i want to wander around and loot properly please.
December 1, 2011 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Please help with my woefully performing installation of Skyrim. Several problems and my Noob-ular cluelessness inside.

Specs: dell inspiron BTS, 3gb ram, intel pentium CPU, 2.13 Ghz.

windows 7 64 bit. Happy to change that if needed.

Problem: The mouse is really, really jerky. Do I simply need a USB mouse or something? I have everything on the lowest frame rate and complexity and I still feel like I am stumbling around drunkenly or have Parkinsons or something.

I tried using game booster 3, I tried this youtube video that had me edit a file called TSV to accept an address of over 2 gigs... this just caused the game not to start until I put that back.

I run my game through Steam.

I just want smooth play. Do I remap my mousepad in some way or use a plug in mouse or add RAM or what? I don't care about the beautiful textures so much.
posted by By The Grace of God to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What kind of video card do you have? If your problem is what I'm reading it as (low framerate even on the lowest graphics settings) it sounds like your computer just may not be up to spec. Skyrim is a really graphics-intensive game.
posted by Nomiconic at 1:53 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just to add a datapoint, I am running Skyrim on my PC with 4gb ram, a core duo processor and an Geforce 7900 video card that's about 5 years old.

It runs on the lowest graphical settings and I find the mouse is fairly jerky, too - it's especially awful on the menus. I have adjusted the mouse sensitivity in Skyrim settings so that it's playable.
posted by gnutron at 1:58 PM on December 1, 2011

shows Intel HD Graphics, not sure where to find additional information
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:02 PM on December 1, 2011

Do you have a friend who would lend you a graphics card to see if that helps? As I understand it, intel HD Graphics is built into your CPU.

You might also try checking your computer with http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/intro.aspx -it should point out any components that are below the min or recommended specs for the game
posted by missmagenta at 2:08 PM on December 1, 2011

The problem might not be with your video card at all. These two tips worked for me:

Go to C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim. Create a backup copy of SkyrimPrefs.ini, then open the original file. Scroll down to the [Controls] header, and under that, find "bMouseAcceleration=1". Change it to "bMouseAcceleration=0". This should make your mouse much more responsive.

Then add "iPresentInterval=0" (without the quotation marks) to the bottom of the [Display] section. This will disable something called "vertical syncing" and should improve your framerate and mouse response.
posted by Zozo at 2:09 PM on December 1, 2011

The MeFightClub Wiki has a page on Skyrim UI tweaks.

That said, I think it's going to be tough for you to get decent performance out of Skyrim using integrated graphics. Gamers that want to play recent releases basically need a dedicated video card with its own RAM that handles all the 3D computations so that your CPU can handle all the other stuff without having to worry about the graphics. Knowing I was going to want to play Skyrim, for example, I upgraded from a Radeon HD4670 to a Radeon HD6850. Unfortunately, the naming conventions and price points for video cards are very confusing, so if you decide you want to get a card, feel free to toss me a MeMail, I might be able to help.
posted by kavasa at 2:26 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Your "Intel HD Graphics" is built into your motherboard and woefully underpowered for Skyrim (or any modern graphics-heavy game, really). For example, the "Intel HD Graphics 3000" chipset in my Macbook chokes on Fallout New Vegas, a year-old game with the same engine and similar system requirements, even at modest quality settings.

You need a dedicated video card. You can get a decent one that will likely run Skyrim just fine for <$100. Your Dell may or may not have the necessary expansion slot, though.
posted by neckro23 at 2:26 PM on December 1, 2011

You say the mouse is "jerky" but how is the framerate, does that appear smooth? (by framerate I mean the quality of the things moving on the screen when not using the mouse).

If that is smooth, then your video is likely fine. You could instead have a chipset, usb, or IRQ level issue that is causing excessive "interrupts" to the stream of data coming from your mouse.

However, if the screen is choppy along with the mouse movements (eg. the fluidity of animations, like NPCs walking etc is jerky as well) then your issue is likely more on the chipset/video and HD level.

These two scenarios (not the only scenarios of course, just the ones that come to my mind) have slightly different approaches...but essentially you'll want to get the latest chipset and video drivers installed for your system as a first step. From there, using a combination of CPUID, process monitor, ccleaner, and deviceremover, you can probably narrow it down more (can post more detailed instructions later when I'm home). Depending on the BIOS, it also helps in some cases to separate the USB IRQ from the video IRQ...this used to be more of an issue on older PCs, but I still see it crop up here and there...hence the old adage "plug n pray"
posted by samsara at 2:26 PM on December 1, 2011

I think it is the mouse because I plugged in my housemates mouse and it moved a lot better.
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:29 PM on December 1, 2011

also my video card failed but it is MUCH better with the mouse. He needed it back to play bloody VENDETTA ONLINE, so I am going to need to wait until I can get one of my own.
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:32 PM on December 1, 2011

Just stating what is the bleeding obvious for most PC gamers: Do not use a wireless mouse. They tend to be jerky and unresponsive for games.
posted by arzakh at 5:21 AM on December 2, 2011

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