The PC vs the console: Which one is better? This has been a subject of debate for far too long and this article will do very little to end the debate. However, this article will outline the pros and cons of the two platforms without necessarily fancying a particular side. In the end, you should be able to make the decision for yourself.
We will start with PC gaming. Initially, PC gaming tends to be a very expensive affair. Assembling the ideal gaming PC will set you upwards of $1000 or so but the good thing is that you are able to customize and upgrade it unlike consoles where you are stuck with the same machine until the next version is released.
Talking about components, the heart and soul of a good gaming PC is a decent processor which should at least be a Core i5 or a Core i7 dual core processor for basic performance but for optimal performance, the quad core options for either is recommended. Also, quad core AMD processors will do just fine with the added advantage of being relatively cheaper.
When it comes to system memory, 8GB of RAM should be able to handle most games nowadays but if you want to future-proof your PC for a few more years, I suggest you double that. Another component to consider is the graphics card which is the most important component in a gaming PC. When choosing graphics cards, you need to do your homework because not all graphics cards from Nvidia or AMD are recommended for gaming. In fact I have seen people buy PC’s with the intention of gaming just because it had an Nvidia or an AMD Radeon sticker only for them to regret later. Always check the model number because this it’s the simplest indicator of a graphics card’s performance i.e generally, the larger the number, the more powerful the card is. For example, if we compare two graphics cards from the same generation like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 and the GeForce GTX 980, the latter will outperform the other.
To contain all the components mentioned above, you’ll also need a case, decent power and cooling system to keep the components well powered and more importantly running cool. Rise in temperature tends to initiate throttling which basically means that both the CPU and GPU will run at a slower speed and this will affect gaming. This is the primary reason why laptop gaming is discouraged even though there are a few gaming laptops around – laptops don’t have enough room to let the components breathe freely therefore no matter how beefy it is, the laws of thermodynamics will get in the way. Finally you need storage for all your games. It is worth noting that if you opt for an SSD (Solid state drive), your games will boot much faster but a regular Hard disk drive is cheaper which means you can get more storage for all your games.
All these factors put together make the PC the ultimate gaming machine in terms of performance. If you fear the high cost of acquiring or assembling a new gaming computer with the latest hardware then don’t fret because second hand or last generation graphics cards and processors can be acquired at a bargain hence making it possible to bring down the price of assembling a gaming PC to match the price of current generation consoles – for that price, you will still be play most games at Full HD resolution.
The other advantage of PC gaming is that you can get games at relatively cheaper prices hence lowering costs in the long run. Services like Steam allow PC gamers to acquire games at more than half the price of console games.
The main disadvantage of PC gaming is that you need to know what you are doing. Spending more on the latest expensive processors but opting for a basic GPU for instance will greatly affect your computers gaming performance. Also some games tend to prefer a particular graphics card as opposed to others but as long as you have a GPU from either AMD or Nvidia, you should be fine. You should also be ready to make changes to your system to accommodate new gaming titles.
Now lets turn our attention to console gaming. Consoles are readily packaged for gaming and with the only configuration option being the storage. It is also worth noting (although not officially recommended) that you can manually upgrade the storage.
The main advantage of consoles is that they are ready to play therefore suitable for casual gamers or anyone for that matter. You insert your gaming disc, download or stream from the internet and you go ahead and play. The gaming titles are relatively expensive but this can be overcome by exchanging gaming titles with friends. Also once in a while you can get crazy deals from the PlayStation store or the Xbox store.
Another great thing about consoles is that they tend to get most of the popular mainstream games before they arrive on PC. Some games are also exclusive to consoles only.
There is nothing much to write about consoles other than they just work. You buy it, buy a few games, connect to a TV and you are ready to rock. They are also cheaper costing around half the price of new gaming PCs. The main disadvantage is that once a new console comes out then the old one is rendered redundant which means that you will have to shift to the new console. The old console will still work the same but game makers will tend to ignore it forcing you to make the upgrade.
In the end all you need to do is choose the one that suits your personal taste. I would suggest going for a console if all you want to do is play without worrying about much. In any case gaming should be a relaxing exercise and not a science. Otherwise you can opt for a gaming computer if you know what you are doing. Some games will always need extra tweaking in order to work but if you can build yourself a good system then everything should work at better resolutions and higher frame rates than consoles. Just be prepared to pay more for the hardware. I am not a serious gamer and only occasionally play FIFA which was never a resource intensive game (until now) but I would enjoy the thrill of building a gaming PC and seeing everything go wrong.