GR Comparison: Fallout 4 High Resolution vs Vanilla Textures

Earlier this week, the highly anticipated HD Texture Pack for Fallout 4 was finally released by Bethesda, an entire 16 months after the launch of the initial game. It's a delicate surprise for fans that own a beefy rig to match the ridiculous system requirements needed to properly use this DLC add-on. According to Bethesda, the list of hardware recommended to run this includes a GTX 1080 and an i7 5820k or greater CPU processor. Unfortunately, most PC gamers do not have 8GB of VRAM at their disposal and probably won't be able to enjoy this particular texture pack.

The good news is, there are numerous 2k and 4k texture packs on NexusMods which you can run with ease and they do not require 58gb of space on your hard drive. That’s almost equivalent in size to the actual game itself. We’re sure that many of you are pondering—is there even a noticeable difference between the normal textures and the HD textures? Are they upscaled textures? Why do they require 58gb of hard drive space? We took the time to create a comparison video to help answer some of these questions and ease your mind.

Above you will find various scenes we recorded with the HD texture pack both enabled and disabled, showing the difference on objects such as pipes, walls, glass, cloth, metal and much more. Do note, we were using a ReShade mod during the entire testing phase along with the Fallout 4 Seasons mod. Regardless of this, the textures should not be effected outside of some slight sharpening and environmental lighting based on the time of day.

In our findings, there was a very minor difference between vanilla textures and the HD texture pack in the majority of in-game locations. Most gamers would not be able to spot the distinction between the two, unless they carefully look at specific objects and textures in an area. For example, we noted that cloth and metal objects had a noticeable difference, although wall and floor textures were barely changed, containing only a few parallax occlusion modifications. This may sound odd but when it came to performance, we actually noticed a stable 60 fps with the GTX 1080 graphics card that was used during testing. Perhaps these textures have better optimization than most of us initially thought, although the Creation Engine is certainly starting to become outdated as shown when entering a condensed area such as the Diamond City market.

Most of the landscape texture packs on NexusMods look much better than what’s offered by Bethesda, such as the Vivid Fallout mod by Hein84 or Langley’s HD Texture Pack. Both of those texture packs do not require you to own a GTX 1080 or any other high-end gaming hardware that will end up burning a hole in your pocket. Does this mean Bethesda didn’t put any effort into this texture pack? Certainly not, since there is an ample amount of difference within a variety of textures. We just don’t think it’s worth the 58GB download size, unless you’re a Fallout superfan and need to get your hands on these textures at all costs. While we’re glad the DLC texture add-on is free for all users and does not require a season pass of any sort, there are better things to waste your bandwidth on.

The above comparison video was recorded on a rig with the following specs:

  • Monitor: LG 29EA93-P 29" 60Hz Ultrawide Monitor
  • Case: NZXT H440 (Black/Red) ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Motherboard: Asus X99-DELUXE ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
  • PSU: SeaSonic X Series 1250W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition Video Card
  • RAM: A-Data XPG Z1 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory
  • Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB + Western Digital BLACK SERIES 4TB + Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB + WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive
  • Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card
  • Speakers: Audioengine A2+ Red Limited Edition Premium Powered Speakers (Pair)

How much of a difference does the pack make? More importantly, is it worth it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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