Rockstar game reviewed

GTA 4 (PC): Graphics settings compared plus system requirements

With GTA 4 the most hyped title of the year has been released for the PC. This article reveals what hardware is required to roam Liberty City and what visual appearance you can expect.
GTA 4 (picture: PCGH)
GTA 4 (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]
GTA 4 (PC): Engine and system requirements
GTA 4 (PC) is based on two engines at the same time - Rage (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine) and Euphoria. The first one is the actual game engine that is responsible for shadows reflections and all the other things. Natural Motion's Euphoria Engine is solely used for the NPCs, their movements and the ragdoll system. Those things are calculated in real-time.

Without a powerful dual or quad-core CPU gamers won't be too happy with GTA 4 - the power of the graphics card is only secondary as long as it is a up-to-date device. This can be seen in the system requirements, too, since as the processor is concerned they beat almost everything currently known. You should also be serious about the Service Packs because without SP1 (Vista) respectively SP3 (XP) GTA 4 will not start. By the way: after some minutes playing with maximal details, the GTA4.exe needs about 1.8 GiByte RAM.

Minimal system requirements
• Operating system: Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1
• Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.4 GHz
• RAM: 1,5 GiByte
• Hard drive: 16 GiByte
• Graphics card: Geforce 7900 with 256 MiByte / Radeon X1900 with 256 MiByte
• Internet

Recommended system requirements
• Operating system: Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1
• Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz / AMD Phenom X3 2.1 GHz
• RAM: 2.0 GiByte (XP) / 2.5 GiByte (Vista)
• Hard drive: 18 GiByte
• Graphics card: Geforce 8600 with 512 MiByte / Radeon HD 3870
• Internet

GTA 4 (PC): The video options
GTA 4 can be configured "on the fly”, a fact that can be almost called unusual for console ports, but if the texture quality is changed the game has to be restarted. AF work well via the driver, but we currently don't know a way to activate FSAA. The shadows cannot be activated; with minimal shadows density they become brighter and the dithering effect is reduced.

GTA 4: The video options (picture: PCGH)
GTA 4: The video options (picture: PCGH) [Source: view picture gallery]

All screenshots were taken at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,200 pixels on Geforce GTX 280. They were downsized to 1,280 x 800. On the following pages and in the gallery you can find some comparative pictures.

In order to set maximal details indented of the available video memory you need to extend the shortcut targeted at the "GTA4Launcher.exe” with the parameters "-norestrictions" and "-nomemrestrict".

Author: Marc Sauter (Dec 03, 2008)

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