Low End Hardware: FALLOUT 4

Published on April 9, 2022 at 7:04 pm by LEW


This post documents my installation of Fallout 4 on an Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) computer. Since the last move, I have not had my main desktop to do any gaming on, so I am taking this opportunity to experiment with an off the shelf non-gaming computer.

The Intel NUC I am using is an 8th generation kit, manufactured back in 2020. The specific computer I am using has a has a Core i5-8365U CPU, 16 GB of memory, 256 GB M2 drive. The weak point is going to be the GPU, “UHD Graphics 630“. To put this in perspective a NVIDIA GT 740 is slightly better for gaming.

Fallout 4, for those who are not familiar, is a Bethesda open world RPG released in 2015. The minimum requirements are listed as I5-2300 processor, 8 GB memory, 30 GB hard drive space, and GTX 550 or better GPU. NVIDIA GTX cards outperform the GT versions. And a GTX 550 is significantly better for gaming than a GT750. So I am significantly under powered when it comes to graphics.


When I installed Fallout 4 and all the Downloadable Content (DLC) through Steam, I right clicked on the game before installing , and selected the properties menu. From there I disabled the High Resolution Texture Pack (as there is no way my GPU will handle that).

Next I logged into Nexus Mods and downloaded/installed all the “Wasteland 512” textures (these have been optimized and run better on lower end GPUs than the actual non optimized in game textures). I also installed “Lights Don’t Cast Shadows” (shadows use significant GPU resources to render).

Initial Startup

Starting the game I went though the initial setup. And no surprise, my GPU was not recognized. Going to options, I set the lowest possible resolution (1280 x 720), and turned off Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering. Next I went to Advanced, and either turned off or set to lowest settings everything I could there.

I opened up Task Manager and went to the performance tab to check my GPU. Starting the game I was pleased to see my GPU was not consistently pegged out at 100%. It would on occasionally drop as low as 95% during play.

Overall the display was slightly pixelated, and control performance could be a little jerky at times. But it was definitely playable.

If you do not care to read about my play though you can skip the below which also has some spoilers. Also, since I am using mods to help with performance, all achievements are disabled in the game.

Introductory Sequence (spoilers)

The first part of the game sets the scene, helps create your character, and runs though some basic tutorial stuff. Note I will have a chance to change some of my characteristics before actually entering the game full time, so it is not overly important at this point to set them perfectly.

In this introductory segment I am in the year 2077 in the Fallout 4 alternate time line. I will initially setup my character appearance, then attributes (SPECIAL) when the Vault Tech representative comes a calling for my spot in Vault 111. I am also introduced to the wife and child which form the back story.

Part way thought this segment the atom bombs start falling and I rush to the vault with my family to escape the devastation of the surface. Unbeknownst to my character, he is put in a cryogenic storage.

He awakens briefly when an unknown party enters the vault, kill the wife, and kidnaps the son. Then he is put back into cryogenic freeze.

The next time my character  awakens, he actually get out of his cryo pod, and I get full control. I also get the first objective/quest, to escape from the vault.

Exiting the Vault

The first thing I do is check the wife’s Cryo Pod (the only pod that can be opened). I get her wedding ring and promise to find who did this and get our son Shawn back. This sets up the major story arc for my character.

Next I look around, and unsuccessfully try a few of the other cryo pods. However, there is a computer terminal here I can use.

The computer tells me there was a cryogenic and life support failure, as well as manual and remote overrides. When I check the status for individual pods, the occupants are listed as deceased due to the failures. When I check my pod and my wife’s pod, we are listed as status unknown because of a manual pod door override.

That is the limit of what I seem to be able to do here, so I open the door and explore the rest of the vault.

The rest of this part of the game is exploring the vault, and collecting everything I can pick up. In this game all the junk collected can be used to craft useful items, so in the early part of the game collect everything, up to encumbrance level (determined by strength).

I can take the time to read some of the terminals to find out what happened in the vault while I was frozen. Though it is really not germane to the main plot line, it does provide a lot of background information.

As I fight past some giant cockroaches (Rad Roaches) I collect a couple of security batons and 10 mm pistols. There is a unique item in in the mess hall terminal I can eject and keep. I will also collect some chems (mainly stem packs for healing) and various other items. There is also a gun called the cryolator I am not be able to get without some lock picking skills (information about the crypolator is on the overseers terminal).

To exit the vault, I get the pip boy off the skeleton by the vault door controls. With the pip boy I open the vault door. A good place to save, as when I exit the vault I will be able to adjust my character stats and appearance one last time.


Hold on before exiting the vault. I have run though the introductory sequence of events to start a Fallout 4 game. However there are a few things to think about and do before exiting the vault.

Next time around I will discuss some of the things to do before you exit Vault 111 for the first time.

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