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troubleshooting troubleshooting FPS spikes


exploiteddna

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So, here's the situation, a hypothetical example. Let's say youre in the game in firts-person view, standing at some location in the game world. If you are looking north you get a full 60fps, if you are looking east you get a full 60fps, if you are looking south you get a full 60fps.. but if you are looking to the west your fps takes a big dip down to like 40fps.

 

That is the situation. This type of behavior happens in quite a few spots all over the game world. Basically standing in place and facing a certain direction will create a significant drop in fps compared to looking any other direction.  Now obviously I have concluded that something is being rendered that is putting strain on my machine.  However, I don't really know how to troubleshoot it. All of my textures have been heavily optimized and reduced in size where necessary. All of my textures are less than 2k res, with very few exceptions using 4k (i.e. dragon textures).  Basically when I find a spot in the game that puts this type of strain on my hardware, I try to troubleshoot it but using the "standard" troubleshooting methods I always come up empty.  I am hoping that maybe someone on here can offer me something original, something "outside of the box" so to speak, because ive run out of things to try (short of removing all my mods/textures and replacing them one by one (which i will do, but only if i absolutely must)).

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It's not your textures. Textures will increase your instability at higher resolutions because they cause your RAM to bloat in a set proportion (varies from system to system) with your VRAM. What is likely decreasing your FPS in one direction is say in one direction there is a mountain and the other a grassy plain the grassy plain will likely cause you more of a drop than the mountain because there are more variations it has to render. I'm no expert in this by any means but this is a VERY basic explanation and not even that accurate. The more meshes and the more complex said meshes are in the picture the slower the fps.

Someone correct me if what I said was completely off base or too much of a generalization.

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When this happens are you looking toward the center of the map? Try seeing if you are looking at the center of the map when this happens. If so then it is a bug with the engine that pops up in a few different ways, though never heard of FPS drop. If it happens when looking other directions then I do not know.

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It's not your textures. Textures will increase your instability at higher resolutions because they cause your RAM to bloat in a set proportion (varies from system to system) with your VRAM. What is likely decreasing your FPS in one direction is say in one direction there is a mountain and the other a grassy plain the grassy plain will likely cause you more of a drop than the mountain because there are more variations it has to render. I'm no expert in this by any means but this is a VERY basic explanation and not even that accurate. The more meshes and the more complex said meshes are in the picture the slower the fps.

Someone correct me if what I said was completely off base or too much of a generalization.

yeah ive definitely thought of this myself. However, im left with the question of why it would cause such a drastic drop.  I mean, I limit my fps to 60 so it doesnt cause any problems with the physics engine, such as flying objects. However, being that im running a pretty hefty setup (4-core cpu with HT on, and 2 gtx680 in SLI) I should be able to play at 60 frames continuously.  And its also one thing to drop FPS in a heavy scene, but its another thing to suddenly drop 20 frames and then jump back up (in my opinion). the only real mesh mods im using are SMIM and No Stretching, i suppose i could uninstall those and see if it changes anything.

When this happens are you looking toward the center of the map? Try seeing if you are looking at the center of the map when this happens. If so then it is a bug with the engine that pops up in a few different ways though never heard of FPS drop. If it happens when looking other directions then I do not know.

Thanks for the idea i will check this out. I have tried to find a pattern between when this behavior occurs, but havent noticed any yet. I will see if your idea pans out, thanks.

 

Edit: now that i think about it, i do remember one case where i was standing on calcelmos balcony in markarth and if i were to look over the edge of the balcony to view the city below, i would get a drop from my max 60 all the down to like 35 frames.

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The main things in any scene rendering that cost performance is.

A: Amount of stuff that needs to be rendered

B: Shadow and lighting calculations.

C: Animations movement etc. since it is a combination of the two above.

 

If you have severe drops in FPS while looking in one direction then it is most likely due to some shadow or lighting issue, since those normally cause the largest hits in performance. Try to look in said direction and increase the ingame time via the console so the time of day goes faster. Make a note if the performance drop is only during a certain interval or all the time. If it is all the time then it is most likely because there are a lot of stuff that always needs to be rendered have lighting cast on it etc etc. If it is only during a certain period of time then it is most likely a shadow issue during certain hours.

 

Also sometimes the game engine can just have failed to unload everything... if a light has failed to unload or the script that is supposed to turn it off has not done so then it will continue to be a part of computations and hence soak up CPU cycles.

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