Your PC Must Be This Powerful To Run Skyrim

Your PC Must Be This Powerful To Run Skyrim

And now the figures you’ve all been waiting for! Bethesda’s Pete Hines has tweeted the minimum and recommended PC specs for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and they’re rather reasonable.

First off we’ve got the minimum specs, which are just enough to get you playing the game without all the bells and whistles that come from packing your PC case with cash.

Minimum PC Specs: Operating System: Win XP/7/Vista (32 or 64 bit) CPU: Dual Core 2GB Memory: 2GB RAM Video Card: DirectX9c video card w/ 512MB RAM

See? Not that bad at all, but it you want those bells and whistles you’ll need something a little meatier.

Recommended PC Specs: Operating System: Win XP/7 CPU: Quad-Core Intel/AMD CPU Memory: 4GB RAM, 6GB Hard Drive Space Sound: DirectX compatible sound card Video Card: DirectX9 video card with 1GB memory. GTX 260/Radeon 4890 or higher

OK, that’s a little more painful, but not outside the realm of affordability. Hines does note on his Twitter that the recommended specs are to run the game on High, not Ultra, so there’s still room for improvement.

So who’s got a mighty machine ready to tame this beast come November 11?


  • 2 x GIGABYTE GTX580 SOC (though the VRAM might be slightly limited)
    I7 2600k @ 4.8 Water cooled
    ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z MB
    G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-17000CL 2 x 4gb DDR3 RAM

    I cannot wait for this to be released…
    Currently waiting for BF3…Someone break the street date already! I pre-ordered from GAME.

    • And the first response to a PC game hardware requirement article is, of course someone bleating how big their PC-peen is.

      • We shouldn’t punish the many for the way of the few.

        I mean I don’t go around calling “ALL” Console gamer’s racist 13 year old’s who deserve a good punch in the nose.

        There’s always someone out there who think’s there E-Peen is important.

        Between someone being overzealous about there PC Specs because honestly, unless we are in a tech forum no one gives a shit.

        Or people who buy specific games so they can boost there gamerscore. “Because the higher your score the more your Hardcore” or so some 13 year olds have yelled at me.

        • Contrary to popular belief, a beefy machine can be built for not much more than what you paid for your iPhone 4S/Galaxy SII outright, if you know where to look.

          So for all non-geeks, you cheat only yourself!

          • You claim is only correct if one buys such a device out right in Australia.

            Seriously – if you are going to us price as an argument. Quote the amount and currency (not everyone here is from the same country so amounts will differ).

            And for the record:
            * Reasonable machine, ~$1500 AUD
            * Beefy machine, ~$2000 AUD
            * Overkill (Animation Studio Grade), ~$2500 AUS+

            Anyone in the US will get substantially more value as distribution here in Australia still thinks it is the 1960s thus the dollar is only worth $0.70 US even though we have been above parity for some time.

          • You can buy a very good machine for ~$1000 actually, $1500 would be heading towards high-end.

          • Got mine without perifs for $570. It runs pretty much everything to date on high specs. I’d say it’s semi-beefy.

  • “Memory: 4GB RAM, 6GB Hard Drive Space”

    Only 6Gig when all modern games do at least 15GB minimum. I think I’ll just cancel all pre-orders as it’s obviously going to be a shit game.

    • You’ve got to be joking? You are judging a game on how much hard drive space it takes up? By that logic I’m going to have to delete more than half my collection.

      • It does seem a bit low But remember in Oblivion apart from the cities most of landscape was sort of randomly generated on the fly unlike most sand box games.Just Cause 2 on p.c. looked great and only came in at about 6 gig’s.Still have they even showed a demo of the p.c. version?

      • It’s a valid point.

        My oblivion folder is just over 7Gb for the GotY edition.

        Now logically speaking this game should be delivering better textures. A bigger world and all round good stuff. The small install size is rather disproportionate considering shooters like BF3 and MW2 had bigger ones.

        Minimum specs are par for the course though, because they are the standard specs trotted out for any console release.

    • Seriously. I mean Rage takes up 25 gigs. So should hard drive space be a mention of quality….

      I think not.

      (PS. Morrowind took 1 gig, Oblivion took 4.6 gigs, Fallout 3 took 5.4 gigs and new vegas takes 10 gigs. which all of those combined are still not the size of rage.) Not to mention another thing we can glean from this data. Fantasy games by Bethesda take less space than sci-fi games by them. (True, this is also chronological order and the quality of the textures change but it’s still the same engine and the same developer so the point is still valid)

    • I guess to you Portal was an atrocity, Minecraft was unspeakably horrid, LIMBO shouldn’t have bothered, Morrowind sucked ass, etc. etc.

      File size doesn’t make the game, dude. Play RAGE.

      • Of course file size with regards to a AAA title isn’t the be all and end all but when it’s a huge open world game like this, it is going to be interesting to see how they managed it.

        • No, excessive size only means one thing – no one on the development side has heard of compression or has found a way to optimise textures so they have the same quality but with far less space.

          • What a load of crock.

            Compression is irrelevant.

            If a game has 200 different texture’s. Compared to another having 100 all texture’s are of the same quality. Your logic is that the 200 different texture’s while taking up more space is a sign of poor compression as opposed to the fact that it has double the amount of texture’s.

            The size is probably indicative of a smaller set of texture’s. Which given the fact that world is probably pretty consistent in it’s terrain isn’t that surprising.

            The other thing is whether they have a single texture, that blurs on lower setting’s or if they have texture’s for different scales of quality

            To say size of install comes down to poor compression is just moronic

          • If you’re not going to be constructure (and just lampoon other form goers with comments like that) please keep your comments to yourself.

          • I’m sorry how do you want me to be constructive.

            Your statement is false. You state the only reason a game would ever have a large install file is due to poor compression. Which simply isn’t the case.

    • It was a sarcastic post, but it is a little weird that they say it only requires 6GB. Going by it’s size then it must not have any enhancements over the 360 version.

    • Indeed. It’s good to know I won’t be needing an upgrade next month!

      …especially because I play on a laptop and there are no laptop upgrades. Only new laptops.

      • In a way, you are right.

        When it comes to laptops, you can still upgrade the hard drive and memory.

        But the processor and GFX card – yeah, one is stuck in that regard.

  • My pc tripped balls when I checked the ‘zuper mega ultra’ check box on The Witcher 2 settings but normal ultra settings were smooth as silk. Stock mhz 2600k and 560ti. Almost worth the $209 for a 2nd 560ti but probably don’t need it.

    • nah, an 8800 GTX would have been low. Most of the requirement, I imagine, is just the graphics card memory for all those nice textures.

    • Don’t worry Dave. The elder scrolls mod community will no doubt answer your prayers (and mine). Half the excitement of the new game is the new engine and its brand new creation kit. Give the wizards at TESNexus a couple of months and we’ll see some shit that will give Aleks’ beasty a good workout.

  • My Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.40 GHz
    Videocard: 1GB GTX460

    I haven’t really been keeping up with PC specs but based on the above I assume I’ll be able to run it, can a PC enthusiast confirm?

    I was going to buy it on console because I assumed my PC was too old, but I really would prefer to play it on PC.

    • 1GB GTX460 isn’t so bad, but that CPU is getting a little old now. You could try and track down a higher end 775 CPU to just slot in (provided the motherboard supports it), like maybe a Core 2 Quad, but without changing your motherboard your options for upgrading are limited.

      • This. You’re probably gonna have to hit up ebay as well, most places hardly have any stock (if at all) for the 755 chipset nowadays.

        • Yeah 775 CPU’s can be hard to locate, but they’re around. We had 775 Core 2 Quads in the last PC shop I worked in around 6 months ago. Be an awesomely cheap upgrade too if you can find one!

          If you do find one, get your motherboard model number and check the manufacturer’s website and make sure it’s a supported CPU before you commit to it.

          Even if it isn’t it might be supported with a BIOS flash, but you’d have to make sure to do that before you switch CPU’s obviously.

          • Hm, might be I’ve got a Core 2 Quad Q6600 that will need offloading soon (almost got the last bits together for a new system build). I’ll prob chuck in the mobo as well rather than go to the trouble of separating. If anyone would be interested, lemme know and I’ll put up on ebay!

          • I’m planning on buying a new rig sometime next year, so I might buy the console version of Skyrim, then get the inevitible GOTY edition on PC when I have a new machine.

          • No wuzzas. If a new system is on the cards then you may as well stick with the PC version, man. I ran Oblivion for the first six months using minimal settings on my old PC and it was fine. I was used to the low draw distance from morrowind and bethsoft always give you a ton of options for optimising the game. Besides, it makes those spectacular vistas all the more worthwhile when you can finally see them in full res + expanded texture and lighting mods!:-)))

    • Frankly it should be fine. The GTX 460 is a fine card, CPU is adequate. If you need to you can always turn down the render distance.

      And no, console version is not an option. Mods, man!

  • *yawn* another console port. I hope it’s not as bad as Fallout III (puke).

    Honestly, why we hang onto $300 (low end), 5 yr old technology that is upgradable, hoping for the “latest greatest gaming experience” is beyond me…

    • Troll? Or just ignorant.. not sure.. but it has been said, by Howard, that the PC version has a dedicated team doing the graphics for the PC version etc.. so it’s not just a port.

  • Well I have everything except the HD4890 card.. but I think it will be fine.. I wonder if having a hex-core CPU will make any difference to having a quad-core..

    • As a programmer, I can tell you it will only be great if the developer has ported the game correctly so it takes advantage of the extra cores and the completely different memory model found in PCs than that found in consoles.

      I wouldn’t hold my breath. I look at the performance of some PC games and can easily sum it up as this: “Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, Alt-Tab, Ctrl-V, repeat…”

  • All a bunch of nerds… Game is going to be amazing so get out of your mums basement and get some sunlight until then

  • This is kind of odd considering my laptop happily meets minimum requirements, yet barely runs Oblivion… I never trust these things.

  • I don’t want to sound ignorant or anything, but to me this games graphics don’t seem all that impressive to me.

    • Right, because we all know impressive graphics makes a great game. Forget about good gameplay mechanics so long as it looks pretty thats all that matters.

      You didnt want to sound ignorant but you did a good job making yourself sound like one

  • Thats odd. I have a $800 laptop from the start of this year and yet It still could run that on Reccomended or higher. Seems Kinda feeble compared to BF3

  • Funny that the size of the specs is used to indicate the quality of the game. Maybe they just have some developers that can actually program?

    Check out older PC (Amiga/ST) games like Midwinter for how much can be fitted into very little. Go back further and check out Lords of Midnight and what was fitted into 48K of memory.

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