Can A $500 Gaming PC Beat The PS5 In 2024?

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Are Consoles Finally Equal To Personal Computers?

Story Highlight
  • According to today’s prices, the performance difference between a PS5 and a $500 gaming PC is too far apart.
  • Personal computers are used outside of gaming for many productivity tasks.
  • PCs hold a better upgradable path, whereas consoles can’t be upgraded, making them less future-proof.

As a lifelong gamer and tech enthusiast, I have always been open to the challenge of building a budget gaming PC that can compete with high-end rigs. However, the PlayStation 5’s debut during an era of inflation has swept the gaming world. Of course, a budget gaming PC could directly compete with a PS5 in the past, but I was intrigued to know if a $500 gaming PC could beat the PS5 in 2024, and I have quite the peculiar results. Let’s explore further.

The PS5 โ€• Performance & Specifications

Before practically comparing the two different pieces of technology, I believe it’s best to understand what specifications each has. To start, the PlayStation 5 is a powerhouse in the gaming world with the following specifications:

  • A custom RDNA 2 graphics card
  • An 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU
  • An ultra-fast SSD to reduce load times

All of this is for a mere $500.

These specifications obviously spell trouble for a gaming PC with today’s pricing standards, so it’s still a mystery how Sony managed to create this beast with the price point it comes with.

Building A $500 Gaming PC: Components And Testing

Regardless of whether a $500 gaming PC can best the PS5, this is the build I decided to go with that fits the tight budget while also featuring the best performance output:

These components combine to create a well-balanced PC that provides decent performance. From a single look, it’s obvious this PC build can’t defeat the PS5 in any games, but here is a graph of the FPS I achieved in multiple games at 1080p:

1080p gaming benchmarks of $500 PC build
1080p gaming benchmarks of $500 PC build. (Image by Tech4Games)

Seeing these results, the PS5 wins in gaming performance without breaking a sweat. I am even intrigued to state that budget gaming is slowly ending with how newer hardware is priced. In any case, are these benchmarks enough to state if a $500 gaming PC can beat the PS5, or is something missing?

PC Usage โ€• Gaming And Beyond

The most significant advantage of a personal computer over the PlayStation 5 is that the former has more uses than just gaming. For example, I use my PC for gaming, video editing, studying, and of course, writing for Tech4Gamers. These are some things a PS5 will never support, giving computers the edge.

Of course, if I’m only talking about gaming, a $500 gaming PC cannot beat the PS5. But overall, a $500 PC will be more productive than a PS5. Moreover, I can play different console games on my PC, but my PS5 is only backwards compatible with the PS4. What if I want to play a masterpiece like Forza Horizon 5? Must I need to buy an Xbox Series X to fulfil my needs?

Rather than spending more money on a separate console, my $500 gaming PC supports all Forza Horizon games, either with a mouse and keyboard, a controller, or a full-on gear and wheel setup. From this perspective, the $500 gaming PC holds much more value than any console for a similar price.

Upgrade Paths For PC And PS5

There’s another significant advantage PCs have that consoles don’t. That is the possibility of upgrading a PC in the future. I can easily upgrade the $500 PC by buying other compatible products one by one. On the other hand, doing so for a PlayStation 5 isn’t possible. I’d have to buy a new console whenever it’s released.

This aspect alone tips the scale for enthusiasts and budget gamers like myself to PCs looking towards gaming in the future.

The Verdict: Does Price Equal Performance?

The PlayStation 5 is an excellent piece of hardware that provides impressive performance in the latest AAA-titled games that can’t be directly compared with a $500 gaming PC build, thanks to today’s inflated pricing. However, there are other aspects to consider when answering if a $500 gaming PC can beat the PS5 in 2024.

Indeed, a budget PC isn’t a PS5 killer anymore. But it offers excellent flexibility, making it a viable option for budget gamers who don’t mind losing some eye candy in the process. But of course, if you are only interested in the best current-gen gaming performance, I would say close your eyes and go with the PS5.

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