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Can Your Rig Run Oblivion?

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July 10, 2006 10:19:30 AM

"Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" boasts some of the most machine-breaking visuals you can get on a PC. However, does your machine have what it takes to achieve a decent Oblivion gaming experience?

Speak out in the Toms's Hardware reader survey!

More about : rig run oblivion

July 10, 2006 10:42:12 AM

With my current video card yes. With my 5700 yes but only with the "oldblivion" patch to drop the shaders down 1.something.
July 10, 2006 11:02:33 AM

My rig can certainly run Oblivion.
After building my rig, my wallet can't run purchasing it.
Related resources
July 10, 2006 11:51:01 AM

In short: Yes
July 10, 2006 12:23:08 PM

So do you think it's worth the extra $40 to get an x1800GTO over a 7600GT to play Oblivion? The x1800GTO did better in the more demanding areas, but the 7600GT put up some impressive numbers as well.
July 10, 2006 12:31:02 PM

Since it's not so cpu-demanding, my quite outdated rig (xp2400+, 9600Pro) can run it, but at the settings it's not eye-candy, rather eye-sore :?

mad_fitzy: oldblivion?
Sounds interesting. Does it allow Oblivion to run better at the cost of eye-candy on cards like mine, or is it just to make it run on pre-dx9 cards?
July 10, 2006 12:44:03 PM

Quote:
"Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" boasts some of the most machine-breaking visuals you can get on a PC. However, does your machine have what it takes to achieve a decent Oblivion gaming experience?


Yes, but I don't like the game enough to bother.
July 10, 2006 12:56:38 PM

My rig runs it OK but I was wondering why they didn't include Benchies from The Oblivion World. IMO, the worst frame rates come during those Oblivion Storms.
July 10, 2006 1:55:29 PM

Quote:

You can forget about playing Oblivion at native resolution on a 17 or 19" 1280x1,024 panel.


This was quoted from the first page talking about a 6600GT card. Funny, my 6600GT plays on a 19" widescreen Viewsonic VA 1912wb native resolution (1440x900), and the game runs fine.

Also, last page 'what have we learnt' . . . 'Learned' . . .

Come now guys, your spelling is terrible. I've picked out several spelling errors in your last few articles, not to mention really bad grammar. Realising the writters first language probably is not english, it would not be that hard to either pick up a spell checker, use google, or even use gmail to spell check for you . . .
July 10, 2006 2:01:58 PM

Quote:
So do you think it's worth the extra $40 to get an x1800GTO over a 7600GT to play Oblivion? The x1800GTO did better in the more demanding areas, but the 7600GT put up some impressive numbers as well.


Simply put, no. ATI cards use more power, run hotter, and have a lower max FPS. Not only these points, but if you play other games as well, the nVidia cards perform better in about half of the current titles out at the moment, so I suppose it all boils down to which titles you play.

Not only that, but for around another $60 (with mail in rebates), you can find a 7900GT
July 10, 2006 2:03:58 PM

My rig runs Oblivion just fine. For this particular game, I go more for detail than performance, as I prefer the interactive immersion to fast paced combat. As the game at default difficulty gets rather easy for my build, I don't need a very high FPS to enjoy it.

At the time I'm running an Opteron 144 (not overclocked yet) on an A8N5X with 1GB DDR400 2.5-6-3-3 and a Radeon X1800XT with 512MB. My hard drives are 3 WD 80GB SATA. Drive C is Windows plus core apps like Office, Winamp, FRAPS, etc. Drive D is Games and high end apps like Photoshop. Drive E is data like music and video.

I play Oblivion with every setting at max, with the exceptioon of Shadows on Grass (I don't like how it looks), including Qarl's high resolution textures and other LOD improvements, and Natural Environments. This includes the Chuck Patch so I can run HDR+6xAA. I also have AF at 16x. I run the game at 1280x1024 without vsync. I have made .ini tweaks to allow for full water reflections and longer decal life with higher count (somewhere around 100 decals and a 300 second lifetime.

Here's my average FPS with the above settings.
Exterior with long range field of view: 12-26 FPS
Exterior with a short range field of view: 18-30 FPS
Exterior during a battle involving more than 6 people: 8-16 FPS
Interior large room with more than 8 people: 26-40 FPS
Interior large room alone: 30-60 FPS
Interior small room alone 60-90 FPS
Bravil exterior: 12-18 FPS (Bravil seems to be the killer for lots of people due to the number of actors and the presence of so much water).

There you have it. I find it playable because most large battles take place in FPS friendly areas, and I can tolerate a low framerate in favor of extreme detail. The thing to remember is that it's not low FPS that make the game look laggy, it's a the sudden plummeting that does. My machine keeps the above rates quite smoothly, and my brain fills in the gaps. Brains are good at that. Most of the animated stuff my son watches on TV is 12-15 FPS, but it's constant. My setup isn;t for everyone, but I'm glad to be able to enjoy the game at it's nicest quality, and still be comfortable playing it.
July 10, 2006 2:05:47 PM

It Can be used on any card. I had it set to low except for characters and textures but I had max viewing distance on including distant land and got about 15-20 fps on my fx5700le. Just google "oldblivion" and have a look see. It dont require any screwing around with your game its just like a loader which changes the shader profiles.
July 10, 2006 2:13:16 PM

And lets not forget the "80 to 80 percent increase in Q4" with a dual-core chip.
July 10, 2006 2:15:15 PM

I thought TV's ran at 30fps constant?
July 10, 2006 2:16:18 PM

yep, runs fine @ 1280x1024 w/ everything set @ 100%... game still looks terrible. I am sick of every review site and forum poster saying how great the visuals are when they are only good close up. Once you actually use that "Huge draw distance" you start to see the horrible texture work. Tiling, checkerboarding, smearing. Every clear screenshot I have seen that includes distance views shows it, yet no reviewer mentions it.

It cant be that most ppl really think that their machine just needs to be faster can it? Even w/ all settings up, and using 3rd party mods to improve the textures @ distance it still looks bad the farther into the distance you look. Granted, most of the screenshots are done so that distance textures are blocked by closer hills, but there are a few out there. Even teh 360 screens that I have seen show it.

The simple fact that there are mods that "fix" this issue means that others see it too. I am just upset that you have to get a mod to make a AAA $50 game work like it should have out of the box. And even w/ it the distance textures still are not up to the bar set by the reviews.

gameplay notwithstanding, oblivion is just a visual downer for me.
July 10, 2006 2:23:01 PM

Quote:
yep, runs fine @ 1280x1024 w/ everything set @ 100%... game still looks terrible. I am sick of every review site and forum poster saying how great the visuals are when they are only good close up. Once you actually use that "Huge draw distance" you start to see the horrible texture work. Tiling, checkerboarding, smearing. Every clear screenshot I have seen that includes distance views shows it, yet no reviewer mentions it.

The simple fact that there are mods that "fix" this issue means that others see it too. I am just upset that you have to get a mod to make a AAA $50 game work like it should have out of the box. And even w/ it the distance textures still are not up to the bar set by the reviews.

gameplay notwithstanding, oblivion is just a visual downer for me.


Thats because most people use the quarl texture packs, and other texture replacements for LOD textures. They make the game look really awesome. I've seen some screenshots that would make you feel as though you were in a painted picture (would be stretching it to say make you feel like being in a REAL picture)

Perhaps you would rather have a crappier (although the way it stands the game IS very buggy even AFTER the initial patch . . .) game, and having to pay $100 for it instead of 50 bux ?
July 10, 2006 2:31:37 PM

I'm pretty sure the "What we Learnt" thing was intentional, not a spelling error. It is not the first time I have seen the word "Learnt" as a kind of jibe at an inability to learn. I think this article was well edited overall, it is quite long, and I did not see many problems.

bravo for a good article. I still don't understand what they were thinking designing a game which is so beyond current hardware capabilities. even the most high-end (and unreasonably expensive) graphics solutions cannot run this game at highest settings. do they expect the popularity of the game to last for so long, that the as-yet unreleased next generation of gpus will be in the mainstream price range by the time this game is gone?

by then, Oblivion will probably be at the bottom of my game graveyard.
July 10, 2006 2:37:11 PM

erm i can run it on med and on 1024x768 res
July 10, 2006 2:42:04 PM

Quote:
Thats because most people use the quarl texture packs, and other texture replacements for LOD textures. They make the game look really awesome. I've seen some screenshots that would make you feel as though you were in a painted picture (would be stretching it to say make you feel like being in a REAL picture)

Perhaps you would rather have a crappier (although the way it stands the game IS very buggy even AFTER the initial patch . . .) game, and having to pay $100 for it instead of 50 bux ?


I will have to check my system when I get home to see which texture pack I am using, but I dont think it is the "quarl" pack. will try it.

not sure what you meant by the $100 instead of $50 comment... I am simply pissed that I even have to look for a replacement texture pack. It is one thing to replace good textures w/ different ones, but bad texture work on a high-end, hyped-up, long-development game in unacceptable. I dont want to get a crappy game period. And when they release one and ask me to pay top dollar for it I expect it to look the part.

textures aside (though they still suck) even the character models look so-so. compared to the source engine in hl2:ep1 they just suck. And dont even mention self-shadows... that has yet to work well at all.

game is functionally buggy, yes. Graphics are also buggy. I am tired of paying for a working game to get a beta version that only half-delivers on promises.

(of course I really want it to work and be good. I loved morrowind)
July 10, 2006 2:56:04 PM

well my opinion about Oblivion is that it should not be released at this point.

its simply bullshit that the graphics cards are the blame for the performance of Oblivion. oke Oblivion is a heavy game but if i remember in the old days Far Cry was a heavy game too and so was Half Life 2. and the performance on those games, Expecially Far Cry is amazing, even on slower cards. its not that Obliovion looks cool, but its just stupid you need an amazing system to enjoy it at full potentional. it makes me wonder that the game is not well developed as we see in alot of games lately (esspecially console ripoffs). to make a good game it takes time and alot of money and effort but in the end it should payoff with good graphics that run on moderate machines and good gameplay.

if Oblivion is well developed and its just too heavy at this point which i just can't believe then it should not be released at this point. but i got the feeling when games like crysis get released we finnaly see that you can make amazing looking games that run very well on moderate machines (and then i mean 50-60 FPS).

games such as oblivion, ghost recon advanced warfighter and alot of other console ripoffs show that its all about the money these days and its not about game developing anymore. esspecially now with the possibility of SLI/Crossfire its easier for game developers to release underdeveloped games because ah well if its slow they just need to throw in another card. so in the end the consumer needs to pay.

well thats my opinion about it.
July 10, 2006 3:05:43 PM

I can run it, but I won't. :) 
July 10, 2006 3:10:08 PM

Quote:
...ghost recon advanced warfighter and alot of other console ripoffs show that its all about the money these days and its not about game developing anymore.


ghost recon is not a console rip-off... first, it was originally a PC game that was ported to the console (GR 1) then made a console only game (GR 2) and finally made both (GRAW). The PC version of GRAW was developed simultaneousley w/ the 360 version and the other versions (ps2/xbox1). ALL are different. 360 version and PC are close, but the PC version actually uses a different engine and maps. Unlike oblivion, which is the same as the 360, GRAW has many different verisons dev'd by different studios.
July 10, 2006 3:27:27 PM

I like the way they compare an nVidia 6600 card with 128 mb to an x1600 with twice the memory. Great test...
July 10, 2006 3:27:44 PM

Any ones rig can run it...but NOT smooth, with my fx55 overclocked, 7800 gtx OC, 2 gigs of ram, I get 35fps IF lucky in outside environments...thats pretty sad..sure you can run it, but how could you possibly be satisfied with that kinda frame rate? not to mention when a rat jumps into the screen in outside environments , it goes down to about 5-10 fps. Play it for 360(coming from a pc gamer)you get constant high framerates, and hdr+AA.
July 10, 2006 3:36:44 PM

nah, mine is smooth... no issues at all, never clocked the fps b/c it runs smooth and never noticed much for hitches. I just dont like the inconsistent graphics work. and I have enabled hdr+AA w/ no problem, but w/ that enabled I do get slowdowns. (even the 360 has slowdowns though ;)  )
July 10, 2006 3:53:20 PM

if you ask me the game has Bad coding and the graphics are not great.
the only thing good with this game is the lighting and character animation.
crysis has great envioroments too and its lighting,shadowing,Animation is much more advanced then oblivion but it ran fine on 2 X1900XT in crossfire mode at E3 2006.
July 10, 2006 4:00:23 PM

Yea the article metnioned it was poor coding which made it a HOG. Too bad.
a b } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
July 10, 2006 4:02:03 PM

now far cry was optimized to death....just ran on anything(p4 1.6 geforce 2...lol)... and looked great(no water stuff...but my friend did not care...)
July 10, 2006 4:23:51 PM

Simple answer, yes it can. But the game seems to have oddities that defy explaination. Maybe some patches are out that clear up these things, but I hate having to patch up programs. Makes me feel like a guinea pig or something. Same problem as too many games that get released, lots of promise, but too many bugs or a promise unfulfilled.
July 10, 2006 4:36:14 PM

I agree, the far cry draw distance ripped oblivions apart, and looked much better at that. Oblvions draw distance is far, but looks terrible even at moderate distanes there is alot of tilling, smeared textures and extremem ammounts of pop in (mostly attributable to the fact I have 1 gb of ram and a 6600 GT) how ever I dont even find the visuals that good at all. Even the ppl, I much perfer COD2 facial shaders to that of oblvion which look like garbage without mods.
July 10, 2006 4:44:17 PM

Quote:
I agree, the far cry draw distance ripped oblivions apart, and looked much better at that. Oblvions draw distance is far, but looks terrible even at moderate distanes there is alot of tilling, smeared textures and extremem ammounts of pop in (mostly attributable to the fact I have 1 gb of ram and a 6600 GT) how ever I dont even find the visuals that good at all. Even the ppl, I much perfer COD2 facial shaders to that of oblvion which look like garbage without mods.


hey man, I have 2 gigs of ram and the popup is horrible! It is not your machine, it is the game. When I enter a new area, I can see whole ruins come out of nowhere! removes alot of the immersion factor. very annoying, more so when you realize that more ram does not remove this issue. (and I have been tweaking w/ the ini file to try to fix it... to no avail)
July 10, 2006 5:26:35 PM

Don't know, maybe, not interested in that title.
July 10, 2006 5:58:06 PM

Quote:
I like the way they compare an nVidia 6600 card with 128 mb to an x1600 with twice the memory. Great test...


Yes, that's true. I don't know why they didn't picked a 256 MB 6600GT to do a fair comparison. Those exist!
I can run Oblivion in 1024x768 in medium-ish settings with an average of 20 FPS. It's an RPG, so 20 FPS should be fine. I do get little freezes when I hit enemies, like rats. I guess it's related to physics calculation (which it seems my PC isn't good at).
July 10, 2006 7:26:36 PM

Quote:

I still don't understand what they were thinking designing a game which is so beyond current hardware capabilities. even the most high-end (and unreasonably expensive) graphics solutions cannot run this game at highest settings. do they expect the popularity of the game to last for so long, that the as-yet unreleased next generation of gpus will be in the mainstream price range by the time this game is gone?

by then, Oblivion will probably be at the bottom of my game graveyard.


The oblivion is one of those "very modable" games, so I can easily see, that it will live even then, when graphic cards have enough power for it.

The bad textures issue is mainly because there are so many 128Mb cards that it is more easy to make graphic according to them. Many of those mods that really improve graphic guality reguires 512Mb graphic card...

I am guite sure, that it's possible to make better looking graphic, with better framerates, but Oblivion has merits in many different aspects. To me it looks good enough (after some serious mods)...


http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=71419
http://www.tessource.net/
- Natural environments
- Illuminination within revised
- Unique landscapes
(also: http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=...)
- Natural faces (or better hair, better faces, better bodies)
July 10, 2006 7:43:42 PM

Quote:
The bad textures issue is mainly because there are so many 128Mb cards that it is more easy to make graphic according to them. Many of those mods that really improve graphic guality reguires 512Mb graphic card...

I am guite sure, that it's possible to make better looking graphic, with better framerates, but Oblivion has merits in many different aspects. To me it looks good enough (after some serious mods)...


That is the issue though; the fact that you need "serious mods" to get it looking good. The memory argument doesn't really hold water for me, as even the 360 has that "magical" 512 mb frame buffer. Plus, it takes a massive system to run it, as many have pointed out. So if it already takes a 512 mb 7900/1900 to run it well at its current state, why hold back on the texture work? why make the popup such a frequent occurance? why make the characters look worse than farCry?worst of all: why make PC users do the work themselves that should have come w/ the game?

Most of the mods came out fairly quick after the game, so it was not alot of work... all the more reason that bethesda should have had the option to run those high specs in the shipping game.

Frankly, many games have made high requirements for the enabling of "all" the effects. Doom3 had high specs for "ultra" settings, and GRAW wont even let you run high quality w/o a 512meg frame buffer. High specs dont bother me, but it better live up to the requirements. So far oblivion has not.
July 10, 2006 8:23:25 PM

I was an avid Morrowind player and had it heavily modded with Better Bodies, Morrowind Comes Alive and many other mods that added better graphics, new textures, etc.
With my X2 3800+ (at 2.2 ghz) and my 6600GT PCI-E 128 mB video card, the game wanted to install itself at medium settings. I allowed it to do so and went straight to playing the game for 6 weeks straight.
I enjoyed the game immensely at medium settings, it was very playable on my system at those settings, and it looked "good enough."
For an experiment at eye candy, i upped all the settings and found the game looked noticeably better ... as long as I didn't move or try to do anything.
My CPU is good enough, but i'll have to upgrade the video at some point down the road.
That's for later though. I'm done with the game for now and won't play again until a lot more mods have been released by the community. Waiting especially for MadDog Studio's Better Bodies for Oblivion.
July 10, 2006 9:11:59 PM

yep 7800GT's
Sli does the trick
July 10, 2006 9:20:50 PM

I can run Oblivion. I ought to be able to; anticipation of ESIV was the main reason I finally upgraded my computer. At 1280x1024 (the max my monitor will support), I can run it comfortably (never bothered to check exactframerates; I really don't care that much) with either HDR or bloom+6xAA and all settings maxed except self shadows and grass shadows off, and grass distance at zero. I don't like the self shadows, and while I can deal with things popping into view in the distance, seeing the grass continually "grow" in front of me annoys me so much that I prefer the appearance with it off altogether (though with it on max, it doesn't cause that much of a problem. I just don't care for it).

With the same settings and HDR+6xAA using the Chuck patch, though, it crosses the line between looking smooth and playable to being headache inducing. The still shots look marginally better than just having one or the other, but the slideshow effect makes it far too painful to play.

The popping in gets annoying, the tiling in the distance is bad enough that I try not to look at it, and I've noticed a few little optical quirks with scrambled pixels on occassion when certain effects are present (I look for these things by nature, which is the only real reason I noticed this at all), but over all I'm pretty amazed at how good it looks. The one thing I'm really wondering, and which I've not seen anything on yet, is where hyperthreading is on the continuum of helping, not having any effect, or hurting performace, but I'm not all that worried about it.

Even though I like how pretty it is, and regardless of how much I was looking forward to ESIV, I'm still not playing it anymore. I just found the actual game horribly disappointing, especially compared to Morrowind (quite seriously my favorite game, ever). Replay value is limited and there's no incentive to explore the wilderness, and these are where ESIII really stood out. Plot isn't nearly as enticing, either, but that's more a personal preference. I guess I was hoping for a bigger version of Morrowind with better graphics and some of the bugginess removed and some of the worse imbalancing being evened out (such as spears and hand-to-hand being completely useless except for stat raising, and the barter system allowing one to generate infinite money with relative ease), which Oblivion isn't.
July 10, 2006 9:28:08 PM

I have an X850XT PE overclocked a little, and an AMD 3700+ and the game runs alright at low detail settings. I tried maxing out all of the available settings just to see what would happen and, in a dungeon, as soon as there was combat on the screen, my computer crashed :( 
July 10, 2006 9:37:43 PM

i dont even like the game



:/ 
July 10, 2006 9:39:03 PM

I think that tom's needs either a new editor, or at least another editor. They could hire some college student to read over their articles and fix the obvious mistakes for $10 and hour.
July 10, 2006 9:45:57 PM

Quote:

Also, last page 'what have we learnt' . . . 'Learned' . . .

Come now guys, your spelling is terrible. I've picked out several spelling errors in your last few articles, not to mention really bad grammar. Realising the writters first language probably is not english, it would not be that hard to either pick up a spell checker, use google, or even use gmail to spell check for you . . .

First of all, "learnt" is British English. Secondly, someone criticising the spelling errors of others should make sure their own spelling is perfect ("writters?") What is up with all these people constantly harping on the spelling and grammatical errors? Jeez, get a life.

p.s. My computer can not run Oblivion... it's a k6 8O
July 10, 2006 10:11:18 PM

The only solution for high frame rates in high resolutions like 1600x1200 is called "geforce 7950gx2" or "Quad-SLI" :wink:
July 10, 2006 10:15:28 PM

My rig could probably run Oblivion at 1280x1024, minimum details, and get a decent frame rate. If it will run on a GeForce FX, then it will run on anything.

With Oblivion being such an insanely demanding game, I wonder what they designed it on?
July 10, 2006 10:29:24 PM

Methinks thou shouldst take thine ripping of yanks with care. Let it be known that many of said yanks canst look upon english and comprehend the meaning therein. Do not castigate us all that we might be made into the slobbering whelps that garner ill-favor with their dull-witted natures.

Here endeth the lesson.

;) 
July 10, 2006 11:04:25 PM

Too funny... :lol: 
July 10, 2006 11:08:26 PM

haha, i dont know what some of your problems are, i am enjoying nice high framerates @ 1920x1200 with a single card. Even in the outdoor areas (which yes, distance looks like crap) all settings maxed - self shadows (because they dont work properly) i never drop below 40fps according to FRAPS. my specs:

Athlon X2 4400+ AM2
2GB corsair XMS2 PC 6400 (ddr2-800)
BFG 7900GTXoc 512MB
Sound Blaster X-Fi platinum
Dell 2405FPW

i can run it fine @ super high res. distances do look like total crap tho, if options were *possible* to increase the look, they should have been added in the options menu and not a 3rd party mod. Bethesda shot to the middleground. they went for what most people had hardware wise and this usually does result in less than appropriate detail levels in a game. However, their indoor areas, most dungeons have that pretty specular highlighting on the stone, and that looks absolutely beautiful. I think the engine is capable of much much more, and I wonder why most of you with 7800-7900 class cards are having any issue with maxing it out. There is a cpu meter on my logitech G15 keyboard that doesnt ever register over 60% load when playing oblivion, which tells me that my rig is barely even stressed. Oblivion's gameplay however was what I was waiting for, not the graphics. If you are awaiting graphics, wait for ut2007. Expecting so much graphics work out of game devs will only make them focus more on that than gameplay. I do however agree that the tiling and popup issues are inexcusable on high end machines. maybe bethesda will put in a second draw distance slider enabling full detail at distance to be modified for those of us who have rigs that are capable, of for in the future when midrange rigs can.
July 10, 2006 11:15:29 PM

works ok on mine, got bloom effect on aswell. but i'm bored of it now anyway.
July 11, 2006 12:45:55 AM

runs fine With $500 of new upgrades(7900GT, A64 3800+, 1 gig memory). Im am afraid though to increase view distance on trees, grass, buildings, ETC.

_______________

EVGA geforce 7900GT
Athlon 64 3800+ socket AM2
1 GB corsair memory
Biostar T-force microATX mobo
Antec 350 watt PSU
_______________
!