Is PC Gaming Worth the Money or Are Consoles Finally on Top?
Last year, while everyone was bunkered down in their homes waiting for the plague to pass over, a lot of people struggled to fill the time. Some turned to household improvements, while some grew to loathe their spouses. A huge number of people turned to video games. If you’re interested in upgrading your gaming experience, you have landed in the right place. Whether you’re thinking of trading in your old PS4 or getting into gaming for the first time, we are here to help you decide if PC gaming is worth the money.
This boom of people with time to kill and government cash also coincided with the release of two new consoles: the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X. Around the same time, the big names in PC graphics cards (GPU) Nvidia and AMD also released their next generation of GPUs. This manifested as the 3000 series for team green and the 5000 series for team red.
Normally, this would be an awesome time for gamers with tons of options to get their game on but, unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. Who would have imagined that if everyone stopped going to work there wouldn’t be any products to buy? That’s exactly what happened. Global COVID restrictions put a damper on silica mining, which is a critical component in building computer chips. Without the raw materials, AMD and Nvidia couldn’t make enough graphics cards to fill the demand.
This caused the price of new GPUs to skyrocket, like the RTX 3060 that hit four times its original MSRP. The graphics card squeeze was further exacerbated by a boom in the cryptocurrency market. With the price of cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum soaring, miners rushed to get as many GPUS as they could while the getting was good. All of these factors resulted in PC graphics cards becoming completely unobtainable for close to a year.
Is PC Gaming Worth the Money
After reading all that you’re probably thinking the answer is simple then. Consoles must be the way to go. However, it’s not that easy. Very few companies have the physical capacity to make GPUs. Those companies are named Nvidia and AMD. Guess who makes the graphics cards for both the PS5 and the Series X? It is AMD.
With miners and scalpers picking up literally every GPU they could find, non-veteran PC gamers looking to build their first rig were basically up a creek without a paddle. That made most gamers rush to get the new consoles, which sold out immediately. Scalpers capitalized on the frenzy and bought as many consoles as they could, inflating the price of both $500 consoles to well over $1,000.
At this point, graphics cards are starting to come back to earth but are still above their original MSRP. Consoles, if you can find them, are still hovering around double what they should cost. So, the answer to whether or not PC gaming is worth the money is yes. If you have to spend $1,000 for a console, you might as well put that money into a gaming PC. For the same amount of money, you can order a gaming rig from a reputable pre-built company like NZXT or Redux and get better equipment for relatively the same price. If everything was available at MSRP and you’re new to gaming, the answer would be to buy a console, no question. With the current prices, I can’t recommend that though. If you have to spend $1,000, no matter what, to play games you might as well put that money into a PC that is already several years ahead of the consoles. Not to mention, it is upgradeable and you’re no longer at the mercy of SONY or Microsoft.
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Drew Blankenship is a former Porsche technician and lifelong automotive enthusiast. Recently, he began writing for several websites and is enjoying the career change. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their dog Enzo.