I've been looking at the screenshots and am starting to get worried..
Dell XPS 400 (Gross, I know)
1GB GTX 550 Ti
Pentium 4 3.0Ghz
2 GB RAM
500 watt PSU
19" monitor 1024x1280
Despite its weak appearance, it somehow manages to play Oblivion at max settings with all the texture and environment improvements I could find to put on it (Qarl's Texture Pack, Natural Environments, etc.) and about 200 mods with very respectable framerates (most likely due to my small monitor).
What do you think? If not I can always just... settle for... console.. -_-'
Looking at the rig itself, my little elitist voice at the back of my head starts jumping up and down and shouting at me. But hear me out
I'm going to list a few things, just try my best to show you what you could do if you ever chose to upgrade your rig: your CPU is single core, and whilst running at a respectable speed, isn't really designed or ready for a future in gaming - you want a dual core at least now, with Quad core currently being "ideal" for gaming. 2GB RAM is low - ideally you'd want 4GB RAM, but up to 8GB would benefit (so long as you had a 64-bit OS.) If your OS is 32-bit, you'd need to get a 64-bit version if you ever planned to upgrade your RAM past 4GB. Your GPU is okay, definitely enough for your monitor resolution, but beware - upgrading your monitor to a larger size will cause a drop in performance, so beware.
But after I've got all that out of my system I have to say this:
Skyrim is developed for consoles and PC. That means it'll be designed to run on console, and therefore won't really stretch PC's too far. Sure, there'll be Directx11 integration and options for PC, but it won't be tearing up the rule book.
Oblivion runs on console - Skyrim runs on console...ergo, if you can play Oblivion as you say, you should be able to play Skyrim (though don't necessarily expect maxxed out settings this time around.) I say 'should' because the specs haven't been released yet, so everything anyone says is educated supposition; but as it's developed and released on the same platform as Oblivion, I think we can be fairly secure that if you can play that, you can probably manage this.
Thanks!! I will probably upgrade a little, but there isn't much room to do so. My board will only hold 4 gigs of ram, but i will probably still get a 64-bit os for the improved performance and Directx11 capabilities. The best processor I can get is the Penium D 960 (3.6 Ghz, and the most basic of dual cores). Being an older Dell though, there is absolutely no possibility of overclocking (DXP051 motherboards are locked) and any Core2Duos are a no, no.
p4 is bottlenecking the crap out of your vid card for a start. The cpu will not likey be enough for skyrim. I can't understand why a core 2 duo wont work in that motherboard? what makes you think this? so long as you get one with an FSB that matches the maximum of the motherboard FSB, it will work. I can tell you this, On my computer, fallout 3 drops to 30 fps at times at stock clocks (2.4ghs core 2 duo which is much faster than a 3ghz p4), so you can expect newer games like skyrim to need even more. Also, a 64bit OS doesnt give you improved performance or dx11. 32 bit win7 gives the same performance (even better performance when using under 4gb ram) and gives dx11.
i will probably still get a 64-bit os for the improved performance and Directx11 capabilities
64-bit doesn't improve performance like that. You only need a 64-bit OS if you're using more than 4GB RAM, otherwise it's a waste. 4GB or less? = Stick with 32-bit. Also a 32-bit OS will support DX11 the same as a 64-bit OS so long as it's Windows 7
Right now I'm debating whether I will use my HP Desktop or MacBook Pro (w/BootCamp) to play. Just judging by main specs like processor and ram, the answer is obvious, but I have no clue how items like my video card, hard drive, etc would come into effect. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
[ HP Pavilion Specs ]
* XP Professional x86 | Service Pack 3
* AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 5000+ 2.61GHz
* 8GB DDR2 Memory
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT (1 GB)
* 400GB Hard Drive
[ MacBook Pro Specs ]
* Mac OSX Snow Leopard
* XP Professional x86 | Service Pack 3 (using BootCamp)
* Intel Core i7 2.66GHz
* 4GB DDR3 Memory
* Built-in Intel HD Graphics (288 MB)
* PCIe NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M (512MB)
* 128GB Solid State Drive