Finding the right gaming tech can be difficult. Whether you are a newbie browsing the market for different beginner-friendly gaming devices, or an enthusiast planning to upgrade their system, it can be a perplexing task indeed. If you go into it without prior knowledge, you will likely have a choice overload. Therefore, we have compiled a comparative analysis of the difference between gaming PC, consoles, and laptops. So, you too can decide which one is to choose for a better experience, as per your needs.
Difference Between Gaming PCs, Consoles and Laptops
The gaming PC vs. console debate has been around for decades. Ask a gamer which one he prefers, and you will likely hear a long list of advantages of whichever one he favors. These days gaming laptops have also been added to the long-standing argument. Regardless of whichever one you plan on purchasing right now, there are certain features to consider to help you settle on your best fit.
Since you are investing your time and finances in a gaming device, we can very well assume that functionality is one of your top priorities. Though it is not always the case, the performance of any technology has a direct correlation with its cost. So, the higher the price, the better it will perform. That is one of the reasons why gaming PCs are far ahead of consoles when it comes to how well they work. That is especially true for high-end gaming PCs, customized by pro gamers to suit their individual needs.
Customization means you can incorporate a powerful central processing unit (CPU) of your choice that will allow uninterrupted gaming for hours without lagging or heating up. Moreover, through a good-quality graphics processing unit (GPU), you can benefit from better graphic settings and resolution.
Though the benefits of customization are also applicable to consoles and gaming laptops, there are significantly limited options for its components. Additionally, in gaming laptops, adding powerful hardware may be disadvantageous. The better the CPU and GPU will be, the more power will be required. Thus, it will most likely run out of battery every 4 to 5 hours of an intense gaming session. This time interval may decrease as the battery life deteriorates over time. It is one of the reasons we generally only recommend gaming laptops for people who seek portability in their devices.
Customization and flexibility are another reason gaming PCs have the upper hand, in our opinion. You can easily upgrade your CPU or GPU to one that is of better quality for improved performance. Not only can this help enhance your gaming experience, but it will also increase the durability of your entire system. That is because due to technological advancement. As new updated versions of consoles are released, game developers start launching games that are only playable on specific hardware. Thus, instead of building a new system from scratch, you can replace it with advanced components. (Note: a potential disadvantage of custom gaming PCs includes lack of technical knowledge of the person building it. For example, incompatibility of the CPU and motherboard may reduce the overall quality, despite the cost invested in it as a whole).
This flexibility is not a benefit enjoyed by console owners. Their specifications are often limited to the ones provided by Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, or other console developers. Even if you wish to upgrade a particular component as per your liking, it would require a lot of research to find suitable parts for the system as a whole. Additionally, it may cost more than customizing a gaming PC because of the limited available hardware compatible with it. A similar concept applies to the customization of gaming laptops, which do not offer many comparative options to choose from.
3. Videogame Options
a) Gaming PCs
As discussed above, the customization of gaming PCs is relatively easy than its alternatives. That not only means convenient upgradation but also quite a variety of videogames to select from. In other words, you can download any and as many games as you want, per the storage device of your PC. Moreover, with a Steam account, you can select any game from the wide diversity of more than 30000 additional games. They also have access to the purchase of games which start from a very affordable cost of $40.
In contrast to the potentially unlimited game options for gaming PC users, the selection for console users has a significant advantage and drawback. On the positive side, they get access to console-only games that gaming PC or laptop owners can not enjoy. However, the disadvantage includes the limitations on the games available for it. Currently, Xbox One only has access to a selected variety of around 1100 games.
c) Gaming Laptops
As for gaming laptops, they have pretty similar advantages to gaming PCs here. However, a disadvantage includes this: some games are too fast-paced to be played on a touchpad. Though it might be convenient to play a relaxing game that does not require fast movements, it might not work for games such as Doom Eternal, etc. You might feel inclined to purchase a mouse or perhaps another keyboard, which defeats the purpose of a laptop altogether.
Along with performance, you’ll want to know how long your specific gaming device will last. Durability, when it comes to gaming depends on two major factors:
- The maintenance of its hardware components
- The games playable on them
As time passes and upgraded consoles are released, videogame developers tend to limit themselves to the newer tech. That means that though your console may be in working order, you will still be unable to play Fortnite or Call of Duty on it. Moreover, it will also be hard to upgrade since the price of your console may depreciate as soon as the newer versions are launched, owing to technological obsolescence.
For gaming PCs, the change will not be as noticeable as consoles. Their graphic capabilities and speed may deteriorate over time. However, since their build and design are more flexible, you can easily change its components for upgradation.
It is important to note that gaming laptops are perhaps the least durable option out of all three. That is because of the limited options available for its hardware. The significantly few suppliers of its CPU and GPU make it the most susceptible to bottle-necking. If the term is unfamiliar for you, bottle-necking means the incompatibility of components that reduces the overall potential and performance of an electronic device. An example includes an up-to-date CPU alongside a GPU that is relatively old.
For many gamers, the answer might be as simple as the money they’re willing to invest in their hobby. Below is an estimate of the current average price for each option:
a) Gaming PC
Owing to the diverse options available, you can pretty much find a gaming PC at any price. That includes as low as $400 to as high as $2000. The farther you go on the price range, the better the quality of the processor and graphics card will be. We recommend a mid-range PC for beginners. Having an 8 GB RAM and Intel quad-core, they are adequate for the average gamer.
We do not have as many options for consoles as we do with PCs. But you can get a high-end model of Xbox One or PlayStation 4 within $300 – $400. With backward compatibility, you will still be able to play old versions of games on your new console. However, durability might be a concern here, and upgradation might become necessary.
c) Gaming Laptops
Comparing the price of a gaming laptop with a gaming PC is difficult without considering the individual cost of its components. However, to provide an estimate, you can get the Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop for $1,049.99, whereas the Dell G5 Gaming Desktop costs around $849.99. Both have 8 GB RAM and processors from the Intel Core i5 series, which is sufficient for the average gamer.
Ultimately, as with any other technology, the answer lies with you and your lifestyle. If portability and convenience are your priority, we recommend a console or a gaming laptop. However, if you’re an advanced gamer that wants to design their setup, a gaming PC will be best for you. It is the option that will offer you much more specifications at almost all price ranges.