It’s hard to recommend a “budget” gaming PC over a PS5

NOTICE: This week we saw the arrival of the Nvidia RTX 3050, a new graphics card that is currently the cheapest option in the 30-Series lineup.

It’s these Full HD targeting GPUs that are often the most popular with fans, as they offer high-end features like DLSS and ray tracing for a great price.

But while the RTX 3050 is the cheapest in Nvidia’s latest lineup, calling it a “bargain” would be an overstatement. Nvidia’s recommended retail price is £239 / €279, but in reality it’s going to be very hard to find the card at that price.

Box Currently offering two RTX 3050 cards for £359.99 and £475.37, which are considerably higher than the recommended price. And with stocks likely to dry up quickly, the price could rise even further in the future.

These prices are ridiculously high for a graphics card that aims for 1080p performance. And then take into account that it’s just one of several components required to build a gaming PC, and the total cost climbs alarmingly, especially when you compare it to the price of a console.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
The Nvidia RTX 3050 seems overpriced given its performance power

While the PS5 is experiencing its own stock issues, it’s still possible to nab it for the RRP of £450 if you’re patient enough. Retailers are releasing new inventory in dribs and drabs, but at least they’re not (mostly) inflating the price to exploit strong demand.

The PS5 can play games in 4K with ray tracing enabled, and while it struggles to run games at a high frame rate, it’s still smooth enough for the majority of gamers. It’s also important to remember that the PS5 uses an AMD Zen 2-based processor and an SSD with a read and write speed of 5,500MB/s, the latter of which helps games load in a snap. eye.

With today’s graphics card prices, it’s nearly impossible to build a modern gaming PC on the same budget it takes to buy a PS5. In fact, if you already have a PC and just want to upgrade, an RTX 30-series graphics card could end up being as expensive as Sony’s console.

It’s worth mentioning that the situation isn’t much better with AMD’s budget graphics cards. The recently launched Radeon RX 6500 XT graphics card can currently be had for as low as £199.99, making it significantly cheaper than the RTX 3050. Gamer on PC indicate that it struggles to hit 60fps (and sometimes even 30fps) for the vast majority of modern AAA games when set to 1080p resolution – don’t even think about 4K.

It’s a shame that PC games have become so expensive, as there are many exciting games that will be launching exclusively on the platform in the near future. Total War: Warhammer 3 is just weeks away from launch, while The Settlers reboots in March. I’m also waiting (and hoping) for The Sims 5 to finally be announced this year.

Total War: Warhammer 3
Total War: Warhammer 3 could be one of the biggest reasons to stick with PC gaming

Luckily, there are still ways to play PC games without building a new rig. The likes of Nvidia GeForce Now and PC Game Pass let you play games through the cloud if your internet connection is fast enough, eliminating the need for expensive hardware. The Steam Deck could also be an interesting option – it might not be cheap with a base price of £349, but it’s still cheaper than building a new PC.

And while gaming laptops aren’t exactly cheap (costing over £1000), the likes of the ROG Zephyrus G14 and Razer Blade 14 (2021) are portable enough to double as a laptop for office work. /university, so you’ll get better long-term value.

But my biggest recommendation is to go with the PS5 instead. It might seem blasphemous to ditch PC gaming for a console, but you’ll probably be able to play the majority of your most anticipated games on Sony’s console. The likes of Dying Light 2, Elden Ring and Gotham Knights are all coming to PS5, while exciting exclusives are releasing in 2022 such as Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok.

With so many options available to play games without depleting your savings, I find it very difficult to recommend anyone build their own gaming PC. And with AMD and Nvidia showing no signs of reducing the cost of their graphics cards” budget” while delivering competent 1080p performance, there’s no better time to upgrade to a console.

Ctrl + Alt + Del is our weekly IT-focused opinion column where we dig deep into the world of computers, laptops, components, peripherals and more. Find it on Trusted Reviews every Saturday afternoon.

Robert P. Miller