Watch Dogs system requirements call for 64-bit OS, 6GB of RAM

If you want to play Watch Dogs on the PC, you’re apparently going to need a pretty beefy rig. Minimum system requirements posted on Uplay suggest that the game will need a 64-bit OS and at least 6GB of RAM. PC Gamer published the requirements along with some instructions on how to get to them, but it looks like I’m restricted to a Canadian version of the Uplay site that hasn’t been updated. Anyway, here’s the damage:

Minimum

  • Supported OS: Windows Vista SP2 64bit, Windows 7 SP1 64bit, Windows 8 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66Ghz or AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.0Ghz
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Video Card: 1024 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 (see supported list)
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9 compatible Sound Card
  • This product supports 64-bit operating systems ONLY

Recommended

  • Processor: Core i7 3770 @ 3.5Ghz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0Ghz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Video Card: 2048 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 or higher (see supported list)
  • Sound Card: Surround Sound 5.1 capable sound card
  • Supported Video Cards at Time of Release: nVidia GeForce GTX460 or better, GT500, GT600, GT700 series; AMD Radeon HD5850 or better, HD6000, HD7000, R7 and R9 series; Intel® Iris™ Pro HD 5200

You need a 64-bit OS to address more than 4GB of RAM, so it makes sense that 32-bit versions of Windows aren’t supported. I suspect there are a lot of folks with 4GB of RAM that may need to upgrade even if they’re running a 64-bit OS. At least the 8GB recommendation isn’t too much of a step up.

On the CPU front, even the minimum spec calls for a quad-core chip. The base graphics requirement appears to point to the supported list from the recommended specs, which is a little weird. I’m surprised to see Intel’s Iris Pro integrated graphics in the mix with much more powerful GeForce and Radeon cards. Looks like you’ll need a reasonably recent graphics card to have any hope of playing the game.

Curiously, there’s no mention of storage requirements. Watch Dogs was developed first for the PC, so it’s probably loaded with high-res textures. I’d expect a hefty install footprint. In fact, I’m hoping for one. Although Watch Dogs‘ steep system requirements may be a turnoff for some gamers, they tell me that the game might just take advantage of the potent hardware available on the PC. I’m okay with leaving older systems behind if it means the rest of us can enjoy a better experience. We’ll have a better sense of that experience when Watch Dogs hits the PC on November 19.

Comments closed
    • CatheyBarrett23
    • 8 years ago
    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    In all honesty, I’ve been happy about the memory limitations of 32-bit OSes and console ports keeping developers from bloating the hell out of games. Proper optimization and texture compression should keep keep even the most detailed games under 4GB. If you go over that, you’re suffering from bloat, inefficiency, and memory leaks. Supreme Commander is a great example of poor memory handling, as that game didn’t have graphics to match the memory use, and early versions would reliably crash large multi-player games, requiring a 3rd party memory hack and various updates.

    I don’t know if anyone remembers kkrieger, but that fps game/demo was 96k, and a perfect example of how pathetically bloated most modern games are, which use poorly compressed textures/data, if that. There is no excuse for not using compression, and that’s the biggest reason why games need more memory, aside from poor coding.

    My system can handle 6GB, but I sure hope this isn’t opening a floodgate for bloat and inefficiency. 8 GB is the max I can have in my system, being high speed ddr2, and anything more would require buying a whole new system, or slower ram. I’d rather not upgrade until I’m CPU limited though, so game devs better keep the pointless bloat down.

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      Only the devs know why it requires that much ram, but I doubt it’s textures. Textures aren’t worth cutting out potentially half the PC market. My bet is that the ram is being used for a very large database that’s used as part of the simulation of the in-game city. This game’s world is supposed to be incredibly interactive and persistent, which means tracking a lot of objects. Watch the gameplay video: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HbBxtmCCaI&noredirect=1.[/url<] At first it looks like a GTA knock off, but you'll realize there is really a ton of detail that I've personally never seen in a game before.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 8 years ago

        Ah. That’s what SupCom appeared to be doing too, which is why it would only crash large multiplayer games. Nevertheless, 6GB is a rather inefficient use of memory, and some sort of compression/optimization needs to be used. If 6GB is recommended for normal use, that means large custom maps could potentially hit 8 or more. Not cool.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Woooo finally have something to make my 4770K / 16GB DDR3 / 770GTX purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • BlondIndian
    • 8 years ago

    So I’m guessing this won’t work on my 9400GT desktop or my E-350 laptop. :'(

    /thirdworldproblem

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    The minimum requirements look steep, but I was just comparing Watch Dogs 1080p gameplay footage on Youtube against GTA5 and Sleeping Dogs. The graphics are definitely a step up from both of those.

    The other thing is that Core2 quads have been around for almost 7 years now. There’s little excuse to own a gaming PC with a DX11 graphics card and not have something that can track at least 4 threads these days.

    SM 5.0 is quite a steep reqirement compared to console ports, but the massively popular HD 5770 from 2009 is up to the job, and APU’s like a Llano A4 and A6 meet the criteria (though I doubt anything less than an A8 is going to be fast enough for AAA titles these days.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    Finally, a game with the balls.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      RAM requirements deserve further comment, because certain readers believe it’s because “RAM prices have been so low” or “the game is unoptimised” or “needs better texture compression” or any number of ridiculous claims.

      If you’ve seen the trailer, this game is a fully simulated city environment, like GTA V, but with better graphics (yes, really). If they don’t want to look like *every other game* over the past 3 years, then they’re going to need better textures, and by god you can be sure they use compression but there’s only so much to compress before that hits a limit.

      I don’t know how detailed the environments will be and how big the city will be, but the trailer promised a grand scope and that can only happen in two ways: either a loading screen after every fourth block, or lots of texture pops, or increased RAM requirements. I think we can all live with the last option in 2013/2014.

      Those gamers who still use only 4 GiB of RAM mustn’t be allowed to hold back game progress further. On a bell curve of RAM ownership, they’re the middle. If you want real development, you have to serve the far end of the bell curve first, and this holds true about any area, not just games.

        • auxy
        • 8 years ago

        Yay Meadows!

    • jdaven
    • 8 years ago

    So what happens when you try to play the game on an 32-bit OS with less than 4 GB? Does Bill Gates pop out of the optical drive yelling “640K ought to be enough for anybody”?

      • mczak
      • 8 years ago

      My guess is since the minimum requirement is really 64-bit OS they didn’t bother with a 32bit executable, hence you can’t actually execute the binary at all. The installer probably will detect it however and refuse to install in the first place.
      (Though I’m not convinced the 6GB are enforced, technically doesn’t really make a lot of sense as it should still run with less, just with a lot of paging… Maybe the 6GB requirement is just there for all the people with 4GB which _think_ they have 64bit windows when they really don’t :-))

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    Requiring that much RAM is pretty unusual, I wonder what that’s all about.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 8 years ago

    Given how most people’s Windows installs are set up, don’t you essentially need 64bit Windows for an application to have access to more than 2 gigs of ram?

      • bhtooefr
      • 8 years ago

      You need 64-bit Windows for a Workstation edition to access more than 3.5 GiB RAM, too. (Server editions support more, though.)

      The 2 GiB limit for a process affects every 32-bit process, whether it’s on a 32-bit Workstation edition, a 32-bit Server edition with PAE (where you can go as high as 128 GiB depending on edition), or a 64-bit OS.

      • Klimax
      • 8 years ago

      3GB with a switch, but it’ll limit kernel space and likely cause problems. (In better case just massive swapping, in worse crash because drivers ran out of nonpageable memory.)

    • tootercomputer
    • 8 years ago

    To attract the broader masses, this game is going to h ave to be a killer gave to justify these requirements.

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    supported video cards – Intel Iris Pro HD 5200. ROFL! such high requirements for everything else just to throw in intel graphics as recommended.

    • tipoo
    • 8 years ago

    Finally! Looks like eighth gen console ports will finally start to use all the advances in PC hardware since the last.

    Although, Ubisoft does tend to overspec their requirements, do they not?

    Anywho, I hope this means good use of up to 8 cores.

    • Aliasundercover
    • 8 years ago

    $80 of memory. Inconceivable!

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      2048 VRAM’s as well!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        Oh, good. My GeForce 610 will work then.

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen a recommended spec list since I built my last computer where some of the requirements are greater than what I have

      • I.S.T.
      • 8 years ago

      I’d say the same, but my PC was built in July and my Haswell i5 is technically superior and technically inferior to the i7 3770 they recommend so *shrug*

    • ish718
    • 8 years ago

    This is an open world game with next gen graphics so the 6GB of ram requirement isn’t too shocking.
    The 6GB of ram also includes the OS and other applications that your system runs in the background.
    So in reality this game probably only uses 4GB of ram at most.

      • I.S.T.
      • 8 years ago

      I’d be surprised if it used more than 3. The main issue is is that most gamers on 32 bit OSes have at least 512 meg cards and would thus be nearly out of RAM, causing windows to page swap like crazy. It’d have to use PAE to hit that 3 gigs as well.

      It’s really just a lot less hassle, like you say, to “require” 6 gigs and a 64 bit OS. Hell, let’s be honest. Skyrim should have as well.

        • notuptome2004
        • 8 years ago

        if someone is on 32bit OS this game wont work cause it requieres a 64bit OS anyways to run so if they are on a 32bit OS with only 512mb video card from 3 to 4 years ago then why are they trying to play this game

        Also PAE wont work anyways cause the game will go oh well this is a 32bit OS we cant install

        Most true gamers now days have a quad core system with 8gb of ram minimum so it wont matter to them . so if your still assuimg your dual core chip and 4gb of ram on a 32bit OS will surfice then you got problems

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      If they recommend 8GB, it’ll probly use over 4GB if it’s there. I’m really curious now to get this game and check out the actual resource usage

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      From your comment, would a games that require 2GB really uses 0 meg or even less then ?

      And why would they state 8GB recommended if they only use 4GB ?
      Just to sound bad ass and reduce their market audience?

    • brucethemoose
    • 8 years ago

    Well Iris Pro is listed under recommended, so it’s not that demanding.

    I for one am happy about the steeper requirements, it just means the gameplay is going to be better.

    • omf
    • 8 years ago

    This is hilarious. Either you have people who whine about console games holding back PC development, or you have people whining about their underpowered PC’s not being supported.

    • PixelArmy
    • 8 years ago

    Steep requirements?

    Age-wise:
    C2Q 8400 = ’09
    Phenom II X4 940 = ’09
    Radeon HD5850 = ’09
    GeForce GTX460 = ’10

    Performance-wise:
    Sounds like it supports the [i<]entirety[/i<] of the last 3 gens of graphics cards including the low end GeForce(5/6/7)00s (ok, there aren't low end 700s), low end Radeon (6/7)000s, down to an Iris Pro HD 5200... The only thing remotely steep is the RAM and that's cause prices have gone through the roof. Hell, the Econobox had a run where it had 8GB... Edit: BBCode appears to be case sensitive.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      Ya I should have bought that 16GB kit back when it was 85 bucks, doh!

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 8 years ago

        too late, nancy

      • Buzzard44
      • 8 years ago

      While your argument is valid, it does ignore the recent decline in performance improvements from generation to generation. You’re pointing out that cutting edge hardware three years ago can play it fine, but the difference between a three year gap today and a three year gap, say, a decade ago, is huge!

      Ten years ago, 3 generations back meant crazy performance differences. Cutting edge 3 years back was low end hardware. Now, 3 generations back cutting edge is still an upper-middle class system. We’re going from doubling performance between generations of graphics cards and CPUs to 5-20% incremental improvements. Still nothing to sneeze at a lot of times, but comparatively lackluster. Example: i7-2600k was released 2.5 years ago

      So I’d say it’s still fairly steep requirements. Of course, some game somewhere has got to start taking advantage of all the power in new models.

      Just a different view on the same data.

        • PixelArmy
        • 8 years ago

        While I agree performance from generation to generation has been tapering off, the most recent [url=https://techreport.com/review/25250/tr-back-to-school-2013-system-guide/2<]Econobox[/url<] would probably be 25%-50% faster than the min specs. So, I can't quite agree the min specs would still be an "upper-middle class system" since I can't even call the faster Econobox that. i3-3220 [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/89?vs=677[/url<] A10-5800K (less than the Econobox A10-6700) [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/89?vs=675[/url<] GTX 650ti Boost [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/859?vs=782[/url<] HD 7790 [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/859?vs=776[/url<] (The Econobox actually lists OC versions of these) Just add more RAM to completely meet the game reqs. Edit: 650ti Boost not a vanilla 650ti and blurb about GPUs being OC'd.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Hm. If I’m going to be playing Watch Dogs at all, I’m probably going to be playing it on PS4 for a couple reasons. Mainly, I don’t want to build a thousand-dollar machine (yet) for gaming. The other reason is that I can’t be bothered with uPlay on PC.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I for one am happy to see ubisoft pushing hardware again. AC3 was a waste on a 1600p monitor with the most offensive form of draw in I’ve seen in some time.

    Splinter cell…. such old game engine.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 8 years ago

    Why do PC game requirements keep going up?

    Does this game offer better graphics than Crysis 3? Does it have hundreds of photo-realistic 10k+ polygon character models on screen at the same time? What the hell do you even store in 6GB of ram?

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<] What the hell do you even store in 6GB of ram?[/quote<] Their hidden bitcoin engine.

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      Effects. Stuff in game. More polygons. Better AI.

      I do think that games are suffering from a severe case of Uncanny Valley Syndrome when trying to represent people, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t other stuff going on. In particular, big, open environments with a lot of stuff (cars, NPCs, etc.) can take up a lot of RAM, even if they aren’t being shown.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 8 years ago

        do you even proofread bro?

          • superjawes
          • 8 years ago

          Pitfalls of having to use IE…no auto-spellcheck.

            • curtisb
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]Pitfalls of having to use IE less than version 10...no auto-spellcheck.[/quote<] FTFY 🙂

            • entropy13
            • 8 years ago

            No statement fixer it seems either.

            • Klimax
            • 8 years ago

            And then there is IIRC and addon for that…

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      lol 6GB I could completely install CSS on my ram 🙂

        • Laykun
        • 8 years ago

        You could load it but unless you’ve got extra RAM for the runtime process you wouldn’t be able to use it.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      I’m guessing it loads a huge level into ram so it doesn’t ever have to load. You can have a much more dynamic world that way instead of streaming into ram ala GTA.

        • cygnus1
        • 8 years ago

        Also, there are so many interactive objects I wouldn’t be surprised if part of this game engine is just a huge database so it can track all the objects

      • Haserath
      • 8 years ago

      Por…

      I just had Windows yelling at me that I ran out of ram in BF4(I have 6GB). I didn’t have the page file on though.

      Siege in Shanghai isn’t that big of a map area wise.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 8 years ago

        2002 called, it wants its bad OS optimizations back.

          • Waco
          • 8 years ago

          This. Disabling the page file is a terrible thing to do on any modern OS.

            • trek205
            • 8 years ago

            over 6 months disabled with 16gb of system ram and not a single issue so must not be too terrible.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Progress, it’s a good thing… even when it’s bad.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    So basically, thanks to next gen, the lack of optimization for the PC release means we need to upgrade, despite our hardware being 1-10x more powerful…

      • cygnus1
      • 8 years ago

      Or, maybe as has been explained, it was developed first on PC and second with next-gen consoles in mind. I don’t think any of it is crazy to expect. The RAM minimum requirement is already met by 44.88% of steam users and 36.48% meet the recommended. The quad core requirement is met by 43.83%.

      I think they chose their requirements pretty well to match a pretty significant portion of existing systems. I’ve had a 64 bit OS and 8 or more GB of ram FOR YEARS, in my opinion it’s about damn time games start taking advantage of it.

        • JMccovery
        • 8 years ago

        Same here. I made the jump to a 64-bit OS and 8+GB RAM [b<]6 years ago[/b<]... Anyone complaining about the minimum specs should just buy a PS4/XB1 and be done.

        • Chrispy_
        • 8 years ago

        Damn straight – and I find gamers whining about RAM to be the most deluded:

        $200-300 on a graphics card? Noooo problemo.
        $300-400 or so on a processor and motherboard? Sure, they’re kinda essential.

        So, they’re at least $500 into a build, and then suddenly do something stupid like buying 4GB of RAM instead of 8GB or 16GB.
        $20 is all it takes to put 8GB into a board instead of 4GB.

        I mean, c’mon….
        RAM prices have gone [b<][i<]up[/i<][/b<], not down in the last 18 months, and [b<][i<]even after the Hynix fire[/i<][/b<], the difference is [b<][i<]only $20.[/i<][/b<] If you're going to be a penny-pincher, then don't whine when next-gen stuff with an [b<][i<]in-the-future[/i<][/b<] release dates comes along.

      • DreadCthulhu
      • 8 years ago

      Hopefully that Mantle thing works out, and we AMD users won’t have to upgrade as much. The Battlefield 4 beta made my Radeon 7770 cry, although it is on par with the GPU in the Xbone.

        • I.S.T.
        • 8 years ago

        There’s quite a bit of difference, actually… The GPU in the Xbone is more akin to the 7790. Combine that with lower level APIs and better optimization, and the Xbone [i<]will[/i<] run it better at any resolution you want to run the game at.

        • Laykun
        • 8 years ago

        You might be putting a little too much hope into this whole mantle thing. You can’t exactly expect a possible 10% increase in performance from mantle to outweigh a new graphics card which should give you a 100% increase in performance.

        • Klimax
        • 8 years ago

        Well, and then you’ll be stuck with console graphics…

      • tipoo
      • 8 years ago

      What’s 10x more powerful than a 1.84Gflops Graphics Core Next equivalent chip?

        • Haserath
        • 8 years ago

        18.4Gflops GCN chip. Though I seem to have a 2 year old card that is in the Tflops.

        (You had it coming)

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Recommended specs should be steep, minimum specs should not. It should be possible to make a game for modern day PCs and have it scale back for antiquated ones.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 8 years ago

      What’s the limit though? You shouldn’t really expect them to push it to the point where it’d run on a system with one gig ram and a dual core CPU, and most of these requirements aren’t actually that extreme by current build standards (although I’d have to add more RAM myself).

        • Stickmansam
        • 8 years ago

        I do expect them to be able to scale it to say a fast dual core with 4gb of ram and a decent graphics card. So the game seems unduly CPU heavy. Ram is a bit iffy but okay

          • Laykun
          • 8 years ago

          In an open world game like this that may not be possible to do and keep the good gameplay experience. It seems to me like this game focuses a lot more on the simulation of the world than something fully scripted like CoD. It’ no surprise to me that this game requires a bit more CPU power.

          The quad core they quote is a Q6600, so it’s not like any modern dual core i5 or i3 can’t match that performance any way. So long as you’re not sitting on some ancient Core 2 Duo then you’ll probably be fine.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Based on experiences with extremely well coded games, there should be plenty of leeway. Even if you can’t get a ‘perfect’ experience, it should still be playable (meaning it starts up, runs, and doesn’t crash). Most of the good engines do this for developers.

        The UT engine in particular is very good at doing most of the work for developers as far as that goes.

      • sschaem
      • 8 years ago

      Sure Its possible, but it doesn’t warrant the effort for this type of games.

      I’m sure you could gimp crysis3 to a point where it run an Intel IGP from 2002.. but why?!

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        It wouldn’t take much effort. Turning off effects or toning them down isn’t the same as making them in the first place.

        Why? Because then other people will buy the game that wouldn’t otherwise be able to run it silly.

      • Chrispy_
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah. I want my game to come on 5.25″ floppies.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 8 years ago

    Game devs must have put options on DRAM pricing.

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 8 years ago

      I remember reading a debate over 4GB vs 6GB vs 8GB of RAM for gaming.

      Now it’s going to be a 8GB vs 12GB as games are ported to PC from the PS4 or Xbox One.

      I should run that game on a laptop with 512MB of RAM and a “Vista-Ready” sticker next to the keyboard. Slideshow edition here we come!

        • tipoo
        • 8 years ago

        “I should run that game on a laptop with 512MB of RAM and a “Vista-Ready” sticker next to the keyboard. Slideshow edition here we come!”

        *Shudder*

        I remember how shittacular many first round Vista machines were. To be fair it was mostly the hardware makers faults, not giving it enough RAM. Even on 1GB-2GB it was a doodoo fest. Although nowadays, Windows 7-8.1 will run decently on 2GB if you must run them, for basic things at least.

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