Brothers in Gaming and Tech
Watch Dogs, an upcoming action-adventure stealth video game developed by Ubisoft, has been the source of controversy recently. Typically with any big game release, before the actual day a list of specifications for PC Gamers are announced in order to ensure that everyone has applicable hardware (and also one of the reasons why consoles make gaming easier for the sake of maximum detail).
Ubisoft announced an initial set of specifications which were quickly pulled. These were as follows:
CPU: Quad Core
GPU: DX11 with 1GB VRAM
CPU: Eight Core
GPU: DX11 with 2GB VRAM
As you can imagine, these are vague at best. Along with the issue of AMD vs Intel performance in games, the only ‘8 core’ Intel makes is on the side of professional Xeons. It seems that some video game analysts do not understand the difference between one of AMD’s modules in the Bulldozer architecture and a thread, or what hyperthreading is. A recent twitter discussion with one such analyst also proved that when recommending hardware, some analysts have no idea of generational improvements (Core to Nehalem to Sandy to Ivy) on the CPU side and are willing to recommend any bat-shit crazy setup that technically conforms to specification.
The smart people at Ubisoft know this – shortly after this list was leaked then pulled, the graphical technical director on Watch Dogs, Sebastien Viard, posted on Twitter that ‘These are not official configs – real specs will be out soon’. Apparently there was disquiet that Intel’s latest CPU would not be enough for Watch Dogs as it only has ‘6 cores’.
Thankfully however Ubisoft has published a new list of recommendations with actual CPU and GPU suggestions to assuage feelings of panicked gamers:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or AMD Phenom II X4 940
DX11 Graphics Card with 1GB VRAM
64-bit OS: Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8
Intel Core i7-3770 or AMD FX-8350
DX11 Graphics Card with 2GB VRAM
64-bit OS: As Minimum
Video Cards supported:
NVIDIA: GTX 460 or better, GT500/600/700 series
AMD: HD 5850 or better, HD6000/7000/R9-2/R7-2 series
Intel: Iris Pro HD 5200
At this juncture I would like to make a specific point that not a lot of people realise.
YOU CAN PLAY THE GAME BELOW THE MINIMUM SPECIFICATIONS
The game will still install and you can still do everything you would expect, but the experience may not be as smooth or as realistic as the developer would have liked. So yes, a dual core AMD CPU would run the game, but do not expect the best scenario.
So in terms of recommended systems, what should we aim for? If you were aiming to build a Watch Dogs capable system today on a budget, here are a few items that might pique your interest:
|CPU||Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor||£88.49|
|Motherboard||ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard||£46.21|
|Memory||Patriot 8GB (2x 4GB) 2133MHz DDR3 Viper 3 Black Mamba Kit||£54.20|
|Storage||Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5 inch SATA Solid State Drive||£72.13|
|Video Card||Gigabyte 2GB AMD R7790 OC PCI-E Graphics Card||£124.42|
|Case||Thermaltake VL80001W2Z Black Edition Chassis with Window/Blue LED Fan/Midi Tower||£34.24|
|Power Supply||Corsair Builder Series CXM 430W Modular 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX/EPS PSU||£38.10|
All you need after that is a mouse, keyboard and operating system. Perhaps add in a storage drive for media.
North America: November 19th
Australia: November 21st
Europe: November 22nd