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High System Requirments


Are High System Requirments a Good Idea?  

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This isn't a console vs. PC thread/poll. It is about games needing a high end system to run. Do you think that a games needs to have a high end rig to run properly. Do you want all the bells and whistles that a game can have or would you rather just have wireframe graphics (much like 3d Tetris from 20 years ago)?

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Even though I have a rig that can handle running the latest games and would love to GR2 take advantage of features of the latest high-end graphics cards, Ubisoft cannot ignore the reality that the majority of PC gamers buying their games have Geforce 2/4 MX l(DX7-level) evel cards.

Fortunately, I'm guessing the minimum graphics of GR2 will be based on Direct X 8.1 (GF 3 and above), as that is what the Xbox can do.

Most devs these days make their engines scalable, so they can be played on low-end systems with all the bells and whistles turned off, or played with everything turned on to the point that even high-end systems will crawl.

Remember how turning on shadows slowed down even fast computers when GR1 came out in 2001? RSE added in features with the idea that systems would get faster and be able to handle shadows better a year later. In the end, I think even people with highest-end systems here will have problems trying to run GR2 with all the features at high-res (e.g. 1600x1200x32) when it comes out. ;)

A good example of what GR2 may be like is the port of Halo to the PC. It was originally a DX8 game on the Xbox, but Gearbox put in new DX9 lighting effects for the PC version. You can also turn everything off so it is playable at (30 fps @ 640x480x16) on a DX7 card but it looks really ugly. :P

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The whole reason for this poll/topic is over at the GameSpy forums, there is a similar thread. There are many who believe that games should push the envelope and require a high end system, while others think that a game should be played on any system someone may own. Here are 2 of my posts to that thread:

Most gamers are average gamers (from what I see). They buy name brand PCs (Dell, HP, Compaq) and play a game here or there. Once in a while they will try and play a new game only to find out that their hardware is not capable of handling the features of the game. They buy a cheap video card (most likely it will be a PCI card as they have no AGP slot) of the MX variety and get good preformance for that one game. Then they see another game and wonder why the game will not run when the card can't handle it. They keep their machines for years with no thought of future needs for their hobby.

Hardcore gamers (much like myself) have learned to build their own systems instead of buying (it is really hard to upgrade a name brand PC) a name brand PC. We can build a better system for less money than Dell, Gateway or HP and that is with quality parts, not just some OEM part bought from who knows where.

I found all this out when Ghost Recon came out. While it would run on my Gateway 500mHz Celeron with Intel 810 graphics and onboard sound, it ran so-so (it won't even run on it now). The onboard sound caused system lag when lots of sounds were being processed. I didn't have the hardware needed and knew it, but I went on to build a 1gHz Duron with a GF3 Ti 500 and a SB Live! 5.1 sound card. That increased preformance greatly compared to the Gateway. That wasn't enough though, I wanted more and eventually got it. keeping the GF3 and the SB Live!, I got a new CPU, RAM and motherboard for $600 (the CPU was 6 month old tech when I bought it) the following year (Feb 2003 and just over a year since GR came out). GR started looking even better and ran even better. I still got 20FPS on the refinery map in Desert Siege with high settings, but wanted more. This year I got a high end vid card, top of the line sound card and an IDE controller (I have 3 optical drives) for $500+. That sound card and vid card will last me 2 years if not longer. I get 44FPS on that same map with everything on high including shadows (no shadows before) and at 4xAA/4xAF enabled. Though I may have bought a high end equipment (I would recommend a high end vid card in order to get the most out of it for the longest period of time, cheaper in the long run) this year, I generally advocate older tech (at least 6 months old) to help bring down the cost of building/upgrading a rig.

I can play new games like Splinter Cell (could with the GF3 too, and it looked and ran great), JK:JA, iL2:Forgotten Battles with no problems. I have the hardware to run them due to the fact I wanted to be able to play those games. While those games can be run at lower detail for better preformance, I wanted great looks and great preformance to go along with the good gameplay. I think I made good hardware choices to be able to play games which had higher specs. I would like more of the same. For the life of me, I still can't figure out how some of you have run FarCry on your meager systems compard to my Athlon XP 2400+ (oced to a 2600+) with a GF3 even with everything set to low. I only had missing textures and artifacts to look at while trying the demo out.


I have asked someone who works for a game developer (and no, I don't ask him anything about the game(s) he is working on, NDAs are in effect). The company supplies the rigs that they use. His work PC is a 2.4gHz P4. Guess what others use? Though he isn't sure, you can bet they use Quadro based (or similar) graphics cards for one with high-end rigs to create/test their work on. While developers try to appease everyone by making games run on all kinds of hardware (and hardware combinations), why can't they expect us to try and play the games on medium to high end hardware? They create games with high end hardware after all.

While games can be made to accomadate older system, why should developers keep building games to accomodate those old systems? PC gaming drives hardware nowadays, and if it weren't for games (or even movie making), we would still be using a 386 PC with 16MB of RAM at the most and using on board graphics playing Tetris 3d (I actually played this game on my brothers PC 18 years ago) and am amazed at how far we have come with 3+gHz CPUs and alomst 500mHz of GPU power.

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good stuff, I didn't realize how nice ghost recon played and looked when i upgraded. I started with an 850mhz amd thunderbird with an mx card, thought gr was cool enough, boy was i wrong. I went to a ti4200 and the graphics difference was unbelievable at higher settings. now that i have a 9800xt, i can still see big differences with aa and aniso turned on. Far Cry plays normal at 40 to 50 fps with everything high. I'm sure the next big game that comes out will probably cause slowdown in my current setup. I'm hoping it will last for a few years though.

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While games can be made to accomadate older system, why should developers keep building games to accomodate those old systems?

I share your sentiments WK. But unfortunately we hardcore gamers are a minority. The majority of my friends who are casual gamers either a) can't afford an upgrade; b) too scared do anything to their computer; c) couldn't be bothered to buy a game if their system can't handle it. Many mainstream gamers are 15-25 (thus the age of Ubi's GR2 focus group) who can't afford to upgrade their system every year.

It's the same reason why Ubi continues to release R6:3 and Splinter Cell PC on 3 CDs instead of on a single DVD disc (like on the Xbox) even though to you and me it's relatively "cheap" to buy a DVD-ROM/burner these days.

Good news though: Just like the Xbox was the catalyst to move newer games to a minimum DX8 spec, the next big stimulus for people to upgrade graphics is Microsoft OS "Longhorn" which requires DX9 (Edit: or by the time it comes out DirectX 10) compatible graphics chips to run its 3D desktop. Chances are we will see most systems sold in the next couple years with a minimum graphics capability equivalent to a GF FX 5200. (That's not saying too much since I've found a GF FX 5200 runs DX7 games slower than a GF4 MX :blink: but the GF FX can do the fancy pixel shaders/lighting that the GF4 can't.)

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They need to always push the limits of the technology that's available, if they didn't we would have a hard time moving forward.

Make it technology dependant! When GR first cam out my rig would barely play it...now the more I upgrade the more visual candy I see - so now we are at the edge of a technological jump and it just makes sense to produce a game that will be popular for a couple of years.

Because they made it heavy on requirements the first time around, we still have a game that I think compares with Far Cry.

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theres alot of guys i work with that are all older than me(29 in july),

and they all play online games. most of them bikker back and forth about what upgrades they need to play the new and some old version games.

they all go for the p4ht or extreme and are looking into getting 2.6ghz speeds and higher for playing they know they need a 256mb vid card and memory ram of atleast 1gb with end speeds of 400.

by following phantm's "tweak your os" i gave that to them and they all noticed a huge difference in their pc's performance. from reading the above the price tag is what makes it hard to justify to the wife or girlfriend.

Now things like the 10,000 rpm harddrive and 1600fsb iirc those are the next steps

in upgrading our pc's for gaming.

for now till doom3/halflife2 amd gr2 comes out my rig

p4ht/2.6/256mb radeon9800xt/1.5gb ram/120hd/800fsb/7200rpmhd

can pretty much play any game out there now with ease.

what else do i need to upgrade and play the high end games?

honest question.

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graphically.... GR doesnt compare with farcry.. GR2 may we will have to wait and see...

As fro GR2 i would like to see it a made fo high end machines and options so that medium end can play it fairly smooth.

People need to upgrade...(get wit it)

there is no great excuse not to upgrade or

buy, Prices are Dropping... you can build a top end machine for around 1000$ and even med end machines for around 700$ (my sloppy estimate). Just some basic hardware upgrades will make all the diffrence.

The peformance diffrence between low to high end is just like the 56k vs cable thing... (my lame example) and the price for the peformance is getting cheaper.

m thoughts...

* atmy dads house on his wifes laptop feel like a noob typing on this thing*

Edited by Prozac360
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I will admit that graphically, GR can't compare to FarCry, but for what GR is, it still can bring even a high end rig to it's knees (wait til Rocky gets my quality vs. preformance report up to see what I mean).

I agree, even a budget gaming PC can be built for less than $800. A person could even save more money by recycling older parts (optical drives, HDs, monitors etc.) and upgrading them when needed. As I said earlier, someone doesn't have to buy new tech to get a good rig that will play any game they wish. Get a high end video card and scrimp a bit on the CPU. 6 month old tech in that area is still fast and can handle anything that a developer can toss at us.

I agree CR6, while we are in the minority, we can revel in the fact we have something that runs the way we want it and can play any game that is available. Believe me when I say, that will I do tend to upgrade something every year, I couldn't afford to build a new one from scratch if I so desired (I could use another HD at the least and a new case, but...) as my somewhat meager salary keeps the bills paid. I just hang on til tax time rolls around and use that cash to get the new gear.

I'm not knocking those who can't upgrade. I know that there will always be someone who has dated hardware (my brother used his last PC for so many years I forgot how long, though he couldn't play many games on it, IIRC he could play Doom, but that was about it). They just have to remember to READ the box for the system requirements instead of complaining that they got rooked for their own mistake.

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My spec is athlon 2600+ 768 MB ram (pc2700 ddr) & GF 4 4200TI 8x

I would expect i need to downstep the graphics level on gr2 when it arrives, no aa etc 1280x1024 shadows off or "simple" .. shadows are a killer.

So im not thinking that It will play like cack & look like poo ... ive played Far Cry and get good fps without having it look poor so based on that I should be ok for a while.

When it does arrive and it hopefully is a good game then I will upgrade my graphics card just for gr2 as I would want to anyway and this is my excuse ... thats if it turns out to be as good as we all pray it will.

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Everyone talks about there Graphic Card, but what about everything else in the computer? I have a Aopen GeForceFX5600Ti 256mb and cant even play painkiller demo or jointoperations without it being choppy or slow. Prossers are very inportant for fast smoth gameplay, while a video card gives you the visual.

My prosser is a AMD 1500, anyone got a card thay can sell me? :):stupid:

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Processors are realitvly cheap.

looking at some stuff ...some prices i found.

9800Pro 128 mb 206$ S&H included (sry no link.)

amd 2800+ AROUND 100$... K7 series (good to overclock)

not to bad. my 2800 is running at 2.4ghz at the moment

take a look at pricewatch.com

Edited by Prozac360
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For people who aren't afraid to OC (it's really quite easy) the AMD Mobile 2500+ Barton is the best (IMO) CPU to upgrade to ATM. People with decent cooling have been hitting the 2.5+ Gig range. I know it's hard to believe, but the Mobile has more OCing potential than a regular 2500+ Barton.

How much is this OCing wonder? $91. It may be my temporary upgrade until A64.

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Sometimes I find it a little puzzling why this subject is even debated. Of course new games should push the hardware requirements! Otherwise we would never have made the great advancements that we've all experienced in the last 10 years. But that doesn't mean the game shouldn't be configurable to run on a low end machine. Call of Duty is a case in point - it can look stunning on a high end machine but wil also run quite happily on a 800Mhz, Geforce 2 equipped machine.

In the days of DOS games, developers put enormous effort into optimising and streamlining the code to squeeze every last drop of availble performance from the machines running it. These days I suspect there may be a tendency to rely on hardware grunt to disguise poorly optimised code.

Cheers, Jack :)

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Guest Serbkillovic

Been playing GR since the day it came out. I've had enough GR is the only game I really cared for so I may as well post my thoughts for once instead of just reading and never joining.

when GR came out I had to turn most settings down, and it lagged like a ######.

a month ago I got my current rig (radeon 9700 pro, amd mobile athlon 2500+ overclocked to 2.6ghz). Needless to say I can play at 1600X1200X32 with everything full, and the framerates are ridicilously high! Turn on the eye candy and still no probs.

My point?

People always complain how a game is unplayable with their old pc. Damn these graphics are good but it's pointless I can't use these settings, the game lags, etc, etc.

Here we all are 2.5yrs after GR's release, and we look at the graphics and say, WOW, those graphics are not as good as they used to be.

so sure, maybe the devs should support computers with old GF2's and P3's....

the GF2 is already how many years old? Atleast 5 isn't it? At sometime you just have to upgrade.

or look at it this way, they include amazing graphics, that your system just can't handle.... okay.. so play on medium graphics.. 1yr+ from now you might upgrade/get a new computer. Then you'll play on full, and love the graphics again.

you'll play for 2 more years, then GR3 hype will start :)

What if they made sucky gfx now and we had to stick with them for 3yrs before GR3

I personally wouldn't mind if I have to play on low gfx when it comes out :)

2yrs from now I'll be enjoying it

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errrr it had better be able to run on my Nvidia Ge Force 4 MX atleast till this christmas or ill probably end up buying a whole new PC

My Specs are

Hewlett Packard Pavilion

Nvidia Ge Force 4 MX

512+ MB Ram

120 GB HD

AMD Athlon XP 2600+

2.08 GHz

Microsoft Windows XP

Home Edition 2002

Service Pack 1

and a HP Recovery Drive

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and all settings on high and i can usually play Ghost Recon with no lagg even with HX5 missions only problem i have is FPS anyone know any tweaks to make my FPS go higher everyone says i should upgrade grafics because its bad for gameplay my god i just bought this pc around the start of 2004 - end 2003 i was going to get a 256 RAM Compaq with a radeon card but they said lots of people rated it low and had problems with it i could always go to wal mart and get radeon card for 80$ but do i really have that much money? hell no maybe a used one would be good but it would have to atleast be 50$ or less

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My gaming computer is awful. 660 mhz, 480 megs of RAM. Barely able to support GR with medium settings on everything cept the map texs on low. I get awful FPS on DF BHD with everything on low. It's about time I buy myself a new computer, so I say go all the way. When I get a new comp, I want some games that make me look on in amazement at the graphics. If I can't buy myself a new puter, then darn. It's going to have to happen if I want to stay on the gaming boat for much longer. Someday . . .

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