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Ars system mini-guide: Summer GPU refresh edition, aka “can it run Starfield”?

Enlarge / The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, 7800 XT, and 7600. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Two big things have happened since we last updated our PC build guide in the spring. First, we got a batch of late-spring and summer midrange GPU launches, including AMD’s Radeon RX 7600, 7700 XT, and 7800 XT, plus Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4060 and 4060 Ti. Second, Bethesda’s Starfield finally dropped, prompting a whole bunch of people to ask “can my PC run Starfield?”

Starfield isn’t an exceptionally demanding PC game, at least not by the standards set by buggy PC ports like The Last of Us. But it will give any PC more than 3 or 4 years old a serious workout, and it should serve as a decent yardstick for building a PC that can run this console generation’s games fairly well.

This guide will focus on just minor tweaks to our spring PC builds, since other component pricing hasn’t changed much and there haven’t been major CPU introductions since then (Intel’s don’t-call-them-14th-generation Core processors may be out within a few months, but on the desktop they’ll be a mild refresh of 13th-gen, which was already a mild refresh of 12th-gen).

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