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Nvidia Launches Two Tweak Guides for Skyrim

By - Source: Softpedia | B 33 comments

Nvidia has released two Skyrim tweak guides to get the game running optimally on your GeForce-based system.

Over the last few weeks, Nvidia has posted two tweak guides for the just-released RPG from Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The first guide offers ten pages of tweaks, ranging from general system optimization to general video settings to playing around with Object Fade and Actor Fade. The second guide is designed for PC gamers who don't want to sift through ten pages, and are looking to make quick changes to make the game look better.

Up first is Nvidia's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 10-page Tweak Guide, written by Koroush Ghazi and naturally focuses on the GeForce customer. "The aim of this guide is to allow you to better understand and utilize all of the configuration options available in Skyrim, as well as a selection of advanced tweaks to enhance the game," he writes. "What follows are full descriptions for all of the settings available in Skyrim's options menus. Performance information is also provided for every setting, although bear in mind that the precise impact on your particular system depends on your specific hardware combination and and your other game and system-wide settings."

But before gamers dig into all the options, Ghazi suggests that users download and install the free FRAPS utility to objectively measure the changes in Frames Per Second (FPS). He also said that VSync is enabled by default, and cannot be disabled using the in-game settings. To get an accurate FPS reading, VSync will need to be addressed which is covered in the Advanced Tweaking section of the guide. An enabled VSynch means the FPS will be capped to the refresh rate of the display, thus framerates won't go beyond 60 FPS on a monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate.

The second Skyrim guide actually appeared just before Thanksgiving, and offers "Five Fast Skyrim Tweaks Guaranteed To Make Your Game Look Even Better." This one requires the use of a 3rd-party tool called Nvidia Inspector, and covers the following settings: ambient occlusion, high quality anisotropic texture filtering, shadow quality, tree self-shadowing and uGrids. The latter setting refers to the hundreds of thousands of sections that create Skyrim's world, and by default, Skyrim loads the five nearest sections within your line of sight, plus the one your character inhabits.

"On a mid-to-high end system this setting can be tweaked, forcing the game to load seven sections, dramatically improving scene quality in many locations," the guide reads. "Higher values, such as nine and eleven, are extremely unstable and therefore only recommended for users wanting to create wallpaper-worthy screenshots. By rendering this extra detail your frame rate will be reduced (to what extent is impossible to say as this reduction can vary wildly from scene to scene)."

If you haven't started tweaking Skyrim already, Nvidia offers plenty of reading material and advise to get the game running optimally on your Nvidia-based system. Most of these tweaks also applies to AMD GPUs until the guides discuss the Nvidia Control Panel, but these settings could easily be translated for the Catalyst Control Center.

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  • 3 Hide
    Pyree , December 9, 2011 3:17 AM
    That is handy.
  • 9 Hide
    jcb82 , December 9, 2011 4:01 AM
    Thats what I love about PC gaming, zillions of ways to tweak and get the most out of your unique hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    aevm , December 9, 2011 4:08 AM
    How about AMD, did they make a guide for their cards too?
  • 9 Hide
    soccerdocks , December 9, 2011 4:27 AM
    aevmHow about AMD, did they make a guide for their cards too?


    It took them 3 weeks just to get the beta crossfire drivers released. They're not gonna release any guide.
  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , December 9, 2011 4:28 AM
    Nice that Nvidia is providing the guides. Getting the maximum performance out of a video card is tricky on the PC with the number of GPUs/CPUs/RAM types.

    On the Xbox360 the game looked great but the gameplay wasn't. The AI has really horrible navigation issues. Lots of opponents get stuck on edges or behind small movable objects. Managed to fall out of the map by climbing the wall at the end of the Southfringe Sanctum. On the other hand, blasting dragon corpses 1000s of yards over mountains with a fireball is fun.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , December 9, 2011 4:38 AM
    jcb82Thats what I love about PC gaming, zillions of ways to tweak and get the most out of your unique hardware.


    personally, i just wish every game just worked right the moment i put it in.

    i mean feed the game what i have. than give me the options and show me a projected fps.

    do i want the best graphics
    do i want better graphics than my card can handle fast
    do i want the best at 30fps
    do i want 60fps
    do i want the lowest setting so i can go really really fast...

    and im not really talking about dumbing the graphics interface down, what im talking about is a game developer should have certain presets for each card... it cant be that much work, you more or less know how cards preform, make the game know what would look best at certain frame rates...

    i hate how when im given the choice, how every time my graphics settings are put to mid range, when i have yet to play a game that i couldn't max on my 5770 at 1920x1200 with shadows turned off, and no aa. (i dont have battle field 3 but that is one, and if you don't have a retardedly far draw disntacen in skyrim, you can basicly max that too)

    i mean look at the toms Hierarchy chart. i had a 6800 ultra and oblivion played like crap on it, so lets assume thats the minimum.

    that would be about 17 graphic levels pre tweaked for your gaming experience, and they know better than anyone what their engine can do, do you don't spend an hour or so figuring out what is the best you can play at and still get decent frame rates.

    games not working 100% of the time, and the initial tweak is probably the only two things i don't like about gaming on the pc.
  • 2 Hide
    maddad , December 9, 2011 4:51 AM
    Even if the game developer could take into consideration some graphic cards, they could not account for all the different hardrive, ssd, CPU, motherboard, drivers, etc... that people might be using. An Xbox 360 and a PS3 are constants. It is difficult to program for all the possible PC configurations people might have. I don't mind making some tweaks to get the game running the way I want it to on my machine.
  • 3 Hide
    MrShadowGuru , December 9, 2011 5:15 AM
    Good that Nvidia is thinking about the consumers.
  • -7 Hide
    BulkZerker , December 9, 2011 5:18 AM
    Nvidia: Because you damn kids bitch too much about FPS or image quality.
  • 5 Hide
    soccerdocks , December 9, 2011 5:19 AM
    alidangames not working 100% of the time, and the initial tweak is probably the only two things i don't like about gaming on the pc.


    You make it seem like gaming on a PC is way more complicated. There are really only two additional steps to game on a PC.
    1. Install the game. I don't get what's to complain about this. You basically push the "next button" 6 times.
    2. Adjust image quality. Usually either low, medium, high, and ultra.

    That's really all you need to do differently. Its really not that different and I don't see it as something to complain about.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , December 9, 2011 6:13 AM
    Good doing...could we have one for BF3 too please?
  • 1 Hide
    celpas , December 9, 2011 6:18 AM
    ojasGood doing...could we have one for BF3 too please?

    Already released
    http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/battlefield-3-tweak-guide

    In fact there are 2 more on the site but they are related to beta.NVIDIA FTW
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , December 9, 2011 6:22 AM
    celpasAlready releasedhttp://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Gu [...] weak-guideIn fact there are 2 more on the site but they are related to beta.NVIDIA FTW

    Ah thanks. Hope it helps stop it from crashing the way it has been since the patch, though i doubt.
  • -1 Hide
    icepick314 , December 9, 2011 6:43 AM
    jcb82Thats what I love about PC gaming, zillions of ways to tweak and get the most out of your unique hardware.


    that's also a minus when it comes to PC gaming...

    ZILLIONS of tweaks for each and every unique hardware...

    with consoles, you just play...mostly....

    but with PC, there can be so many things that can go wrong...and some people don't like to or have the knowledge to "tweak" settings...

    as a person who loves computing, electronics, and gadgets, PC gaming is "superior" than console games but I can see merits of having only ONE hardware to deal with....
  • 0 Hide
    shin0bi272 , December 9, 2011 7:28 AM
    Thats cool and all but I finished the game like 3 days ago. 160+ quests.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , December 9, 2011 9:19 AM
    Well done NVIDIA. Can't help but think AMD needs to divert a little more resources into developing similar guides, perhaps even employing the help of enthusiast gamers.
  • 2 Hide
    rantoc , December 9, 2011 9:24 AM
    icepick314that's also a minus when it comes to PC gaming...ZILLIONS of tweaks for each and every unique hardware...with consoles, you just play...mostly....but with PC, there can be so many things that can go wrong...and some people don't like to or have the knowledge to "tweak" settings...as a person who loves computing, electronics, and gadgets, PC gaming is "superior" than console games but I can see merits of having only ONE hardware to deal with....


    You make me laugh, if you just want to play then install the game and play and if you can't even handle that well i guess no hardware in the universe is stupidified enough for your "needs". What the PC version offer is the possibility to tweak if you like meaning you get a CHOOICE rather than just play on the standard settings. The only merit of one ancient console design (by todays pc gaming standards) is that the devs can be lazy and settle for poor to medicre image quality (at best) and still get away with it! The PC's DX API's makes development easy and scalling is not as hard as it used to be especially not compared to back in the days when you had to code a specific path for each 3d chip.
  • 2 Hide
    kryojenix , December 9, 2011 9:43 AM
    When did Koroush Ghazi become so partisan!??!
  • 1 Hide
    marraco , December 9, 2011 10:19 AM
    This tweak:

    http://international.download.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/comparisons/skyrim-uGridsToLoad-comparison-1.html

    Is an example of SSD advantages over HD. setting far away textures puts a heavy load on storage speed, and SSD allow far better quality that HDs.

    Common game benchmarks do not reflect this kind of advantage, just because games are not optimized to take advantage of it. But after tweak, SSD performance can be squeezed on a way that is just out of reach for HDs.
  • -2 Hide
    theblade , December 9, 2011 11:41 AM
    ATI: "I was going to release a similar Tweak Guide, but then I took an arrow to the knee" :p 
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