Whenever you purchase a PC game, the most important thing to consider would be the system requirements. It is usually found on the box, manual, or the disc sleeve and you’ll see the minimum system requirements and oftentimes the recommended system requirements as well. Well, it does seem pretty self-explanatory but let’s dig a little deeper.
When we say minimum system requirements, the game developers usually set it to the hardware your computer must at least have in order to be able to play the game. Usually, it means that if you have a computer that meets the minimum requirements, you will be able to play the game but you won’t be able to increase the quality of the graphics and the game may run slow but still playable. I think that’s fine to a lot of people since it’s not an issue to them if the game runs slow or without graphics eye-candy as long as they can play the game. Plus, upgrading a computer to really good video gaming standards can be pretty expensive.
But you might ask, “Is it the absolute minimum requirement?” Not necessarily. You probably can still run the game even with a much lower PC hardware specification but it will be really slow and you’ll have a hard time playing it or probably won’t be able to play it at all. I had a very slow computer before and it almost always meets the minimum requirements of new video games at that time. I can still play some of the games but as the months and years passed by, my PC’s ability to play new games became nil so I had to upgrade my computer.
I remember installing Left 4 Dead on an AMD Sempron 2800 with 512MB RAM and a really old ATI Radeon 9600 128MB video card. It was like 3 or 4 frames per second at the lowest possible graphics setting thus it was really unplayable and unacceptable.
On the other hand, based from my observation, the recommended system requirement is the ideal PC hardware specification your computer must at least have in order to be able to play the game with good quality and speed. You can usually turn up the graphics quality a bit and you can still achieve at least 30 frames per second which is still very much playable. If your PC exceeds the recommended system requirements, it’s almost always guaranteed that you’ll have a wonderful playing experience with that PC game.
Aside from determining whether you can play a PC game with good graphics and speed, I have observed that you can actually notice if your PC is already obsolete based on the requirements of the games that are just being released. If your PC is constantly meeting only the minimum requirements to play recent games, it’s a telltale sign that you probably need an upgrade. You’re doing fine if you’re meeting or exceeding the recommended requirements of new games almost all the time.
Just remember that video games have different developers and they use different pc graphics technologies. These minimum and recommended system requirements are based on different factors that each of the developers think will work on their video game and they used their own hardware to determine these recommendations.
These recommendations will give you a glimpse on how your computer might perform on that specific video game. Always remember that even if you have the same PC specs as with another person, you may not achieve the same gaming performance. Factors include PC hardware setup, drivers, installed software, hard drive congestion, game installation and settings. So do not expect too much.