PC or Console? Which System Is Right For You

About a two years ago I had the opportunity to purchase my first gaming PC and got see first hand what the hype was all about. Coming from a console background I have to say that PC gaming does live up to the rumors, however, I didn’t fully love it at first. It took a while before I got comfortable with it. In the beginning I was frustrated with all the updates and tinkering with tons of settings. I quickly began to compare my PC experience to my console experience and recognized that consoles were much easier to use. Thankfully after learning and understanding my PC it became the most awesome platform that I own. This post is a breakdown about my experiences with PC ownership and how I learned that PC gaming is right for me. Hopefully it will help you make an informed decision if you are in the market for a new system.

Accessibility And Pricing

For many gamers, affordability means accessibility, and running a high end gaming PC is not cheap. Even a base level gaming desktop can easily run you up to $800. Should you decide to shell out for all the best components your PC can easily range from $1,100 all the way up to $5,000 or more. To complete your PC setup, you also need a high performance monitor or screen to match your graphics card. Otherwise your games will not reflect the maximum performance that your PC is putting out. This can add a considerable cost to the full PC setup.

As well, choosing a gaming PC for the first time can lead you into a world of confusion. There are so many factors to look out for. You can get lost with choosing: your graphics card, how much RAM you need, your processor, your hard drive space, your type of hard drive, your motherboard, your power supply, and even the size of your desktop. Each component has multiple versions and names from different computer brands. Honestly, without the help of my friends who owned PC’s I would have never gone through with the purchase.

Consoles on the other hand are a fraction of the price and come in preset options. This makes it super easy to just pick the one you want that works with your budget, and there is no headache about choosing components. Usually consoles cost a a bit more if they have more memory but otherwise they are usually no higher than $500 which is a much more reasonable price in comparison to a PC. I believe price is a major factor in whether or not one gaming platform is more accessible. In this case consoles can be the right platform for many players simply because they are easier to use and purchase.

Frame Rates

Back in the day console frame rates were rarely talked about. I can fondly remember the Call Of Duty games being one of the only shooters that had any mention of frame rate standards. Unfortunately consoles have a disadvantage here. Everything you get on console is preset and locked in to maximize it’s computing power. As well, with our current generation of consoles, the highest frame rate a console can display is 60 frames per second and not all games support it. On the other hand PC’s can run games at 144 frames per second and sometimes even higher (if you have a monitor and graphics card to support it). This makes a PC the right choice in this department if you care about how responsive your games are.

Newcomer Info: For those of you hearing the term frame rate for the first time, frame rate is the amount of times your monitor or TV display will show still images in one second. For example if your game is running at 60 frames per second this means the screen is refreshing and showing 60 still images per second creating smooth fluid motion. In other words more frames means better performance. Also Be aware that games and displays have two different frame rates and in order to get the best performance your screen should match or exceed your hardware. As well, if you are wondering why frame rate important in the first place, well, it’s because having a faster frame rate can help improve your accuracy and responsiveness in competitive games. It can give you a slight edge because you are able to see updated screen information like enemy player positions faster and even give you a slight increase in aiming speed. This means you can aim your weapon a half second or more faster than your opponent and take them down that much faster (depending on the performance of your tech). In a competitive shooter it can make a big difference and therefore has value to many pro players.

Games And Ease Of Use

Consoles on the other hand, have better quality exclusive titles than PC’s. This makes some consoles worth keeping. Exclusive games like God of War(2018), and Spider-Man(2018) are great examples of amazing console games and it is unlikely that they will be ported to the PC. The quality of those exclusives are unparalleled and make up some of the industry’s greatest achievements. In this department I think consoles take the standard here. Please make no mistake, by no means am I shutting down PC games or their quality. PC’s allow you to have the greatest video game collection you could possibly imagine with the almost endless list of of new and old games from every generation. They also allow you to play almost all games with even greater visuals and better performance then their console counter parts. However, some PlayStation exclusives are just hands down some of the best games ever made and they are simply not available on PC.

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Additionally, ease of use is very important for some players and using a PC could be more tedious. For some console owners, being able to power on your device with the push of a button and get going in a few seconds is critical. Playing on a PC however, things need a little more time to boot up, sign in, and update apps before you gain access to your games. This doesn’t take much more time, but it can be annoying when you just want to unwind and just get into your games or apps quickly. When it comes to ease of use, consoles have the win here. Consoles are designed to have a much simpler user interface to navigate and even though there is upkeep on both platforms, in my experience it’s much easier to turn on a console and get things going.

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Turning My PC Into My Main Platform

Playing games on consoles was always the superior experience for me for a very long time. There was never any need to change the settings or double check frame rates or graphics settings. You just simply popped in the new game played it and enjoyed it for what it was. Playing on PC changed that perspective for me. It really opened my eyes to what the standard should be for a lot of video games. Playing older games like Batman Arkham Knight or Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC far surpass their console versions with crisper edges, smoother textures, faster frame rates, and overall better visual presentation. I was blown away by the graphical enhancements with some games.

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Having the options to alter your game settings to adjust visual fidelity and performance is one of the greatest things to have because you can set everything to the way it works best for you. The thing is that once you see the full potential to increase performance from your machine, it is difficult to go back. And this is part of what makes PC’s a better gaming platform. Whether or not it is the right platform for you, only comes down to the type of gamer you are and your preferences. Everyone has different tastes and for many players a console does not stack up to the PC experience. At the same time players who come from a console background probably feel like I originally did. I felt that consoles were the definitive experience and having more options just complicated everything. Personally, gaming on PC for me was confusing at first. There were so many options in so many secret settings that needed to be adjusted before I could even start gaming on it. I became frustrated when I had to fix my settings for each new game I started so it would fit my screen and resolution properly. However, after getting over the learning curve I began to appreciate my PC and how powerful it actually is.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to buy a PC or new console depends on your preferences and how passionate you are about your game play standards. If you are a casual gamer who isn’t gaming daily, you should definitely stick with a console. It will take care of all your gaming needs and offer a great gaming experience without the extra bells and whistles or the hefty price tag. On the other hand if you are a gaming enthusiast and are a stickler for having the best graphics and performance on the market than a PC is must. Bear in mind all the technical information you need to learn if you are new to the PC world, but if you can pick up what you need to know, you will not regret owning a monster PC that will dominate any game you throw at it.

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At this time, I am much more comfortable with my PC and it’s performance and I could’t be happier with it. It has become my main place to play all my games and a holds a collection of titles that would be impossible to fit on any console. I also managed to upgrade my graphics card, add another hard drive, and upgrade my monitor. It kind of feels like being a kid in a candy store when you can start buying upgrades for your PC. All of this has been an awesome experience and I have actually learned a lot about computers by owning one. I hope this post can help you to make any future system purchase decisions or at least give you some insight about PC ownership.

Thank you so much for reading and stay tuned for new game posts coming soon. Also please feel free to ask a question about gaming PC’s or consoles if you need some help figuring out what works for you. I won’t have all the answers but I’ll do my best to help you out if I can. Have a great day!

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