Ubisoft’s leaked Watch Dogs PC specification requirements have raised some eyebrows.
The specs, spotted by NeoGaf before they were hauled off uPlay, dictate amongst other things that the game will require a 64-bit version of Windows. That, in itself, is not a huge shock and was perhaps expected in the step up to next-gen.
What seems more curious are the game’s apparent CPU requirements.
The Recommended specs dictate that machines will need an eight core CPU. The two named examples are AMD’s FX-8350 and Intel’s Core i7-3770 – the latter of which is only actually a quad core chip, although it is able to operate with eight threads.
The Ultra specs are even more extreme, giving the example CPUs of AMD’s £200-250 eight core FX-9370 or Intel’s £450 six core i7-3930k.
This seems odd for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, while both the PS4 and Xbox One may be based on an eight core CPU architecture (although some of these will be locked away for system use) the chips found inside both machines lag miles behind far less advanced PC CPUs than what we see here, including gaming PC favourites like the Intel i5-3570k or newer i5-4570k.
It seems bizarre that a game like Watch Dogs would require an eight core CPU when older quad core, or even some dual core chips, can offer considerably more oomph than either of the next-gen consoles can manage.
The second oddity is that these seemingly extreme CPU requirements are matched with disproportionately low GPU needs. The Recommended specs cite the Nvidia GTX 560ti or AMD Radeon HD 7850 as examples – both of which are roughly on par with what users are going to be getting inside PS4 and Xbox One.
The Ultra specs aren’t a huge step up from this, naming the GTX 670 and Radeon HD 7970.
The miscorrelation could point to a mistake in the spec listings, or perhaps as some are feared a wonky PC port that favours raw brute tech power over any form of optimisation.
What will be interesting to see upon the game’s release next month is whether owners of older quad core CPUs (we’re looking at you, Intel i5-3570k) really do have to endure the performance hit these specs suggest, or whether their sizable power advantage over next-gen consoles will see them through.