One thing both PC gamers and console gamers like to do is to compare the GPUs in their machines to their counterparts. For example, what’s the closest PC GPU to the one contained within the Xbox Series X or the Nintendo Switch on the market? Such comparisons aren’t always useful; after all, console GPUs are customised in order to maximise gaming potential, so they’re not really comparable to their console equivalents. Still, if you’re buying a PC graphics card, it can be helpful to know what the closest option is in terms of getting the next-gen experience.
One of the battles we see a lot is the Radeon RX 5700XT vs PS5 debate. Which of these two graphics cards is more powerful? The fact is that a direct comparison might not be particularly helpful; after all, if you’re in the market for a PC graphics card, you’re probably going to use it for more than just gaming. However, there’s no doubt that many people want to know the merits of the 5700XT vs PS5. Given that this card is about as close to the PS5’s architecture as you can get from a PC card – in spirit, at least – let’s run down some of the pros and cons.
The specs are similar on paper
Looking at the technical specs for the 5700XT, you’d be forgiven for thinking it performs in a similar way to the PS5. The 5700XT offers 9.75 TFLOPs of power, which is similar to the PS5’s 9.2 TFLOPs; in fact, the 5700XT is slightly more powerful if we’re just going by this number. However, it’s not the right approach to compare like for like here. In the great 5700XT vs PS5 debate, there is more to consider than just the numbers.
The 5700XT’s TFLOP value doesn’t translate to solid 4K gaming. If we look at some of the benchmarks for 4K, many games barely reach a consistent frame rate at this resolution, with some games falling far short of the mark. While this does also depend on optimisation to some extent, even well-optimised games like Destiny 2 barely reach 55fps on 4K with this card.
This stands in stark contrast to the PS5, which is capable of maintaining a silky-smooth 60fps at 4K. So, why is this? The PS5’s GPU is customised for its operating system, which doesn’t have to do much more than just run the fairly barebones framework and play games. As such, the PS5 is more powerful than the 5700XT, even though it doesn’t look that way on paper.
What card is the 5700XT comparable to?
Since the great graphics card war is between AMD and Nvidia, rather than pitting the 5700XT vs PS5 graphics, it’s best to look at what the card’s equivalent is in terms of its closest PC rival. This would likely be Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Super, which is designed for 1440p gaming; it’s capable of outputting 120fps at 1440p, which is pretty impressive given its low cost.
It’s also technically a last-gen card, which means it doesn’t exist in the same competitive space as the PS5. You’ll notice better real-time results from the PS5 thanks to the optimisations Sony has made to its bespoke hardware, even though the 5700XT (and, for that matter, the RTX 2070 Super) should be comparable in terms of performance.
Despite this, some have said that the 5700XT should be able to exchange blows with the PS5. According to Digital Foundry, the 5700XT was able to compete closely with the PS5 in a test featuring Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. However, we should take this with a pinch of salt, because Valhalla isn’t a great console port in the first place. It’s not necessarily a fair competition in this regard.
The PS5 has ray tracing
One of the key areas of the 5700XT vs PS5 debate in which the PS5 wins hands down is ray tracing. The PS5 has hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which means it uses the hardware in order to enhance and augment the ray tracing feature. By contrast, the RX 5700XT doesn’t have this feature; instead, it uses software-accelerated ray tracing, which is less powerful than its hardware-based counterpart.
With that said, the PS5’s ray tracing feature is in its relative infancy at time of writing. It’s not really possible to enjoy a PS5 game with maxed-out visuals at 4K and also featuring ray tracing. You need to make other sacrifices in order to enjoy ray tracing, and this is also true of the 5700XT; it’s not geared for ray tracing, so the tech can only really be used in certain instances.
This means Sony’s console pulls ahead of the AMD card in terms of ray tracing. In the 5700XT vs PS5 battle, the PS5 wins if what you want is to see the future of graphics tech in action. Just be aware that neither of these pieces of hardware is going to be able to handle full ray tracing at the moment; that’s arguably a task for the next generation of hardware.
We hope this comparison between the Radeon RX 5700XT and the PS5 has been illuminating. No matter which of the two you choose, you’re in for a satisfying gaming experience; if you’ve got a 4K display, though, we’d recommend opting for a card that’s more powerful than the RX 5700XT so you can get the most out of your monitor. The PS5 wins the comparison hands-down in terms of graphical power due to having a bespoke hardware setup, so if you want the superior gaming experience, grab a PS5!