If you’re looking forward to playing playing the soon to be released The Evil Within, then you could have a little guess work on your hands. Bethesda have taken the fairly unusual step of not providing PC gamer’s with the minimum PC specs, and instead just giving you a recommended set of specifications.
Below are the recommended specs for the Evil Within, and you’re forgiven if you have to re-read over the specs a few times.
- 64-bit Windows 7/Windows 8
- i7 with four plus cores
- 4 GBs RAM
- 50 GB of hard drive space*
- GeForce GTX 670 or equivalent with 4GBs of VRAM
- High Speed Internet Connection
- Steam account and activation
Firstly, and unsurprisingly you’ll be required to run a 64 bit version of Windows – the reason for this painfully clear a few bullet points lower down. An I7 processor is pretty damn beastly – and might curious. While next generation consoles handle 8 threads, only 6 are available to games (two cores are OS reserved). It’s also important to remember these AMD Jaguar cores which power both the Xbox One and PS4 aren’t as fast as an I7 – lagging quite a bit behind in fact.
4GB of main system RAM is low – many were likely expecting to see 6 or 8 GB, but instead a rather ludicrous figure of 4GB of VRAM (Graphics Card local memory) is required as recommended hardware. While the GPU isn’t super fast in this day and age, the GPU’s RAM requirement is extremely high.
“We do not have a list of minimum requirements for the game,” Bethesda ‘explains’ via their blog post. “If you’re trying to play with a rig with settings below these requirements (you should plan to have 4 GBs of VRAM regardless), we cannot guarantee optimal performance.”
There are a few issues I’ve got with this – it doesn’t tell you what resolution the 4GB VRAM is for being one of them. Are we talking about 4GB required if you’re playing in say 4K? 4GB seems extremely bloated if that’s only for 1080P. Metro 2033 Redux hits between 1 – 2GB VRAM usage at 1440P on average. Crysis 3 is hungrier, reaching up to 2.5 – 2.8 GB on 1440P with high levels of MSAA. We’ve shown off memory usage of modern games in our GTX 780 Ti review.
It’s possibly an insight into how the Playstation 4’s and Xbox One’s unified RAM has been divided up for the games assets. While the next generation consoles only have between 5GB – 5.5GB, we can safely assume much of this has gone towards the graphical assets of the Evil Within. If the PC version sports better textures and graphics (which it should), then it could account for the extra memory.
As always, we’ll cover the title for the PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One when it’s released, so you’ll know which platform you should buy the Evil Within on once it’s finally released.
From a personal standpoint, I dislike the “I’m sure you’re fine” approach by Bethesda, but it could also work fairly nicely IF a demo (or benchmark) was released. One thing I do really like about the approach Capcom took to releasing the Street Fighter 4 series on the PC is their release of a benchmark which grades your system. You set your desired specs, run the benchmark and it’ll play out some pre-defined fight scenes and tell you if your system is good enough to play the full game.
It’s a great approach, and I think in a case like this would help to satisfy all of the questions and negativity regarding the games release. As it stands we’ll test the game out on a few different graphics cards and CPU configurations and see how it fairs.