Law Abiding Engineer May 7, 2014 @ 11:47am
How can I improve my computer for Skyrim?
I've been slowly upgrading or changing things with my computer in order to be able to enjoy games more. One of the things I want to be able to do, is to possibly be able to play games like Skyrim, on Ultra graphics, or even be able to use those ENB mods. However, I feel like I am at a bottleneck somewhere with my system because for the time being, I'm able to play the game on medium to medium-high with absolutely no lag, and high fps, and play on High with very minimal lag (usually areas with massive foliage or visuals going on at once). When i try it on High-Ultra, then things can get stuck at times (less than a second of waiting) or it will stutter when moving.

With that said, the basic specs for my computer are as follows.

OS: Windows 7 64-bit
RAM: 8GB (7.98 usable)
GPU: GeForce gtx 650
Processor: intel core i5-2320 CPU @ 3.00GHz


And as for RAM allocation, I believe there is 1GB of dedicated RAM, and 3GB of shared RAM. So what can I do to improve it or allow it to possibly run the ENB series mods?
Last edited by Law Abiding Engineer; May 7, 2014 @ 4:24pm
Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
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crapmonster May 7, 2014 @ 12:02pm 
Listed specs don't make a whole lot of sense.

Steam>Help> System Information.
J3X May 7, 2014 @ 12:23pm 
Originally posted by Law Abiding Engineer:
And as for RAM allocation, I believe there is 1GB of dedicated RAM, and 3GB of shared RAM. So what can I do to improve it or allow it to possibly run the ENB series mods?
Is it a laptop?

mpd1958 May 7, 2014 @ 12:26pm 
L.A.E., your CPU?: I think you mean your RAM:.

My system is Win 7/64-bit, CPU: i5 Quad Core, GPU: GTX 650 Ti Boost and 6 Gigs of ram and I play high-ultra with only a few stutters here and there. I tried one of the ENBs and didn't like the feel it gave to the game so I got rid of it.
Last edited by mpd1958; May 7, 2014 @ 12:28pm
Law Abiding Engineer May 7, 2014 @ 1:38pm 
Originally posted by J3X:
Is it a laptop?

Desktop

Originally posted by mpd1958:
L.A.E., your CPU?: I think you mean your RAM:.

My system is Win 7/64-bit, CPU: i5 Quad Core, GPU: GTX 650 Ti Boost and 6 Gigs of ram and I play high-ultra with only a few stutters here and there. I tried one of the ENBs and didn't like the feel it gave to the game so I got rid of it.

Those specs sound very similair to mine, aside from the 650 being a 650 Ti boost. i think one thing I will upgrade, not just for games, but jsut for the sake of the computer, is to upgrade the amount of total RAM, and have a decent SSD. Should atleast help the computer boot up and shut down, fast.
Last edited by Law Abiding Engineer; May 7, 2014 @ 1:38pm
Zefram Cochrane May 7, 2014 @ 2:35pm 
Originally posted by Law Abiding Engineer:
One of the things I want to be able to do, is to possibly be able to play games like Skyrim, on Ultra graphics, or even be able to use those ENB mods.

A better graphics card is what you want. Whether you think its worth it is up to you.

i5 isn't a bottleneck I have access to a 10 year old toaster with a dual core E6600, XP and 2 GB RAM and that will play on High quite happily, with the right card.

8 GB RAM is plenty honestly. The game is a 32-bit application and can't use more than 4 GB RAM if it wanted too.
Last edited by Zefram Cochrane; May 7, 2014 @ 2:43pm
God Emperor Of Mankind May 7, 2014 @ 3:15pm 
Try rolling back to an older driver.

I tried the old 320.49(?) for my sli GTX 780's and skyrim is just so much more smoother and stable it's unbelievable.

Compared to the newer drivers the old ones are so much better(atleast for skyrim),
Dmandaman May 7, 2014 @ 3:41pm 
Ram might help a little bit. Always buy ram in pairs so that you can take advantage of the double data rate feature. For example, sticks of 2x2gb 2x4gb 2x8.

Also, in terms of gaming the most important aspect of a computer is the GPU. Then its processor and then ram. Ram is by far the cheapest way to see performance gains.

If you are on a budget then check out something like the 650 ti or 750 ti which should play the latest games on high settings with good frames. If you prefer Amd then go with an r7 260, R9 270 or a 7850.

Also in terms of gaming the most important aspect of a computer is the GPU. Then its processor and then ram. Ram is by far the cheapest way to see performance gains.
rafaelherschel May 7, 2014 @ 3:41pm 
A GTX 660 (or even better a GTX 760) will make a huge difference. Mainly because the 650 and 750 are hampered by limited memory bandwidth.

If you feel your CPU is holding you back in Skyrim, there is a simple solution: reduce the shadow quality. It won’t make a big difference to the visual aspect of the game and is the main reason Skyrim needs a fairly powerful CPU.

The difference between 8GB ram and 16GB ram is minimal. And when it comes to Skyrim possibly non-existent.

A SSD can make a huge difference. Especially if your current drive is slow. Not necessarily for gaming, but definitely when starting up the PC or applications. Look at Samsung or Intel. The Samsung EVO line is fast and affordable, and recently Intel has added some great value for money products.
Alkpaz May 7, 2014 @ 4:05pm 
Titan or GTX 780 ti ATM.. or wait for 2015 when GTX 880 (prolly March since that was the month release of my current GTX 680) comes out.

Dunno about ATI, but the ati 295x2 is lookin pretty good.
Or a Titan Z 12 GB VRAM listed price: $2,999 USD. meh, go with 2 of em fer quad power.
Last edited by Alkpaz; May 7, 2014 @ 4:13pm
Law Abiding Engineer May 7, 2014 @ 4:23pm 
Originally posted by rafaelherschel:
A GTX 660 (or even better a GTX 760) will make a huge difference. Mainly because the 650 and 750 are hampered by limited memory bandwidth.

If you feel your CPU is holding you back in Skyrim, there is a simple solution: reduce the shadow quality. It won’t make a big difference to the visual aspect of the game and is the main reason Skyrim needs a fairly powerful CPU.

The difference between 8GB ram and 16GB ram is minimal. And when it comes to Skyrim possibly non-existent.

A SSD can make a huge difference. Especially if your current drive is slow. Not necessarily for gaming, but definitely when starting up the PC or applications. Look at Samsung or Intel. The Samsung EVO line is fast and affordable, and recently Intel has added some great value for money products.


I did not know that the 660 and 650 had such a difference. I recently tried a 750, but after about 2 hours or so, my pc tower got warm and I had to turn it off. Nothing was ruined, but it was just really warm and almost hot inside it. And yes, I plan on also getting a SSD. I know Im slow in getting one, but that will really help speed up the computer turning on and off.

As for "buying ram in pairs", that's exactly what I plan on doing. According to crucial.com, I have 4 slots, each with 2GB chips in them, and the most I can upgrade to, is two pairs of 4GB. Not sure if I should get a better cooling fan or not, but that can be bought later if the tower gets too warm again.


I think I know what I will do for now. Thank you all very much for your help and understanding. I know I'm not the smartest in computers, but I'm always willing to listen to others and learn from it. :)
jhurt57 May 7, 2014 @ 6:23pm 
I use Windows 7, 64 bit i5 quad core , 8 GB of ram and a GTX 750 ti, and I run on ultra and with mods and have no problem.. useually runs at 60 FPS, but at times drops to 50 ish
rafaelherschel May 8, 2014 @ 12:48am 
Originally posted by jhurt57:
I use Windows 7, 64 bit i5 quad core , 8 GB of ram and a GTX 750 ti, and I run on ultra and with mods and have no problem.. useually runs at 60 FPS, but at times drops to 50 ish

The GTX 750 Ti is a great card. As is the GTX 750. The downside of the card is the limited memory bandwidth which really hampers the card when using AA. Personally I can live with aliasing at 1080 resolution, so AA isn’t that important to me.

I have a GTX 680 card and just for fun I used settings that would be appropriate for a GTX 750 (while aiming at 60 fps). Skyrim still looked pretty great.
MistySun May 8, 2014 @ 1:56am 
In my opinion there isn't much difference between Ultra and High. I stick to High.
Last edited by MistySun; May 8, 2014 @ 1:56am
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Date Posted: May 7, 2014 @ 11:47am
Posts: 13