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post #21 of 127
Well I got my problems fixed, though it was mostly about changing some settings on my laptop that made it play nicer with the SSD I added earlier this week. Turned out that in the power settings it was on was a conservative setting for SSD for power and was causing some problems.

One thing I also changed was turning my CPU most usage in power settings to 99% instead of 100%. Not sure it will be any different for you desktop users but it seemed that the turbo boost on my i7 might have caused stutter problems going between boost. I guess at 99% it won't do the boost, though I don't know how many of you actually may be using this.
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post #22 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BababooeyHTJ View Post

Yeah, I agree that these types of dips aren't normal. It isn't something that I've seen with past gamebyro titles. Could be something that they address in a patch like the very similar dips that a lot of people say with New Vegas at launch, myself included.
Now that I think about it you could try the dll that people were using with New Vegas and see if that makes a difference.

Oops, I forgot to mention ... I did try that FONV dx9 .dll already ... didn't help wink.gif
    
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post #23 of 127
Hi Brett

I really want to help you with this, so here's my results. I looked at this scene for about 1 minute.

My settings
  • Drivers - 275.33, running AO through nvidia inspector (Compatibility=Fallout 3, Setting=Quality)
  • Skyrim Launcher Settings - Ultra, 4xAA, 16xAF, Radial Blur Quality=Medium, FXAA enabled, Max view distances.
  • SkyrimPrefs.ini - fDefaultFOV=85, iBlurDeferredShadowMask=0, iShadowMapResolutionSecondary=4096, iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=4096, bTreesReceiveShadows=1, bDrawLandShadows=1
  • Skyrim.ini - uExterior Cell Buffer=64, uGridsToLoad=7
  • Mods - Enhanced Night Skyrim, No More Blocky Faces, Realistic Water Textures

375
375


Brett I thought I might add, my fps drops are bizzare. I was doing the Ansilvund quest just before, there was a spot in there where I would look facing against a wall, my GPU usage the whole time was 99% (in fact it was 99% during the whole time I was in there), but my fps was about 48 and felt quite stuttery. I just couldn't understand why, there was no action happening on screen except just my character looking at a wall. Then I get to the part with the puzzle, that whole room (if you know what it is) was in view on my screen. GPU usage was 99% and fps was 100+ ! Bizzare.....

Stranger when I go to the stables outside Whiterun, look into the distance away from Whiterun, my GPU usage is 99% and fps is about 75. Look back at Whiterun and my GPU usage tanks to 50% and of course fps tanks too. Any more tests I would like to help you with, please ask.

Forgot to mention Vsync and HT are both off.
Edited by EasyC - 12/3/11 at 9:12pm
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post #24 of 127
Just adding to the thread because I forgot you asked me a week or so ago. In whiterun if I so much as look in the direction of the tree I get 20 FPS even if the tree area isn't in sight.
In solitude I drop down to only 30 FPS maybe a little higher but even so its still a drop.
In markarth I get about 45 FPS avg through out the whole city when I do a run through with fraps.

All this is done on all ultra (Ultra with all the settings manually set to the max they can go), no FXAA, 2x AA (with Vsync off the difference in 0 AA and 2x AA is about 5 FPS AVG the difference in 2x AA and 8x AA is about 15 FPS. Its odd but it doesn't seem to make a difference what level the AA is at, the problem spots FPS doesn't change in the slightest...), 16AF, 1680x1050.
I also went in and added the DNA values for trees and grass so they stay spawned for a far distance (Even though I think it sort of loads details of the terrain in chunks like minecraft).
And I have some odds and ends added for mods that I honestly cannot remember what they even are lol.
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post #25 of 127
At Brett's request I'm uploading my personal Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini files for you all to try and see if you get different results.

Skyrim.ini

SkyrimPrefs.ini

Gonna try and get some testing done tonight, if not, it'll be up tomorrow morning/afternoon! thumb.gif
 
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post #26 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin1 View Post

At Brett's request I'm uploading my personal Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini files for you all to try and see if you get different results.

Skyrim.ini

SkyrimPrefs.ini

Gonna try and get some testing done tonight, if not, it'll be up tomorrow morning/afternoon! thumb.gif

Those are very different from mine... I wonder why your Skyrim.ini is so short! Testing now, will report back in a bit.

EDIT: There's definitely something crazy going on with the ini files... I've got a lot to do now, preliminary shows very different GPU usage.

EDIT2: I dropped Dustin's two ini's in, copied the video card identifier from mine (doubt it mattered), set both his and my ini's to have the "Ultra, Windowed, No FXAA preset" through the launcher, and started the game with LAA, comparing using the same view in Whiterun above. I'm getting the same framerate of ~36fps, HOWEVER I'm seeing 65% usage on mine, and ~90% usage on his ini's... no discernable difference in image quality. Time to start sifting through settings.

EDIT3: In the spoiler below, I have a screenie at the same point in time (just using visual cues) in both my ini and his. Same fps, 26% difference in usage. The only visual difference I noticed were a) the gravel texture beneath the rock at the bottom-left corner is darker and more defined and b) the bush on the far side of the stairs immediately in front of Jorrvaskr is more shadowed on Dustin's. I haven't nitpicked the settings to figure out what's different, but something is definitely causing extra GPU load. I'm assuming it's GPU load only, because my FPS doesn't change; that also points me to a CPU limitation, since it's stable without maxing my GPU.

This still isn't quite replicating Dustin's scenario, where he's seeing much higher framerate along with the GPU usage.
Whiterun Shots: Top Mine, Bottom Dustin's (Click to show)
338
338

Settings:
  • 285.79 Drivers; NVCP set to 16x AF, Maximum Performance, Negative LOD bias Clamp, High Quality, Threaded Opti. Auto
  • LAA executable; only mods I have are the face textures, and a couple other small things that don't show (ore retex, killable children, music enhancement, Ysolda's dress)
  • Vsync off; Launcher settings are Ultra preset, Windowed mode

@Dustin: According to this post, the only thing you changed in the .ini's is Vsync; however, your's looks VERY different from the default ones that the launcher makes from scratch (I tested it); you sure you changed nothing? Also, your mods should be running regardless of whether you do it through NMM or not; but even if they were, they should be hurting your performance, not helping it... tongue.gif

EDIT4: Here are my Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini that I tested with (PasteBin links) Maybe give these a whirl and see if you see the same performance I see? I'm out for the night; if my homework allows it, I'll go back to investigating this bizniz tomorrow.
Edited by EfemaN - 12/4/11 at 12:58pm
post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by EfemaN View Post

Those are very different from mine... I wonder why your Skyrim.ini is so short! Testing now, will report back in a bit.
EDIT: There's definitely something crazy going on with the ini files... I've got a lot to do now, preliminary shows very different GPU usage.
EDIT2: I dropped Dustin's two ini's in, copied the video card identifier from mine (doubt it mattered), set both his and my ini's to have the "Ultra, Windowed, No FXAA preset" through the launcher, and started the game with LAA, comparing using the same view in Whiterun above. I'm getting the same framerate of ~36fps, HOWEVER I'm seeing 65% usage on mine, and ~90% usage on his ini's... no discernable difference in image quality. Time to start sifting through settings.

I always knew I was special.. rolleyes.gifwink.gif

I've got a few tests done, gonna finish up in the morning. Please post your results with my .ini file's, I'll be looking forward to your results in the morning thumb.gif
 
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post #28 of 127
Tried the INIs quickly, FPS went up between 5 and 10, GPU usage skyrocketed, I was using a pretty demanding INI before which would account for the frame increase, but not the GPU usage increase.
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post #29 of 127
Thread Starter 
Good stuff going on here now guys thumb.gif

One thing I was curious about that is whether AMD had the same problematic areas and it looks like RCF and Quesenek have AMD cards and still have a similar issue to what I described in the OP, so that's good to know. Rules out the drivers being the problem I suppose headscratch.gif

Another thing I'm wondering is if anyone else on this thread besides Dustin is running a 500-series nV card plus a nicely OC'd Sandy? I recall reading that the 500-series has superior z-culling, which if I understand correctly means they do a better job of not rendering things you cannot actually see. If we presume that everything that's rendered involves some amount of CPU load component, perhaps his success is due to the combination of the 500-series card and his very fast CPU?

It's admittedly a bit of a long-shot, considering the scale of the difference involved, but ... for the sake of science, I feel like we need someone else on this thread w/a similar setup to his, who DOES have the same issue ... just to rule out this simply being a hardware
issue.

Also, if you use Dustin's .ini files, and you go to change things in the Launcher ... I believe there's a good chance you end up overwriting what's in his .ini altogether. Better to manually edit stuff like resolution (if need be) in the file itself, and don't use the launcher to make changes to his file, methinks.

Also Efeman ... it looks like you accidentally posted the same picture twice in your post above ... they look identical in terms of the OSD numbers ...

And yah ... Dustin, that skyrim.ini file is WAY shorter than the default, i.e. it is missing a number of entries. Not sure they're important settings though. I'm about to try messing with these two files, will let y'all know how it goes.
Dustin's skryim.ini vs the stock .ini (Click to show)
Dustins skyrim.ini

[Display]
iPresentInterval=0
sD3DDevice="NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580"
[Grass]
b30GrassVS=1
[Water]
bReflectLODObjects=1
bReflectLODLand=1
bReflectSky=1
bReflectLODTrees=1
[General]
sLanguage=ENGLISH

Default version of same file:
[General]
sLanguage=ENGLISH

uExterior Cell Buffer=36

[Display]
fShadowLODMaxStartFade=1000.0
fSpecularLODMaxStartFade=2000.0
fLightLODMaxStartFade=3500.0
iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=2048
bAllowScreenshot=1
iPresentInterval=0

[Audio]
fMusicDuckingSeconds=6.0
fMusicUnDuckingSeconds=8.0
fMenuModeFadeOutTime=3.0
fMenuModeFadeInTime=1.0

[Grass]
bAllowCreateGrass=1
bAllowLoadGrass=0

[GeneralWarnings]
SGeneralMasterMismatchWarning=One or more plugins could not find the correct versions of the master files they depend on. Errors may occur during load or game play. Check the "Warnings.txt" file for more information.

[Archive]
sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Textures.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa
sResourceArchiveList2=Skyrim - Voices.bsa, Skyrim - VoicesExtra.bsa

[Combat]
fMagnetismStrafeHeadingMult=0.0
fMagnetismLookingMult=0.0

[Papyrus]
fPostLoadUpdateTimeMS=500.0
bEnableLogging=0
bEnableTrace=0
bLoadDebugInformation=0
[Water]
bReflectLODObjects=1
bReflectLODLand=1
bReflectSky=1
bReflectLODTrees=1

Edit: so I tried Dustin's Skyrimprefs.ini, and left everything alone, so it ran me at 1080p. Then I tried the stock .ini, at 1080p w/ultra and 8xAA and FXAA on, to match his settings. I got basically identical results with both ... so it doesn't appear there's anything magical about his skyrimprefs.ini

Interestingly, compared with running at 1920x1200 w/4xAA and NO FXAA, I went up by almost 10fps, and my GPU usage jumped almost 20%. I'll post screenies here in a sec.
Edited by brettjv - 12/4/11 at 8:59am
    
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post #30 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettjv View Post

Also, if you use Dustin's .ini files, and you go to change things in the Launcher ... I believe there's a good chance you end up overwriting what's in his .ini altogether. Better to manually edit stuff like resolution (if need be) in the file itself, and don't use the launcher to make changes to his file, methinks.

Also Efeman ... it looks like you accidentally posted the same picture twice in your post above ... they look identical in terms of the OSD numbers ...

Looks like I did... that's what I get for doing this at 2am or whenever it was. Fixed now; top pic shows 65% usage. As far as the launcher goes, I believe it only changes the relevant settings, simply because I tried his ini as-is, and only slight changes occurred after using the launcher. Just to be sure, I'll download again and manually change the values.

EDIT: Aight... I'm going through and comparing each of the settings in Dustin's SkyrimPrefs.ini to the one the launcher creates by default when pressing Ultra, Windowed, 1080p and then running the game once. What I found is below; Dustin's value first, default second.
Differences between Dustin's SkyrimPrefs vs. default Ultra (Click to show)
bFXAAEnabled= 1 vs. 0
bFloatPointRenderTarget=1 vs. 0
bTreesReceiveShadows and bDrawLandShadows=1 vs. 0 (these are common)
fGrassMinStartFadeDistance= 400 vs. 0 (this value showed up as 400 in my ini)
uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender= 40 vs. 20 (this value showed up as 40 in my ini)

Then there's the matter of reversing and checking what's not in his .ini's. That's my next endeavor. tongue.gif

EDIT2:
Default Ultra Skyrim.ini settings NOT in Dustin's (Click to show)
[General]
uExterior Cell Buffer=36
[Display]
fShadowLODMaxStartFade=1000.0
fSpecularLODMaxStartFade=2000.0
fLightLODMaxStartFade=3500.0
iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=2048
bAllowScreenshot=1
[Audio]
fMusicDuckingSeconds=6.0
fMusicUnDuckingSeconds=8.0
fMenuModeFadeOutTime=3.0
fMenuModeFadeInTime=1.0
[Grass]
bAllowCreateGrass=1
bAllowLoadGrass=0
[GeneralWarnings]
>Didn't want to post the long string here
[Archive]
sResourceArchiveList= >various .bsa files from Data folder
sResourceArchiveList2= >various .bsa files from Data folder
[Combat]
fMagnetismStrafeHeadingMult=0.0
fMagnetismLookingMult=0.0
[Papyrus]
fPostLoadUpdateTimeMS=500.0
bEnableLogging=0
bEnableTrace=0
bLoadDebugInformation=0
Default Ultra SkyrimPrefs.ini settings NOT in Dustin's (Click to show)
[General]
fBrightLightColorB=1.0000
fBrightLightColorG=1.0000
fBrightLightColorR=1.0000
[Display]
iShadowMapResolutionSecondary=1024
iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=2048
iShadowSplitCount=2
[NavMesh]
fObstacleAlpha=0.5000
fCoverSideHighAlpha=0.8000
fCoverSideLowAlpha=0.6500
fEdgeFullAlpha=1.0000
fEdgeHighAlpha=0.7500
fEdgeLowAlpha=0.5000
fTriangleFullAlpha=0.7000
fTriangleHighAlpha=0.3500
fTriangleLowAlpha=0.2000
fLedgeBoxHalfHeight=25.0000
fEdgeDistFromVert=10.0000
fEdgeThickness=10.0000

It boggles my mind that there doesn't seem to be anything too significant here, yet it was cranking my usage.

EDIT3: I'm testing the different SkyrimPrefs settings that were different on his ini's. I can't contribute much to the hardware testing, so I may as well work on the files tongue.gif The following settings are each tested individually, not compounding.
  • Turning off FXAA, ~5% usage drop
  • Setting bFloatPointRenderTarget off dropped usage by ~25%

Framerate didn't change with these settings. That second setting is very intriguing. I'm going to take a few more screenies to post what I'm seeing. Not bothering with FXAA, since we all know what it does.

EDIT4:: I did testing in both the Solitude and Whiterun spots, with large differences in usage; I saw a 1fps framerate difference, presumably because I had plenty GPU cycles to spare. I checked CPU usage through a Process Monitor, saw essentially the same usage; which leads me to believe this is some sort of GPU-only setting. With the setting on, I definitely noticed stuttering both running around and panning around my map (although framerate was not dropping) This is arguable, not sure about this yet. Any value other than 0 or 1, the game changed to 1 after closing Skyrim.
Solitude (Click to show)
338
338
Whiterun (Click to show)
338
338

I went to the DNA Skyrim site; scrolling down, they list bFloatPointRenderTarget as "Floating Point Precision". I suppose this could be enabling double floating point precision, which AFAIK is hard on processors. The only information I'm finding on Google is general (not Skyrim-specific) "float point render target", all of which has to do with high dynamic range rendering.

EDIT5: Now I feel like these edits are getting annoying tongue.gif I did some random play-tests, that setting is hitting performance pretty hard. More specifically, sitting on top of Western Watchtower, looking towards the West, I lost about 22fps by turning it on. I think it is some experimental or poorly implemented lighting setting. I circled the bushes that have more shadowing applied to them; that's the only difference I saw, unless something is going on in the background.
bFloatPointRenderTarget; Top Off, Bottom On (Click to show)
338
338

I found some information from the BethSoft forums. It looks like this setting increases accuracy for lighting; it's supposed to improve visuals, but since the game was built off of integer values, the floating point setting simply increases load with no gain.
Edited by EfemaN - 12/6/11 at 6:12pm
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