Expect a 3 GHz processor and 4-5 GB RAM to be the minimum by 2015

Shopping for a new computer? As technology continues to change rapidly, it’s something that many of us have gotten used to doing every few years. A computer that’s more than five years old is getting long in the tooth; more than seven or eight years, and it’s downright geriatric.

Though computers are fairly reasonably priced — you can order a Dell online for just a few hundred dollars if you’re only looking for the basics — a new machine is still a considerable investment.

If you’re in the market for one right now, you’ll want something that will stay useful for at least a few years.

To get a sense of how quickly computers are changing, I took a quick look at the minimum requirements for nine video games designed for PCs, one released early each year from 2000 through 2008. By doing a bit of regression analysis of the rate at which the minimum requirements changed in each of the eight years, I came up with an estimate of what the minimum requirements will be for popular games in 2015.

  • In the first half of this decade, new games generally required a 400 MHz processor or less. Since 2005, a processor running at at least 1 GHz has routinely been a must. By my estimate, by 2015 you’ll need a processor running at least 3 GHz.
  • For most of the past decade, if your computer had at least 256 MB RAM, you were probably okay. Newer programs require 512 MB to 1 GB RAM. By my estimate, new programs will require 4-5 GB RAM by 2015.
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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

2 Responses to Expect a 3 GHz processor and 4-5 GB RAM to be the minimum by 2015

  1. Fat Arse says:

    Err,…. ahem… what’s that RAM thingy? And does this mean playing Solitaire drunk is going to require a new ‘puter by 2015?

  2. theviewfromseven says:

    LOL. You should still have a number of years left of playing Solitaire drunk — but the 2015 version of “Captain Morbid: Battle of Doom 3” (or whatever that year’s hit game is called) will probably need lots of power and memory.

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