Let's face it – personal computes are no longer work horses only. Since many years people use them for playing different games. And while some games do not require any upgrade of your home PC, other games require monster machines.
PC gaming is becoming an expensive hobby. When it comes to real time strategy games, the hole in your budget can become even bigger.
Well, it is true that not all of the RTS games available require a complete upgrade of your computer. The older versions of many games such as Starcraft, Warcraft and Age of Empires will run on an average PC. However the most recent versions of most of the RTS games will ask for a better chipset, a great video card and a lot of RAM.
You may be upset that this is the way the story goes – you need expensive PC parts not for work but for gaming. However every new feature takes its toll. Newest RTS games have stunning 3D graphics, movies and a lot of game play elements that just will not work on a regular machine.
What do you need to play RTS games in terms of hardware? The best thing to do is to check the requirements of the games you want to play. In general there are several things you should consider.
3D graphics acceleration is one of the common requirements of most of the RTS games. Before this was a non standard feature however nowdays all of the PCs and even laptops have it. It is essential as it handles many of the 3D functions instead of asking the processor to handle them.
Direct X is also something many games require. You will need the version a specific game needs and in many occasions you will not need to buy a new video card.
The RAM is the other thing that effects smooth game play. 256MB of Ram is the minimum you need. Since Ram is not that expensive, add some of course f your motherboard allows it.
Video cards are also one of the most important PC hardware parts for an RTS game. While you may have a great video card your favorite RTS game may not run well on it. This is because gaming video cards have different functions than the standard ones. You will have to check carefully what the requirements of the game are and than go for a new card as video cards are expensive.