Need a new graphics card for Skyrim 7 replies

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Sunjo

Graphic Designer

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14th December 2009

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#1 4 years ago

Allow me to explain my situation first:

I've modded the hell out of Skyrim with over 100 mods, and got it running stable without glitches or anything of that nature, but my current card simply doesn't have enough VRAM to support playing Skyrim with a decent framerate.

So I figure it's about time to buy a new card, as my current one is about 4 years old now. So, my main goal with this card is:

Playing skyrim with a completely remodeled game (2-4k HD textures for everything) with ENB and modded cities and such, all of that extremely VRAM intensive stuff, at 40+ FPS minimum.

I'm actually pretty damn pleased with the Radeon 5850 I have now. I've been able to play the Witcher 2, and Kingdoms of Amalur both on near-max settings above 30 FPS, and both of those games were released LONG after I bought the card. But at this point it's definitely time for an upgrade, and I'm itching to re-play Skyrim fully modded.

I'm currently running a single monitor at 1920x1080, and will never run a dual monitor setup, so that's not a concern at all. I'd also like to make sure the card I choose is as future ready as possible, but regardless, the two I'm looking at right now are:

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-N760OC-4GD REV2.0 GeForce GTX 760 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-R927XOC-4GD Radeon R9 270X 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card

The reason I've chosen these two is specifically for the 4GB of VRAM, which I know is useless for 99% of games, but for a modded Skyrim I understand that it's essential, as Skyrim will (supposedly) easily cap out that 4GB when modded. (this may be false however, and the 3GB of some radeon cards may be sufficient.)

I also want to stay below $300, but if there's a FAR better card out there and I only need to spend $50 more, I'd be okay with that, and of course if there's a far cheaper card that will run Skyrim the way I want with the FPS I want, I'm open to that too, even if it'll suffer on other games.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#2 4 years ago

I don't know much about current GPUs, but Skyrim is a very CPU intensive game if I remember correctly. So aside from buying a nice new graphics card you should consider whether your CPU might be a bottleneck. Skyrim wasn't really optimized for parallel processing, from what I remember, so a good idea may be to overclock whichever CPU you have.

And since Skyrim loads a lot of stuff whenever you enter or leave buildings I definitely recommend buying a SSD if you don't have one already.




Sunjo

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14th December 2009

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#3 4 years ago

MrFancypants;5733341I don't know much about current GPUs, but Skyrim is a very CPU intensive game if I remember correctly. So aside from buying a nice new graphics card you should consider whether your CPU might be a bottleneck. Skyrim wasn't really optimized for parallel processing, from what I remember, so a good idea may be to overclock whichever CPU you have.

And since Skyrim loads a lot of stuff whenever you enter or leave buildings I definitely recommend buying a SSD if you don't have one already.

I'm not currently having any problems with load times due to the specific way in which I've modded my game. Also CPU power isn't a problem at all. I'm running an i5-750 which I can overclock to extreme limits due to how good my cooler is. From my understanding only specific things utilize CPU power, such as mesh improvements, and adding elements to the game. ENB and hi-res textures use VRAM.

Plus there's the fact that my CPU never goes over 45% load when playing, even with all of the changes I've made. (even in the most CPU intensive environments, I'll average about 40% load.)




FileTrekker Über Admin

I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons.

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#4 4 years ago

My new computer has Intel Core i5 4570 3.2 GHz with 8GB of Ram and a Nvidia GTX 660 and I can play Skyrim similar to your setup at 60FPS easy.


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



Sunjo

Graphic Designer

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14th December 2009

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#5 4 years ago

So I've just found out that Skyrim can only utilize 3GB of VRAM, so I went ahead and bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FSC5N66/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Looks like a great deal, and a phenomenal card. Thanks for the replies.




Supa

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1st April 2009

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#6 4 years ago

Lets be real, my laptop can run Skyrim. It's all about the CPU, graphics plays a very small role. Most of the processing involved is area and drawing, unless you're using the HD texture pack, then the GPU will play a much larger role. If you're modding the hell out of it, I don't see why you wouldn't be using an HD texture pack.




D3matt

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#7 4 years ago

Sunjo;5733342I'm not currently having any problems with load times due to the specific way in which I've modded my game. Also CPU power isn't a problem at all. I'm running an i5-750 which I can overclock to extreme limits due to how good my cooler is. From my understanding only specific things utilize CPU power, such as mesh improvements, and adding elements to the game. ENB and hi-res textures use VRAM.

Plus there's the fact that my CPU never goes over 45% load when playing, even with all of the changes I've made. (even in the most CPU intensive environments, I'll average about 40% load.)

Overall load is rarely important for gaming, you want to look at the per-core load. If none of your cores are over 45%, you're good, by it's quite possible you could have 1 or 2 cores being nearly maxed out and the other 2 at idle, which could produce 45% overall load levels.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#8 4 years ago

Sunjo;5733357So I've just found out that Skyrim can only utilize 3GB of VRAM, so I went ahead and bought this:

Amazon.com: XFX RADEON Double D R9 280X 1000MHz BOOST Ready 3GB DDR5 2XmDP HDMI 2XDVI Graphics Cards R9-280X-TDFD: Computers & Accessories

Looks like a great deal, and a phenomenal card. Thanks for the replies.

Looks like you'll have a nice system for modded Skyrim. Have fun and post some screenshots!