Help me decode PC system requirements.
October 14, 2012 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Help me decode PC system requirements.

I have a laptop with the following system requirements:

Processor 1.4 GHz A-Series Quad-Core A6-3420M
Hard Drive 750 GB SATA
Graphics Coprocessor ATI HD 6520G
Windows Home Premium 64-bit

I've been using but I've had mixed results with actually running games that it says I should be able to. I'd like to get Guild Wars 2 but I don't understand how to compare the recommended system requirements to what I have. Is there a good guide out there?
posted by mattholomew to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: You have a decent system for general use (though could use more RAM), but not all that great for gaming.

GW2 requires:
* Windows® XP Service Pack 2 or better
* Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3, AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 or better
* NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800, ATI Radeon™ X1800, Intel HD 3000 or better (256MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better)
* 25 GB available HDD space
* Broadband Internet connection
* Keyboard and mouse

At a glance, although you have an overall "better" CPU, for most games raw GHz matter more than cores, so 1.4 will probably hurt you there. Your IGP doesn't suck, but for gaming you will almost always see drastically better performance on a higher-end dedicated graphics card (unless something else - Like CPU - has already throttled your peak possible performance).

Also keep in mind, when games list their minimum specs, that means it will run, but not much else. It may run at 640x480 at 10fps with frequent stuttering.

As for a guide, of sorts - For comparing different GPUs, I usually use Wikipedia (LGT your IGP), believe it or not - You can find the specs of the "minimum" config recommended, and your own card, and see if the numbers look similar (speed, compute units, shaders, etc).

Hope this helps; but to summarize - You probably don't have quite enough horsepower to play GW2 smoothly.
posted by pla at 7:55 AM on October 14, 2012

Yeah, according to the Tom's Hardware chart - a really excellent resource for questions like these - your GPU is roughly on par, power-wise, with discrete cards circa 2004. While decent GPUs can stretch out to new titles a few years after their release, eight years is a bit much.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 12:37 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

If the equivalence in that Tom's Hardware chart is accurate, then your GPU pretty squarely hits the requirements of GW2 cited by PLA, but single core performance on your CPU is probably 2/3rd the single-core performance of the CW2 CPU requirement. Your CPU has 2x as many cores, but that doesn't always help.
posted by Good Brain at 7:17 PM on October 14, 2012

BTW, Tom's Hardware suggests that GW2 runs pretty well on lower-end hardware, provided one uses the right settings.
posted by Good Brain at 7:20 PM on October 14, 2012

Enough people want to know whether game X will work on their laptop that people tend to upload videos. Here's someone with a 1.5ghz A6 running Guild Wars 2.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:12 AM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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