"Van: I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. I'm not aware of any stage where a console has had more, for the lack of a better description, 'polygon pushing ability' than a decent gaming PC of the same era."
Which bit of 'consoles had custom graphics and sound chips before the PC' dont you understand?
I think you're struggling because you either think PC gaming started in 2002 or you've only ever played games that needed to push a lot of polygons. Or perhaps youve confused the PCs higher resolutions available to meaning graphically superior? In which case I'll give you Arcade games, particularly the polygon shifters from Sega in 93, again with custom built boards designed to play games, not business applications.
I remember when a PC had no output for sound and no PCI slots. The best upgrade was a 16 Bit sound card, it was pricey and plugged into the lone ISA slot. This was around the SNES era, there were no gaming PCs. Super Mario World and Super Tennis just couldn't be done on the PC.
You've got to accept that microprocessor evolution wasn't exclusively designed to be used by the PC. In the mid 80s arcade boards, Sega were using 2 x 68000 CPUs, with a Z80 and an additional Yamaha chip for sound. in 1992 Sega went to Lockheed Martin for help with 3D. In 1993 they went to Intel for a 25MGHZ CPU and 5 graphics co-processors from Fujitsu.
This was all before Doom appeared on the PC let alone PCI slots and 3D cards. At this time, Consoles were being designed with custom processors for graphics sound at a low price point for the mass consumer to play similar games to the arcades and they did a very good job.
I'll reiterate for you, SNES, PS1, N64, Dreamcast all had games the PC couldn't touch at the time, yes they were all held back by the TV's low resolution, but that didn't stop them being good in areas that mattered.
Nintendo even added a 3D accelerator, co developed with Argonaut , to each cartridge at the end of the SNEs era, again before PCi slots and 3D cards on the PC.