This nugget of news slipped under the radar last week, but it deserves a little attention: Eidos Montreal has revealed the system requirements for the PC version of its Thief sequel.
These seem to follow the same pattern as the requirements for other next-gen titles. The minimum specs are tame enough, but what the developer actually recommends is, well, not so tame. Take a look:
Minimum System Requirements
OS: Windows Vista with platform update
CPU: High-performance dual core CPU or quad core CPU RAM: 4 GB
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon 4800 series / Nvidia GTS 250
DirectX: DirectX 10
HDD/SSD: 20 GB
OS: Windows 7 or 8
CPU: AMD FX 8000 series or better / Intel i7 Quad Core CPU
RAM: 4+ GB
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R9 series or better / Nvidia GTX 660 series or better
DirectX: DirectX 11
HDD/SSD: 20 GB
Yeah, definitely nothing to scoff at.
The Radeon R9 series recommendation seems particularly lofty, since that product line has only been around for a few months. Of course, lower-end members of the R9 series are essentially re-purposed 7000-series cards. The R9 270 and R9 270X are both equivalent to the old Radeon HD 7870, while the R9 280X corresponds to the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. So, Eidos isn't being quite as demanding as it seems.
Thief is due out on February 25. It will be one of the first games to take advantage of Mantle, AMD's close-to-the-metal graphics API for Graphics Core Next (GCN) graphics processors. Thanks to Mantle, Thief should have lower CPU overhead and potentially better graphics performance on systems with Radeon HD 7000- or R-series cards. Eidos Montreal's blog post doesn't reveal any numbers on that front, though.