Upgrading for Skyrim, viable?

So I have this older system and havent really used it for any gaming or anything else intensive but now the new Elder Scrolls V is coming out and I need to at least upgrade what I have in order to play it. Im hoping I can just upgrade my graphics card and RAM, but Im concerned the higher end cards might bottle neck on the old CPU or the CPU just wont handle the game.

There is an Unofficial System Requirements Prediction, Below, But the basis is as follows

What this means is that although the game will likely not be very demanding graphically (at least, before factoring in the increased texture resolutions and various other graphics features the PC gamers will get), it will likely put a heavy load on the CPU, and it is recommended to have at least a quad-core, although dual cores will probably not have too much issue so long as they have a reasonable clock speed (about 2.8 GHz on a modern dual-core should do).

We then take into account the fact that the game will likely not be as well optimized on the PC due to varying hardware setups. We also take into account the different optimization techniques required for PC setups due to the existence of, for instance, dedicated GPU memory. This means we are expecting Skyrim to require a decent processor of at least dual-core architecture with a reasonably fast clock speed, and GPUs with at least a 512Mb dedicated framebuffer and reasonable core clocks and memory clocks, as well as at least 4Gb of system RAM. If you meet these requirements, you should be able to run Skyrim; maybe not at the highest graphics settings without incurring a large performance hit, but you should be able to run it.

There insight on CPUs is vague, as the OP gave a thumbs up to duel cores @ 2.0 later in the post, with no explanation.

Anyways Im just want to know if this upgrade is viable for gaming, how high I can go on with my graphics card upgrade before I should be concerned with my system bogging down. Im also considering duel 8800gtx using a SLI string. How would the duel 8800s compare to some of the cards Ive looked at? I know its a shotgun inquiry but this but Im still in the brainstorm stage and this game drops in 11 days.

EVGA GTX 460 1GB 256-bit

XFX HD 6850 1GB 256-bit

XFX HD 6790 1GB 256-bit

ZOTAC AMP! GTX 550 Ti 1GB 192-bit

EVGA GeForce GTS 450 (Fermi) Superclocked 1GB

Core2extreme x4 6700 (2.66 GHz)
Asus P5Q Pro Turbo
MSI 8800 GTX (786 MB)
2x1GB DDR2-800 Corsair Dominator
Zelam 92mm fan
Thermaltake 1200w
Sound Blaster X-fi Extreme music
7 answers Last reply
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  1. srry for bump I was having an issue with the edit
  2. Really wish i could delete
  3. Dual 8800 gtxs would be very slow on elderscrolls 5. You need at least a 460 gtx by todays standards, the 8800 gtx's had extremely bad performance gains in SLI because SLI wasnt as good as it is today. Honestly if you cant hold out till the 600's come out from nvidia or the 7000's from ATI I would recommend a 560 gtx at least for ESV.
  4. Well there is alway a new card coming out tomorrow but more to the point, no. I cant wait and I cant afford the newest just released this month card

    I did edit my list giving up on some budge options like the 8800x2 and 6670, That said I dont feel the lastest card is a must. The 460gtx adn 6850 will definitely play ESV well in 1080p. Im only keeping the GTS for now cause I know it will run fine in my rig.
  5. What exactly is your budget?

    A good test in my opinion would be running Oblivion with multiple graphics mods.

    Most graphics cards these days below $300 cannot run Oblivion on max after installing texture packs (Roughly 2GB alone in texture packs), mods that increase the long distance detail, and mods that rebuild the cities with more detail.

    If you have steam I would love to help you with testing how far you can mod oblivion.

    I'm running a 6870 and I start to have some trouble after "Better Cities" "Texture Packs" and some sound upgrades.

    You'd be suprised how much of an impact sound has on your FPS.

    My advice would be to keep an eye on the Skyrim modding community, because they always come out with performance fixes with quite literally NO QUALITY IMPACT. There are a ton of FPS fixers for oblivion that I use combined with my texture packs.

    I would highly recommend getting a 6870 from XFX, and then saving up for a 2nd one in crossfire.

    Or perhaps getting a 6850 and plan to purchase a 6870.

    Your 2GB of RAM will certainly impact you quite a bit.
  6. lets just say my budge is flexible for upgrading. Basically I began looking to rebuild with the i5 2500, a P8P68 asus or Extreme 3 asrock and 1080p monitor. When I start to get in the 900 dollar range I got worried and came here to see if I could get by on a Graphics card/Ram/monitor upgrade. So If a 300$ card keeps me from have to do an overhall on the board and CPU Im ok with that. Id really like to put my rebuild off till after the Ivy bridge release anyhow. I was just mislead by some other sources as to what would run the game I guess.

    This is really my venture at PC gaming. I played Oblivion on Xbox and havent done anything on PC more pressing the LoL so while Im not new to hardward Im totally green when i comes to games and cards.

    The hadnt considered mods, but definitely sounds like something I'd get into. So for now Ill come up with a new set of cards for consideration. To bad my local PC store isnt going to carry anything this highend. Whats going to carry me playing this with mods Streams, memory, clock ... I havent looked at cards in years :P

    Also I have to make the correction Skyrim isnt out till 11/11/11 I got some numbers crossed in an earlier post

    Thanks for help so far guys.

    Oh, but can this rig really run duel 6870+6870, if we confirm that Ill be set.
  7. Recommended requirements for Skyrim for GPU is a Radeon 6850. Incase you were curious, so you will be able to run high or so. After mods though it may go down. I suggest getting a 6870 (or a 6850 if you want to save the money) and get another one down the road... I have 2 6850's and it works great except for the occasional microstuttering :(( <== Drives me insane. Waiting for new line of cards for upgrade.

    But as long as your MoBo has 2 PCI 16 slots you will be fine to run 2 :)

    But look up microstuttering. Its more common in AMD radeon then NVIDIA GTX (unfortunatly)
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