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Old 01-09-2019, 09:37 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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I've been running games on my 1.6 GHz laptop that shouldn't be able to be run

So I am a bit confused: My Asus Vivobook laptop says it has an Intel(R) Core iT-8250U CPU processor @ 1.60GHz 1.80 GHz.
(Not sure what the mumbo-jumbo means but I'm assuming the bolded part is all that really matters.)

I've been running a computer game that requires a minimum 2.0 GHz (Command and Conquer,) yet haven't had any problems with it. (not that I can notice.) Does that mean that it's merely bad for the laptop that I run such games on it? I would have thought that since the minimum 2.0 GHz requirement isn't met, that the laptop shouldn't be able to run it at all, but it does. Ditto for games like Counter-Strike that recommend 2.4 GHz.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:43 PM
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It just means that the developers didn't think that a processor slower than 2GHz would run the game acceptably fast.
Since different processors have wildly different performance at a given clock speed, using a specific clock as a system requirement is not very smart.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:49 PM
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I can't speak for that specific game, but in general, the minimum requirements for processor speed are only so that you will have an acceptable frame-rate. Your game may stutter or lag if your CPU does not meet the minimum requirements for the game.

As for other requirements, if the game requires a 64 bit operating system and you try to run it on a 32 bit operating system, then the game won't run at all. If the game requires a certain amount of RAM and you don't have that much installed, the game might run and it might not, or it might run for a bit and crash.

Command and Conquer is an older game, isn't it? That 2.0 GHz requirement is probably for an older single core processor. Modern processors are typically not rated on clock speed alone as that is a fairly meaningless number these days. Most games these days will give sample CPUs and say you need the equivalent of that or faster.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:52 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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Ah, thanks.......so.......if it runs fine, it runs fine?


As far as I can tell, the only thing that happens awry is that it heats my laptop's innards up to 75-80 C. (according to the CoreTemp app)

The Vivobook is a notebook office type of laptop, rather delicate, but I still work it hard with a variety of games anyway.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Ah, thanks.......so.......if it runs fine, it runs fine?
Yep, pretty much.

Heat might be an issue, but that's a general laptop issue and isn't specific to gaming, other than the fact that games often put a heavy load no the cpu and the graphics interface (and hence generate more heat).

Ideally you want to keep everything under 60 deg C. Some laptops just run hot, though. It's not great for their longevity, but hey, when you cram that much stuff into a tiny box, you have to sacrifice somewhere.

A can of compressed air to blow all of the dust out of your laptop might help with the temperature.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:17 PM
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CPU clock frequency hit a wall around year 2000 to 2005. Since then, CPU manufacturers have been improving performance by other means - larger cache memory, more levels of cache memory, greater memory bandwidth, pipelining, multi-core, etc. Which means the latest 2 GHz CPU is way faster than a 2 GHz CPU from 15 years ago.

Also, your i5-8250U processor may have a base clock frequency of 1.6 GHz, but it ramps up to 3.4 GHz for short periods of time as needed.

Last edited by scr4; 01-09-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Ah, thanks.......so.......if it runs fine, it runs fine?


As far as I can tell, the only thing that happens awry is that it heats my laptop's innards up to 75-80 C. (according to the CoreTemp app)

The Vivobook is a notebook office type of laptop, rather delicate, but I still work it hard with a variety of games anyway.

Don't you design microchips, as a career?
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:42 PM
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Don't you design microchips, as a career?
Ah? No, nothing of the sort.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:04 AM
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The recommendations on games are more like "best before" dates on food than they are like expiration dates. If you push the limits you might not have as pleasant an experience as expected, but it's not going to give your computer game poisoning. By putting the recommended specs there the company is covered for complaints about the game being unplayable due to the computer being too slow.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:04 AM
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Not sure which version of C&C you're playing but google puts the latest PC one as "Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight" from 2010.

Minimum requirements for that is "CPU: Intel Core 2 or better, AMD 64 X2 or better"

Yours is much better than that. And as others have said, clocks speeds don't really matter that much anymore, that's not been the focus on cpu improvements lately. Then again, a lot of, especially older games, don't utilize all the advantages the new chips have either.

Also, I've noticed that an overpowered GPU can compensate for an underpowered CPU up to a point.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:14 PM
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Some minimum requirements are hard and others are just guesstimates the developer made about what would be enough. CPU requirements are especially likely to be soft. A 4-core i5 is going to be enough to play any game for a long while no matter what the requirements say.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:28 PM
EdelweissPirate EdelweissPirate is offline
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As others have said, games that mention frequency-based CPU requirements generally date from a time when CPU frequency correlated fairly closely with performance. That hasn’t been the case for about 15 years. A modern four-core CPU running at 1.2 GHz easily outclasses a single-core 2.4 GHz machine from 13 years ago.

What’s more, the performance of modern games is limited by the graphics card’s performance, not that of the CPU. 20 years ago, it was common to do OpenGL rendering on the CPU if one couldn’t depend on having a decent GPU, which is why a lot of games specified minimum processor speeds.

Remember: the game’s CPU specs are just a proxy for overall computer performance. A modern multi-core CPU—even with Intel’s mediocre integrated GPU—significantly outclasses the machine the game developers imagined when they wrote their minimum computer requirements. It’s not surprising that your modern laptop runs older games just fine.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by EdelweissPirate View Post

What’s more, the performance of modern games is limited by the graphics card’s performance, not that of the CPU. 20 years ago, it was common to do OpenGL rendering on the CPU if one couldn’t depend on having a decent GPU, which is why a lot of games specified minimum processor speeds.
This is true, but there are a frustrating amount of games today that will peg out your CPU at 100% even at modest settings even when the card is above minimum spec. Watch_Dogs 2 is an example, Battlefield V too. That often causes system instability and crashes. It's a big reason why I upgraded the last time. When you upgrade you want your CPU (and all other components for that matter) to at least match, if not exceed, the recommended spec of the latest games.

Last edited by Ashtura; 01-10-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:42 PM
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Don't you design microchips, as a career?
Are you thinking of Voyager? The names are similar, and I sometimes confuse them as well.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:51 PM
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Are you thinking of Voyager? The names are similar, and I sometimes confuse them as well.

Very probably. I knew it was V-somebody.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:18 PM
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[Moderating]

Moving from GQ to the Game Room.

[Not moderating]

In my experience, most games will run at below their "minimum" processor requirements, just not at very good quality (so it depends on how picky you are about quality), but RAM and hard drive space are absolute.

On the other hand, even the minimum isn't always enough: My computer, for instance, sits exactly on the minimum requirements for Borderlands 2, and can run it on minimal settings... until I try to change zones, whereupon it crashes, every single time. I think the problem there is memory, but I'm not certain.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:41 PM
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In this case, it probably is just that modern CPUs are faster at a given clockspeed. That 1.6 Ghz processor is probably faster than a the 2.0Ghz processor that older game was designed for, even without enabling the boost or offloading other processes to the other core.

But I do find that games have tended to overestimate their minimum requirements for a while now. This is somewhat true on GPUs, where you can usually use something a little bit worse, but it's especially true on CPUs. I encounter tons of stuff that says you need at least the i3-level, but my Core2Duo level processor still handles it well enough as long as my 1030GT GPU is fast enough.

Not all of them, by any means, but enough of them that I only look at the minimums as a guide, and then find a way to try it out.
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