Skyrim on a medium-end laptop?

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
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Are there any mods you can recommend which will make Skyrim play better (and possibly look better) on my medium-end laptop? I am through playing it on the console (PS3) as I miss modding too much. I heard ENB can make it look better without cutting away too much FPS? These are my specs:

Laptop: Acer Aspire 5552G something-something
CPU: AMD Athlon II P360 2.3 Ghz (1MB L2 cache)
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6650M 1GB
RAM: 4GB dual-channel DDR3 @ 533 Mhz
OS: W7 Ultimate x64
External monitor: Some 22" Acer led monitor @ 1920x1080

I have played Skyrim a lot before on this laptop, but I forgot whatever mods I used back then (it was like 5 months ago)
 

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
62
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How much does the choice of resolution affect the average fps? I play at my monitor's max, 1080p, and I seem to get an average of 35-40fps, although it's very inconsistent and jittery/stuttery.

I also use some graphically dumbening mods to help gameplay. Now it looks like a 90's game, though.

Damn this laptop to he- ...ahem, some hot place.
 

sunzt

Diamond Member
Nov 27, 2003
3,076
3
81
Resolution is the single biggest free change you can do to increase performance.

And i don't think your laptop qualifies as a "medium" end one anymore.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,076
15,899
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It will work. The engine scales well with the various options and can be played on a lot of hardware. It may look unimpressive, but it will run.
 
Feb 6, 2007
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ENB can seriously hamper performance based on what options you enable. If you use it strictly for lighting or applying a different color palette, it's roughly on par with vanilla, but most people like ENB for effects like ambient occlusion or depth of field which provide a substantial performance hit. You might try this ENB, which includes a performance option that disables SSAO and DoF effects while keeping the basic lighting model of ENB intact (I didn't particularly like this ENB when I tried it, but it's proven pretty popular since its release and it is one of the few that includes options for lower spec machines).

As far as other mods go, you could probably get away with some medium resolution texture packs for various areas of the game. I'd focus on the stuff you prefer; if you spend most of your time in cities, focus on city textures. If you're always marveling at the flora and fauna, focus on texture packs for that. Texture Pack Combiner is a great resource for getting multiple texture replacement packs to work in combination with each other (I started using his pack and all recommended optional packs except the Milky Way galaxy and Sun Glare mods, and the game looks absolutely breathtaking). If you're not into downloading tons of texture packs, you could try this one, which claims to offer optimized HD textures that will look better than vanilla but not be too taxing. Ultimately, you probably won't be able to run too many mods relative to vanilla on that machine, so you'll just have to pick and choose which work best but still leave you with a playable experience.
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
5,493
3
81
Are there any mods you can recommend which will make Skyrim play better (and possibly look better) on my medium-end laptop? I am through playing it on the console (PS3) as I miss modding too much. I heard ENB can make it look better without cutting away too much FPS? These are my specs:

Laptop: Acer Aspire 5552G something-something
CPU: AMD Athlon II P360 2.3 Ghz (1MB L2 cache)
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6650M 1GB
RAM: 4GB dual-channel DDR3 @ 533 Mhz
OS: W7 Ultimate x64
External monitor: Some 22" Acer led monitor @ 1920x1080

I have played Skyrim a lot before on this laptop, but I forgot whatever mods I used back then (it was like 5 months ago)
The P360 is definitly going to be a weak point. That's an odd combination with a 6xxx GPU, I bought my sister a laptop for University 2-3 years ago with a P340 matched with a 4650 I believe.

At 1366x768 this game should run ok though.
 

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
62
0
0
The P360 is definitly going to be a weak point. That's an odd combination with a 6xxx GPU, I bought my sister a laptop for University 2-3 years ago with a P340 matched with a 4650 I believe.
Yeah, that lousy excuse of a processor is really bottlenecking my GPU, and the RAM clocked at 533 Mhz bottlenecks both, and itself.

I've given up on Skyrim on this craptop now. PS3 all the way until I can afford a gaming PC.
 

BudAshes

Lifer
Jul 20, 2003
13,614
2,708
136
122
Yeah, that lousy excuse of a processor is really bottlenecking my GPU, and the RAM clocked at 533 Mhz bottlenecks both, and itself.

I've given up on Skyrim on this craptop now. PS3 all the way until I can afford a gaming PC.
You already have a monitor, sell the ps3 and scrounge up a couple hundred extra bucks and you'd have a solid pc easy.
 

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
62
0
0
You already have a monitor, sell the ps3 and scrounge up a couple hundred extra bucks and you'd have a solid pc easy.
Well, considering I'm not allowed to sell the PS3, I have to wait. Strange, I bought it with my money and I am 18, yet dad says I can't sell it, since I'm not satisfied with anything I buy. Kinda true, though, but it's not my fault everything I buy is shit.

And the kind of gaming rig I want, converted to USD, costs around 2400 dollars with the way prices of stuff are in Sweden.

Oh shit, are you related to Sonz70?
Who? I tend to say "do anything" when I don't really mean it.
 

lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
32,539
260
126
Not looking like "lmedium" to me, and that resolution/monitor is killing you.
 

The_Golden_Man

Senior member
Apr 7, 2012
816
1
0
For me, Skyrim needs to stay at 60FPS (Vsync) almost at all times in order to feel fluid. If it drops much below it feels really jaggy.
 

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
62
0
0
Not looking like "lmedium" to me, and that resolution/monitor is killing you.
I know it is, but I just cannot bear with the laptop screen at all, it's got what, 135:1 contrast, while this external one has got 100 million:1

I can finally see the color red as red in a game instead of greyish-kinda red.

And I cannot go with an old monitor either. I'll drop the idea of Skyrim for this laptop and play on the PS3 instead.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,377
126
You can upgrade that CPU! Look for a Phenom II X920 on ebay, it's the same Socket S1G4 socket. Acer actually sells that same mobo with that CPU in it in a different model notebook.

Do two things first :

Make sure you have the latest bios applied.

Make sure you have some IC Diamond 7 or some other good thermal paste to put a grain-of-rice sized blob of on the new CPU die before installing it. Also clean the heatsink really well, most likely the stock thermal compound was some cheap garbage.
 

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
62
0
0
You can upgrade that CPU! Look for a Phenom II X920 on ebay, it's the same Socket S1G4 socket. Acer actually sells that same mobo with that CPU in it in a different model notebook.

Do two things first :

Make sure you have the latest bios applied.

Make sure you have some IC Diamond 7 or some other good thermal paste to put a grain-of-rice sized blob of on the new CPU die before installing it. Also clean the heatsink really well, most likely the stock thermal compound was some cheap garbage.
Yeah, I'm not gonna fiddle around inside the laptop. With my luck, I'll probably break the CPU or something, or better yet the motherboard.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,377
126
Yeah, I'm not gonna fiddle around inside the laptop. With my luck, I'll probably break the CPU or something, or better yet the motherboard.
Hahaha it's not that hard, but I understand the reluctance.

At least flip it over, take out the battery and remove the AC, and see if the CPU is accessible by a simple screwed-on cover. It's rare, but some laptops just let you get right to it like that.

If you don't feel comfortable though, the usual way is to take a ton of screws out, take the optical drive and hdd out, take the keyboard off and plastic cover over the hinge area, disconnect the wifi antenna leads and display cable, unscrew the hinges and remove the lcd, remove the rest of the screws that are on top, pop the upper plastics off, unscrew the mobo, remove the mobo, flip the mobo over, disassemble the heatsink/fan assembly, and THEN you get to the CPU. Basically it sucks even if you do it all the time like me. And some laptop makers insist on using like 9 *slightly* different types of screws just to make it extra confusing.

If you do so, I recommend taking a bunch of pictures as you go with a decent digital camera, you can use paint to make notes on them, and then use them as a slideshow as you put it back together to aid in the steps.

Anyways :

TL:DR - It's not fun, but not impossible either.
 

Theshawty

Member
Aug 15, 2012
62
0
0
Hahaha it's not that hard, but I understand the reluctance.
At least flip it over, take out the battery and remove the AC, and see if the CPU is accessible by a simple screwed-on cover. It's rare, but some laptops just let you get right to it like that.

If you don't feel comfortable though, the usual way is to take a ton of screws out, take the optical drive and hdd out, take the keyboard off and plastic cover over the hinge area, disconnect the wifi antenna leads and display cable, unscrew the hinges and remove the lcd, remove the rest of the screws that are on top, pop the upper plastics off, unscrew the mobo, remove the mobo, flip the mobo over, disassemble the heatsink/fan assembly, and THEN you get to the CPU. Basically it sucks even if you do it all the time like me. And some laptop makers insist on using like 9 *slightly* different types of screws just to make it extra confusing.

If you do so, I recommend taking a bunch of pictures as you go with a decent digital camera, you can use paint to make notes on them, and then use them as a slideshow as you put it back together to aid in the steps.

Anyways :

That makes climbing Mount Everest sound like an easier thing to do.

TL:DR - It's not fun, but not impossible either.
Nothing's impossible, although some things are only possible once. ;)
 
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