There are several ways to call up information on your system specs. The following is based on Windows 7, but if you're still a die-hard on Windows XP, it's very similar in this regard. See D: for Windows 8 & 10. It should be noted that XP is no longer being supported with updates by Microsoft nor Steam, nor most software apps.
Depending on your operating system, there could be other ways to reach the information. Instructions are readily available by googling it. Example Digital Citizen
Now that you know how to locate your system specs, what does it all mean and how does this affect your PC's performance? The following is a list of the components of system requirements for gaming, what they are and a short explanation of what they do. Each of these components can be upgraded individually. If you find your computer is having difficulty running games, you can change out parts and pieces for a good few years before considering a completely new system. Many people custom build their own computers, and if you're so inclined, this can be considerably cheaper than buying a pre-build. Although there are some advantages to gaming laptops such as mobility, it's doubtful whether they can ever be as powerful as a desktop, although they are making strides on this, and a main disadvantage is that usually most of the hardware cannot be upgraded.
Beware of advice that tells you to take drastic steps when a particular game won't run. There are very often much simpler solutions. Although hardware upgrades will eventually become necessary to play new releases, exhaust all other avenues such as tweaking and modding first. However, if the problem exists with a lot of your games, then it is probably a hardware problem. Possible culprits could be a faulty RAM stick or a failing hard drive.
It's rare for PC games to intentionally be made not to run on the major operating systems of its day, but it does happen. For instance, Halo 2 wasn't made to run on anything before Windows Vista, even though XP was still the prevailing OS. Watch you don't get caught on this as Microsoft is pulling the same dirty trick and now making PC games specifically for Windows 10 only. However, there are ways and means to get older games to run on newer technology, but it's unwise to just assume that they will without researching it first.Compatibility Modes: There's a feature in Windows that allows you to run programs in earlier versions of Windows. This may (or may not) fix an issue with trying to run older games. To access this feature manually on Windows 7 & Windows 10, do the following;
This is the component of the computer that fetches, decodes and executes instructions. Its speed at executing these functions is usually expressed in GHz (Gigahertz). The higher the number is, the faster it processes. Dual cores, quad cores and multiple cores enable faster and faster speeds. If you don't know what you have, you should find this info about your processor in the same place as explained above in "where to find your specs." Games are designed according to the technology of the times and so many older games were made for single core systems and may run too fast on multiple cores. If you have more than one core, one possible solution to fixing such a game, if you are having problems, is to set the game to run on a single core. To do so follow these instructions.
The problem with this method is that you will have to set the affinity every time you want to run the game and sometimes it doesn't take. There is another way to do this that stays in effect until you uninstall the game, but the following method requires being more careful about what you're doing.Warning: Be sure to read all of the information and comments on the following linked sites before downloading and installing. This method may not work on Windows 10. There's a small piece of code called imagecfg.zip that will allow you to set the configuration on any game you want to run on single core for the duration of its installation. Once this file is downloaded, installed and unzipped to the system32 folder or sysWOW64 under the Windows folder in Local disk (C:), you call up your "command prompt" window. Command Prompt is supposed to be located in your Start menu under Accessories, however, in some cases it's hidden (perhaps for your own protection). In Windows XP, I found it by going to Help and searching for it where it conveniently included a link that brought it up. You can also call it up by going to Start > Type in or click Run > and then type in cmd and click OK. In Windows 7, it is located in the Start menu under Accessories, but you need to right click it and run as Administrator. Windows 8 and Windows 10 have slightly different ways of getting there. How-to Geek A window will appear and there will be a file path showing in here that you don't want, so type in cd.. (cd with 2 periods) and press enter, cd.. and press enter, as many times as it takes to get down to only the C:\> prompt as the latest line. TIP: If you are receiving an error message, it may be that you have to run Command Prompt as Administrator. To do so, right click on Command Prompt and click Run as Administrator. NOTE: Many software applications, including games, need Administrator privileges to run, but some people feel that setting your entire computer system to always run as Administrator could present security risks. You can research this matter and decide what's best for your situation. Digital Citizen Once imagecfg is installed, locate your game's main .exe file by right clicking on the game's icon and examining the Properties. (If it's a Steam game you may not find the complete file path here and will have to locate it manually) If you don't clearly understand the instructions from the imagecfg link, go to metzomagic.com and look under Steve's XP (Legacy) games corner where you will find a series of questions, one of which deals with imagecfg and what info to type into Command prompt, which is basically imagecfg -a 0x1 then, in quotes, "the full path to your game's .exe" wherever it is located on your computer. Once done, type the word exit and push enter to quit command prompt. If you uninstall the game and reinstall it, you will have to repeat this process. (IMPORTANT !! In case of problems, backup your original game.exe before inserting the imagecfg command in Command Prompt.) TIP: To get Windows 7 to show the full path, click to highlight the file you want in the Windows Explorer left-hand pane then left click in a blank spot in the address bar.
Without getting overly technical, this is the amount of memory storage available to programs. All programs running on your computer take up a certain amount of memory and compared to text, graphics are memory hogs. In order for your game to run properly, you need a certain amount of memory available to it. Game labels will give you the minimal requirement. (The amount of memory your system has can also be found in your system properties.) If you need more memory, additional memory sticks can be purchased and installed in your tower, but find out how to do this safely first. (not your safety, the computer's) You should consult your motherboard manual as to what kind of memory is compatible with it and what type of slots you have. This memory is not to be confused with hard drive space. Ram memory is used temporarily. As soon as the program/game is closed, it no longer needs the memory and frees up the space. You can regain some memory by disabling unnecessary programs that open when you start your computer. To find out how to do this, you can check out How-to Geek for instructions. Memory can be expressed in megabytes or gigabytes. 1,024 megabytes equals 1 gigabyte. Two 512MB sticks will give you 1GB of memory.