In our previous article on PS4 v PC Graphics, we examined the graphics performance of the Sony PlayStation 4 compared to a personal computer with systems that were comparable in cost. In this second article, we look at the comparison based solely on actual performance.
Excellent performance – PS4 v PC graphics
Looking at the debate free of cost constraints, the picture is different. Eliminating budgetary factors lets us consider the very latest graphics cards. In this case, the game console cannot keep up with high-end PC graphics for several reasons.
The first is the upgradeability of PCs. The graphics card in a high-end PC is interchangeable and upgradeable, so that the computer user can use the new technological developments without having to replace the entire device.
Due to the fixed specification of consoles, Sony would have to commit to and adhere to a specification. Add to this the long development times of a game console – the chosen graphics hardware is often out of date when the console is released for sale.
AMD and NVIDIA spend well over $ 1 billion each year on graphics research and development. This leads to a continuous development of the graphics hardware and due to the expandability of the computers, consumers can keep up with these developments. Graphics cards such as the Radeon R9 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 700 series are the high-performance examples of graphics cards on the market. A consumer would expect to pay an amount at least equivalent to the cost of an entire PS4 for such cards.
Power is another reason why a console doesn't use the most powerful GPUs available. Game consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation will have a maximum power consumption of around 300 W, while high-end gaming computers can be equipped with a power consumption of up to 1000 W. This type of electricity generates a lot of heat, and in order to dissipate this heat, a large housing is required to house the power supply and regulate the airflow. This would require loud fans and the resulting combination of size, warmth and noise would not be acceptable in the home environment where the PlayStation 4 is likely to be used. The gaming PC is often specialized hardware that is used in a more specific location, e.g. B. in a game room or bedroom where such problems are more acceptable. The electricity used to power a PS4 is also not free, and as energy prices rise, consumers are becoming more aware of the operating costs of consumer electronics. A 1000 W console would simply not be sold in sufficient numbers to justify its development budget.
The last factor is the cost. Powerful processors, large power supplies and large housings with the large heat sinks and fans that are required to deal with the heat generated by a powerful gaming PC cost money. Creating and sharing a console according to these specifications would result in a retail price that is far too high to generate the sales required for an acceptable business model. High-end gaming computers are likely to be sold in much smaller numbers, but the higher price of the hardware, especially the graphics cards, allows this niche sector of the market to continue.
In summary, it can be said that the Sony PS4 and gaming PCs are used in two different market areas. The technology used in PC graphics is state-of-the-art and moves at the limits of current semiconductor technology. The form factor, upgradeability, power supply and consumer requirements for simply the best technology available make this possible. For this reason, it is not possible to have a console that can surpass a PC.
Top-class gaming PCs already have a significant performance advantage over the PS4, as games like Battlefield 4 can be run on the PC with a higher resolution and textures of higher quality than on the console. This gap will only widen if you consider that we are in the early years of the current generation game console. It may take five to six years for the PS5 and Xbox One successors to hit the market, and by then PC graphics cards will have evolved tremendously.