Your Body May Be Ready but is Your PC Ready for Next-Gen Games?

glorious-pc-gaming-master-race-headerWhen we last checked up on the state of next-gen gaming, we found out that PS4 exclusive Killzone: Shadow Fall would be a 50 GB digital download. Now, we have some of the minimum specs for the PC versions of some next-gen games. If you use a slightly dated laptop as your main PC gaming rig, you’re definitely in need of a major upgrade.

Recently, we’ve seen the official announcement of minimum and recommended specs for three major triple-A releases this fall and they’re not going to go easy on your rig.

Let’s go through the minimum and recommended specs for the games.

Watch Dogs

Minimum System Requirements

  • Supported OS: Windows Vista SP2 64bit, Windows 7 SP1 64bit, Windows 8 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66Ghz or AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.0Ghz
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Video Card: 1024 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9 compatible Sound Card
  • This product supports 64-bit operating systems ONLY

Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: Core i7 3770 @ 3.5Ghz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0Ghz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Video Card: 2048 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 or higher
  • Sound Card: Surround Sound 5.1 capable sound card
  • Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
    • nVidia GeForce GTX460 or better, GT500, GT600, GT700 series;
    • AMD Radeon HD5850 or better, HD6000, HD7000, R7 and R9 series
    • Intel® Iris™ Pro HD 5200

Considering that Watch Dogs is one of the more impressive looking titles on next-gen consoles, I’d suggest that the recommended system requirements aren’t terribly high. The RAM and VRAM recommendations aren’t outlandishly high.

However, the recommended CPUs are definitely ridiculous when you consider that less than six months ago, these were the top CPUs in the Intel and AMD ranges. If this game needs a top of the line CPU to look its best, it’s either going to look spectacular or isn’t particularly well optimized. Of course, we won’t know until this game gets out in the wild. This does make you wonder considering the sub-2.0 GHz AMD Jaguar processor that the consoles are running. How can this game run on the home console but is recommended to run top of the line CPUs on PC?

Battlefield 4

Minimum System Requirements

  • O/S: Windows Vista 32-bit
  • Processor: Dual core CPU
    • Supported Processors: AMD Athlon X2 2.8 GHz and Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Graphics Memory: 512 MB VRAM and support for DirectX 10
  • Supported Graphics Cards:
    • GeForce 8000 series or Radeon 3000 series
  • Hard Drive Space: 30+ GB of hard drive space

Recommended System Requirements

  • O/S: Windows 8 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel quad core CPU or AMD six core CPU
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Graphics Memory: 3 GB VRAM and support for DirectX 11
  • Supported Graphics Cards:
    • GeForce GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7870
  • Hard Drive Space: 30+ GB of hard drive space

While Watch Dogs seems to offloading the workload for its game on the CPU, it looks like Battlefield 4 is going to be pushing your GPU. It’s certainly going to need a powerful graphics card as Watch Dogs has a recommended 2 GB GPU while Battlefield 4 needs 3 GB of VRAM. And it’s not like 3 GB graphics cards are very common or cheap. They tend to run in the $300+ range. At least that’s what it’ll run you in Canada.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66 GHZ / AMD Phenom X3 8750 2.4 GHZ or better
  • RAM: 6 GB RAM
  • HDD: 50 GB HD space
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti / ATI Radeon HD 5870 or better
  • Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • DirectX: 11
  • Internet: Broadband connection and service required for Multiplayer Connectivity. Internet connection required for activation.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780

The game engine for CoD: Ghosts is an upgraded version of their current-gen IW engine. That begs the question of why you could possibly need a GTX 780 as the recommended graphics card. That’s second from the top of NVIDIA’s range of graphics cards. That’s not even the recommended card for Watch Dogs and that’s probably going to be a damn sight better looking than CoD.

And how the heck is CoD going to need 50 GB of your hard drive when Battlefield 4, a better looking game, only requires 30-ish GB. I don’t see how Activision and Infinity Ward came up with these specs. I suppose I should drop them a line to see if I can get a look at this game when it releases in November.

I knew that we were going to see a big jump in the required minimum specs of PC games with the big jump in console power with the move from the PS3/360 to the PS4/XB1 but nothing quite like this.

Look at CoD: Ghosts compared to IW’s previous release MW3. There’s no change in the minimum CPU requirement but you need three times as much RAM, three times the hard drive space and four times the VRAM. That’s not exactly going to make for a cheap upgrade if you were just skirting the minimum of the current-gen PC ports. While it doesn’t seem like a lot to upgrade, it then becomes a debate of whether it’s worth it to upgrade your PC to make it just good enough or buy a console at $400+ so you know you aren’t going to run afoul of system requirements for the next few years.

On a personal note, my laptop was already outpaced by some of this year’s releases so I decided to build my own gaming rig. In the span of a few months, I went from having something that could run circles around games at high settings to one that just barely meets recommended specs. You ever feel like you just flushed a bunch of cash down the drain?

Sources: /r/Games, GeForce, Eurogamer

About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on October 10, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I will need a bigger hard drive. Those Steam sales are rough. I have a 1.5 TB drive dedicated to games and I only have about 60GB left on it.


  1. Pingback: It’s Down to the Wire Again for GoD Factory: Wingmen | et geekera

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