to give an answer as accurate as possible to this question, although before entering into flour it is important that we bear in mind that both Microsoft and Sony have introduced several innovations in the architecture of their consoles that at the moment are not possible to replicate on a PC.
In fact, not even the CPU and graphics logic built into the APU of both consoles are identical to what AMD currently proposes for PC, which will force us to take some licenses. Even so, it is possible to set up a computer with a power reasonably similar to that of both machines, so this is what we are going to try.
The challenge: find the PC components most similar to those of Xbox Series X and PS5
If we are lucky enough to have a generous enough budget, we can get a PC significantly more powerful than PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The new Ryzen 5000 processors from AMD and the graphics cards with GPUs from the GeForce RTX 30 family of NVIDIA and Radeon AMD’s RX 6000 are the ideal ingredients to cook it, but this is not the point of this article.
What we have proposed is to configure the cheapest PC possible and with a similar power to that of the new generation consoles, so all the decisions that we are going to make must pursue this dual purpose.
If we are lucky enough to have a generous enough budget we can get a PC significantly more powerful than PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
The first thing we are interested in doing is reviewing in some detail the specifications of the new Microsoft and Sony consoles, so we have collected them in the table that you have below these lines. A note before moving on: the debate about to what extent AMD’s RDNA 2 microarchitecture implements the PS5 graphic logic is beyond the scope of this article, but if you are interested we will talk about it in depth in the text I link right here .