In our computer repair business we see people who have spent a lot of money on a game, only to find their computer is not up to the job of running it. Often we can upgrade the computer to meet the requirements but, particularly in a laptop, this is not always possible.
To avoid this problem you need to know before buying a game if your computer can run it and, if not, what parts need upgrading. You can then make an informed choice as to whether to buy the game or not, bearing in mind the additional costs/availability of any required upgrades.
Check If A Game Will Run On Your Computer – There are 2 ways of checking, an easy way and a hard way – we heartily recommend the easy way!
1. The hard way – Compare the minimum (preferably the recommended) hardware specification listed on the game packaging, website, online forums or Google searches to the hardware specification of your computer. To do this you may need to know the following specifications of your computer:
- type and speed of processor (CPU)
- amount of system memory (RAM)
- type of graphics adapter – integrated on motherboard or a separate graphics card
- make/model of graphics adapter and the memory (RAM) it has on it
- whether the graphics adapter has support for Pixel Shader Model and, if so, which version (version 2.0 or 3.0)
- version number of Direct X installed on your computer
- which Service Pack your version of Windows has installed
- how much free space is available on your hard drive
Not very easy! It’s not surprising that people buy a game that doesn’t work well or even fails to run at all on their computer.
2. The easy way – The much easier way is to use the automated checking tool ‘Can You Run It’ from the System Requirements Lab website here which covers most modern computer games.
Go to the website from the computer you are planning to install the game on. Select the game you want to check in Step 1 and then click ‘Can You Run It’ in step 2. The tool works on Windows XP, 2000, 2003, Vista and 7 and major web browsers.
You will need to give permission to download a ActiveX/Java browser component to run the tool but you can easily uninstall it when the analysis is complete (in the usual way from Add/Remove Programs – it will be called System Requirements Lab…)
From their website: the site provides a One-Click solution that looks at your computer’s hardware and system software to determine whether or not your current system can run a product. Each of your computer’s components is evaluated to see how well it meets the minimum and recommended requirements for specific products.
Recommendations are made on how to update or upgrade each component which does not meet the listed requirements. Sometimes, a simple, free software download is all that is needed or you may find that you need a different video card to fully experience what the game has to offer.
Job done :-)