While the performance of a gaming PC varies from game to game, developers follow a constant trend for the minimum and recommended requirements for hardware as years progress. This trend of advancing hardware creates new “minimum requirements specs” for newly released games. As such, high-end gaming PC specs constantly evolve to accommodate more demanding games.
The minimum requirements for a modern gaming PC's specs in 2024 include an NVIDIA GTX 770 or an equivalent with 2GB of VRAM and a CPU from Intel’s 3000 to 7000 series or Ryzen more modern 4000 series, with at least 16GB of RAM and at least 500GB of SSD storage for games released in the last decade. The recommended hardware for PC gaming in 2024 is a GTX 1650 GPU with 4 GB of VRAM, a Ryzen 5 4500 CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 1 TB of storage.
Every game's requirements differ; we find these configurations cover a majority of hardware used for modern games. Here is a comparable list of recommended hardware thresholds for gaming in 2024:
GPU: GTX 1650 GPU with 4 GB of VRAM
CPU: Ryzen 5 4500 CPU
RAM: ≥16 GB of DDR4 RAM at 3200 speed
Storage: ≥500GB of NVMe or SATA SSD Storage
PSU: ≥450W PSU
GPU: RX 6600 XT
CPU: Intel i5-12600KF
RAM: ≥16 GB of DDR4 RAM at 3600 speed
Storage: ≥500GB of NVMe or SATA SSD Storage
PSU: ≥750W PSU
GPU: RTX 4070ti
CPU: Intel i5-13700KF
RAM: ≥32 GB of DDR5 RAM at 6400 speed
Storage: ≥500GB of NVMe or SATA SSD Storage
PSU: ≥850W PSU
Minimum 2024 Gaming PC Hardware Requirements & Specs
As time passes, older gaming desktops become less and less able to keep up with newer titles. Because of this, the hardware required for a gaming computer to keep up with minimum requirements must be replaced and upgraded. The best gaming PCs are built with some future-proofing in mind, but every system needs upgrading or replacing at some point to keep up with new requirements.
Meeting the minimum specifications means you can start gaming on a PC but will need to make future upgrades to keep up with the constantly evolving state of modern games.
A motherboard depends on two significant factors to get better overall performance out of a given set of hardware. Most BIOS versions only support the current or previous generation of hardware at release. Motherboards BIOS are either updated or come with the latest drivers via DISC or USB. This is to ensure that no matter the shelf life, the hardware supports the latest BIOS when given to the customer. This is not likely to happen for most individual resellers looking to pass on their gaming desktop.
CPUThe CPU is one of the most critical components when describing the capabilities of a system that affect your gaming experience. A CPU is excellent for procedural generation, calculations, and simulation in virtual space. If a game is CPU-dependent, you can look up requirements from the developers. Here are a few popular games I came across using this article as a helpful list for determining game requirements.
- Kerbal Space Program
- Universe Sandbox
- BeamNG Drive
- Civilization 5 & 6
Measuring Performance Levels of CPUs
Expected CPU performance when gaming typically follows how many cores a CPU has and their correlating clock speed. AMD and Intel have made significant improvements as infrastructure within CPUs has been made smaller, allowing for expanded performance at higher or lower resolutions.
The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit graphics card) is one of the most coveted components in the gaming market due to being required for most PC games and display types. While games get more detailed, dated graphics cards need to get creative and will eventually reach a point where they'll negatively impact gaming performance. The minimum requirement for VRAM (video RAM) has held strong for over four years; however, it is starting to increase in requirement. Here are some examples of popular games considered GPU-dependent:
- Apex Legends
- Rainbow 6 Siege
- Metro Exodus
- CoD: Modern Warfare
How to Determine the Level of GPU You Need
The GPU should be at the forefront of consideration for most FPS and graphically intense games. The most performant specific in graphics cards is the type and amount of VRAM (Virtual Random Access Memory) due to increasing texture sizes displayed on larger resolutions.
Depending on the generation of the GPU, the VRAM version will often be advertised as well. The latest RTX 40 series and RX 7000 series GPUs have GDDR6X memory, while a few generations ago, the RTX 10 series and RX 500 series had GDDR5, a significantly less performant version.
While viewed as a supporting component to the CPU, RAM is a necessary constant that brings out the best features in a CPU. While not always pushed to the max, specific workloads cause the most run-of-the-mill RAM to reduce performance. Here is a list of some games and VR titles that depend on a recommended amount of 16GB of RAM:
- Project Cars 3
- Resident Evil 8
Levels of RAM to Consider
As we transition between DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, understanding your system upgrade timeline has never been more critical.
The first significant difference between DDR4 and DDR5 is how dual and single channels work. DDR4 operates better on dual-channel configurations (i.e., two sticks working in parallel instead of one.) DDR5, due to its high bandwidth, can run a single-channel stick to match a DDR4 dual-channel configuration.
With this comparison, 16, 32, 48, and 64 GB DDR5 kits have become popular with manufacturers like Corsair as they allow for double the memory space and bandwidth at the cost of transfer speed to the CPU compared to DDR4.
The PSU is a mediation component that is better explained in this article. Its primary role is to provide adequate power to all hardware within a system. While the type and conditions of certain CPUs, GPUs, and RAM varies depending on their specification, the PSU gives the system the proper power budget to accommodate any needs, including overclocks or future component power requirements. While second-hand PSUs can be viable, the detailed history of a PSU leads to more confidence in its ability to provide a system with its needs and keep the components safe.
Storage is one of the most subjective quantitative issues for a given PC, and the importance goes into two questions for a given system: "How fast and how much would you like?” which is a different answer for everyone.
If a person plays, for example, three games with a combined storage space of 300GB, If you only want to play those games, then you could opt for an NVME like our 512GB option.
It is best to prioritize what games are played the most and their size to accommodate better vs. worse storage solutions. For example, If a game has substantially long loading times, it would be best to have them on the fastest storage option to reduce time loading assets.
Minimum Software Requirements & Operating System Requirements for PC Games
While no operating system is entirely out of service, the most popular operating systems for most games on the Steam store hardware report are Windows 10 64bit (51.43%), Windows 11 (44.24%), and Windows 7 (0.59%). While a PC can use any Steam-compatible OS or game, developers often support the most popular OS versions for the intended user base.
As a result, along with hardware upgrades, you need to stay up-to-date with software updates to ensure your gaming PC meets the minimum requirements for new titles.
What Specs Matter the Most for Gaming on PC?
When it comes to gaming performance, here are the following components to consider in order of importance:
GPU: A determining factor in the framerate, texture quality, and distance in most FPS titles and newer releases.
CPU: supports the output of the GPU and is less prone to bottleneck if from a previous generation.
RAM: Supports the CPU by caching a majority of program data. This is very helpful due to how large games are getting and the need for onhand information for the CPU.
Storage: Having fast and responsive storage enables most modern games to load quickly or at all. Every day, more and more developers rely on their games needing to be loaded on an SSD due to the sheer amount of data required to load a level or game feature.
PSU: Last but not least is the power supply unit. This component is the base on which all other components above depend. Knowing your system power draw is crucial when getting a power supply.
Gaming Gaming PC Specs FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about the range of minimum requirements for the latest games being released every year.
What Specs Matter Most to Play Games on PC?
The GPU or iGPU (integrated GPU) is an essential gaming hardware piece. The GPU provides VRAM and the graphics processor to generate however many frames per second, depending on your model. This is followed by your CPU, RAM, Storage, Motherboard, PSU, and other accessories you need for your gaming PC.
When it comes to first-person shooters, the GPU is king. The contrary can also be true for strategy and trimmed-down esports titles, which value CPU and RAM over a higher-end GPU. The result is entirely different depending on what your gaming PC intends to play.
How Much RAM is Good For PC Gaming?
The standard amount of RAM for gaming workloads is 16GB. As of 2023, we are in between DDR4 and DDR5 for available RAM for modern systems, at a significant price and specs between the two. Depending on the intended workload, like streaming or a workstation, research how much RAM is needed and at what speed it is beneficial before committing to hardware.
What Should I Look For In A Gaming PC in 2024?
A GPU from the RTX 30 series and a CPU from Intel’s 12th series are popular combinations in today's market. Options like our Apex Gold are a great entry-level value system for those wanting to get into PC gaming.
As of writing, not all of Intel's 13th potential generation, like an i5 13400 or i3 13100 model, has been announced for entry-level systems. This is the same with Nvidia, as they just recently announced the start of their lower tier of cards, the 4060ti.
Once all the current chips and cards are released, reviewers will determine the best bang for your buck regarding the related hardware on the market.
What PC Specs Are Considered High-End?
Intel’s higher-end CPUs are designated as i7 or i9. AMD marks their higher-end CPUs with R7 and R9. For Nvidia, the high-end components of each generation of cards go up from the generation number plus the designation (70ti, 80, 80ti, 90, 90ti).
Going into the naming slightly more, depending on the manufacturer, there are multiple conditions that CPUs and GPUs adhere to. Some CPU manufacturers advertise overclocking; others have limiters on hardware to dissuade people from doing so. Thus, CPUs that don’t have these limiters are mentioned as “unlocked CPUs,” which are an important selling point for many consumers.
GPUs often don't have this issue as they have their regulations and are fairly easy to overclock via programs or adapt their BIOS via the manufacturer settings.
Conclusion for PC requirements
As technology progresses, the minimum requirements for decent gaming PCs to play newer titles increase. Intel's 6000s series of CPUs released in 2015 are still viable as the minimum requirement for games released this year, and the last has not changed. From this trend, recently released generations can last well into 2024 and beyond unless technology moves away from our current understanding of silicon chip
In the meantime, Apex has created its Refurbished PCs line of pre-built gaming PCs, which utilizes these later generation components like AMDs 4th and 5th generation Ryzen series of CPUs, mixing them with our RTX 30 series cards for competitive performance at a significant discount for savings.
Written by Will Wilson
Photo Credits: Pavan Bhakta