Check if Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Will Run on Your Mac (in Bootcamp)

Nov 11, 2011 - 100 Comments

Skyrim on a Mac

Will Elder Scrolls V Skyrim run decent on your Mac? If your Mac is relatively new (2009 models and up) the answer is probably, but before you go jumping into Bootcamp, installing Windows on another partition, and buying the game, let’s check to be certain that it will run on your hardware, and run at an acceptable rate for that matter.

First up, here are the general Skyrim system specs for those who are savvy enough to take this information and make a decision on that alone:

Recommended Specs – (For running Skyrim on “High” settings at 1920×1080 resolution)

  • Quad-core Intel CPU
  • 4GB System RAM
  • 6GB free HDD space
  • DirectX 9 compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher; ATI Radeon 4890 or higher)

Minimum Specs – (For running Skyrim on “Low” settings at 1920×1080 resolution)

  • Dual Core Intel 2.0GHz or better
  • 2GB System RAM
  • 6GB free HDD Space
  • Direct X 9 compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM

Both cases you’ll need a DirectX compatible sound card but all Macs have those so that isn’t an issue. The first thing to notice is that in terms of RAM and CPU, nearly all modern Macs meet or exceed those specs, so what you really want to focus on is the graphics card chipset and video RAM (VRAM).

Step 1) Find Mac Graphics & GPU Info

What we’re going to do is retrieve the graphics card info from your Mac and then search a giant list of compatible GPU’s to see if and where it appears on a giant list below, this will let you know if your Mac can handle running Skyrim.

  • Hold down the Option key and click on the  Apple menu in the upper left corner, select the top result which is “System Information”
  • Now in System Profiler, look under the “Hardware” list and click on “Graphics/Displays”
  • Look next to “Chipset Model” (see the red square in screenshot) and copy the numerical value of the chipset into your clipboard
  • Check Mac GPU info

  • Check out the value next to “VRAM (Total)” as well, highlighted in blue in the screenshot, the higher this is the better, with lower values greatly reducing the texture and resolution quality you can run the game

Step 2) Search GPU List for a Match

There’s really one one step here, it’s using that chipset info to see if you can find a match from the huge list of video cards below:

  • Come back to this web page and hit Command+F in your browser window, then paste in that numerical value and hit return to search the giant video card list below

Find a result? Congrats, you can probably run Skyrim, scroll up to see where the assumed graphics settings will be. If you’re barely on the edge, you may want to reconsider. If you’re in doubt, don’t risk wasting the money and just play the console version that is guaranteed to work well.

Don’t see a match? Try searching for a variation of the chipset (320M vs GeForce 320) to see if that’s how it’s listed instead. Remember, this list is intended for PC users and not Mac users, and sometimes the GPU is listed or named slightly different.

Still don’t see a match? It probably won’t run, this includes most of the Intel chipsets, sorry! Go for the Xbox or PS3 versions instead.

Super Huge Skryim Video Card List

Below is the humungous list from the Bethesda Software forums of compatible video cards grouped by their expected performance. We’re listing video cards that are beyond what would ship with Macs because some of you may have upgraded yourself or you may be running a Hackintosh, or maybe you’re just curious for your household PC. This list is repeated verbatim, they’re obviously geared towards Windows/PC users so there are plenty of GPU’s that won’t be relevant to us in the list:
—-

Personal Computer

Very High / Extremely High:

GeForce Mars II Dual GTX 580 3GB
Radeon HD6990 4GB
GeForce GTX 590 3GB
Radeon HD6870X2 2GB
Radeon HD5870X2 4GB
Radeon HD5970 4GB
Radeon HD5970 2GB
GeForce GTX 580 3GB
GeForce GTX 580 1536MB – GeForce GTX 460 2Win 2GB
Radeon HD6970 2GB
GeForce GTX 570 1280MB
GeForce GTX 480 1536MB
Radeon HD6950 2GB
Radeon HD6950 1GB
GeForce GTX 295 1792MB
Radeon HD4870X2 2GB
Radeon HD5870 2GB
Radeon HD5870 1GB
GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB
GeForce GTX 470 1280MB
Radeon HD6870 1GB
GeForce GTX 560 1GB
Radeon HD5850 1GB
Radeon HD6850 1GB
GeForce GTX 460 2GB
GeForce GTX 285 2GB
GeForce GTX 460 1GB
GeForce GTX 465 1GB
Radeon HD4850X2 2GB
Radeon HD4850X2 1GB
GeForce GTX 285 1GB

High / Very High:

GeForce GTX 460 768MB
GeForce GTX 460 SE 1GB
Radeon HD5830 1GB
Radeon HD6790 1GB
GeForce GTX 275 1792MB
Radeon HD4890 2GB
GeForce GTX 280 1GB
GeForce GTX 275 896MB
GeForce 9800GX2 1GB
Radeon HD4890 1GB
GeForce GTX 260-Core 216 896MB
GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB
Radeon HD4870 1GB
Radeon HD5770 1GB / HD6770 1GB
Radeon HD4870 512MB
GeForce GTX 260 896MB

Medium / High:

GeForce GTS 450 1GB
Radeon HD3870X2 1GB
Radeon HD5750 1GB / HD6750 1GB
GeForce GTS 250 1GB
Radeon HD4850 1GB
GeForce 9800GTX+ 512MB/GTS250 512MB
GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB
Radeon HD4850 512MB
GeForce 9800GTX 512MB
GeForce 8800GTX 768MB
Radeon HD4770 512MB
GeForce 8800GTS 512MB (G92)
Radeon HD6670 1GB
Radeon HD4830 512MB
Radeon HD5670 1GB
Radeon HD5670 512MB
Radeon HD6570 1GB
GeForce 8800GT 1GB/9800GT 1GB
GeForce 8800GT 512MB/9800GT 512MB
Radeon HD2900XT 1GB
Radeon HD4730 512MB
GeForce 9600GT 1GB
GeForce 9600GT 512MB/GTS240 512MB
GeForce GT 240 1GB
GeForce GT 240 512MB
Radeon HD2900XT 512MB
Radeon HD3870 512MB
GeForce 8800GTS 640MB (112SP)
GeForce 8800GTS 640MB
Radeon HD4670 1GB
Radeon HD4670 512MB
Radeon HD2900Pro 512MB
Radeon HD3850 512MB
GeForce 8800GT 256MB
GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
GeForce 8800GS 384MB/9600GSO 384MB
GeForce 9600GSO 768MB
GeForce 9600GSO 512MB (G94)

Low / Medium:

Radeon HD5570 1GB
GeForce GT 430 1GB
Radeon HD6450 1GB
GeForce GT 520 1GB
Radeon HD5550 1GB
Radeon HD3850 256MB
GeForce 7950GX2 1GB
GeForce 7900GX2 1GB
Radeon X1950XTX 512MB
GeForce 7800GT Dual 512MB
Radeon X1900XTX 512MB
Radeon X1900XT 512MB
GeForce 7900GTX 512MB
Radeon X1950XT 256MB
Radeon X1900XT 256MB
GeForce 7900GTO 512MB
GeForce 7800GTX 512MB
GeForce 7950GT 512MB
Radeon X1950Pro 512MB
Radeon HD2900GT 256MB
Radeon X1950Pro 256MB
Radeon HD4650 512MB
GeForce 8600GTS 512MB
GeForce 8600GTS 256MB
GeForce 7900GT 512MB
GeForce GT 220 1GB
GeForce GT 220 512MB
GeForce 9500GT 1GB
GeForce 9500GT 512MB
Radeon X1800XT 512MB
GeForce 7900GS 512MB
GeForce 8600GT 512MB
Radeon X1950GT 512MB
Radeon X1900GT 256MB
Radeon X1800XT 256MB
GeForce 7900GT 256MB
GeForce 7800GTX 256MB
GeForce 7800GS Bliss+ 512MB
Radeon X1900GT Rev2 256MB
GeForce 7800GT 256MB
Radeon X1800XL 256MB
GeForce 7800GS 256MB
Radeon X1800GTO 256MB
GeForce 8600GT 256MB
Radeon X1650XT 256MB
GeForce 7600GT 256MB
Radeon HD2600XT 256MB
Radeon HD3650 256MB
Radeon HD4550 512MB
Radeon HD5450 512MB

Very Low / Low:

Radeon X850XTPE 256MB
Radeon X850XT 256MB
GeForce 7600GTS 256MB
Radeon HD2600Pro 256MB
Radeon X800XT/PE 256MB
GeForce 6800Ultra/EE 256MB
GeForce 6800GT 256MB
GeForce 6800GS 256MB
Radeon X800XL 256MB
Radeon X800GTO 256MB/X800GTO2 256MB
Radeon X850Pro 256MB
Radeon X800Pro 256MB
Radeon X800GTO 256MB
GeForce 6800GS AGP 256MB
GeForce 9400GT 512MB
GeForce GT 210 512MB
GeForce 8500GT 256MB
Radeon X1650Pro 256MB
Radeon X1600XT 256MB
GeForce 7600GS 256MB
Radeon HD2400XT 256MB
GeForce 6800 256MB
Radeon X800GT 256MB
Radeon X800 256MB
Radeon X1300XGE 512MB
Radeon X1300XT 256MB
Radeon X1600Pro 256MB
Radeon HD4350 512MB
Radeon HD3450 256MB
GeForce 8400GS 256MB
GeForce 6800XT/LE 256MB
GeForce 7300GT 256MB
GeForce 6600GT 256MB
Radeon HD2400Pro 256MB

EXTREME: These cards SHOULD max the game at full 1080p, without any problems.

Radeon HD 6990M
Nvidia GTX 580M
Nvidia GTX 485M
Radeon HD 6970M
Nvidia GTX 570M
Radeon HD 6950M
Radeon HD 4870 X2

HIGH: These cards should run Skyrim at high setings, give or take a little depending on the resolution. They will definitely play Skyrim well.

Nvidia GTX 480M
Nvidia GTX 470M
Nvidia GTX 560M
Radeon HD 5870M
Radeon HD 6870M
Nvidia GTX 460M 1.5GB
Nvidia GTX 460M 1GB
Nvidia GTX 285M

MEDIUM/HIGH: These cards should be around medium/high settings give or take a little depending on the exact resolution. Some of these cards are showing their age but should still be more then sufficient for Skyrim.

Radeon HD 4870
Nvidia GTX 280M
Radeon HD 3870 X2
Radeon HD 3850 X2
Radeon HD 4850
Nvidia GTX 260M
Nvidia GTX 9800M
Nvidia 555M GT 2GB
Nvidia 555M GT 1GB
Radeon HD 6850M
Radeon HD 5850M
Radeon HD 6770M
Nvidia 9800M GT / 8800M GTX
Nvidia GT 445M
Nvidia GTS 360M
Radeon HD 6750M
Nvidia GT 550M
Nvidia GTS 260M
Nvidia GTS 160M
Nvidia GTS 9800M
Radeon HD 6830M
Radeon HD 5830M
Nvidia 9800M GS
Radeon HD 4830M
Radeon HD 6730M
Radeon HD 5770M

MEDIUM: These cards should be around solid medium settings give or take a little depending on the resolution. These cards should be on par with the console version graphically or even a bit higher.

Nvidia 8800M GTS
Radeon HD 5750
Nvidia 540M GT
Radeon HD 5730
Radeon HD 6670M
Nvida 435M GT
Radeon HD 6650M
Nvidia 350M GTS
Nvida 250M GTS
Radeon HD 6630M
Radeon HD 5650M
Nvidia 525M
Radeon HD 4670M
Nvidia 425M
Nvidia 9700M GTS
Nvidia 335M GT
Radeon HD 3870M
Radeon HD 4650M

MEDIUM/LOW: These cards should run Skyrim, with the right tweaks you could probably get them to look as good as the console version. The farther you get down the list the closer you are to low end.

Radeon HD 3850M
Nvidia 420M GT
Nvidia 330M GT
Nvidia 240M GT
Nvidia 7950M GTX
Nvidia 9700M GT
Nvidiia 230M GT
Radeon HD 6490M
Nvidia 325M GT
Nvidia 130M GT
Nvidia 7900 GTX
Nvidia 9650M GS
Nvidia 9650M GT
Nvidia 8700M GT
Nvidia 7800 GTX
Nvidia 7900 GS
Nvidia 9600M GT
Nvidia 220M GT
Nvidia 120M GT
Radeon HD 6470M
Nvidia GT 520M
Radeon HD 3670M
Nvidia 320M GT
Radeom HD 2600M XT
Mobility Radeon X1900
Mobility Radeon X1800 XT
Mobility Radeon X1800
Nvidia 7800M Go
Nvidia 9600M GS
Nvidia 9500M GS
Radeon 6370M
Radeon HD 5470M
Nvidia 415M GT
Radeon HD 3650M
Nvidia 310M

LOW END: These cards will have trouble running the game if they even run it. The game probably won’t be very enjoyable on any of these. The cards on the top of this of this list may be sufficient, but its more of a judgement call. The cards on the bottom probably won’t run Skyrim at all.

Nvidia 410M
Radeon HD 4570M
Radeon HD 6450M
Radeon HD 5450M
Radeon HD 2600M
Nvidia G120M
Nvidia 315M
Nvidia 7600M GT
Nvidia 9500M G
Nvidia 8600M GS
Nvidia 7700M Go
Nvidia 6800M
Mobility Radeon X1800XT
Radeon HD 5430M
Radeon HD 4550M
Radeon HD 4530M
Radeon HD 4350M
Nvidia 305M
Mobility Radeon X1700
Nvidia 7600 Go
Mobility Radeon X800
Mobility Radeon X1600
Nvidia 6600M Go
Mobility Radeon X1450
Radeon HD X700M
Nvidia 110M G
Radeon HD 4330M
Nvidia 8400M GT
Nvidia 105M G
Nvidia 103M G
Nvidia 9500M Ge
Nvidia 102M G
Nvidia 205M G
Nvidia 9400M ION
Radeon HD 6320M
Radeon HD 6310M
Radeon HD 3470M
Nidia 9300M G
ION 2
Nvidia 9200M GS
Radeon HD 3450M
Radeon HD 3430M
Radeon HD 3410M
Radeon HD 2400XT
Radeon HD 4270M
Radeon HD 4250M
Radeon HD 4200M
Radeon HD 2400M
Nvidia 8400 GS
Radeon HD 3200M
Radeon HD 3100M
Nvidia 8400M G
Nvidia 8200M G
Nvidia 7400M Go
Nvidia 7300 Go

If and how well a Mac can run Skryim is a question that myself and many others have had over the last few days. After answering this question for a few friends and again on Twitter, and then not finding any particularly easy answer online, I decided to write this up with the information I did find. Yes, it’s a Windows only game, but too many of us Mac users want to play Skyrim and it’s just not available for Mac OS X yet, so Bootcamp it is. If you can’t run this in on your Mac, there’s always Xbox 360 and PS3 too.

If you’re looking for some more specific performance information and FPS tests, check out Toms hardware, although they are not Mac specific tests or GPU’s.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Games, Mac, Mac OS X

100 Comments

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  1. Grant says:

    Hi there. I meet the requirements on everything but the VRAM. I have a 2.4 Dual Core i5…8 GB of RAM…plenty of hard drive space…but only 256 MB of VRAM (NVIDIA GT 330m). What are the chances I’ll still be able to run this game?

    • Angga says:

      yes on very low settings

    • carsten says:

      I would say it will run. I can play it on my macbook late 2008. It has only a 9400M but it still runs (I have the game installed on an ssd drive perhaps this helps a little…) :-D. Ok i have to admit that i have to put down the resolution to 800×600 pixels but i can play it with 30 – 40 fps. So it is (for me) Playable. And i have quite a lot of fun…. nevertheless i want to buy a new PC/Mac in the next month because i think it will be even more fun when it looks like it is supposed to be. If you know somebody who has the game you can ask him if he would let you try the game with his account…
      hope i could help.

      • Eric says:

        I have a macbook pro (fall of 2009 I believe) That I want to play skyrim on, it has a 9400m with 256 vram. Is skyrim playable on my computer?

    • Brah says:

      I have same laptop. how well does it run? was thinking about installing windows via bootcamp but really also don’t want to install windows on my mac either. but skyrim is hella run, i play it on my desktop but i do wish i had it while on the road.

    • Chris says:

      Hey grant, did you ever get the game to play on boot camp?

  2. phaneeepak says:

    I have a macbook pro 13in late 2010 2.4ghz nvidia geforce 320m vram256 can I run it?

    • Jonathan says:

      Did it work? I didn’t see this clearly marked above even though it was in the example above. I have the same requirements.

    • André says:

      same here i have that in my macbook and have been looking high and low to find out if it will work but with no luck if someone finds out please let me know! thanks.

  3. Hugo Doria says:

    I do have a Macbook Pro 2011, with core i7, 8GB RAM and SSD. But, my graphic card is just a Intel HD 3000, with 512 MB. Is it enought?

    • Thomas Cool says:

      Honestly, probably not. You can try with everything minimized but i wouldn’t hold my breath

      • joasephh says:

        OF course it willl work, i have a macbook pro with 324 vram intel core i5 and the intel hd 3000 and in medium 1175 x 720 looks almost hd, prolly holding about 20-30 mods and i have 50-60 fps, mods included are W.A.T.E.R., Sunglare, better forests and enviorments, lush grass/trees, flora overhaul and more

    • Paul says:

      We’ve been waiting to see reports on how the HD 3000 handles the game, we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything.

    • Henk says:

      You checked while it was running on battery power right? The onboard Intel HD 3000 takes over whenever the macbook is unplugged. You can stop it from doing so by going into settings>energy saver and unchecking the ‘automatic graphicks switching’ option.

    • LoudTango says:

      Hi Hugo Doria yes you can run TES V Skyrim smoothly, mine are MacBook Pro (MBP) 13″ mid 2010 with 2,4 Dual core, 4 GB ram, NVIDIA GeForce 320M (256 MB) i use bootcamp Win7, and in the OS somehow detect my graphic card with size 1900 MB, i run the game using medium setting but the texture i set to high resolution, the FPS are around 28. Fyi i use many mods from nexus forum, i can say i satisfied. for your spec i can say its enough, you could see my gaming experience using my bootcamp macbook pro here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvGM0aoDUqo
      It run smoothly for me

  4. Sheva says:

    I’ve got an old MBP from 2006 – the first gen.

    2,16 GHZ Core duo
    2 GB RAM
    X1600 – 256 MB
    128 GB SSD

    Everything but the card seems to be o.k. – but there is no demo I can download to test, so: Will it run?

    I was able to install the latest AMD-drivers via a Mod (Apple wont deliver so I did it myself –> http://www.hardwareheaven.com/modtool.php ) and most games are running with them. I have CIV V running on my machine (slow but running) and the question is, if Skyrim would run.

    Any help?

  5. Dermot says:

    If you’re posting a comment about if your video card can run the game you obviously didn’t read any of the bloody article which answers your questions!! dolts!

  6. maxbox99 says:

    So I have a 24 widescreen mac probably 1 year old. I can run it on windows 7. I’ve got an Intel Core Duo CPU @ 2.93GHz with 4Go of RAM. Graphic card is a GeForce GT120. Will it run skyrim even on low?

  7. TheHeartOfWinter says:

    MB Pro 13′

    2.26 GHz Intel Core Duo
    2GB RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M – 256MB

    It works on medium (1280×800 resoultion) fine and it looks really really good.

    • Skyrimdeprived says:

      Soooo…MB pro 13′. Version 10.6.8. Bootcamp Windows XP Processor speed 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo. 4 GB memory. Chipset model NVIDIA GeForce 9400M VRAM 256 MB. Will this work? Is this what you have?

      • TheBombDiggity says:

        I have a 13″ MB Pro Mid 2009 running Windows 7 in Bootcamp. I have tried 5 times to no avail because of the failing of the initialization of the render… Kinda pisses me off.
        On the Mac partition it says I have 256mb of video ram but on Windows it says “n/a”.
        WTF dude!

    • tylerd says:

      i’ve got the exact specs you posted but i get a message that says “failed to initialize renderer”, just wondering if you had any information about this issue?

  8. Isaac says:

    Hi,

    I have an iMac and meet all the requirements except the vram. My graphics card is an ATI Raedon 4670 HD 256 MB. Do you think I would be able to run this game at an enjoyable level?

    Thanks!

    • killerbeast says:

      Yeah, i have an imac with an ATI HD 4670 (with 256mb) and it is playing fine. Much ado about nothing, all that 512mb stuff.

  9. readmore says:

    Mine doesn’t seem to be on the list at all: Radeon HD2600 (not M, or Pro or XT) so I guess that means I’m out of luck. But thanks for running this article, I doubt I would have found this info on my own!

  10. ben says:

    Anyone playing this on a 13″ macbook pro 2010? If so, how does it run for you? Thanks.

  11. redguard says:

    Hey guys,

    My GPU is supposedly supported and I meet all the necessary requirements. The only thing is that I have a 512mb ATI Radeon HD 6750M vs the 1gb version. Can I run sky rim on medium to high settings?

    Thank you.

  12. liamcrow says:

    hey guys I’m very curious to what settings i will be able to play the game on

    2.5 ghz procesor intel core i5 quad core

    8gb ram

    AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512mb

  13. Matayoman says:

    Uhh, i am set with the mac specs to run on low…. running on High with no lag…. I recommend bumping the Geforce 330M up a category or two.

  14. Hey everyone!

    I’m running into some issues, here…
    I’ve got a mid-2011 27-inch iMac, with an ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2GB video card, 16GB RAM, with a 3.4GHz i7 Sandy Bridge processor. I’m running Windows 7 32-bit through Boot Camp.
    I’ve downloaded the latest 11.11 drivers that were released this week, and my game defaults to Medium.
    Whenever I bump it up to High or Ultra, the game starts lagging, and according to what I read, I sholuld be able to run it on Ultra.
    I’ve read around that Sandy Bridge iMacs have been having some video issues, and I’ve had some that were fixed by Catalyst, but I’m reading everywhere that my computer should run Skyrim just fine, and I can run it on Medium with some slight suttering, but on High or Ultra the stuttering gets ridiculous. This is on 1080×1920, whenever I try any of the settings on 2560×1440, it gets even worse.

    Any ideas on how to tackle this issue??
    I’m perfectly fine enjoying the game on Medium, but knowing that I can run it flawlessly on Ultra, and not being able to, is messing with my brain!

    Thanks a lot!!

  15. [...] you’ll need to own a Windows copy of the game to get it working (frankly the game is going to run a lot better natively in Windows through Boot Camp anyway), leaving this in the realm of determined [...]

  16. Phange says:

    iMac 21.5 inch
    Radeon 6750m 512 MB

    All settings “High” – no aa/af @ 1080p
    Cities/Indoors – 40fps-ish
    Outdoors – About 20-30fps

    On “Medium” I get 60fps everywhere except outside

  17. CatMan says:

    My Macbook Pro meets everything except graphics.
    My card is an Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384mb of vram. Will I be able to run the game?

    • Paul says:

      The GPU is one of the most important components, but if you run the game on lower settings you may be able to play it on the Intel HD 3000.

      Some had success with it here, YMMV:

      http://communities.intel.com/thread/26239

      • PBS says:

        I have an early 2011 13″ mbp, I can run skyrim at decent settings. My settings: high textures (but not the HD texture DLC), low shadows, low radial blur, medium decals, everything else on that screen off. 800×600, most things fade at “5″ (whatever that means), no grass (grass fade = 0), detail fade on. I also got the FXAA Post Process Injector mod, preset 2, but turned on the anti-aliasing with that mod. I get around 45 FPS on average, and it looks great.

        • Jake says:

          Can you please list all of the setting and how you got the mod to work, i have an identical computer and it runs at 12 fps, plz help

  18. Lola says:

    Could I run the game on GeForce 8600M GT with 256mb? I have a 2008 macbook pro…

  19. ben says:

    Just thought I’d let you know that I got it working on the 13″ mb pro 2010. 2.66, 4gb ram, 320m gfx card. high textures, low shadows, rest medium, all water effects on. around 30fps. perfectly playable so don’t hesitate to get this game.

  20. Matt says:

    I have a 2.4 Intel core 2 duo and a ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro will I be able to run it?

  21. Brian says:

    I’ve been running Skyrim on my 09 MacBookPro and It periodically freezes to load.?
    It certainly doesn’t make the game unplayable but it certainly halts the experience.

    I am running XP SP3. I have a dual core 2.80ghz, 4 gig of RAM, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT. I got all the drivers from bootcamp, and as near as I can tell, they are all up to date. I cannot tell if windows recognizes my integrated and discrete GPUs and for some reason under the General tab in System Properties it reads 2.72 GB of RAM. I do not know if any of that effects anything.

    Switching to Low Detail setting in Skyrim doesn’t change anything and I it can’t really handle Ultra settings. I have modded it to use 4 GB of RAM and a few other mods that make it look as good as Ultra IMO. I have tried a few mods that should increase performance by downsizing texture resolutions and such; they haven’t changed anything.

    Is there anything I can do to tweak my video card? Am I better off just upgrading to W7 because they have better driver support? Should I upgrade to 8 GB of RAM if I’m going to W7? Is there any mods to help?

    Thanks

  22. Morten says:

    very helpful. Im gonna buy it right now :) cant wait :O

  23. Owen says:

    Thanks so much for making this article! I’ve been looking all over for something to help me out on this before I possibly waste 60$ for a game I wouldn’t be able to play without a brand new computer.

    I’ve got a 2009 macbook pro. It has the 9400M and also, after that, it has a 9600M GT. I’ve got a copy of Vista lying around and I assume that if I get it up and running it will recognize the fact that I apparently have both of these cards. One has 256 MB and the other has 512 and I have 6GB of RAM.

    I’m hoping for at least medium settings. Fingers crossed.

  24. Tony says:

    Mid-2011 27″ iMac with 2.7 GHz Core i5, 8 GB RAM, Radeon HD 6770M with 512 MB.

    Skyrim runs fine 1080p at medium settings. It will run on high settings, but the fps really drops and I get some stuttering.

    The game is perfectly playable (and quite beautiful) on medium.

  25. [...] you’re playing Skyrim on a Mac in bootcamp or just sitting on the couch with an Xbox 360 controller, this should be a welcome addition to the [...]

  26. allie says:

    So I have the MacPro 2011 with the Intel HD 3000 graphics chipset. Apparently it is comparable with the GeForce 320M (http://t-gaap.com/2011/3/9/macbook-graphics-face-off-intel-hd-graphics-3000-vs-nvidia-geforce-320m).

    I’m a 4RAM but will probably add more. Do you think it would run at least on low settings with the added RAM and the graphics chip I have?

  27. jonibonamaso says:

    i have sony vaio i5 with second gen cpu and nvidia geforce 410M 1GB i cant play skyrim even on the lowest settings I’ve tried everything but nothing worked I have 4gb ddr3 ram win764bit all of my driver up to date… any help will be preciated!

  28. [...] you’ll need to own a Windows copy of the game to get it working (frankly the game is going to run a lot better natively in Windows through Boot Camp anyway), leaving this in the realm of determined [...]

  29. Charlie says:

    hey guys I’m very curious to what settings i will be able to play the game on

    2.7 ghz procesor intel core i5 quad core

    8gb ram

    AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512mb

  30. André says:

    i have a regular macbook from 2010 not a pro just the white basic macbook i have the NVIDIA GeForce 320M as in the screen shot i know its not mentioned but seeing it in the screen shot makes me wonder is my computer or more specifically my video card effective enough to run the game even if on the lowest settings im all for graphics but can do without i enjoy Nintendo 64 just as much as i do games that look photo realistic. please help i have looked everywhere to find out but with no luck

  31. Thor says:

    Hey everyone i was wondering if i could run Skyrim on my computer:

    2.66 ghz processor intel core duo

    8 gb ram

    Nvidia GeForce 320M (256 MB)

    Thank you

  32. Brah says:

    This is a great article. loving osXdaily!

  33. Carik says:

    I was playing the Windows version of the game (in low settings) with iMac late 2009 (core duo 2.4, 4GB ram, ATI4670 256MB) using parallels!! … yes, using parallels, and runs fine in low, sooo… i think that the mac-port for this game should run in any iMac configuration with, at least, the hardware I listed.

  34. Pierre says:

    Playing on windows 7 x64 ultimate via bootcamp on my early 2011 mbp, i5 2.3, 8 GB ram, intel hd 3000 512 mb vram. On medium settings everything runs great and smooth.

  35. joshua says:

    I have mac book pro with GeForce 8600M GT only 128 MB, I don’t believe I would be able to run the game, but if you can tell me it would be nice to know. thank you

  36. Ereold says:

    I meet all the specs, but not my vram, do you think on my ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, i can be able to run it ?

    2Go of ram, and Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 for CPU

  37. Jack says:

    Will Skyrim work on my Apple MacBook Pro?

    I have an AMD Radeon HD 6490M with a VRAM of 256MB

    I also have an Intel HD Graphics 3000 with a VRAM of 384MB

    Is this enough?

    • Alex says:

      I’ve seen videos of people playing with this. You should be fine.

    • Curt says:

      That’s my exact set up. I can run pretty much perfectly on medium, although the game set it to high default (based on the graphics card). I tried it at high, but it was way to laggy for me.
      Does anyone know the best graphic settings for this graphics card?

  38. NeedtoPlaySkyrim says:

    Hi, I have

    2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo,
    4GB RAM
    and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M -256mb

    But it can’t run, failed to initialize renderer! WTF
    WHY HELP ME PLEASE

    Other people with same specs as me can run it on medium but I can’t run it and I don’t know why!

    • TheBombDiggity says:

      Same.
      I have a 13″ MB Pro Mid 2009 running Windows 7 in Bootcamp. I have tried 5 times to no avail because of the failing of the initialization of the render… Kinda pisses me off.
      On the Mac partition it says I have 256mb of video ram but on Windows it says “n/a”.
      WTF dude!
      Just saying your not alone…

  39. Wallie says:

    is there any chance of running this with 1gb of ram? or do i need to go buy a ram chip? i meet all the other requirements please help me if you can.

  40. ricewind says:

    Pleeease does anybody know how I can upgrade the driver for AMD Radeon HD 6490m? I’ve searched all over the place and can’t find anything! :s

    Anyways Skyrim plays ok on medium settings without AA and AF (strange since it recommends high on my mbp).

  41. Jack says:

    I have a Lenovo Ideapad Y470 These are the specs:
    2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor ( 2.2GHz 1333MHz 6MB )
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 550M 1GB
    8 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
    750GB 5400rpm

    How well would it handel Skyrim? what would be the highest possible settings? I plan on playing though (HDMI) HDTV with xbox controller
    Thanks in Advance !!

  42. Denny says:

    ATI Radeon HD 5670

    vram 512
    3.2Ghz Intel core i3
    4gb memory
    1tb hard drive.

    any chance It would play good for me or worth it to play it via bootcamp?
    late 2010 Imac27 inch

  43. Brayden says:

    Mine is a NVIDIA GeForce 9400m
    VRAM 256-
    Does anyone know if this will work. – Macbook Aluminum (late 2008)

  44. Joel says:

    can you just up Upgrade your video card and ram to the Recommended Spec????

  45. Mitch says:

    Hello I have a 2011 Macbook pro 13 inch with intel HD 3000 graphics card, 4GB of RAM and an almost empty hardrive. My question is, will I be able to run skyrim with this graphics card?

  46. Brayden Stokes says:

    Mac OS X- Version 10.5.8 // Processor- 2 GHz Intel Core Duo // Memory- 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 //
    Graphics- NVIDIA GeForce 9400M // VRAM- 256 MB…These are my specs for my Macbook (late 2008 early2009) and I was wondering if Skyrim would run well. I have played games like Starcraft 2 and Total War on my mac and they work well. Also, will windows vista be good enough for the game?

  47. Joeri says:

    Hello, i have a NVIDIA GeForce 9400 and i have 256MB. When i start Skyrim it takes like 10minutes to load, and when he’s done i got much lag, so i cant play it fine. What can i do? Oh, and i play skyrim on 1280 x 1024.
    Thanks.

  48. Alex says:

    Hi i’ve got a macbook 13 inch late 2009 Intel core duo/2.26 Ghz processor/ 256MB of vram and 4gb of random access memory (ram). Well a special offer has appeared on steam for skyrim windows and I was wondering if my pc would be able to run it, im not particularly bothered if I have to put it on low graphics but like any normal guy/girl who wants to game I like good graphics any info would be gladly appreciated thanks

  49. Olli says:

    Hi, I am running Skyrim on a IMac late 2007 – 2.16 Ghz/ 4GB Ram and Radeon 2600 Pro 256MB – Bootcamp, XP SP3 – installed from Stream.
    It works quite well with lower settings, but some of the graphics are missing, e.g. no visible fire, if i cast a fire spell. Has anyone encountered similar issues on a similar system and fixed them ?

  50. Tyrannus says:

    I can confirm that this game runs relatively well on a Mobility Radeon x1600. All the eye candy is turned off and a little overclocking and tweaking is necessary, but it does run and it is playable (around 25 fps outside). So I’m sure it will run on most halfway new Mac graphics chipsets (2008+).

  51. [NAME NOT AVAILABLE] says:

    I hit Command+F in my browser window, but it only opens up a search bar. Will this effect my chances of being able to play? How do I get a numerical value?

  52. N/A says:

    I was looking into buy this computer, and I was curious if this would be Skyrim compatible. I admit I’m not that computer savvy–go easy on the n00b. :P

    Dual 2 Ghz G5 Tower
    4 GB DDR RAM (8 x 512Mb)
    Mac OS 10.5.8
    CD/DVD Rewriter (DVR-117D)
    NVidia Geforce FX5200 (64 Mb)
    320 GB Main Hard Drive
    250 GB 2nd Hard Drive

  53. Drfe says:

    I have a Macbook pro from 2009.
    Specs are:
    2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4 GB Ram
    NVidia GeForce 9400M 256MB
    If I buy windows 7 and run the game in bootcamp, will I be able to play Skyrim? I’m hoping to be able to play at like 30fps at medium graphics, but that’s doubtful.
    I have over 200 GB of free hard drive space.
    Also, how many GB should I partition to windows in bootcamp if I want to run this game?

  54. Jethro says:

    i looked at my specs, and everything was better then required apart from the graphics card, i got the AMD radeon 6750m. Do you reckon that all the other almsot perfect specs will support my graphics card that was under the category of medium/high. please reply, i would rather buy skyrim without lagg then to find out i cant play it properly.
    Processor 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7(quad core)
    Memory 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB
    17-inch (1920 x 1200)
    those are the more important specs, my operating system is always up to date as well

  55. zanerty says:

    i can run skyrim on my macbook not sure which model but do any of you know how to mod it?

  56. dust says:

    i got a macbook pro 2010 nvidia 320m 256mb ram

  57. Zach says:

    Thanks for this man, Skyrim looks good for my Mac. Already have it on xbox and I wanted it on the computer for all the awesome mods. Did this list take you a while to compile?

  58. Stacie says:

    I have a 2008 MacBook with:

    - Intel Core 2 Duo
    - 2.4 GHz
    - 4 GB Ram
    - GeForce 9400M – 256 MB

    Will Skyrim work on my Mac?

  59. Josh says:

    I’m probably going to get the new MacBook with Retina Display, 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory and automatic graphics switching. Will it run? I’ll probably put it through Boot Camp.

    • DisabledAngel says:

      Do you really have to ask that? Of course the latest and greatest macbook can run it, as a matter of fact it will probably be playable on max settings.

      • Jason1138 says:

        Has anyone actually confirmed this? At the moment I am having problems running it through Bootcamp. I just bought a retina display and installed Windows 7 Home 64Bit. I installed Skyrim this morning and it appears to install fine, it detects the optimum setttings as high, and then it appears to launch.

        However, once the load screen appears I start having problems. Instead of a normal graphic (like picture of a race/dragon etc) I get a red screen and when I hit load/continue whatever the game crashes. I am still just starting to troubleshoot this problem but I would love to know if anyone else had a similar problem.

        FYI I am running skyrim with the HD pack and the Dawnguard DLC.

  60. Evan says:

    I have a 2010 MacBook
    2.4 GHz
    2GB RAM

    It won’t work any suggestions?

  61. Glenn says:

    One vote of warning here. I have an 2011 iMac, i7, Radeon 6970M 2GDDR5. Installed Windows 7 with Bootcamp, applied all of Microsoft’s updates (roughly 100), and downloaded Steam and Skyrim, and started playing.

    A minute or so into playing the game, the display goes haywire. Most of the time, it goes “blank” – just solid grey with thin vertical lines. The only way to get control of the Mac is to perform a hard reboot.

    Apple Hardware Test reports no issues with any of the hardware components, so I’m guessing it’s some sort of issue with the graphics drivers (an issue between DirectX and the AMD drivers?).

    I should note — I set this up in July, and was playing for a month before the problems started cropping up. I’ve tried rebuilding the Bootcamp partition, but the problem persists. It may be that one of Microsoft’s updates has fouled the graphics subsystem, but that’s would be a bear to diagnose.

  62. Hawk says:

    Hi i’ve got a Mac OSx version 10.6.8 and 3.2 GHz Intel core i3 4GB RAM 1333 Mhz DDR3 And from what i can see macbook pro is the only thing people use to play skyrim is my bootcamp windows 7 mac able to run skyrim on steam or pc disc at a pleasurable gamerate? Plz reply!!!!!!!!!

  63. Snave says:

    Ok I just bought a brand new iMac this morning here are the specs:
    3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x8GB
    • 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512MB GDDR5
    • Apple Magic Mouse

    Can I run Skyrim or not

    • Xavier says:

      dude, of course it will, if you run it on bootcamp and plan to set mods on it then you should run it on mid settings, but, without any mods it will prolly run a stable 30 fps high setting

  64. Juls says:

    I installed Skyrim on my Macbook Pro 13″ Mid 2012 BOOTCAMP (Windows 7 Prof) and it installed properly. But a box that says “Failed to Initialize Render…Blahblah” pops up and it won’t start. Am i missing something or is my MBP failing me again?

    Here is the Specs:
    Model Name: MacBook Pro
    Model: MacBookPro 13″
    Processor Name: Intel Core i5
    Processor Speed: 2.5 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 2
    Memory: 4 GB
    Chipset Model: Intel HD Graphics 4000
    VRAM (Total): 384 MB

  65. Nemesis says:

    I use a site called game debate to check if my specs can run certain games and it is extremely reliable. According to Game Debate it says I can max out this game. The thing is I found a way to play this game in OS X (wine of course) and when I set the graphics quality to Ultra and up my resolution to native it plays smoother and faster than on any other setting (I know, odd right) and the same goes for Batman Arkham City (OS X version too). Here’s a link to the skyrim check page: http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=625&game=The%20Elder%20Scrolls%20V

    (Note: For those who dont believe I can run this at 1440×900 at ultra my specs are as follow: Intel Core 2 Duo P8800 2.66GHz, Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT 256MB GDDR3 + GeForce 9400M & 4GB DDR3 1067MHz RAM go ahead and input them, see what result I get.)

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