Can You Build A Gaming Pc Better Than The Ps4 For $400
- By Sebastian Anthony on November 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm
As you probably know by now, the PS4 is essentially a $400 PC. It has an x86 PC CPU, a standard PC GPU, and the same kind of RAM that youd find on a PC graphics card. There are a few custom chips on the PS4s motherboard, but for the most part its just a normal PC with some custom software. This led me to wonder could you actually build a comparable PC for $400? More importantly, given how Sony has crippled the PS4s home theatre functionality, is it possible to build a PC for $400 that is actually better for games and as a living room media box?
To answer that question, we first need to agree on the PS4s hardware specification. It has a motherboard, an AMD APU , 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a PSU. The PS4 also has WiFi and Bluetooth and well also need a case, of course. I think itll be very hard to build a PC with the same specification for $400, but well see.
Ps5 Vs Ps4 Vs Ps4 Pro Specs
Even a cursory glance at the specs of the PS5 shows that its in a different league than the PS4 . Sony has improved the capabilities of its platform in every way, adding more efficient storage, faster compute parts, support for larger capacity disks, and support for higher resolutions. We know there are two versions of the PS5 the Standard Edition and Digital Edition both of which will offer the same specs .
Well get into the specifics of most of these specs throughout this comparison. As a general note, though, its important to consider the context of these specs. The PS5 is a much newer console built on a different architecture, and because of that, some of the specs shouldnt be directly compared.
For example, the PS5 and PS4 Pro have the same number of compute units , but the PS5s CUs have a much higher transistor density, making them more powerful than the PS4 Pros CUs. That said, other specs can be directly compared. The PS5 has a strictly better optical drive and resolution support, for example.
Connecting Ps4 To Vga Monitor Via Hdmi
Now, many will ask about how to connect PS4 to a VGA monitor via HDMI connection. Rather than having a dedicated display card, some computers have whats called an onboard, or integrated, graphics processing unit. The term onboard GPU refers to a chip located on the computers main circuit board, or motherboard.
An onboard GPU is often cheaper, and it potentially leaves an expansion slot where a circuit board open inside the computer for future use. The PS4 graphics card can easily connect to most monitors without any issue. Just know ho to hook up the HDMI cable at the both ends, and you will be fine. It can also save power over a dedicated video card and generate less heat inside the computer, meaning that fewer fans or other cooling systems are needed to keep the computer running comfortably.
HDMI connection help PS4 users to connect their console to VGA monitors. There are different kinds of games, though, and not all of them demand the most powerful GPU on the market. Thats why its important to read a games required, recommended, and optimal specifications to make sure that you get a suitable GPU. When considering PS4 GPU and how the graphics card work, youll know exactly that thing. Buying the best GPU you can afford is a good way to future-proof your build, and keep it ready to play popular games that have yet to be released.
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Ps4 Vs Xbox One S: Graphics Comparison
- Games on the original PS4 tend to run at higher resolutions than their Xbox One S counterparts.
While the Xbox One X appears to have the edge over the PS4 Pro, it’s a different story when it comes to the Xbox One S and PS4.
A gameplay video on YouTube of GTA 5 pans between the two next-gen versions of the game with a definitive answer. The base PS4 GPU is able to handle more foliage in environments than the base Xbox One.
Yes, you literally have to get into the weeds to see the differences, though both the PS4 and Xbox editions of GTA 5 look stellar compared to their last-gen counterparts.
In the Metal Gear Solid 5 comparison, there’s slightly more clarity to the PS4 version. Specifically, distant textures and moving objects appear softer among the otherwise identical Xbox One visuals.
It’s a trend we’re seeing from PS4 games that achieve a 1080p resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second, when their Xbox One counterparts run at 720p or 900p at 30 or 60 fps.
This is a trend that’s continuing today, with video analysis, such as the one below, indicating that Battlefield 1 runs at a consistently higher resolution on the PS4 than the Xbox One, with both consoles hitting the same variable 60 fps frame rate.
It’s a similar story when it comes to Titanfall 2, which likewise runs at a lower resolution on the Xbox One.
Overall, the PS4 appears to have the edge on the Xbox One, but both are left in the dust by their more powerful younger siblings.
What Does A Gpu Actually Do
The GPU that sits in both the PS5 and Xbox Series X is the primary component of each machine that is responsible for graphics rendering. From supporting 8K resolution to more complex, cutting-edge visual techniques such as ray tracing, the next-generation GPUs that feature in both and PS5 and Xbox Series X are essential to facilitating the sort of leap over current gen consoles such as PS4 and PS4 Pro that consumers rightly expect.
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Ps4 Vs Pc Graphics Comparison
The Sony PlayStation 4 games console shares much of its hardware technology with the personal computer. We take a look at how it compares with a gaming computer in terms of price and performance.
The PS4 uses a graphics processing unit based on the Radeon HD 7000 series of PC graphics cards that are designed by AMD. It has 18 compute units with 64 cores per compute unit, giving it a total of 1,152 cores. This gives the PS4 a theoretical peak performance of 1.84 TFLOPS that can be used for graphics, physics simulation or a combination of the two.
There are several known differences between the PS4s GPU and the AMD 7870 PC graphics card upon which it is based. The first is that the PS4 unit has a dedicated 20 GB/s bus bypassing the L1 and L2 GPU cache to allow for direct system memory access. Direct memory access in this instance serves to speed up the graphics by reducing the number of processes required.
It also has additional L2 cache support for simultaneous graphical and asynchronous computing tasks thanks to the inclusion of a volatile bit tag. This allows the machine to process graphics and computational code synchronously, without suspending one to be able to run the other.
Finally the consoles unit has 64 sources compared to two on the PC unit for compute commands. The purpose of this is to allow for superior game-engine integration for developers when writing games for the console.
Comparable Costs PC v PS4
Ps4 Pro Vs Xbox One X The Verdict
If you want a pure 4K gaming experience then you need to get the PS4 Pro. No other distractions or additional features means you can focus on the best graphics on some of the best titles ever made.
The recent launches of Spider-Man and God of War have made the PlayStation the number one gaming experience, and the most-sold console of the two.
However, if you’re looking for the best 4K home entertainment system Blu-Ray included the Xbox One X is the one to go for.
More rounded, multiplayer games, better additional features and HDR will mean this is the ultimate home entertainment experience.
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Ps4 Pro Vs Xbox One X Virtual Reality
The PS4 Pro is much better equipped for the PSVR than the current PS4 thanks to its improved processing and graphical grunt.
The original PS4 will still be able to run the PSVR and its associated games, but the PS4 Pro will give you a much better and more comfortable gameplay experience.
The social screen, A.K.A what anyone else in the house can see on the TV screen when you’re deep in VR land, is vastly improved over what’s available on either of the standard PS4 consoles, although it’s still not HD resolution or full screen.
VR game developers are also starting to issues PS4 Pro specific patches for PS VR games running on Sony’s latest console.
However, we will caveat this by saying that you’ll need to disconnect the PS VR if you want to play games on the PS4 Pro in 4K or with HDR. That’s because the PS VR’s processing unit can’t process either of these new display technologies.
That makes moving between “normal” PS4 games and PS VR titles a bit of a faff, especially if your PS4 Pro is wedged in any kind of entertainment unit where the back isn’t easily accessible.
Ps5 Graphics What Is 8k Resolution And Ray Tracing
PlayStation’s Mark Cerny, the architect of the PS4 and upcoming PS5, said that the PS5 would support 8K resolution and ray tracing in an interview that gave us our first details on the mysterious machine, but that may not mean much of anything if you don’t already know what those are.
8K resolution refers to a game’s visual details and sharpness of an image. It is four times the resolution of a 4K image, and 16 times that of a 1080p image. 8K images are capable of showing detail that otherwise would not be possible on a lower resolution.
Ray tracing is a rendering technique that improves visual fidelity by modeling how light interacts with and travels through virtual objects in a 3D environment to make it look as realistic as possible. Currently, the technique is almost exclusively used in blockbuster Hollywood movies.
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Two: Gpu Graphics And Hardware
The PS5 will include totally new hardware.
- 10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz with variable frequency
- A custom RDNA 2 architecture
- PS4 by comparison launched with 1.84 TFLOPS, 18 CUs at 800MHz.
This is where we hit the largest difference between Xbox Series X and PS5, so lets address the elephant in the room: yes, Xboxs GPU can push more teraflops . In this regard, it has the victory in numbers, which is what a lot of people will point to.
Remember, though, that teraflops are a single metric about a single part of the system. I say this often, but remember how games looked at the beginning of the generation, compared to how they look now. Its a friendly reminder that, ultimately, games will be the deciding factor.
In his presentation, Mark Cerny emphasized this, offering an example where we pit a 36 CU GPU at 1GHz against a 48 CU GPU running at 750MHz. Both are 4.6 teraflops, but his argument was that the experience would not be the same.
For the technical people reading this, heres how Mark Cerny broke it down:
Performance is noticeably different, because teraflops is defined as the computational capability of the vector ALU. Thats just one part of the GPU, there are a lot of other units and those other units all run faster when the GPU frequency is higher. At 33 per cent higher frequency, rasterisation goes 33 per cent faster, processing the command buffer goes that much faster, the L1 and L2 caches have that much higher bandwidth, and so on,
Ps5 8k Or Even 16k Resolution
4K is getting its footing with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, but its just the beginning. Technology is already progressing into 8K and even 16K resolutions! While its most likely the PS5 wont run games at 16K, that hasnt stopped people from trying to run games at this resolution.
An interesting experiment was done by Linus Tech Tips. They put together a video where they built a 16K gaming rig. It took $10,000 in GPUs and 16 4K displays built from 16 27-inch Acer predator panels. The GPUs were powered by four Quadro P5000s that had 16GB of RAM each.
They got games like Half Life 2 and Minecraft to play at 40fps. Modern stuff like Rise of the Tomb Raider chugged along at 2-3fps. So, while its safe to say the PS5 wont run at 16K, it will most certainly run at full 4K, and Mark Cerny also confirmed it will have the capacity to scale upward to 8K.
The latest sales numbers have shown that PlayStation VR has sold over 2 million units and over 12.2 million titles in the year since it was launched.
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Ps4s Dualshock 4 Vs Ps5s Dualsense
Aside from the vast differences between the two machines, the PS5 will offer a new take on the PlayStation 4 controller dropping the DualShock moniker entirely. Instead, the PS5 will come with the DualSense, a controller that is designed to feature better battery life, adaptive triggers, and most impressively, haptic feedback. The idea with adaptive triggers is to offer varying degrees of resistance depending on what youre doing in-game. For example, firing a bow will feel wildly different than firing an automatic machine gun, which will feel different from a shotgun.
The varying amount of tension is meant to make the player feel more immersed. Haptic feedback works similarly, but with the controllers vibration. Dynamic vibrations will be used to depict different surfaces or even showcase recoil with weapons. It will be up to the developer to design with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback in mind, so we hope games on PS5 will continue to include support for it. Based on early previews of the PS5, the DualSense seems to be the shining star.
Despite that, the DualSense and DualShock 4 have many similar features. Each offers the expected identical button layouts. One difference is that the Create button has recently replaced the Share button, which allows users to live stream games and share screenshots and videos with other users. You can still enjoy the fantastic built-in mic and headset jack, as well as a cool, integrated speaker, motion sensor, and handy touchpad.
Ten: Operating System User Experience
Some key feature of the PS5 UI:
The final specification ties everything together. Microsoft has been working hard to create a unified operating system in the case of Windows 10, and its working. Google Drive also allows you to keep your documents safe and on the cloud regardless of which device youre using.
Sony has yet to do this on a large scale, but with the growing popularity of services that are device agnostic, Sony could develop their own operating system that can work across all kinds of Sony-made devices. Where did this idea come from? Sony posted a job for a Senior Game Designer.
The description of the job entailed working on an operating system which gave me this idea. Sony is going to create an operating system like Windows 10 that can work on your PS5, your VR headset, your smartphone, or any other device that Sony creates to work with the PS5.
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Ram Subsystem And Bandwidth
Once we leave the CPU and GPU, the hardware specs of the Xbox One and PS4 begin to diverge, with the RAM being the most notable difference. While both consoles are outfitted with 8GB of RAM, the PS4 opts for 5500MHz GDDR5 RAM, while the Xbox One uses the more PC-like 2133MHz DDR3 RAM. This leads to a massive bandwidth advantage in favor of the PS4. The PS4s CPU and GPU have 176GB/s of bandwidth to system RAM, while the Xbox One has just 68.3GB/s.
Xbox One SoC block diagram. The 32MB of ESRAM is at the bottom.
In Microsofts favor, the Xbox One has 32MB of super-fast embedded SRAM . When ESRAM is used properly, as a cache, then the huge difference in main system RAM bandwidth can be ameliorated.
Comparing Apples To Apples
First, theres the matter of the CPU cores. Without getting into technicalities, AMDs Jaguar architecture is the impending successor to the Bobcat architecture found in the companys current low-power APUs, and it is not especially beefy. While the idea of an octa-core console sounds dreamy on the surface, the illusion is shattered when you realize that on the PC side of things, Jaguar APUs will be modest processors targeted at tablets, high-end netbooks , and entry-level laptops.
In other words, the PlayStation 4s CPU performance isnt likely to rock your socks compared to a PC sporting an AMD Piledriver- or Bulldozer-based processor. It might not even trump a lowly Intel Core i3 processor, especially if Eurogamers early PlayStation 4 leaks continue to prove accurate and those eight cores are clocked at 1.6GHz.
Then theres the GPU. The specs dont line up with any of AMDs Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards, and we cant be sure just how custom the semi-custom GPU actually is. Nonetheless, 1.84 teraflops of performance puts the GPU just ahead of the Radeon HD 7850 and well under the Radeon 7870. That also holds true if you assume the PlayStation 4 GPUs 18 compute units sport a build similar to the GCN architecture used to build AMDs Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards.
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