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Half-Life: Alyx system requirements – the best gear to nail the PC specs

The minimum specs for Half-life: Alyx have been revealed... and it's good news for most gamers

The Half-life: Alyx system requirements have been revealed. Well, in part. The minimum PC specs for Valve’s “killer VR app” have been listed on the Steam store page and essentially detail the bare minimum PC specs for virtual reality gaming. That means if you’re already rocking a VR gaming PC then you’ve already got a system ready for the March Half Life: Alyx release date.

Half Life: Alyx is a prequel set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, will be available across Steam VR-compatible headsets, and will require just the bare minimum of last-gen mainstream graphics card grunt in order to run. Half-Life: Alyx will only be available to play in VR, and could single-handedly sell more VR headsets than all other games on the platform put together. And maybe even spawn a new VR spectator sport too.

If you rank among the fans waiting patiently for over a decade, and are perhaps a little worried for your gaming PC’s aptitude for VR, don’t fret. Valve has published the minimum spec for its upcoming Half-Life game and they are none too distressing for even modest rigs built in the past few years.

Half-Life: Alyx system requirements

Half-Life: Alyx minimum PC specs
CPU Intel Core i5 7500 | AMD Ryzen 5 1600
GPU GTX 1060 6GB | RX 580 8GB
RAM 12GB DDR4

Minimum PC specs

Processors
The basic PC specs for Half-Life: Alyx aren’t far off the minimum specs for the Valve Index, except we’re looking at a straight quad-core Intel CPU in the Core i5 7500. That’s a real old processor now, but with enough single threaded grunt for gaming. The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is one of the best first-gen Ryzen chips, packing six cores and 12 threads, but is stlll a last-last-gen processor.

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Graphics cards
The choice of GPU points to effectively the mainstream graphics cards of three years ago from both AMD and Nvidia. The RX 580 and GTX 1060 are both still quality GPUs and the most common AMD and Nvidia cards in the Steam hardware survey.

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Memory
With Valve opting for a minimum system requirement of 12GB of DDR4 memory, that’s where most people will fall down on hitting the lowest PC spec for Half-Life: Alyx. Though 16GB kits are nowhere near as pricey as they once where, it’s not such a hardship.

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You will also have to purchase a VR headset if you haven’t already. All of the best VR headsets support Half-life: Alyx, which supports SteamVR across the board. That includes the Valve Index, HTC Vive Cosmos, Oculus Rift S, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

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Valve hasn’t yet released its own recommended Half-Life: Alyx system requirements, but we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make you our own recommendations. After all, you’re going to want your first taste of Half-Life since “No… don’t leave me” to be looking good and playing as well as humanly possible.

Half-Life: Alyx recommended PC spec
CPU Intel Core i7 9700K | AMD Ryzen 5 3600
GPU RTX 2070 Super | AMD RX 5700 XT
RAM 16GB DDR4

Recommended PC spec

Processors
Virtual reality gaming isn’t too demanding on the ol’ CPU front, but we’d still recommend having a decent processor to marshal the graphics card troops. We’re suggesting either a straight eight-core Intel Core i7 9700K or a current-gen AMD Ryzen 5 3600… realistically of the two we’d lean more heavily towards AMD’s six-core, 12-thread chip.

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Graphics cards
This is where the Half-Life: Alyx frame rate battle will be won or lost, with your installed GPU. The minimum specs speak of pretty minimal system requirements, but to nail the 90fps+ needed to match the refresh rate of the Valve Index can deliver you’ll need some beefy graphics. We’d suggest either the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super or the AMD RX 5700 XT. Given the current state of drivers… the GeForce GPU might be the safer option.

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Memory
A straight 16GB of system memory should be enough for Half-Life: Alyx, but we’d maybe suggest getting something with a little extra oomph. A decent 16GB kit rated at 3,600MHz would be a good start, especially with an AMD Ryzen system. And you might as well get an RGB kit, right?

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Valve is definitely hoping to drive further sales of its flagship VR headset, the Index, with Half-life: Alyx. It’s introduced bonuses for Valve Index owners and anyone who purchases before 2019 – including skins, CS:GO content, and SteamVR environments. If you want to see how the new VR killer app might run on your machine check out CYRI and give its config tool a whirl.

As if Half-life fans needed any other excuse to play the closest game to Half-Life 3 in over a decade…

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