That sound you hear is the vault door opening after centuries of neglect. With a hiss the door slides and inside, at long last, sites the Fallout 4 system requirements. We're a shade over four weeks away from yet another mammoth RPG preparing to steal away our lives. Sensationally revealed in the run up to E3, we've only had to wait five months for it to hit stores.

Bethesda reckon it's going to be bigger, better, more complex and sprawling than any Fallout before it. It's undeniably one of the most anticipated games this holiday season. Before you put on your Pip-Boy and step out into the wastelands though, it's time to find out whether your gaming rig is as useful as an irradiated bottle of Nuka Cola, or a VATS headshot master, with the official Fallout 4 system requirements.

Fallout 4 Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit 
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 2GB Video Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • DX: DirectX 11
  • HDD: 30GB Free Hard Drive Space

Fallout 4 Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz or AMD FX-9590 4.7 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 3GB Graphics Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB or AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB

Hmm, these were perhaps a little higher than we'd anticipated. Luckily the graphics cards aren't sky high for minimum, being one of the more expensive parts of a gaming rig. However, you are going to need a fairly decent processor. This stretches down to the recommended requirements as well, which ask for the extreme high end with the Intel Core i7-4790 and the AMD FX-9590. From this we can determine Fallout 4 is extremely CPU heavy, so if you've been holding out on that Skylake upgrade now might be the time. 

8GB RAM seems to be the going rate for system memory now, but Fallout 4 apparently won't run with less. We've seen with the recent Star Wars Battlefront that memory demands are typically inflated but 4GB support is steadily being phased out for top titles. Remember also that with the inclusion of mods Fallout 4 will become even more demanding so aim for 8GB if you can.

From what we've seen of the visuals so far Fallout 4 looks functional rather than fantastic. That makes it all the more surprising to see the high performing Radeon R9 290X hit the spot for recommended graphics card, alongside the GTX 780. There's a disparity on show here too between AMD and Nvidia's cards.

Fallout 4 is only a revision of the Creation Engine used in Skyrim, but much of this bump in GPU demands might be down to the inclusion of high resolution textures as standard. This is reflected in the 30GB install size, which is six times bigger than Skyrim's 5GB at launch, although still some way short of 50GB+ behemoths like GTA 5. 

Remember, you can always check out how well your PC can run the Fallout 4 System Requirements here, where you can check benchmarking and performance from other users. Compare your graphics card to the Fallout 4 GPU benchmark chart.