This is sort of a two-in-one fix – at least, it was for us.

Fallout 4, shipping tomorrow, is built on the same engine as Skyrim and previous Fallout games. Anyone familiar with Skyrim's expandability through mods and .ini tweaking may recall “iPresentInterval” – well, it's back.

iPresentInterval isn't just a V-Sync equivalent, which would lock the framerate to the refresh rate; instead, iPresentInterval caps the framerate at a hard 60 max (even with a 120Hz display). In Skyrim, changing this setting could impact physics events and was often recommended left on, despite the framerate limitation. To be fair, neither Skyrim nor Fallout are games that benefit from the notoriously high framerates demanded by CSGO players, for instance, but users of high refresh rate monitors still want their FPS.

A dozen hours of Black Ops 3 testing completed and we're moving to the next sequentially-incremented video game: Fallout 4. It's got a bigger number at the end.

Bethesda has one of the longest development life cycles in the industry, but the company's games are also among – arguably – the longest lasting, thanks to the undying efforts of modders. It helps that the modding community is able to fill gaps in Bethesda's code or build entirely new games from the strong foundation set forth by the veteran RPG team.

Our Fallout 4 game review & gameplay analysis is live on the homepage already, if that's what you're looking for. This post looks exclusively and in depth at Fallout 4's graphics settings and performance on PC. The below Fallout 4 PC benchmark tests FPS performance across nVidia and AMD GPUs, including the GTX 750 Ti, 960, 970, 270X, 285, 390X, and many more. VRAM and memory consumption is also looked at loosely below, hopefully establishing a baseline for the best video cards for Fallout 4 on PC.

Because mod tools don't yet exist – and certainly no mods did during our pre-release testing – we are not accounting for the inevitable performance hit created by future graphics mods.

Update: Volumetric lighting benchmark now live.

Living up to the rolling hype-ball generated by Fallout 4 seems nearly impossible. After reminiscing about Fallout 3 for years, living through false rumors, and the non-stop recent postings pertaining to Bethesda’s latest game, expectations are at an all-time high.

Fallout 4 is the much-anticipated continuation of the Fallout series. The first-person shooter, role-playing game is based in a futuristic world similar to our own, but diverging on a timeline wrought with nuclear war.

The newest game in the series is set in Commonwealth of Massachusetts -- Boston, specifically. Fallout 4 has been in development since the release of Fallout 3, a late 2008 launch, and uses the same engine as Skyrim. The basic storyline (note: this only covers the very beginning and initial storyline setup, nothing more) behind Fallout 4 is that a family is cryogenically frozen in Vault 111, after getting in just as the nuclear bombs go off. We’re then awoken, and see our child being taken by two unknown NPCs who’ve just killed our significant other. After waking up again, we discover that we’re the only one left alive in Vault 111. So begins the game, setting forth on a journey to find a child.

Now that the background is established, let’s cover some of the features Bethesda did well on: settlement building, FPS mechanics, weapon and armor modding, and game atmosphere. We’ll later visit subpar performance for average graphics and irritating bugs.

2015 has proven to be a relatively big year for game releases: GTA V, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and Battlefront are all certifiable “block-busters.” As we ramp into next week's Fallout 4 release date, 11/10, we thought it wise to prepare a budget gaming PC for playing the game at high settings.

A full Fallout 4 GPU benchmark will be published closer to launch, alongside several other tech articles, but we're going to open the floor with this build. Bethesda posted somewhat zealous recommended specs for Fallout 4 already. Despite this, the game is easily played on most mid-range GPUs and CPUs, as should be apparent from its relatively modest graphics, and it'll run well on the R9 380 and high-end i3 CPUs. That's what we've got here – a ~$550 budget gaming PC build for Fallout 4, taking the DIY approach to drive costs down.

Here's the list:

Fallout 4 is one of Bethesda’s most anticipated forthcoming games. We previously covered the Fallout 4 trailer and the follow-up E3 presentation; since then, though, there has been little substantial news. Bethesda did tweet that Fallout 4 has over 111k lines of dialogue, which is more than Fallout 3 and Skyrim combined, but that’s about the most that’s come out.

Just yesterday, Bethesda offered another peek at Fallout by way of Fallout 4’s recommended and minimum system requirements.

We already covered Fallout 4’s initial trailer, along with analysis of what was seen in the reveal. Just Sunday night, Bethesda showed more of the much-anticipated post-apocalypse title at their E3 press conference. This is by far the most comprehensive view of Fallout 4 we have seen to-date, so now comes the time to look over everything.

For die-hard Fallout fans, the hype train has exploded from the station. With rockets. And possibly a few deathclaws running after it. This is thanks to Bethesda’s release of its first-ever glimpse of Fallout 4. Recently, a countdown on Bethesda’s Fallout site (and Fallout4.com) appeared, lacking any real details. It was simply a countdown with the iconic “Please Stand By” loading screen from Fallout.

On April 25, Valve revealed to the public a collaborative effort with Bethesda and a handful of selected modders, aiming to bring monetized mods for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to the Steam Workshop. The concept was received with brutally negative feedback from the community and, less than a week after the release of the system, Valve and Bethesda decided to shut it all down.

When the issue was still hot and the outcome unclear, I made two albums regarding the quality of these mods. You can check them out on imgur here and here. We have rehosted just a few of the dozens of images.

It’s easy to see where Valve is coming from with the original concept: The company solely exists with thanks to mods. The GoldSrc engine was not the first to provide modding capabilities, but it stands as a significant milestone in the existence of this intensive and appreciated gaming niche. It was on GoldSrc that we saw the first cases of free community mods transcending their amateur roots and evolving into full-fledged, professional games. The list is long, but some of the best-known PC games are rooted in this background: Counter-Strike was a Half-Life mod, Team Fortress Classic was a Quake mod remade in the GoldSrc Engine (itself a Quake engine mod) then in Source, Dota was a Warcraft 3 map, Killing Floor was an Unreal Tournament mutator, and the list goes on. With the recent explosion of free-to-play titles with monetized User Generated Content, like Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and – to some extent – CS:GO, it’s no wonder Valve decided to give Skyrim a shot of the same business model.

Bethesda recently announced their first free-to-play game, Battlecry, showcased at Quakecon 2014 in a flurry of open tournaments. This was the first public glimpse of Battlecry, and it certainly didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

battlecry-qc-3

The ability to mod games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim is one of the biggest advantages toward longevity when compared to other, less modifiable RPGs. Fallout: New Vegas -- Bethesda’s most recent post-apocalyptic RPG -- is not an exception to this. With a multitude of mods available on NexusMods, it’s certainly not difficult to find oneself with 60+ mods adding anything from high-resolution textures to overhauls for major factions to new weapons. Today, we’re going to be showing how to completely overhaul Fallout: New Vegas into a harsh, unforgiving, immersive wasteland by using a compilation of graphics mods, content / quest mods, mechanics overhaul, and more. Welcome to "Fallout: New Vegas - 2014."

fonv-m1-slide

Luckily, Fallout: New Vegas is fairly easy to mod, but due to the large number of mods, this article will be split into six different sections: required mods, graphics, quests/content & mechanics, other mods, how to install Fallout: New Vegas mods, and tips/conclusion.

Note: This mod overhaul requires all the DLC for Fallout: NV along with the most recent update from Bethesda.

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