Can My PC Run Age of Empires 4?

Image credit: Relic Entertainment, World's Edge

It’s the Middle Ages in England, except everything is in technicolor and the graphics are absolutely *chef’s kiss* crisp and clean.

From the trailer alone, you can tell that this will be an interesting addition to the Age of Empires franchise. At this point, the only question left unanswered is, can your PC run Age of Empires IV?

Looking at a bunch of specs might be slightly helpful, but what we have gathered are also tips and tricks that will help you run the game smoothly even in minimum specs. We have also listed our recommended items at affordable price points to give you a clearer picture of what you can buy for your new PC or as an upgrade.

Age of Empires 4 Minimum System Requirements

CPU: Intel Core i5-6300U, AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

GPU: Intel HD 520, AMD Radeon RX Vega 11

Storage: At least 50 GB space available

RAM: 8 GB

Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit

CPU

The minimum specifications for the processor are an Intel Core i5-6300U or an AMD Ryzen 5 2400G. The game devs did not recommend a higher processor but they did specify that it should be a 6-core 3.6 GHz chip that supports advanced vector extensions.

Based on user benchmarks, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G outperforms the i5-6300U, including its overall speed and value. It also has integrated graphics that can support a lot of esport titles.

As for the recommended specs, we can think of two specific processors that you should consider. First is the Ryzen 5 3600 and the second one is the Intel Core i5-9600K.

We recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 for a number of reasons. First is that it blows its Intel competition out of the water. There isn’t an apples to apples comparison, but either way, Ryzen 5 3600 just seems to be the better option. For example, the 9600K is definitely faster than the 3600 but it’s also more expensive and has lesser threads. You’d also need a better motherboard to support overclocking on the i5-9600K.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is being retailed for a hefty $270, but it’s definitely worth it especially for that price point.

GPU

It would seem like Age of Empires 4 doesn’t require a beefy stock when it comes to the graphics card. The minimum requirement is something as basic as an integrated graphics like Intel HD 520, or an AMD Radeon RX Vega 11.

Meanwhile, the devs recommend an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, an AMD Radeon RX 570, and anything equivalent or higher with 4 GB VRAM and support for DirectX 12.

For something cheaper but definitely performs better compared to the GTX 970, go with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with a 6 GB VRAM. It retails for $290, around $50 cheaper than the GTX 970, but is overall faster, shows better framerates, and its value is being retained years after its release.

We personally think there is no need for you to splurge on your GPU. Instead, get the best possible CPU that your money can buy.

RAM

Age of Empires 4 can run with a RAM that is as low as 8 GB. On the other hand, the game devs recommend a RAM of 16 GB.

Real time strategy games like Age of Empires 4 can be notoriously RAM intensive. This is because players will most likely generate a lot of moving units while they are playing. They will build armies, buildings, and just generally have hundreds of units at a single time.

Because these units are being read and addressed by your RAM in real-time, the load on your RAM and CPU will be heavy.

The price of 8 GB RAMs usually lie between $30 to $45. For 16 GB RAMs, you can find one for as low as $60 but no higher than $100, even for good brands.

Now, the difference might technically be double, but in hindsight, it’s relatively minor especially since the spec also doubled.

Get a 16 GB RAM and don’t look back.

Storage

You should prep your PC and allocate a storage of at least 50 GB.

Why is it so big, you ask? Well, that’s just how real time strategy games are, especially this one. It has 4k textures for the units as well as the settings and maps, 2D animation, the numerous campaigns, the music, and just a whole lot of things.

Obviously, your computer won’t run without a hard disk drive. We recommend 1 TB HDDs from the likes of WD, SeaGate, or Travelstar if you’re looking for something more affordable. The price range is between $35 to as high as $110.

Though it isn’t necessary, apps and games just load faster in a solid state drive. This is why we highly recommend that you get one, with a memory of at least 500 GB. For as low as $55, you can get a WD Black SN750. Double that amount and you will have a WD Black SN850 with 1 TB capacity.

Operating System

The minimum and recommended system requirements are the same: “a 64-bit processor and operating system”. You would think that any 64-bit operating system can pass the test, right? Unfortunately, immediately after the vague sentence from the devs is a specification that you should play the game in Windows 10 64-Bit.

If you’re a Windows 7 user, we know the question that is on your mind is, “can my PC run Age of Empires 4?”. The short answer is, yes, your Windows 7 can probably still run the game.

The structural difference between the two operating systems isn’t that big, and Windows 7 still comes with a compatibility mode.

Though, our take on this is that you should upgrade nonetheless because Microsoft’s support to Windows 7 has ended in 2020. This means, Windows 7 will no longer be receving updates and fixes, and a lot of times, game crashing issues stem from updates, or the lack thereof.

If you don’t want to spend more than a $100 for a new OS, and if you have a licensed one, you can head over to the Microsoft website with the download Windows 10. Don’t forget to save or backup your files.

Summary

Before you dominate the lands, make sure the game doesn’t dominate your PC.

Based on our observation, the two most important things that you should spend on are the CPU and the RAM. Real time strategy games are known for really taking up as much as possbile from these two components.

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