See The Differences Between Skyrim's PC Graphics Settings

A user at Bethesda's forums has posted four screenshots of Skyrim running at its four basic PC graphics settings: Low, Medium, High and Ultra. We've already seen that the required system specs for the game aren't too bad, though to run on Ultra you'll need a bit more under the hood.

I've been playing on 360, and it looks pretty damned good, despite some cruddy textures and animations. Looking through these screens, I'm very much looking forward to seeing the game running on PC, since the 360 is probably comparable to the "low" image here, stretched onto a TV.

That lead image is just a composite — the four images are located below. Click 'Expand' to see them embiggened.

Skyrim PC Comparison [Bethesda Blog via Gameranx]






    Is it just me or is there seemingly no big difference between the settings here? :s

      yeah I cant tell the difference either :S

      if you look at it full screen there is a difference between low and ultra. the jagged edges, textures etc. It would be more noticeable in motion too.

      Having said that it looks pretty nice

      Open the Low and Ultra, like the full sized image.

      Now switch between the two and notice the texture detail and more importantly all the shadow details. Shadows are what stress most graphics cards.

      two easy places to notice the difference is the light reflecting off the water and also the posts hold up the bridge in the water. on low they have no ropes but Ultra they do.

      Yeah viewing them full size, there is quite a difference, particularly in texture quality, AA, and depth of field effects.

    there is ... No difference? Ok....

    On the lowest settings, they found the areas so graphically unidentifiable that they had to put the name of the area in the upper corner. That's good thinking.

    ... i honestly can't see a difference... :s

      OHHH I SEE IT NOW!!1






    Maybe a slight increase in detail quality on the trees?
    I don't know, Cant really see much difference either

    The water is different. Easy. I will just stay away from water :D

      Most likely I am just seeing the water not in exactly the same state. So I am also a NO DIFFERENCE! poster.

      You make Skyrim sad by not witnessing it in Ultra glory. You don't want to make Skyrim sad, do you?


    Last edited 18/06/15 12:44 pm

      See, on pc you get to "play" with the settings. You get a whole extra game in your game! Bam! Value!

        lol u mad bro?

    From messing about under the hood, I've noticed the higher settings look best while in motion. But yeah, could have picked a better spot to show off.

    For the people that claim they're seeing no difference.

    Stop being lazy and open each picture in different tabs and click each one in sequence, you will most definitely notice a difference in each shot.


    Look at the tree's trunk and leaves, and the ground around the tree specifically between Low and Ultra. The textures are just better on Ultra. Also how objects look in the distance are different.

    Oh, and to disable VSync in Skyrim, add iPresentInterval=0 to the bottom of the [Display] section of the Skyrim.ini file in the \Users\[Username]\My Documents\My Games\Skyrim directory.
    Thank god for TweakGuides!

    The difference between low and ultra are like night and day. Look at the texturing, shadows and jagginess on the wheelhouse, the rocks and path in the background to the right of the house, the complete lack of stuff on the right hanbd side of the screen, the mountains in the background, the thatch on the house, the clothing on the protagonist...

    I'm usually no graphics whore, but holy shit does the low shot look positively atrocious by comparison.

    Does it have DX11 stuff as well? This still looks DX9...

      Nah, theres no DX11, its DX9 only :(

    Maybe a slight difference around the logs and the mist by the mill. other than that, there's not much to talk about.

    I actually think high looks better than ultra. If you compare the 2, ultra seems to blur the textures slightly. High looks sharper.

    No doubt there will be a setting to turn it off, whatever it is. Unless this is like a lot of ports lately & get limited options for video settings.

      Could either be anisotropic filtering turned down or the pictures could be mixed by human error but I agree, high does look a little crisper.

      Its a scaler engine. No ports (except for tweaks on specific platforms).

    Looks like low disables ambient occlusion and soft shadowing, also drops the texture resolution by a fair margin. Also looks like the Distance LOD is significantly reduced.

    I'd be interested in seeing the PC versions Low and Mediume settings vs the Console.

    Bridge pylon textures, The water wheel goes from straight brown to grey and textured. These changes can be clearly seen even on the 'thumbnail' images.

      Regardless of differences in quality it does look tasty and can't wait to take it off my shelf and finally play it. For now it will remain in my pile of shame.

    Big difference is shadows. Looks ten times better on ultra, although I'll be looking for some SSAO and higher res textures.

    Wow, if you're not seeing any difference between them, time to get your eyes checked.

    I got to say, was a little dissapointed in the 360 versions texture detail, other than that though it looks great! I reckon that Assasins Creed games really have the most detailed textures on the current-gen systems. The latest games are looking great, though the age of the tech is starting to stand out like dogs balls! Im hopeing Bethesda will develop a version for Xbox720/PS4 and let us import our save files - that'd be great!

    Your problem here is that it's on a 360. No matter what setting it's on, it looks subpar.

    Look at the side of the building as you flick between the tabs you opened of each image. The texture/shadow changes pretty obviously.

    The pc textures still look pretty shoddy and dated close-up even on max detail. The character faces and clothing in particular seem to have suffered from upscaled textures that look spotty and under-detailed. The character models themselves look about 5 years old on the design spectrum and really don't compete in any way with games like The Witcher 2.

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