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Low End Gaming and the List of Low End Games

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For a fairly old guide, the article and list in question feels too sparse to be useful. It doesn't help that the markup for the list is not noob friendly.


Simply put, they need an update badly. Should the list be upgraded to project status (i.e. promote contributions with increased coverage on the front page)?

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That page was mainly done by Andytizer (probably he wanted to find an "home" for the relative subreddit).

And I find no mentions for lowend as in single core, dual core or other CPU bound situations... so.. should I assume we ought to only look at GPU?

In the latter case I would have found an use for the crappy X4500 integrated igp


EDIT: besides, I'd like to see something similar for every game. For example, battlefield 3 and 4 are certainly not optimized, since the massive amount of stuttering I got with my dual core. (I would have accepted steady low fps, but stuttering is just annoying)


On the other hand I should say Crysis (yes, crysis) is a really lightweight and scalable game, because if you are not masochist (like those people back in 2007) I could get to run it even on the E350 APU* of my sister laptop which I believe is a nice result. Settings were low, but man, I could easily pass 30fps


*GPU should be roughly on par with a desktop HD 2400 XT DDR2.

CPU is between a ~2.4GHz Prescott core for single thread workloads and a ~3.2GHz Pentium 4 HT for others


Edited by Mirh
contestualized results
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As someone who started PC gaming with super cheap AMD APU setup I would also like to ask when does game to be considered working on low end hardware? I could play something like Metro 2033 without problems staying above 30 FPS if I put everything to low and resolution 720p. 

If you are listing new low end rig and netbooks on same sentence you will have huge scale and then also list of all games will be huge. 

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  • 9 months later...

Editing posts gets so buggy, I'm just going to make a new reply, all my edits keep vanishing, jesus.


I played these on a Pentium 4, they always ran very well, The I Of The Dragon, NFS Most Wanted / Underground 2, Evil Genius, Black & White 1 and 2, Sid Meier's Pirates, Battlefield 2 and 2142, Chaos Theory, Age of Mythology.


I keep forgetting what games I listed because PCGW keeps eating my edits, blaahhh.

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Will this issue ever get fixed? Anyway, Dead Space ran at around 30 FPS (Medium settings) on my Toshiba laptop, pretty low end for anything gaming related. Return to Castle Wolfenstein.


Pentium 4 again, easily 60 FPS on the UT series, Unreal Tournament 99, UT2003, UT2004, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars (I don't remember how this game ran, but it ran well anyway), Max Payne 1 and 2, run very well on extremely low end machines. F.E.A.R, can be quite intensive, but it's still low end. Team Fortress 2, although it ran like shit on my laptop, way worse than Dead Space, so meh? Worms 3D Mayhem, some free X-COM clone I can't remember, but X-COM UFO Defense, Apocalypse and others are bound to run on low end systems.


Is Overlord low end? I remember downloading a demo for it.


Neverwinter Nights 2, Baldur's Gate, Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and 4, or all of them really. SpellForce, Dragonshard. MDK, MDK 2. Silent Storm, X2 (space game thing). Call of Duty 1, Dungeon Keeper 2, Battle Engine Aquila (this game is so cool).


I'm surprised Garry's Mod is not in this list, or the Half Life games, Counter Strike 1.6, CS:Source (a bit more intensive).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some other games before I forget, Ground Control, Ground Control 2, Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death, Viva Pinata. Sorry about all the posts, but for some reason whenever I edited my older posts all my edits vanished.

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I have no real interest in a list like this, but if it is to be kept around it ideally needs to be automated. ​One option would be to decide some minimum specifications (e.g. games that recommend x MB RAM) and generate a list of all games that fall at or below that limit. The system requirements template currently lacks the semantic functionality needed to achieve this but it could be upgraded for such a purpose if necessary.

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That would be nice... but the problem is that nowadays system requirements are everything but indicative.

I mean.. if everything goes well it's the minimum required to even boot the game (not to mention that 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 are more and more becoming completely unsupported resolution by now).

Then you have even games like the bloody new batman game with uber recommended requirements... which were just to play the game on high in 720p.


Or just think to GOG games, where everything starts from a 1GHz CPU iirc

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Rocket League runs very well on my Laptop, only after I disable some of the dynamic stuff though, and most options, and only after I lower my resolution to 800 x 600, and stuff.


Most Unreal Engine 3 games could be considered low end, Rainbow Six Vegas 1 and 2 run pretty well without any outside tweaks. However I'm not sure if this is an issue with Rocket League or UE3 games as a whole but at lower framerates there's a gigantic input delay, it's not too horrible but it can be felt pretty badly.

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Personally, I don't know if it's due to my C2D or what, but I got the impression a game is really heavy if it requires a powerful CPU.

I mean, you'll (almost always) be able to reduce the resolution (==> GPU) but if your problem is with processor in the first place, there's really few you can do.


For example, this is why GTA 4, battlefield 3/4, arma 3 are really taxing.

On the other hand (see my Crysis experience above) once a 1.6GHz dual core cpu was deemed enough (and that's pretty low end), even a sub-par igp could support a humble experience.


EDIT: In the end though, I believe the key is "being able to simulate said shitty configurations".

Otherwise there's no way we can have "a [reproducible] standard".


EDIT2: or perhaps this may help?


EDIT3: to limit CPU it should be possible to simulate the thing within OS (but any way, at worse downclock is still always an option, with some caveats)

Edited by Mirh
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  • 2 years later...

Writing down the important revelations of the discord chat:

So many, many, many games have very lazily determined (if not hands down wrong) system requirements.

The most straightly patent ones being OS/Dx version and HDD/RAM space.


Default, unless proven otherwise, would always be official system requirements of course.

Nobody is asking editors to cross-check the hell out of every possible hardware combination.


If by any chance though, any incongruence was to be spotted, we could "fix" them, just like we fix the actual games themselves.

The individual change would have to be marked as "Verified by user X" then, and I cannot see how anything of value would be lost.



Proceeding with the reasoning, with time (and enough agreement on what could count as "minimum", say 640x480@30fps w/ lowest available settings) this could even be extended to CPU/GPU.

Contrarily to how I was banging my head above, there shouldn't really be to bother too much on "how to emulate lower specs".

If somebody comes out with a data point, good for him and the game. Otherwise with the "official first" policy, we could do as well just fine as without.


Heavy hacks could be mentioned in other information section, but just like standard policy is not to consider "true" those things, neither should they enter the "straight" table.


*Then* after all of this, we could think to some "threshold of potato-ness" (be it explicit "runs on a pedal P4 microwave oven" or implicit "runs on a very slow CPU"). Which nowadays could even be automatized with parsers.

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