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Framerate Limit Capped at 60 FPS


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I am at the part of the guide that instructs me to run a benchmark. I carefully followed all of the instructions to uncap frame rates, but my game still seems to be capped at 60 FPS. I don't have G-Sync.

Does anyone have any recommendations for uncapping the frame rate? I'm really stumped here. My settings in SSEDisplayTweaks.ini:


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Check you video driver software for anything related to 'sync'. There may be a proprietary name for it. Hover over settings and note descriptions. Then also be sure that SSE Display Tweaks is configured for the performance test by disabling vsync as we describe. Also be sure that EnableFPSLimit=false in enblocal.ini. There are at least four places where frame rate limiting can be enabled ... at least two places vsync can be enabled. It caps frame rates to your monitor refresh (most often 60). You only need the set in SSE Display Tweaks, where you can toggle it.

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16 hours ago, DoubleYou said:

I actually had this problem at one point, and switching from borderless windowed mode to fullscreen mode fixed it for me for some reason.

Then could you go back to borderless? Or are you stuck with fullscreen?

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19 minutes ago, Greg said:

Did you try disabling the Discord overlay or exiting Discord while playing in borderless windowed mode? Just asking because one person alleged his was capped at 60 FPS until he exited Discord.

I swear I had this disabled already, but it was enabled, so I disabled it again. Tested again, and framerate was capped to 60 in windowed mode. Put it back in fullscreen mode, and it was uncapped again. I literally have no idea what would cause this, but it is definitely the case on my system, and apparently the OP's.

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This is expected, no surprise here. This applies to any game on Windows 10 and later, it's not specific to Skyrim or SSE Display Tweaks.

In Borderless Fullscreen Window mode, the game's window is controlled by Windows' DWM (Desktop Window Manager) which always uses (triple-buffered) V-Sync, so the framerate is capped to the monitor's refresh rate. The VRAM is also shared between the game and Windows + the other running apps, which makes task-switching and using multiple monitors seamless in Windows. 60 is not a magic number, it's simply the refresh rate of your specific monitor. If you use a high refresh rate or variable refresh rate monitor, the cap will be different: e.g. 144 fps, 240 fps, ...

No matter what the in-game or driver settings for V-Sync are set to, Windows DWM enforces V-Sync, so V-Sync is always enabled in Borderless Fullscreen Window mode. In STEP SSE's case, this includes the Skyrim INI setting and SSE Display Tweaks configuration.

In Exclusive Fullscreen mode, the GPU and screen are fully controlled by the game which can disable V-Sync and render frames at a pace exceeding the monitor's refresh rate. This causes long pauses and "black-outs" or "flashes" when task-switching in Windows as control is transferred from the game to the OS or vice-versa, and resources are swapped in and out of VRAM.

Those of you using a high refresh rate monitor may think the framerate is uncapped because you can get higher than 60 fps, but does it actually go higher than your monitor's actual refresh rate? For example, if the monitor is 240 Hz and you're getting 120 fps, that doesn't mean anything: V-Sync is still enabled via DWM and frame rate is capped at 240 fps.

There is a special DirectX rendering mode (in DirectX 11 and later I believe) that allows a game to render at uncapped framerates (without V-Sync) even in Borderless Fullscreen Window while maintaining seamless integration with DWM in recent Windows 10 and later. This requires specific GPU and driver support, which may not be available depending on GPU grade and age. This also requires that the game engine is designed to leverage this mode, so only games released in the last 3-4 years might support it.

SSE Display Tweaks can theoretically use this special mode if supported by the hardware, in which case its V-Sync switch should be effective even in Bordeless Fullscreen Window mode. I can't confirm whether it works or not in practice, but users can look at the log (in Documents/My Games/Skyrim Special Edition/SKSE/SSEDisplayTweaks.log), towards the end there will be some messages relating to Swap Effect and Desktop hardware composition. Here for example an excerpt from my log, showing that my crappy hardware doesn't support it:

[Window] [0x9E02EA] Message hook installed
[Window] [0x9E02EA] Window created [Skyrim Special Edition] (0,0,1920,1200)
[Render] [D3D] Requesting mode: 1920x1200@0 | VSync: 1 | Windowed: 1
[Render] [D3D] SwapEffect: flip_discard | SwapBufferCount: 3 | Tearing: 0 | Flags: 0x00000002
[Render] [D3D] Windowed hardware composition support: no

In summary: results will vary depending on each user's specific hardware setup and the only way to ensure that framerates are uncapped for benchmarking purposes in all cases is to switch (temporarily) to Exclusive Fullscreen mode.

I had pointed out this fact back while beta-testing STEP SSE 2.0 and commented on it in one of the Admin topics (Skyrim SE INIs / BethINI / Performance Tuning), but it didn't resonate nor "stick". I hope the above is clearer and more convincing than my initial comments.

Further reading:

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@Mousetick Thanks for the insights. It is now clear, sensible, and will 'stick' to my brain.

@DoubleYou I think we should consider changing to Fullscreen mode in the initial BethINI setup and later instruct to switch to borderless as desired (with very brief explanation of the advantages). This alleviates the issue with the least disruption, I suspect.

I have a 144 Hz monitor and my fully modded setup doesn't achieve that frame rate even with my decent hardware and no ENB/DynDOLOD (112 FPS peak), so I never experienced this issue in my testing. You didn't, because you were in fullscreen mode due to this issue. @TechAngel85 didn't, and I am not sure why.

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In order to compare experiences/results/configurations, I'd suggest you include your SkyrimPrefs.ini, SSEDisplayTweaks.ini and SSEDisplayTweaks.log to provide objective unambiguous information.

Moreover, SSEDisplayTweaks.ini has configuration settings in the [Render] section which can override SkyrimPrefs.ini if they are un-commented, which can lead to confusion about which display mode is actually being applied. Hence the need to look at the log.

Moreover, ENB may also have its own display mode settings which may or may not override SSEDisplayTweaks.ini and/or SkyrimPrefs.ini, leading to even more confusion. I don't use ENB so I don't know whether it's relevant or not.

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