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How to run Skyrim with a 256mb Graphics Card


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#1
Wallam

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Being the fool that I was, I went ahead and bought Skyrim as soon as it came out, knowing that my the computer upgrade I'm getting at Christmas would let me run everything on great settings. In the meantime, however, I'm not going to sit idly by and not play. So, without further ado, here's everything you need to do to play Skyrim below the minimum requirements. I'm getting 25-30 fps, which is just bareable. Other low end players might find this useful as well.

Very Quick Computer Specs:
3.06 ghz Intel Core 2 duo
4 gb ram
Nvidia GeForce 9400 (with 256mb vram)


First off, don't even pretend that you'll be able to play on Medium Grpahics settings. Put everything on low, and work your way up from there.

General Computer Tweaks
These tips are applicable to all games, not just Skyrim, and they're all useful.
10 Tips How To Make Skyrim Run Faster

Additionally, lowering the pre-render frames (For those with Nvidia graphics cards) will noticeably decrease lag. To do so, head over to your control panel, and under the graphics card #d Settings, find Maximum pre-rendered Frames (The default is 3), and change it to 1. If you don't want it as a universal setting (I sure didn't), they just set it to be used when running TESV.exe


ini tweaks
Disabling Shadows
For some strange reason, shadows cannot be disabled in skyrim, and on low quality settings, they look awful. As such, disabling them is probably the best choice of action for a large performance boost. Head over to your SkyrimPrefs.ini and under [Display], set fInteriorShadowDistance and fShadowDistance to 0.

Increasing Allocated Memory
By default, Skyrim will only use a certain amount of your computer's memory. By adding this to your Skyrim prefs, you can increase the allocated memory to the maximum possible (if you have 4 gigs of ram and are using a 64bit OS), which prevents lag when you walk out into a crowd of people, in battles, etc. It won't increase FPS, but decreases frequency and intensity of FPS drops for smoother gameplay.

[Papyrus]
iMinMemoryPageSize=100000
iMaxMemoryPageSize=5000000
iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes=1800000000

Disable Mouse accleration and vSync
Add the followingline to the bottom of [Display] to disable Vsync: iPresentInterval=0
Additionally, under [Controls], find bmouseAcceleration=1, and change it to 0.

Mods
Skyrim Better Performance upps FPS noticeably without any reduction in Graphics Quality. Great regardless of your settings
TESV Reduced Texture Pack also increases FPS, though there is a slight reduction in Graphics Quality. However, this was the last bit I needed to get the game to a playable state.

More details to come as they're released/discovered/whatever.

PS: If you all have ideas that aren't posted here, feel free to do so, and I'll add them.

Edited by Wallam, 14 November 2011 - 11:49 PM.


#2
JranZu

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That is pretty impressive that you were able to get this running that way. Good Job!!!

I would add this into your skyrim.ini file:

[Papyrus]
iMinMemoryPageSize=100000
iMaxMemoryPageSize=5000000
iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes=1800000000

You may need to change the last file down to a smaller number. That sets Skyrim to use a maximum of 1.8 gigs of you computer memory. If you find it crashing you probably want to change it to something lower. My understanding is that by default it uses 500 megs max. This helped me with lag when moving from one area to another (inside to outside). The information can be found here: http://www.skyrimnex...file.php?id=170

Once again, good job.

#3
Shadowclaimer

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Kudos, massively, this'll help my fiance' run the game on her computer. This morning she wasn't going to install it for fear of low FPS, now we're looking forward to see how well it works.

#4
Wallam

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Added the ini tweaks. I'll be interested to see what patches/mods come out in the next few days to further the process.

#5
latpasko

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download game booster, download advanced system care.

change resolution in skyrim prefs to 640/480
iSize H=480
iSize W=640

change from 32 to 16 bit

#6
harrybobbob1

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when i try to save the file for the ini it says access denied even tho i am the admin on the computer




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