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How Have Computer Requirements Changed for the Gaming Industry in the Last 10 Years?

Video games have provided enjoyment to both children and adults for years. They have come a long way from the early days: old-school Nintendo and Atari games have given way to sprawling worlds like World of Warcraft. As computer games have grown more realistic than ever, the age of pixelated displays and restricted sound has faded away. They are progressing in sync with technological advancements, even giving birth to secondary industries like Character Power Leveling. Video game development has become increasingly sophisticated, and the expense of developing games that operate on a major gaming machine has risen in parallel. 

Investing millions in development expenses used to be unthinkable, but today’s games may cost hundreds of millions of dollars. In terms of production and marketing expenses, this allows game developers to compete with Hollywood films. The video game industry is vast. It is, in fact, larger than the film and music industries combined, and it is continuously expanding. There are more than 2.8 billion gamers worldwide, despite video games receiving less media attention than the film and music industries. According to analysts, the gaming sector will earn $268.8 billion in sales by 2025

Gaming Specs in the 2010s

In 2010, next-generation consoles based on the industry’s typical five-year console life cycle plan garnered increasing interest. On the other hand, industry insiders felt that there was no appetite to develop another version of this system – and this was largely due to the greater costs and difficulties of developing gaming consoles with better graphics. Sony and Microsoft were still trying to recoup the expenses of existing gaming systems before moving on to new ones.

Microsoft revealed a new Xbox 360 console called the Xbox 360 S or Slim on June 14, 2010. It contained a 250GB hard drive with an integrated 802.11n WLAN, resulting in a smaller, quieter system. 

CPU

Intel Core i7 processors were popular during this time. Core i7-965 Extreme by Intel with a quad-core, LGA1366 socket, 3.2 GHz clock speed, 3.46 GHz, 8 threads, and 8MB cache memory known as the best option for CPU gamers at the beginning of the 2010s. Other good options included Intel Core i5-760, Intel Premium G6950, and Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition.

Monitor Resolution

The early 2010s witnessed the 1920 x 1080 monitors for personal computers. Apple’s Retina display, which doubles the number of pixels while maintaining the size of screen components, sparked a trend of high DPI displays in 2011. Because of inadequate Windows scaling, several items keep their original size when configuring screen scaling; PC displays and laptops did not immediately embrace this trend.

As the 1080p video format grew more popular, 1920×1080 displays were accessible in mid-range laptops, and 1600×900 screens became obsolete. Ultrawide displays offering a 21:9 aspect ratio were introduced in 2013 as 29′′ 2560 x 1080 and 34′′ 3440 x 1440. UHD, or ultra high resolution, 3840×2160, often known as 4K, was introduced in 2014 for high-end monitors and laptops, with essential scaling. Because HDTV-capable resolutions were a significant selling feature for console games at the time, most titles were built to meet those standards.

SSD

Solid-state drives (SSDs), previously utilized for video game console flashcard storage, have progressed far enough to become consumer choices for ample volume storage, such as 265GB. 

Gaming Specs in the 2020s

In 2020, NVidia and AMD launched graphics cards with hardware support for real-time ray tracing. It was also a key feature of Microsoft and Sony’s future consoles, the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation5, both of which were released in November 2020. Substantial technological advancements also improved the capacity to show extremely realistic textures, enabling photorealism in rendered video game scenes at high resolutions and frame rates. 

Such modifications needed more texture memory storage capacity on the hardware and increased bandwidth between the storage memory and the graphics processor. Both new consoles came with dedicated SSD storage choices meant to enable high-bandwidth storage, which had the added benefit of reducing loading times in many games – especially those with in-game streaming for open-world games.

CP

Starting in 2020, some of the best CPUs for gaming purposes included:

  • AMD Ryzen 95900X with 12 cores, 24 threads, a 3.7 GHz base clock, a 4.8 GHz boost clock, overlocking, a 64 MB L3 Cache, 105W TDP, and 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes
  • Intel Core i5 11600K with six cores, 12 threads, a 3.9 GHz base clock, a 4.9 GHz turbo clock, overlocking, a 12 MB L3 cache, 125W TDP, and 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes

Monitor Resolution

In the 2020s, monitor resolution and other monitor display specs have impressively increased from what gamers used in the 2010s. For instance, some of the best monitor resolutions include:

  • LG UltraGear 38GN950 with a screen size of 38 inches, 21:9 aspect ratio, a resolution of 3840 x 1600, 1ms response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio, DCI-P3 98% color support, and a viewing angle of 178/178
  • Gigabyte Aorus FV43U with a screen size of 43 inches, aspect ratio of 16:9, 3840 x 2160 resolution, 4000:1 contrast ratio, and color support of 97% DCI-P3/ 150% Srgb/ 99% AdobeRGB

Graphics Cards

High-end graphic cards or GPUs were not required for older video games. However, currently, with the advancement of other gaming requirements, some of the best GPUs used in the 2020s include:

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 (152.7 fps)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (148.1 fps)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (142.8 fps)

There will undoubtedly be more advancements and upgrades in the gaming specifications for the next decade – such as virtual reality, higher graphics, simulations, etc.