DF2014:System requirements

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This article is about the current version of DF.

If you're looking for information on improving the performance of Dwarf Fortress on your computer, see Maximizing Framerate. For installation instructions, see Installation.

Contents

[edit] OS

  • Windows requires XP SP3 or newer.
  • Linux runs natively or using Wine.
  • Mac OS X needs Intel chip.

[edit] RAM

DF is not particularly RAM-hungry. Expect the process to allocate between 300 and 700 MB with medium regions. With 512MB you may be a bit on the short side, but 1 GB is absolutely sufficient. World Generation can eat up far more than that - it's possible to encounter crashes due to being out of memory. In particular major areas for this to occur are during history, final touches in finalizing sites, and while saving. This is especially problematic with unusual generator configurations, such as worlds with large numbers of megabeasts, caves, civilizations, high or non-existent site and population limits, and very lengthy histories. User-made modifications can also increase the requirements, depending on their nature.

The most important thing to the performance of the game, however, is undoubtedly RAM latency—the amount of lag the RAM has when working. Dwarf Fortress works the RAM every single frame for every single creature, every single item, every single piece of liquid, the temperature of every tile—you get the picture. The gigantic amount of operations working at the same time—which any current processor could handle much faster than what you see—is primarily bottlenecked by RAM latency and RAM speed.

CPU and FPS are mildly correlated, but this correlation has been attributed as a non-causative one. Rather, newer CPUs seem to come with faster RAM, but for the purpose of a Dwarf Fortress computer, RAM is more important.

Dwarf Fortress is still a 32-bit application though, so even if you are experiencing out-of-memory problems with very large worlds and very large embark sites, adding more memory probably won't help either, since the memory usable to Dwarf Fortress is limited to 2GB or 3GB (depending on the platform). As of 0.43.05, 64 bit support is available - it is unknown if this provides any boost to FPS on 64-bit systems.

[edit] SDL vs. Legacy

SDL is a cross-platform application framework. The SDL version of DF runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It includes Baughn's new OpenGL code, which is faster and has more features (including support for PNG tilesets and using scroll wheels).

"Legacy" refers to the (Windows-only) framework Toady used before migrating to SDL. The legacy version is only necessary if the SDL version doesn't work for some reason.

[edit] Experiential reports

[edit] Report format

Please read the report template page before contributing any reports.

[edit] Reports

Configuration type: Self-built PC from 2008

Game info
Game version: v0.34.07
World size: Small
Embark size: 4x4
Age of fort: 1 year
Number of dwarves: 15
Average fps: 100
Default/nondefault raws: default
Tileset in use: Mayday
Amount of stone dug: ~3000
Amount of water and state: About 15 murky pools, no river or stream
Approximate amount of z-levels: 10
RAM usage of game: 622 Mb
Draw mode in init.txt: 2D
PC info
CPU: Intel Core2Quad Q6600 @ 2,4Ghz
MBO: Gigabyte P35-DS3L
RAM: 4Gb DDR2 @ 800Mhz
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD5850
OS: Windows 7 Professional x64

Configuration type: Self-built PC from 2012

Game info
Game version: v0.34.11
World size: Small
Embark size: 4x4
Age of fort: 8 years
Number of dwarves: 232
Average fps: 78
Default/nondefault raws: default
Tileset in use: Mayday
Amount of stone dug: ~1100
Amount of water and state: Frozen river, frozen murky pools, two artifical-made underground rivers
Approximate amount of z-levels: 8
RAM usage of game: 765 Mb
Draw mode in init.txt: 2D
PC info
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3,4 Ghz
MBO: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO
RAM: 8Gb DDR3 @ 1600Mhz
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD5850
OS: Windows 7 Professional x64

Configuration type: Self-built PC from 2012

Game info
Game version: v0.34.11
World size: Small
Embark size: 4x4
Age of fort: 2 years
Number of dwarves: 98
Average fps: ~250
Default/nondefault raws: default
Tileset in use: Mayday
Amount of stone dug: ~1900
Amount of water and state: Frozen river, Frozen Pools
Approximate amount of z-levels: 9
RAM usage of game: 834 Mb
Draw mode in init.txt: 2D
PC info
CPU: Amd Fx-8350 @ 4,8 Ghz
MBO: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 1866 Mhz
GPU: Sapphire Hd 7970 Ghz Vapor X
OS: Windows 7 Professional x64
"System requirements" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: idith inem
Elvish: eritha enotho
Goblin: obsår eted
Human: histek tikes
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