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Skyrim - Which computer is better?

Tags:
  • PC gaming
  • Computers
  • Skyrim
  • Video Games
Last response: in Video Games
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January 31, 2013 12:42:32 PM

Hi,

I'm a bit of a newcomer to PC tech so please bear with me if this seems obvious. I want to play Skyrim - but getting it working isn't the problem, it's deciding which computer to run it on out of a choice of two, both of which are a bit above the min specs.

The first is a desktop, around five years old. Specs: Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q8200 2.33Ghz, 4GB Ram, GeForce 9600 GS 768MB.

The other is a laptop, around a year and a half old. Specs: Intel Core i5 CPU M 480 2.67GHz, 6GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 1GB.

Either way, I'll be wanting to play on my 1680x1050 monitor.

The laptop looks more powerful in every way to my untrained eye. However, reading up about the subject suggests that a laptop's power is always lower when converted into desktop terms (especially with respect to graphics cards). If anyone can give me any advice on which is the more powerful computer for Skyrim and gaming generally (and maybe even suggested tweaks for making the most out of both), I'd be very grateful.

More about : skyrim computer

January 31, 2013 12:47:52 PM

laptop has newer hardware but you cant upgrade it
with desktop you can upgrade it down the road to a amd 7750 graphics
January 31, 2013 1:22:08 PM

I should have clarified - I already have access to both of these computers right now, I'm not asking which one should I buy (I'm saving to build a new desktop but that won't be for several months), but which one of these two is the more powerful - i.e. will be able to run Skyrim more smoothly on higher settings. The laptop is definitely newer and seems to have the numbers on its side, but I've heard so many people say that laptop performance is altogether lower than desktop that I want to know if it really is more powerful, and perhaps know what factors are involved.
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January 31, 2013 1:29:58 PM

I'd say laptop will be faster...if you have both it would not hurt to install fraps and skyrim on both and see which one gives you better frame rates lol
January 31, 2013 1:52:19 PM

See, this is exactly the obvious thing I wouldn't have thought to try...

So, I gave it a go - installed fraps on both, tried them on min settings (except view distances, but both were set to same levels), had a quick wander around the same area using the same monitor.

And the desktop was running about double the frame rate (34-40 compared to 17-20). The weird thing was that when I'd tried to compare the two computers by feel before, I'd had real trouble trying to work out which was faster, but now I've seen it in numbers, the laptop just feels so much slower. So I guess desktops are more powerful...
January 31, 2013 2:19:42 PM

i would just get the parts you need to play skyrim well on the computer like a new cpu and gpu and ram .etc
January 31, 2013 2:26:44 PM

Yeah, I knew I wouldn't get anything like top performance from this ageing machine - I'm just proud of it for running it at all. Hopefully I can tweak the settings a bit more and get a slightly higher frame rate

Reading all this stuff about PC performance has given me the desire to either upgrade this old desktop or maybe build a new machine from scratch - either way, get something really powerful... (EDIT - I would start upgrading right now but money's a little tight just after Christmas)
January 31, 2013 7:22:45 PM

OH MY GOD TO THAT FIRST GUY WHO ANSWERED; DUDE ARE YOU NUTS!? (incoming all caps rage) ARE YOU NUTS BRAH? THE 9600GSO IS COMPARED TO THE 6670! JUST CAUSE ITS OLD DOESNT MEAN ITS CRAP! THE ONLY THING THE 9600GSO LACKS IS DIRECTx11 and LESSER POWER CONSUMPTION! I OWN IT!

As to what OP asked, The desktop (Despite being older) would beat the laptop with the graphical horse power and better performance as every thing runs as its meant to on desktops and laptop processors are just cut down versions of their desktop counterparts (cut down in speed and voltage to ensure better battery life) i apologize for the lack of information that guy in the first reply had. Enjoy THF
!