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What to upgrade to play Skyrim

Last response: in Video Games
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May 2, 2012 3:38:39 PM

Hi all

I am looking at upgrading my computer to the level where I can play Skyrim on a low or medium setting. My current computer setup is:
CPU: AMD Athlon 5200B 2.7Ghz Dual Core

RAM: 2GB DDR2

Graphics card:Nvidia Gefore 6160se nForce 430 ( It scores 3.5 on windows experience index so must be terrible!)

What needs to be upgraded? I have heard Skyrim is pretty CPU dependent so what will I need to go up to.
And on the confusing topic of graphics cards I have been prowling ebay for ones below £40 and have found:

NVIDIA GeForce GT520 1024MB
GeForce GT 210 PCI Express 2.0 1GB DDR3 589MHz
VTX3D ATI Radeon 5450 HD 1GB
ATI Radeon HD 6450 1GB
GeForce 9400 GT 512 MB

Does anyone have any experience with any of those are can recommend one?

Many thanks

More about : upgrade play skyrim

a c 355 U Graphics card
May 3, 2012 9:40:32 PM

Skyrim requires a good CPU and graphic card (GPU). Both of yours are considered weak, but your integrated graphics is definitely the weaker of the two. So if you can only afford to upgrade one item, then it's the GPU.

All those cards you listed are not considered gaming cards, but if you only have a limited budget, then there's nothing you can really do about it. The nVidia GT 520 is probably the best of the bunch for your situation; however you will likely need to set a low resolution (1280x1024 or 1366x768) and low graphics to play the game.

I would avoid Radeon HD cards because they are PCI-e 2.1 cards. There have been a few confirmed cases where a PCI-e 2.1 will not work in a PCI-e 1.0 slot. It's uncommon, but if it doesn't work, then that means you would need to ship back the card.
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May 4, 2012 8:31:26 AM

blackstar26 said:
Thanks for the reply, you reckon the GT 520 would the best of them? http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car... They say the GT 520 isnt that good.
I upped my budget slightly more how much of an improvement would these be:
GeForce GT 220
GeForce GT 430
GeForce GT 440


gt 440 DDR 5 will be a good upgrade, you can run the game at high , well for shadows set to medium or low, view distance maxed distance object detail medium, object fade enabled, (but in your case, since your running a dual core, I doubt it will lag at this settings)

if you don't mind spending a bit more, go with a 6670 DDR5

note: it won't maxed out the game, well atleast at 1280x1024 will be a decent resolution or lower.


what is your monitor size anyways?
May 4, 2012 10:32:24 AM

£40-£50 I would be watching Ebay auctions on GT450 or GTX550ti the lesser known brand names (palit, sparkle, inno3d) tend to fall around that mark.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASUS-GeForce-GT-S-450-1024-MB...

Your really applying elastoplast to a dying system though maybe time to think about soldiering on with what you have and saving hard to rebuild the entire thing even a modest £220 build is going to outpace what you run now (assuming we can reuse PSU, HDD and case)

example being

http://www.cclonline.com/product/26600/HDZ965FBGMBOX/CP...
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz

http://www.cclonline.com/product/76238/GA-78LMT-S2P/Mot...
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Motherboard

http://www.cclonline.com/product/53715/991769/Desktop-M...
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB DDR3

http://www.cclonline.com/product/78590/NE5X55T0FHD09/Gr...
PALIT Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 TI Graphics Card 1GB

Total £222.13
a b U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 11:25:23 AM

With that kind of buget I have seen Radeon 4870s sell for that in auctions and its far better than any mentioned but no direct X11. I use 1 myself and it plays Skyrim on high.
May 4, 2012 3:01:28 PM

hushinimi said:
gt 440 DDR 5 will be a good upgrade, you can run the game at high , well for shadows set to medium or low, view distance maxed distance object detail medium, object fade enabled, (but in your case, since your running a dual core, I doubt it will lag at this settings)

if you don't mind spending a bit more, go with a 6670 DDR5

note: it won't maxed out the game, well atleast at 1280x1024 will be a decent resolution or lower.


what is your monitor size anyways?


I can go as far as a 6670 just found one on sale. Will I need to upgrade my power supply to use it?
May 4, 2012 3:04:07 PM

722762,5,1119689 said:
£40-£50 I would be watching Ebay auctions on GT450 or GTX550ti the lesser known brand names (palit, sparkle, inno3d) tend to fall around that mark.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASUS-GeForce-GT-S-450-1024-MB...

Your really applying elastoplast to a dying system though maybe time to think about soldiering on with what you have and saving hard to rebuild the entire thing even a modest £220 build is going to outpace what you run now (assuming we can reuse PSU, HDD and case)

Why have I got a dying system. I am no hardcore gamer and dont need a fantastic computer, just something decent enough to get by on.
May 4, 2012 3:22:51 PM

Because your parts are soon to beome "legacy", you dont need to be hardcore to upgrade your at a point where upgrades are not worth it.

2GB DDR2 - Trust me that will soon want doubling or quadrupling and DDR2 is expensive as DDR3 is now standard and has been a while

AMD Athlon 5200B 2.7Ghz Dual Core - ok theres some life left in this but really its reaching the end it will stagger somewhat on modern titles.

Your just at a point where ok upgrading the GPU can be good as it can carry over to other builds but things like the CPU and RAM any upgrades using that existing motherboard are going to cost alot for little return. Its sort of a point where I just think soldiering on with that setup until you can afford a large step forward in tech makes more sense. You could drop £100 (excluding GPU) on your current rig and maybe extend its life by under a year or as linked above £140 (excluding the GPU) would keep you going alot longer.

Hope that clears it up I basically meant your at a point where upgrads aren't really value for money :) 
May 4, 2012 3:43:06 PM

wr6133 said:
Because your parts are soon to beome "legacy", you dont need to be hardcore to upgrade your at a point where upgrades are not worth it.

2GB DDR2 - Trust me that will soon want doubling or quadrupling and DDR2 is expensive as DDR3 is now standard and has been a while

AMD Athlon 5200B 2.7Ghz Dual Core - ok theres some life left in this but really its reaching the end it will stagger somewhat on modern titles.

Your just at a point where ok upgrading the GPU can be good as it can carry over to other builds but things like the CPU and RAM any upgrades using that existing motherboard are going to cost alot for little return. Its sort of a point where I just think soldiering on with that setup until you can afford a large step forward in tech makes more sense. You could drop £100 (excluding GPU) on your current rig and maybe extend its life by under a year or as linked above £140 (excluding the GPU) would keep you going alot longer.

Hope that clears it up I basically meant your at a point where upgrads aren't really value for money :) 


Ah that makes sense and yeah, I was looking at upgrading my ram but it costs like thirty quid for 2 more gb. On a side note, my computer is 64-bit and yet when I run Crucial memory scanner it says I can only upgrade to 4gb. I thought 64 bit computers can utilise 8gb of ram.
I think in that case I will just upgrade the graphics card and when the time comes where its useless buy a new computer.
May 4, 2012 3:47:27 PM

The memory limit may be your motherboard. Graphics card can always be carried over to a new build so its the one thing you can upgrade without worrying about little return 6670 and 440 you will not need a new PSU to run it. The 450's and 550's I linked you may need a new PSU as they require a 6 pin PCIe connector.
May 4, 2012 4:16:54 PM

Lesson learnt: when you see a good deal snap it up before it goes. The 6670 as sold out.
How good is the 6770?
May 5, 2012 6:46:29 AM

blackstar26 said:
Lesson learnt: when you see a good deal snap it up before it goes. The 6670 as sold out.
How good is the 6770?



I think 6770 is close to the gtx550 ti in terms of performance, well a bit I think( not sure)
but Definitely the 6770 is good card for skyrim @ultra settings with shadows set to medium or low perhaps high . directx9 and of course, without anti-aliasing . Rest assure skyrim will look great at those setting's

what brand/model your power supply is? if it's a generic one, a upgrade is really recommended for a 6770 :) 

just gonna give you some suggestion though this is very very similar to 6770, a 7770 uses less power than a 6770 and performs a bit more. not sure but... I think this needs a 6 pin pci-e connector too and good amount of amps from the power supply

lastly, someone please confirm ... the 7770 will work on his pci-e 2.0 right?
May 5, 2012 9:05:14 AM

6770 I wouldn't say is an ultra running card but its a good entry level one.

It does require 1 6 pin PCIe power connector so you need to open your rig up and check if your PSU has one if not you will need a PSU upgrade as well

This is Cheap and very good quality and has the required connectors

http://www.cclonline.com/product/55411/P1-450S-XXB9/Pow...
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