Even with our struggle to make Skyrim evermore graphically pleasing, nostalgia still gets the best of us and hearkens back to a simpler time of blocky, spiky, pixelated graphics. If you've wanted to play Minecraft in Skyrim (or Skyrim in Minecraft, for that matter), Astal's "Skyrim Retro Project" arcade-style graphics mod certainly brews a bizarre amalgamation of highly contrasting and seemingly low-res textures to re-imagine Skyrim as a game of yore.
The Bulldozer's lackluster launch left us all wanting more from AMD, especially given the momentum that Intel has picked up with its Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge series -- that wish may be answered soon. AMD has announced to its partners that the processor codenamed Vishera, using the overcompensating "Piledriver" cores, should hit production queues in Q3 of 2012, with prototypes projected for Q2 2012 alongside the new Volan platform (utilizing AM3+ as Bulldozer does). We don't expect to see any noticeable impact on CPU development as a result of the 28% decay in PC market growth.
Computer hardware market analysis firm IHS iSuppli has informed us that it expects 23 million fewer computers to ship in 2012 than it had originally forecast, currently projected at 376 million shipments down from 399 million shipments. The decay in PC sales growth will drop the industry from a 9.5% global spurt to 6.8%.
For those of you contemplating your character's existence in Skyrim, this small utility lets you change your race, skills, health, magicka, stamina, gold, appearance, and much more in TES V. This nifty program was added to Skyrim Nexus just recently. Here's the break-down.
The days of 4MB drives being massive are long passed, thankfully, and now we're breaking into new hard drive capacity territory. Despite the HDD industry's slow recovery speed, Hitachi has shipped its most recent Deskstar 5K, a 4TB HDD that runs at 5900RPM (dubbed the 'CoolSpin' by Hitachi), 32MB of cache, and a SATA III interface (6Gb/s max bandwidth).
AMD has released yet another driver update for their popular RADEON series video cards. This update focuses on improving overall performance, geometry artifacts, and intermittent crashes/black screens for the games Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Rage, Batman: Arkham City, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. You can view a full list of changes below:
As we warned in our recent budget gaming PC build, for the last month or two now, hard drive prices have skyrocketed as a result of the flooding in Thailand (again, our hearts to those affected). As an example, WD's Caviar Blue and Caviar Black series have both shot from around $40 to the $150 range; some drives are altogether unavailable now, especially most of the mid-high range drives, leaving only poorly performing hard drives at inflated prices.
Update: For a total Skyrim graphics, mechanics, and content overhaul, view our newest guide!
After posting our recent article about the best graphics mods out for Skyrim, we had to put together the best possible comparison to truly showcase the wondrous power of the modding community; this graphics comparison experiment uses a native PC copy of Skyrim set to the maximum graphics settings and an ultra-modded, heavily-tweaked version of Skyrim that is otherwise "beyond max." We'll let the pictures do the talking -- the mods used are described in depth below all of them. If you want to make Skyrim less gray, this is your ticket.
We kept all times, weather patterns, and locations identical (or nearly so). Images on the right are modded; left are native.
Thermaltake's sleek Commander MS-I case has been re-colored in a wintery white-black theme. The Commander MSI- Snow Edition provides a more appealing solution to those who might not be aesthetically tickled by the case chosen for our $482 budget PC build.
This newest edition of Thermaltake cases proves their legacy as designers of "gamer-esque" cases, as the Chaser MK-I E-Sports case originally established.
If you're ragequitting over the fact that your current system won’t quite be able to run Star Wars: the Old Republic and you can afford something more powerful than our $482 budget pc build, there's good news for you: nVidia will be releasing an updated version of the mid-range 560 Ti with similar architecture to that of the GTX 570. The new card has been officially named the 560Ti 448-Core, but to prevent confusion in this news post, we'll be referring to the old variant as the "v1" and the new one as "v2."
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