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What Are System Requirements

When you buy a new program, video game, operating system or hardware upgrade, system requirements are one of the first things that you should pay attention to. Understanding system requirements will enable you to buy something which your computer is capable of working with. System requirements can, however, seem like a lot of overwhelming technobabble to those who are not familiar with computer specifications.

When buying a new product for your computer, whether it's a hardware device, a program or a game, you'll usually be able to find the system requirements on the back or the side of the box. It's also important to realise that the system requirements given are normally the minimum system requirements. Minimum system requirements, for example, will enable you to run a video game, but only at the lowest settings. If your computer only meets the minimum system requirements, you won't get the most out of the game. You'll have to run it at the lowest graphical settings and the game may still not run very smoothly. With minimum system requirements, you'll be able to play it, but you won't get the full experience. For the best experience, whether discussing video games, productivity applications or anything else, you'll want to make sure that your computer meets the recommended system requirements and, preferably, surpasses them by quite a way.

Following is an overview of some of the most common system specifications referred to in product system requirements:
- Operating system. Most computers run Windows and most newer applications and games require Windows XP or later to run. Many products only give the operating system requirement since, if your computer meets this requirement, it will automatically meet every other requirement.
- Processor. Processor speed is one of the most influential elements when it comes to the performance of your computer. System requirements will normally require a specific processor speed and number of cores (dual-core, quad-core etc.)
- Memory. Also known as RAM, you'll often see a requirement with software and games. Most modern video games, for example, require at least 2 gigabytes of RAM.
- Graphics card. When buying video games, you'll almost always see the graphics card requirements being referred to. The graphics card has by far the greatest impact on performance in modern 3D video games.

Other system requirements which are often referred to include free hard disk space, type of optical drive and available ports.


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