Up For Debate - Are PC system requirements too high? Or is it time for a big change?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 5:00 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

With the next generation of consoles launching last year, everyone expected a major leap in graphical fidelity. However, while we may have ray tracing, upscaling, photorealistic megascans etc, these have been around for a while before the new consoles, and so far it only seems like last-gen consoles are now keeping everything behind.

But with the global chip shortage, ludicrous prices for graphics cards, and scalpers around every corner, it’s difficult to even find new PC hardware or even a new console, so who can blame the developers really for focusing on older hardware. But is it time for games to take a bigger leap anyway?

This is part of our question for you guys this week. PC system requirements seem to be all over the place these days, from incredibly high to very well optimized and even pretty low. There’s a big variety out there, but the biggest games of the bunch seem to be requiring much higher specs now for the best experience.

Does this mean system requirements are too high? Especially since it’s difficult for everyone to get the necessary hardware? Or is this the first step to truly next generation graphical fidelity? And more games should actually have higher specs to let the majority of the population slowly transition to newer and better hardware?

For instance, everyone’s favorite mid-range graphics card, the GTX 1060, did wonders for a very long time. Now this card can be seen as the minimum required GPU for most new and upcoming AAA games like Stalker 2, and for some titles may not even be enough.

It’s a tricky situation in light of all the issues surrounding the hardware industry over the last year, but with GPU prices dropping across Europe, and availability getting much better thanks to a crypto crackdown in China, things are starting to look up for PC players. So is this a good time to double down on PC specs? Or should we have another year or two with some more… fair requirements?

What do you think? Are PC system requirements too high? Or is it time for PC specs to step it up? And what do you think of the overall graphics quality of video games these days? Let’s debate!

Are PC system requirements too high?

What do you think overall of the graphics quality in the latest games?

Is it time for a bigger leap in PC specs?

Our favourite comments:

My issue isn't nessessarily that they're too high. It's that they're too high for how they look. So many games come out these days recommending a 1080 or higher, then don't actually look much better from 5 year old games only needing a 980

Woffingshire

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22:07 Jul-17-2021

Doom Eternal and RE engine made games were only the optimized titles for PC, as most of of were comin from consoles

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19:25 Jul-13-2021

we shouldve went from 8 to 12 for ram.from 2-3 to 4-5 cores not bloody 12 and 16 threads (for gaming that is)gpus are changing its cool but until all run only on motherboard solo no power pins im not impressed.and what happened to hybrid st

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19:26 Jul-13-2021

orage!!!
unifying motherboard tech would be noble but it wont make'm rich i guess...

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04:48 Jul-12-2021

I honestly think game system requirements are almost always greatly exaggerated. I remember when Witcher 3 requirements were announced and people lost their minds over i5-2500 minimum CPU and GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7870 minimum GPU. But people ended up running the game with comfortable frame rates on low-medium on far weaker specs even on 1080p resolution; and the official "minimum requirements" could actually manage high settings smoothly on 1080p. But that game was decently optimized. On the other end of the spectrum you have games that have requirements far higher than what they should actually require, but that's a different issue altogether from just exaggerated official requirements.

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16:48 Jul-11-2021

I don't know... on my PC all these last 5 year games work kinda sameish.. haven't seen much of increase.

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15:25 Jul-11-2021

I think those without RTX card's are being left behind because they can't use DLSS. Kinda odd that (while not as visually impressive) AMD managed to give even older cards a performance boost with their upscaling tech. Almost like Nvidia is purposely giving GTX owners a hard time by not developing a more simple upscaling technique for those older cards.

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09:28 Jul-11-2021

Devs are getting lazier with optimization because of things like DLSS

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10:02 Jul-11-2021

Honestly, you have no idea of game development if you say that. Truly. Everyone throws around that phrase but have no idea how ****ing difficult developing the game is.

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11:14 Jul-11-2021

well of course we dont know a thing about developing games. We're consumers, not developers, but as developer you should be committing to the best possible experience as any product out there. And you also can make alpha/beta testers to check the bugs that are out and fix them. Its all about the coding.

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14:41 Jul-11-2021

tend to agree but also its 2021 WTF are we still making games to cater for people using old Athlon DDR2 potato systems? hell if we are going to cater to the 1% of bottom end stuff lets just bring the C64 and Atari back

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15:55 Jul-11-2021

Developers aren't lazy, there's simply not enough time to polish out things.

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09:10 Jul-11-2021

well if games wants the best performance imo the req for them should be as new as possible. Since old hardware has limitations that new don't. And as much as we or some don't see much improvements of the graphics there're these little things that we rarely see that add up to the hardware. But as long as there's console vs pc games there will always be limitation of the necessary hardware.

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08:59 Jul-11-2021

I think that games should require hardware as good as the current generation of consoles at the time to get the same performance and visuals as consoles.


In reality that's not going to happen and you usually need 25-30% stronger hardware to get the same visuals and performance on PC.

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09:03 Jul-11-2021

And people forget that the XSX and PS5 have an 8 core zen 2 and GPUs as good as the rtx 2080ti and rtx 2080 respectively.


So we need to get about 25-30% stronger PCs than the PS5 at least, to get the same performance and visuals as it.


People got used to the underpowered 8th gen consoles.

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03:34 Jul-14-2021

you should watch this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCvE4JGJujk
actualy ps5 performance and graphics can be matched with a ryzen 3300x and a 1060

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04:47 Jul-11-2021

I think with the advent of DLSS and Fiedelity FX we are going to see requirements become more reasonable in the future.

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23:02 Jul-10-2021

This really depends on the game, since very demanding requirements aren't always too high, it just depends on what game does to justify it. Does it actually push graphics or something beyond anything we had "faked" so far or does it do something new? That is the thing, because if things look too close to how it was faked before, we might as well take older and lighter approach.

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23:05 Jul-10-2021

And by all means, I am not saying current games look bad, it just is that not all of them justify requirements. As for whether it is time for big leap, I would say no, due to current market of silicon shortage and overpriced graphic cards. New generation of consoles would definitely be great excuse to push things harder, but in market where people can't get new hardware at reasonable price,...

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23:06 Jul-10-2021

... I would rather see them not making big leap and giving people and mainly availability of affordable hardware time to catch up. Because I do think we all want to have fun with games, not just people with top end hardware. Though I am not doing that badly, 1070 is still great, there are people who are less fortunate than me.

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18:35 Jul-10-2021

My issue isn't nessessarily that they're too high. It's that they're too high for how they look.
So many games come out these days recommending a 1080 or higher, then don't actually look much better from 5 year old games only needing a 980

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18:50 Jul-10-2021

Too true. I would actually be happy to spend a lot more $$$ on PC gaming, but geez it has to be worth it. Feels like graphical advancements just make things substantially harder to render or more accurate w/o actually making it look materially better.
Art direction of a lot of games are also lacking imo. No amount of advanced rendering can make up for laziness in that department.

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19:20 Jul-10-2021

Like, Batman Arkham Knight still looks fantastic all these years later. So does the Witcher 3.
Witcher 3 recommends a GTX 770, Arkham Knight a 980.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider doesn't look much better but asks for a 1060?

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04:02 Jul-11-2021

I don't know what game you are looking at. Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks massively better than both Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight.

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06:26 Jul-11-2021

980 and 1060 are close in performance so your analysis is comical.
recommended gpus doesnt mean thats the upper limit and then nothing more happens to the graphics.

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19:23 Jul-10-2021

As you said. You can kinda tell Tomb Raider a more advanced game in some places. But it doesn't actually look that much better. Especially considering it's minimum GPU is a 1050. What about it is THAT much more demanding? It doesn't show.

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15:30 Jul-11-2021

I was thinking much more recent games. How good a game looks is obviously subjective.. but The Medium for example.. cant wrap my head around that game's performance for what my eyes are seeing.

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03:16 Jul-11-2021

Well said

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19:19 Jul-10-2021

yeah I would say that even if the game requires a high end hardware, in games we still could capitalize on it to get for eg.: view distance, objects like buildings in the further distance in the open world games look quite bad, pixelated like they were cut out of the cardboard

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20:26 Jul-10-2021

yea, even ancient game like DiRT: Showdown looks still decent, although recommended requirements were GTX 550 Ti

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21:26 Jul-10-2021

Ha, funny you said that game, i just started replaying it a few days ago

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20:27 Jul-11-2021

The main difference between then and now is the amount of objects on screen and in the world as a whole.

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18:34 Jul-10-2021

only bloodhunt that requires high system

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17:58 Jul-10-2021

Stalker 2 is xbox series s/x and pc so the lowest graphical standard would be series s. A bunch of the 1060 are 3gb and cut down cuda cores.

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17:57 Jul-10-2021

To be honest you don't really need to upgrade your PC as often as back in the 90s up to early 2000s. 6 year old PC is still pretty decent in modern games. PC that old in 90s you wouldn't even be able to run most of latest games. So requirements aren't that crazy, but people are far more demanding (4K/144+Hz).

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03:42 Jul-14-2021

yeah i totally agree you couldnt even upgrade you pc most of the time
my friend had a pentium 60 and he paid 3000$ canadian for it
everything was sodered to the motherboard only upgrade that was possible was ram from 4 mb to 8 mb

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17:39 Jul-10-2021

While i dont like how some rec requirements are because of my old 1060 6gb, i think it is time to see more demanding games since the new consoles came out a year or so ago and hopefully GPUs drop in price by then

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06:32 Jul-11-2021

I remember being happy my old Ati 128 (16 mb vram) could run GTA3 and Vice City at all. Sure it was a stuttery mess at around 20 fps, but i played the heck out of those games lol

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17:15 Jul-10-2021

No lol Just upgrade, if u can't afford a GPU For The Bare Minimum Specs Of A Videogame It probably Sounds Like You Got Other Problems?

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18:05 Jul-10-2021

Some people living wage is low enough that "just upgrage" would cost multiple months of saving up on the other hand playing video games is a hobby/luxury. Not quite the blank statment of "git gut".

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06:50 Jul-11-2021

Interesting way of saying "Just don't be poor" and "Sounds like poor people problem".

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14:36 Jul-11-2021

well, sounds more like a saving problem. like im not on exactly the biggest wage (i dont even drive a car, just motorbike BECAUSE its cheaper). i still managed to save for 4 months and buy my GPU.

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14:53 Jul-11-2021

Different people put different values on hobbies. As an introverted loner i have would have the means to buy the highest end gear but if i take more than 5 seconds to think about it makes little sense to I have nothing on the radar to play in the near future and prices as they are...Then there could be a family man working minimal wage supporting his family and really wants to play the latest and greatest.

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01:05 Jul-12-2021

What a childish thing to say. I can afford to buy a RTX 3090 but there's no way I'm going to because it's not good value for money. Video card prices are ridiculous at the moment, so I'll stick with my GTX 1060 for another year or so until prices for mid range cards becomes more reasonable again.

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Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Sapphire Pulse 6GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz Intel HD Graphics 4400 Mobile 2GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti MSI Gaming 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| Low, 1080p
Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Radeon HD 7970 OC Sapphire Edition 16GB
Core i5-9600K 6-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 64 Gigabyte 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Zotac Gaming Twin Edge 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB 16GB
Xeon Processor X5690 GeForce GTX 1070 Zotac AMP! Xtreme 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-870 Quad 2.93GHz GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Edition 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Gaming OC 3X 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz Intel HD Graphics 630 Mobile 32GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce RTX 2080 EVGA XC Gaming 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]