AMD Performance Driver Update 11.11c

By Published December 03, 2011 at 4:29 pm

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:

HDD Prices to Remain High Through Spring, says WD

By Published December 02, 2011 at 9:44 pm

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.


Best Skyrim Graphics Mods: Before and After

By Published December 02, 2011 at 2:42 am

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 Announces Commander MS-I Snow Edition Case

By Published November 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

thermaltake-commander-snow1Thermaltake'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.


NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti 448-Core Detailed, Launches Today

By Published November 29, 2011 at 12:41 am

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."


Battlefield 3 Marked Down to $30 for Black Friday

By Published November 25, 2011 at 12:10 am

EA's Origin has currently listed Battlefield 3 as $30, 50% off, and says the deal will last for only today (Black Friday). The deal is allegedly available only to North American users of Origin, so if you're interested in BF3 and haven't picked it up yet, now might be your shot to do so.

If you haven't already seen our Black Friday Survival Guide by FJ, check it out here to capitalize on those deals!

It's fair to say that all of us, deep down inside, knew that TES:V would be no different from its four predecessors: buggy, crash-happy, and aggravating. While the game might make up for the crashes in its freedom factor for some, the infamous "Skyrim failed to start (error 51)" bugs, crashes when Skyrim loads or zones, black screens on alt-tab, and generally Skyrim crashing to desktop nearly stopped me from playing altogether.

I persisted, as we preach on our support forums, and found an equal number of potential fixes to the crashes and bugs (even the graphics artifacts and texture tearing). Now, since I don't have the same configuration as all of you do, the best I can do is tell you what has worked for me and others -- if none of these work for you, feel free to comment below and we'll try to figure it out together. That said, if you know of a different solution, please post it in the comments to help others who visit this page. Let's get started with our Skyrim crash fixes!

The Best Skyrim Graphics Overhaul Mods

By Published November 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Update: For a total Skyrim graphics, mechanics, and content overhaul, view our newest guide!

Skyrim's only been out for a few weeks, but as soon as the game hit the shelves, enhancements propagated on TES websites worldwide. We've taken the time to sift through nearly every mod on Skyrim Nexus just so we can tell you what the best Skyrim mods are (and the most stable). Enjoy these graphical improvements to an already-beautiful game! Oh, and if you need to update your computer's hardware to take advantage of some of these, check out our Black Friday shopping guide for the best video card deals of the weekend.

Skyrim Fix: Mouse Lag and Smoothing

By Published November 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm

UPDATE: We have posted a list of several additional fixes for all types of issues in Skyrim. If the below solution does not work for you, try checking our complete Skyrim glitch fix guide.

As we noted in our Skyrim minimize workaround, the game shipped with a number of annoyances for PC gamers (especially those experienced with the TES series). One of the more noticeable, more obnoxious mini-issues is that of mouse smoothing and mouse lag in Skyrim for PC: if you've ever felt like whipping your mouse around doesn't feel quite right, or if the mouse sensitivity feels too low in Skyrim despite how high you turned it up, this fix should help you out. It was the first thing I did before setting off on my 'hardcore mode' adventures!

Here's the fix:

Skyrim minimize black-screen and crash fix

By Published November 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm

UPDATE: We have posted a complete Skyrim glitch-fix guide, found here. If you're experiencing crashes or glitches, check it out for more detailed help.

Skyrim's big release has not been free from its share of video hangs and crashes; we noticed earlier while playing that minimizing and maximizing Skyrim often resulted in a black-screen graphics hang. There's an easy workaround to fix Skyrim's screen going blank on maximizing that we've detailed below -- it's certainly no permanent fix, but for now, it's an easy workaround that anyone can do for Skyrim on the PC.


Follow these steps to successfully restore Skyrim and avoid an alt-F4 of doom:

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