PC requirements: take it with a grain of salt.
This particular piece will be geared more so towards PC gamers than gamers in general so do make note of that. Now without further delay: system requirements lab, or systemrequirementslab.com, is a website that is designed to help PC gamers measure and see if their machines can play a particular title. Sounds good and all right? Yes and no, and here is the reason why this is a ‘yes and no’ answer. While the program does its best to measure a computer’s ability to run a game by using software to scan your computer’s hardware and link this info to their site via cookie (do not worry it is safe to use; several forums answer this question), sometimes the measurements can be off to say the least.
Witcher 2 will be the example I shall use; I have had the game on my computer sometime in the past year. The game ran okay: do not expect to stream the gameplay, but it ran and I could fight enemy mobs without having the framerate drops to dangerously low levels – something World of Tanks, a game that I can most definitely run, fails to do so from time to time. System Requirements Lab rated my machine as “not meeting minimum requirements.” Bollocks people, complete bollocks, what do you mean I cannot run the game? The game was just on my machine not too long ago, and I never encountered a part where an error message popped up saying: “game unable to render” or something along those lines.
This folks is where your own judgement needs to come into play; I know the usual argument of do not rely on these things one hundred percent, but people do it from time to time. Heck I constantly use it as a means to gauge where my hard ware is, and whether or not I have to play the game on medium or low settings. Planetside 2 is another example: previous posts on this blog clearly illustrate that I did indeed play the game. Guess what System Requirements Lab said? “Machine does not meet the minimum requirements.” What?! What sort of nonsense is this? Just yesterday I was running around Indar shooting at NC soldiers, and you are telling me I do not meet the minimum requirements to run this game?
While it may be scary at first to examine your computer’s specifications, understand that this knowledge of PC specs and the likes is part of the hobby that is PC gaming. Think about this scenario: a car enthusiast has no idea what his or her car is capable of doing. They like the car’s looks, and it has a great stereo, but in the end cannot tell you horsepower, engine power, mileage, or gas consumption. Car nuts – grease monkeys – know their vehicles inside and out; same goes for gun enthusiasts, and World War 2 vehicle collectors. PC gaming is similar in this perspective in that being able to understand the machine’s capabilities, and being able to tweak the system/game in order for it to run at a desired setting is part of the hobby. Take all this technical stuff away and you are left with a glorified console experience that sucks money out of you like leeches suck out blood.
Ultimately folks when you use programs like this, understand that you need to know what your machine is capable of, and understand that in order to game as a PC gamer, you will have to read up on system requirements and specifications. Yes there are some games that are frustrating; release day especially is when all the problems pop up. Yet all of this can be avoided by simply waiting a few months (3 – 4 if you are looking for an “exact” (do not quote me on this) set of numbers) before making the purchase. That way you will have plenty of youtube video reviews, critical analyses, and commentary; in the end these folks make their money from providing these so called buyers guide, so make use of them. Before I go here is one key trick I use to measure things like video cards: rather than model numbers, I aim for how many megabytes are in my hard ware, and then see how many megabytes are required to run the game. Usually equal to or greater than in terms of numerical value is how you should go about things. Video cards are the hardest for most I find, the rest is easy as RAM is always measured numerically ie: 512 mb of RAM is lower than 2.2 Gigs of RAM, and so forth. CPUs fall into the same category, and hard drives are definitely a numbers game (model variants make no difference: it is all about space).
Anyways folks that about wraps up my little rant on the whole System Requirements Lab website: there are always other sites that are superior to this one, I never said this one was the premier site for measuring system requirements. Thanks for reading, and I will see you next time.