Ah yes, you fancy yourself the member of the PC Master Race. You prefer your gaming to be console-free, and your computer to run the latest triple-A titles. Naturally, you first have to buy them (and they cost a pretty penny), but before you spend your money, you must make sure of one thing. Namely, you must see if your PC can even run the game you want to own. You have to ask yourself “Can I run it?” before you say “I want to buy it.”
Can I Run It On Old Computers?
Gaming rigs are a thing of their own. If you’ve built a strong PC for your gaming needs, it’s possible that it doesn’t need any major upgrades. Normally they would merely amount to a new graphics card, maybe a processor. And all of those can be found at a reasonable price in your local PC shop.
However, not everyone has a gaming rig. There are game enthusiasts out there who have laptops or older computers. Unfortunately, most laptops are not gaming-friendly, for many reasons. If you have one of these, that question from the first paragraph, “Can I run it?”, becomes crucial.
Intel Graphics is a No-No
Before you keep reading, know that there’s nothing inherently wrong about Intel graphics cards. For hardcore gaming, though, it might be better to stick with NVIDIA or AMD.
The problem isn’t with Intel graphics cards in general, but with integrated graphics. An integrated graphics card uses less power and is less expensive than dedicated ones. That’s the main reason manufacturers put them in laptops in the first place. However, integrated cards don’t offer you the best gaming experience and cause plenty of problems. Some laptop brands offer both types of cards, as well as the ability to switch between the two, depending on what you’re using the laptop for at the moment. The laptops that have these two types of cards usually have the label of “gaming laptop.”
Of course, laptops aren’t the only computers using integrated graphics cards. You will often find them in ordinary PCs as well. But PCs have one major advantage here. Namely, you can buy a separate dedicated graphics card and install it next to the integrated one. It’s as simple as that.
So what does this mean for you? Well, if you only have an integrated graphics card, you can expect your game to glitch or lag. If you can, get yourself a dedicated card and install it as quickly as possible. It will make your games run more smoothly and with almost no issues. And even if you have the latest in Intel integrated card technology, it’s still not as good as some of the older dedicated cards. In fact, you might even have problems with the lowest graphics settings. Dedicated is the way to go here.
Manually Look Up the Specifications of Your Computer
There’s a reason game developers put lists of specifications in their game descriptions. It’s important that your game runs without problems, and you cannot exactly run Skyrim or the Witcher games on a Windows 95-era PC.
Ideally, you need to see if the speed of your processor, the amount of your RAM, and the power of your graphics card are optimal for the video game you want to install. Of course, you can see all of these by digging around your computer. A right-click on the My Computer icon will bring up a drop-down menu, where you can click on Properties. It will give you the specs of your rig right there. If you happen to have a laptop, just look up the specs online for that specific model.
However, there are also websites out there that can help you with this process more quickly. Most of this software is either free or has a trial period, but it won’t matter. It will give you the specs which you can write down and refer to later.
What Must I Know about My Computer?
First off, you need the CPU type and how fast it is in GHz. Next, you need to know how many GB your RAM has. Finally, you ought to find out what type of graphics card you use, as well as how much RAM it has.
The specifications for the game ought to match the ones on your computer. If you buy the game from Steam, you will find this data on each game’s store page. On the other hand, physical copies have this info on the back of the box. Once you have the specs, you don’t need to look for it again. Just compare what you know to every new game you want to buy.
Minimum requirements are enough to start the game. However, if you want a lag-free experience with decent graphics settings, make sure you can match the recommended requirements, or have a rig better than what the game requires.
Comparing Your PC Specs Automatically
There are many web pages out there which will let you check the specs of your computer quickly. One of the website is Can I run it? This website is supported by major graphics card manufacturers, so you won’t have to worry about doing anything illegal.
Using these pages will, however, install some ActiveX or Java applets on your PC. To avoid this, you should get an app called System Requirements Lab that scans your hardware first. After scanning, it provides your browser a cookie which identifies the hardware of your PC. With this tool active, you can visit the website to compare specs. Type in the name of the game and click on the button that has some variation of “Can I run it?” written on it.
When you do all of that, you will get the specs info back. The website will tell you what graphics card you need, what CPU you should have, how much RAM and disk space is needed, and what OS version you should run. Naturally, it compares what your computer can do with both the minimum and the recommended requirements for that one particular game.
Don’t forget, though – System Requirements Lab provides a cookie. If you delete your browser cookies, you might have to do everything all over again.
You no longer have to worry about the infamous “Can I run it?” question. Whether you do it automatically or manually, you can now see how your PC compares to the game specs. It will cost you nothing and even save you money that you might have spent on a game you couldn’t even play to begin with. Take note of these steps and try checking your PC’s specifications yourself. It will make your gaming experience far easier.