If you had any doubt that PC is the platform to play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on, Bethesda gave another signal today, by releasing a rather hefty update to the PC-Exclusive high resolution tetxure pack that makes things look a lot less muddy. The update includes the textures that were introduced with the Dawnguard, Heartfire and Dragonborn DLCs.
According to the developer you shouldn’t use the HD Textures Pack unless you have a rather beefy PC with the following specs: Windows Vista/7, a minimum of 4GB of system RAM, and a DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with at least 1 GB of RAM and the latest drivers.
Personally I would definitely advise avoiding the pack unless your video card has at least 2 GB of video RAM, or you can expect extensive stuttering in the most crowded areas. They also said that the patch is 4.7 GB, but I had to download only 1.5.
In addition to this, the brave people behind the Unofficial Skyrim Patch just released the Unofficial Dragonborn Patch, that addresses some glitches that escaped Bethesda’s QA processes and some compatibility issues with the Unofficial Skyrim Patch itself. Personally, I would not even dare playing Skyrim without the countless fixes provided by the USKP, so I would definitely advise downloading the Dragonborn equivalent here. Of course you’ll need the Unofficial Skyrim Patch as well, and the ones for Dawnguard and Heartfire if you have those DLCs. They all are a must have.
Oh, and yes, the HD Texture Pack doesn’t make your game look like the picture above. That’s what actual mods are for.