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Hello guys,


I think another member had this issue once but I couldn't find the thread. I'm currently troubled with some lags occuring now and then (happens often when I turn around very quickly and when I fast travelled to a new area).

There were some FPS drops but they weren't on a critical level (like 45 --> 38). Tried to disable AO, tried to disable RCRN. No changes. Then I set my FPS limit to 35 via nVidia inspector. The lags still occured, FPS dropping from 35 to just 30. It is nothing game breaking but it can be a bit annoying sometimes, happens also in different areas.


I thought it might be a matter of VRAM but I monitored the usage and maximum was 1530 mb. So I guess that shouldn't be the problem? GPU wasn't overheating either, there's enough disc space left and I don't have save game bloat, in case these information matter.



GTX580 1,5 gb


16 gb RAM

500 GB Western Digital Caviar Black

600W Corsair PSU

Windows 7 64bit


I use newest nVidia drivers, TESV 1.5.26 (I guess), activated 2x2SSAA+4xMSAA, Quality AO, Ultra Settings, installed most of the STEP-CORE-mods and some non-core mods from STEP. Did only the STEP recommended ini tweaks.



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What I don't understand is why I encounter these lags even after 30 seconds in the game. I mean I still have 16gb of system RAM which should be used (inefficiently I know), and as far as I recall it was generally stated that someone should be able to use 1,5xVRAM before stuttering and CtDs appear. (this is not meant as an accusation)


I tried disabling SSAO and SSAA but it brought me maybe ~20mb of VRAM back.

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Ok, here is what I did. I used the Texture Optimizer program to compress the textures to "resize if >1024". After that my VRAM usage was reduced to ~1100-1200mb (~-300mb). But I definitely saw a difference concerning some textures.


So I added back higher textures of following mods which I can only recommend for people with 1,5 gb cards.


Enhanced Blood Textures (don't use Crimson Tide, I just am a bit bloodthirsty, I'm not sure the difference is so high between high and low-res)

Re-Defined Dungeons (just because VRAM usage in dungeons isn't very high I guess)

Skyrim Flora Overhaul (I did this because it made a huge difference in-game in my opinion. The vegetation looks by far nicer with the high-res textures)

Trees HDSkyrim Variation (same as Flora Overhaul)

AOF Detailed Mountains (also a big improvement in my opinion)

Enhanced Distant Terrain HD (not a big difference but also very performance friendly I think)


Conclusion: In my opinion the landscape changing mods are the most necessary ones in regard of visual enhancement. I did not install again the That's ice mod because it shouldn't have been changed by the compression and the WATER mod just looked good as it was. Running through cities/villages, I think that even with 1k-textures they still look pretty nice and don't need high priority enhancement.

I must admit that I did not do in-depth benchmarking and such but I could play the game with <1400 mb VRAM usage. Clutter and armor stuff also does not have such high priority and looking at armor pieces in my inventar, it didn't seem to have changed much.

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Ok, I did some more testing, running around the whole world of Skyrim for about two hours. (I covered Whiterun, Riverwood, Falkreath, Riften, Markarth, Solitude, Morthal, Dawnstar, Winterhold, Windhelm, plains west of whiterun, surroundings of Riverwood, surroundings of Falkreath, the Reach, Hjaalmarch, the northern coast and the woods north of Riften, I also made quite a few fast travels)


I disabled SSAA and use only 4xMSAA now so I could use the gained VRAM for other enhancement. As soon as I noticed that especially the snow-related textures look pretty bad in low-res (I admit that some of these textures don't look gorgeous in high-res either) I took the 2k SRO landscape files again.


Now, for exterior spaces I have a VRAM usage of ~1000-1350mb. (lower amounts at the northern coast and in cities, higher amouts at places with much vegetation)

There is one exception and may I ask if someone knows if this is a corrupted spot or something. Near the Guardian Stones, my VRAM hit the 1500mb mark. It was just a very tiny area and I can't explain why it would be so much higher. There definitely is a high view distance from the Guardian stones and there is quite a lot of trees and the lake textures but there were other areas like this where my VRAM usage was perfectly fine.


Interior spaces are no problem at all and this is where a new question arises. The big cities in Skyrim are as we know constructed in seperate world spaces. This explains why the VRAM usage is (similar to dungeons) not that high. I was deliberating to use high-res version of the SRO architecture folder as well (although probably not necessary because it looks very nice in low-res as I said already)

So, is the architecture folder also changing the textures of the city when you look at them from outside? (except city walls and stuff like that, of course)

And concernig the farmhouse textures which are in the open world space, do you think that this will be a huge VRAM impact?


I post this question for people who know a bit more about modding and such because I find it very hard to grasp the VRAM usage because of the many VRAM-jumps between different regions of Skyrim.

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I wonder if the high VRAM usage by the Guardian Stones has to do with the possibility that Bethesda "decorated" that area more than most. It's one of the first things you're expected to see, and it was in their demo videos. Narutally, they'd want it to look as amazing as possible. There may be more trees, plants, varying types of scenery, etc in that area. Just a guess.

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You're running out of VRAM.


Optimise the textures using DDSopt or similar.


Try lowering AA, SSAA is especially resource hungry.



This is probably not a VRAM issue if the OP is accurate. He has 1.5 Gb to spare. This is likely an issue regarding all-at-once requests for large amounts of texture info that must be ultimately obtained from combinations of system RAM or more likely from the HD itself. More of a memory management issue as Fri points out (a bit further above in this thread) in his reference to the other post.


I don't really get any appreciable stuttering with combined VRAM between 1-1.5 Gb on my 1 Gb card (but I do get big frame drops and lag when loading new outdoor areas and FTing esp on uGrids 7). This is just a fact of playing a modded game; however, reducing overall texture-based memory consumption should ultimately help with this as well to some degree.

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