Lo-Tech: Bulletstorm Specs Friendly

By John Walker on January 11th, 2011 at 10:59 am.

A man with a gun on a Thursday.

There was a time when a new game from Epic meant saving up the thousand or so pounds it would cost to get a machine that could play it. That sounds so alien now, so ludicrous, that people were upgrading at such vast expenses just to play the latest, greatest PC game. But of course it was an investment in the many dozens of games that would follow, until the next time id released something. But now, thanks to cross-platform publishing, the PC is idling. We’re already so far ahead of the current gen console tech that we can spin our wheels and enjoy our latest games on two-year-old rigs, with the graphics card we bought at the time. Madness. And to prove this point, the Bulletstorm specs look positively pedestrian. They’re below.

Eurogamer’s giant-haired Rob Purchese brings the good news. To enjoy the game (not at its swishiest, of course) you’ll need:

1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X2 processor
256MB NIVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS or ATI Radeon 2400 Pro
1.5GB RAM

You could use your gran’s computer!

Meanwhile, here’s another of those very silly videos from CliffyB “CliffyB” CliffyB. It’s rather funny:

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51 Comments »

  1. Hunam says:

    Not really. This is about average for most Unreal Engine 3 games. You can run Mass Effect 2 on max with a Core 2 Duo, 2GB Ram and an 8800 GT.

  2. Mechorpheus says:

    Good news for those of us who use ‘gaming’ laptops, where even the best kit is a good 2 generations out of date. The GTX 285M I have in my primary rig is still essentially an 9800GT on a smaller production process.

  3. gwathdring says:

    Trying to boost graphics settings on some of my favorite games a few days ago reminded me why I was seriously considering a desktop over a laptop. The numbers seem so great on paper, it just doesn’t quite cut it on silicone. It’s also a hell of a lot easier to cool a desktop properly.

    • gwathdring says:

      P.S. Any tips for a decent but not overly expensive cooling mat or similar auxiliary cooling method? My mat recently died, and it blocked some of the vents on my laptop no matter how I positioned it so it was always hit or miss. I would have returned it if it weren’t a package deal.

    • Jhoosier says:

      You can just play outside for now. Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, in which case you should probably buy a new mat.

    • Mechorpheus says:

      I recently picked up a 17″ cooling stand from ASAKA, suits my machine very well. GPU temps down by average 10-15′C, and doubles as a USB hub.

    • Heliosicle says:

      My old ZALMAN one was pretty good, was for a 15″ laptop but they also did a 17″ version I think.

  4. Lars Westergren says:

    >We’re already so far ahead of the current gen console tech that we can spin our wheels and enjoy our latest games on two-year-old rigs, with the graphics card we bought at the time.

    That’s actually one of the few things I really like about the current console dominance. When iD were at their peak, I tried reading games magazines and sites, and it was all just about maxing FPS this, and overclocking that. Gameplay? Cool and quiet computers, what’s that?

  5. Navagon says:

    Good news! Another game adding to the shame heaped upon poorly (not at all) optimised PC games.

    • Dominic White says:

      As opposed to the ‘good old days’ where nothing was ever optimized, because everyone was writing half-tested code for cutting edge hardware that almost nobody owned? I’m pretty glad that this extended console generation has brought in some semblance of of standardization in PCs – it’s nice to know that 99% of the stuff on shelves WILL run perfectly on my middle-of-the-road machine.

    • Navagon says:

      Yeah. But if we’re honest even half of that isn’t anywhere near as optimised as it could be. But like you say, if it will run on a middle of the road PC is there really much need for further optimisation? Not really, I suppose.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Uuum, optimization has multiple meanings. I think the optimization that is missing nowadays, is primarily the input optimization. Mice with their fast pointing abilities and keyboards with their many many spare keys. Plus comforts like having a full OS in the background.

      And secondarily, graphics optimization is not a value but a relation. A function if you will. In simple words: Optimizing for PCs also means using their full potential. Like making games look so much better. Although I don’t see a big point in adding more polygons and higher texture resolutions. They are good enough. The next step would really be real-time global illumination. Something with high-dynamic range image-based lighting, photon-mapping-optimized ray-tracing. Or is that already used?

  6. Teddy Leach says:

    God damn, I really need to get a multicore…

    • Navagon says:

      Yeah, it’s probably about time you got around to that. But that probably means you’ve got a DDR1 AGP machine and everything else will have to go too.

    • EthZee says:

      Woo! AGP REPRESENT.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Just be sure to get a 4 or 8 core. 2 and 6 are no good with many PS3 ports, from what I heard. And 3 is just a total no-go. The best example being GTA IV, where this makes all the difference.

    • Pani says:

      Just finished GTA4 for the first time, makes sense now as to why I had so many graphical glitches. :(

    • Zamn10210 says:

      Barefoot, you’re talking poo, there’s not one bit of evidence for that. More cores is always better (or at least no worse, most games don’t use more than 3). 3 cores is very often better than 2, and 6 is no worse than 4, maybe occasionally better. And there are no consumer level desktop 8 core processors at all at the moment.

  7. BooleanBob says:

    You couldn’t use mine (I bought it to play Half Life 2).

  8. AndrewC says:

    When I were a lad we ‘ad to spend a grand on computers that wouldn’t even run until you re-installed the OS from scratch and manually edited the registry, to play games that weren’t even designed to run on your graphics card and crashed every time you changed weapons because you had the wrong type of RAM. And if the developers did release a patch you had to wait a month for it to appear on a magazine cover disk, and if the demo of that new strategy game didn’t corrupt your drivers, maybe you could play the game you spent all evening installing from 6 CDs for an hour or so before your power supply over heated.

    And then do it all again every six months.

    But if you try telling the kids that these days – they won’t believe you.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Andrew, did you remember to edit CONFIG.SYS to enable extended memory? Or was it expanded memory? BRB, have to read this booklet on “HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR IBM PC COMPATIBLE HOME COMPUTER!”

    • AndrewC says:

      See, that was all before my PC-playing time, so I don’t believe you with all of this talk about .sys and .bat. It sounds like crazy-talk to me!

      Bloody kids.

    • Jhoosier says:

      I’m 31 and I can’t wait to have grandkids, just to do this.

    • Malcolm says:

      I remember Elite 2: Frontier being one of the trickiest. For some reason it required something crazy like 623K of conventional memory, which which made installing both your sound and mouse drivers a bit difficult; loading as much as possible into High Memory (or whatever the bit between 640K and 1MB was called).

      You kids have it so easy these days.

    • gandrewsan says:

      For me the trickiest one was the original Space Hulk. Just when you thought you’d cracked it you’d end up short by 5k on the conventional memory requirement. It was like the bit in Apollo 13 where Gary CSI has to keep re-running the start up program on the simulator without using all the amps, although obviously getting Space Hulk to run is of far more importance than keeping Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey alive.

      I must have had at least five different versions of config.sys and autoexec.bat all set up to run specific games by the end of it all. Those were the days.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      @Malcolm: I remember giving up on using mouse on lots of games. As in, I used to play point and click adventures with the keyboard. That was certainly something, especially since it took me like a year to figure out there were keyboard shortcuts so I shouldn’t go and click on every verb. Man, I was one patient kid.

      @gandrewsan: High five! Space Hulk was a memory management nightmare indeed.

      I seem to remember Flashback giving me quite a few headaches too, but that might’ve been my father’s fault; at the time he was always test-driving these obtuse, useless memory enhancers and hard drive extenders and alternate OSs and whatnot, and it was a mess to clean up afterwards so you could get *anything* to run.

      Anyone remembers DR DOS?

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Crusader: No Remorse was such a pain in the ass. But worth it!

  9. Optimaximal says:

    enjoy our latest games on two-year-old rigs, with the graphics card we bought at the time.

    That is, of course, assuming said graphics card was built to last that long. Yes, you said ’2 years’, but that’s not the point.

    I know I wasn’t the only one to have my 8800GTS pack up not long after its 3rd birthday.

    • Benny says:

      My ati 4850 is somehow struggling along after almost 2 years. Even though it is prone to crashing when it overheats it never really has problems otherwise. I’m pretty sure im gona replace it some time soon though, Crysis 2 might be the tipping edge (for the editor, not so much the game :P).

    • durns says:

      Speaking of struggling old graphics cards, my X1800XT is still alive after five years. It manages to play virtually all new games at generally reasonable speeds and represents a ridiculously good return on investment.

      It does appear to have forgotten how to use its fan though, preferring to cycle between off and MAXIMUM SPEEEED every five minutes. Also, Just Cause 2 (from the Steam christmas sale) told me that it was too old to run it). Time to ‘Old Yeller’ the poor guy I think.

  10. rocketman71 says:

    Nope. It’s not funny. Not surprising, since that’s CliffyB.

    • Zogtee says:

      Actually, I rather like these videos. I didn’t care about the game before, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get it now. Providing it’s on Steam, of course.

  11. Mark says:

    This is the point at which I say Games for Windows LIVE and everybody groans. Not me, though. I like achievements. :D

  12. EthZee says:

    This:

    CliffyB “CliffyB” CliffyB

    I approve.

  13. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Yay, if those are the minimum I should be hitting the recommended no problem…

  14. bill says:

    Am I the only one who no-longer knows what these minimum specs mean?

    Sure, I can get CPU speed and memory, but I don’t have a “256MB NIVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS or ATI Radeon 2400 Pro” And graphics card numbers are in no way sequential or linear.. so every time I read the minimum specs for the game I have to go and google the card mentioned and try and work out how it compares to mine. Which is usually totally unclear. Ridiculous process. Every time!

    You’d think that a 512mb Ati HD 3650 would easily beat a 256mb 2400 Pro… if you were a sane person and not a computer geek / ati graphics card namer.

  15. Polysynchronicity says:

    1. get some 1/4″ thick wood

    2. cut a piece the size of the bottom of your laptop

    3. cut strips to act as risers, use wood glue to attach them on top as desired

    4. sand and finish as desired

    5. hurrah!

    6. ???

    7. better remember some wrist support or good posture if you use something like this

  16. Navagon says:

    errored

  17. Wonko the Sane says:

    Bulletstorm’s greatest innovation could be the use of random, nonsensical dick-based sweariness. I mean: dicktits. DICKTITS.

  18. noodlecake says:

    I hope PC gaming doesn’t take a giant leap any time soon! I have no console so this is the only thing I can game on. :( Yeah… That’s right. I prefer console gaming but tolerate PC gaming because of money issues. :P

    I would miss Spelunky and Cave Story if my PC died though. :(

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