The Elder Scrolls

Best (budget) GPU for a vivid skyrim?

Content of the article: "Best (budget) GPU for a vivid skyrim?"

Hey guys,

About 2 weeks ago I made a similar post asking you guys for the best processor to play a heavily modded Skyrim (ended up going with the R5 3600, thanks for those that helped). I've ordered all of my parts except for the graphics card, as I'm in dire need of some advice. I've spent 2-3 days of researching about the various gpu's required to play a graphically beautiful skyrim and most of them are way out of my budget. The most common ones I've seen are like the 1080 Ti, 1660 Ti, 5700 xt, 2070 S, etc. These cards, despite their raw performance, are very expensive here in Canada. They start at $450 and can go all the way to $700. That's why I've decided to opt for a more budget GPU like the RX 580 (8GB) or the 5500xt, which are closer to $250 -$310. The main reason I like these cards is because of their 8GB VRAM capacity which, based on my research, is what is needed for high-end ENB's, textures, and meshes. Although I understand that the RX580 and its Polaris architecture is slowly showing its age, and newer mid-range gpu's like the the GTX 1660 fare much better mainly due the 12 nm Turing architecture, I think the additional VRAM that the RX580 provides is a huge plus for mods (correct me if I'm wrong). Based on benchmarking videos, heavily modded skyrim can eat up to 9 GB of VRAM when in densely textured areas like the outskirts of Whiterun, forests of Riften, or even within any town by JK's Towns & Cities. I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of FPS just to make my game look good – it should be playable though.

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I'm really at a crossroads here, since I want to be able to make my game look somewhat like Toxic Gaming's Ultra Modded Skyrim 2019 (video below) but at the same time use a GPU that isn't super expensive. In the video, he uses a Gigabyte 1060 OC to run his game, and based on research it seems like the RX 580 in general performs better than the 1060. So I'm guessing my game could probably look like his?

In all honesty, I'm not too sure what GPU would be the best for me here. I believe that the RX 580 having a higher VRAM count would probably increase the number of texture mods I can install. But something like the 1660 with less VRAM could probably still bring about smoother performance and gameplay due to the GDDR6 memory and modern architecture. It also seems like NVIDIA's graphics cards are less buggy, and have more impactful driver updates, although I'm not sure if that really matters.


Trying to find a budget GPU that can make my game almost look like this

. 50 – 60 fps is more than enough for me. Budget is $250 – $330 CAD.

  1. Is VRAM more important than anything else when it comes to creating a realistic Skyrim?
  2. Should I buy the RX580 for $ 270 + tax or should I just spend the extra $50 and get a 1660 Super?


60 Hz 1080p monitor, R5 3600



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