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Firebrand

What's eating my outdoor fps in this setup?

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Hi, I'm running a 

 

i5-4670@3.40GHz

8GB DDR3 RAM

HD6870

Windows 7 64-bit

 

setup with all Baseline STEP Core mods (although I deselected some content ones), ENBoost, Memory Patch - all installed by the book + some extra mods (RCRN, Relighting Skyrim, Falskaar, Wyrmstooth, Moonpath to Elsweyr, The Dance of Death, WARZONES, Winter is Coming, Cloaks of Skyrim, Better Magic, Immersive Armors and Deadly Combat - none of which should be in direct conflict with the others)

 

Skyrim.esm

Update.esm
Unofficial Skyrim Patch.esp
Dawnguard.esm
Unofficial Dawnguard Patch.esp
HearthFires.esm
Unofficial Hearthfire Patch.esp
Dragonborn.esm
Unofficial Dragonborn Patch.esp
Falskaar.esm
Skyrim Project Optimization - Full Version.esm
Lanterns Of Skyrim - All In One - Main.esm
moonpath.esm
WARZONES - Civil Unrest.esm
Wyrmstooth.esp
HighResTexturePack01.esp
HighResTexturePack02.esp
HighResTexturePack03.esp
Brawl Bugs CE.esp
Unofficial High Resolution Patch.esp
Weapons & Armor Fixes_Remade.esp
Rainbows.esp
ADS.esp
AOS.esp
BWS.esp
IHSS.esp
Improved Combat Sounds v2.2.esp
randomthunder.esp
mintylightningmod.esp
TradeBarter.esp
83Willows_101BUGS_V4_LowRes.esp
Auto Unequip Ammo.esp
BLESSINGS - Altar Descriptions.esp
Bring Out Your Dead.esp
Dead Body Collision.esp
Disease Descriptions.esp
DD_Dawnguard Additions.esp
DD_Dragonborn Additions.esp
Dual Sheath Redux.esp
fFastTravelSpeedMult_4.esp
manny Lantern Caretakers.esp
More Salt Please.esp
More Salt Please - Dragonborn addon.esp
Moss Rocks.esp
Moss Rocks_DB.esp
ORM-Arvak.esp
PilgrimsDelight.esp
Point The Way.esp
Radiant and Unique Potions and Poisons v2.0 non glow.esp
ShootingStars.esp
Skyrim Flora Overhaul.esp
SkyrimImprovedPuddles-DG-HF-DB.esp
WetandCold.esp
WetandCold - Ashes.esp
Footprints.esp
Footprints - Ash.esp
NoxUE2.00.esp
SkyUI.esp
iHUD.esp
Cloaks.esp
Cloaks - Dawnguard.esp
1nivWICCloaks.esp
1nivWICSkyCloaksPatch.esp
Elemental Staves.esp
ExplosiveBoltsVisualized.esp
Hothtrooper44_ArmorCompilation.esp
imp_helm.esp
imp_helm_imp.esp
imp_helm_dawn.esp
imp_help_dbrn.esp
imp_guard_helm.esp
Complete Crafting Overhaul_Remade.esp
Lock Overhaul.esp
Gildergreen Regrown.esp
moonpath_questdata.esp
Run For Your Lives.esp
When Vampires Attack.esp
The Paarthurnax Dilemma.esp
Appropriately Attired Jarls Redux.esp
Distant DetailHF.esp
DiversePriests.esp
DiversePriests_BringOutYourDeadPatch.esp
dynamic fires.esp
GrassOnSteroids_NaturalEdition_SFO.esp
Guard Dialogue Overhaul.esp
Convenient Horses.esp
dD - Enhanced Blood Main.esp
dD-Dragonborn-Dawnguard-EBT Patch.esp
Soul Gems Differ - E.esp
Thieves Guild Requirements.esp
aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp
Chesko_Step418_SN.esp
Oblivion Gates v3 without Markers - Skyrim + Dawnguard DLC.esp
Oblivion Gates v3 - Skyrim + Dawnguard DLC.esp
BetterDualCasting.esp
BetterMasterSpells.esp
BetterSpellFinishers.esp
BFSEffects.esp
DeadlySpellImpacts.esp
BetterMagic_FULL.esp
DeadlyCombat.esp
DeadlyCombat_GiantsAIFix.esp
Dual Wield Parrying_SKSE.esp
The Dance of Death - Ultimate Edition.esp
BetterSpellMastery.esp
BetterMageArmor.esp
dD-No Spinning Death Animation.esp
Beards.esp
Brows.esp
SPTConsistentOlderPeople.esp
NonEssentialChildren.esp
dD - Realistic Ragdoll Force - Realistic.esp
rcrnShaders.esp
RCRNdgdb.esp
RCRNvolumetric.esp
Animated Weapon Enchants.esp
DawnguardRuneWeaponsFXSReplacer.esp
RealisticWaterTwo.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Legendary.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Wyrmstooth.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Waves - Wyrmstooth.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Falskaar.esp
RealisticWaterTwo - Waves - Falskaar.esp
DiversePriests_ConsistentOlderPeoplePatch.esp
Dual Sheath Redux Patch.esp
SkyFalls + SkyMills + DG + DB + FS + WT.esp
AOS2_DGDB Patch.esp
Improved Closefaced Helmets_Legendary.esp
STEP Core Patch.esp
Hothtrooper44_Armor_Ecksstra.esp
RelightingSkyrim-FULL.esp
Bashed Patch, 0.esp
 

and outdoor fps is just awful, sitting around 15 and even dropped as low as 7 fps during a continuous run down an empty road. Indoors my fps is mostly fine, ~60. Occasional crashes also happens. Last but not least, my load times when going outdoors takes another 5-10 seconds before the loading screen pops up. 

 

I've tweaked my .inis quite a bit, both with the STEP guide but also using a tweak guide (https://itcprosolutions.com/skyrimguides/tweak_guide.htm) and may have gone a bit over my head. I've attached my MO/Profiles/STEP CORE .inis for good measure. 

 

Any suggestions or insight would be greatly appreciated as I, myself, am at a loss...

skyrim.ini

skyrimprefs.ini

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Try disabling the 3 RCRN plugins and see what happens. I used to use that with my modified STEP setup, but it did have a performance hit. Think its the volumetric vog thats the main pain. Could also try reseting your ini options and alter as per STEP only incase you altered something too much.

 

Btw, when did the performance drop start? It sounds like you were running fine. Perhaps review what you did before the performance drop would help.

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Mmm, didn't help from what I could tell. Maybe I should try a clean save/restart? The .ini solution I'll get back to.

 

Well, I reinstalled the game after upgrading some hardware and that's when I heard of STEP. I used to get great fps with what I consider heavier mods, Skyrim 2k, COT and the like, but now it's just atrocious. As a result I've only been running tests on setups with my "improved" rig. :3  

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Have you tried the Performance Monitor that was linked to on the STEP pages (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/6491/?)? Maybe it could give some indications of what's wrong. Also, I've read that Warzones is supposed to be pretty buggy and can screw up things, but probably shouldn't create problems like this.

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If I'm looking at your GPU's specs correctly, it seems that you have 1GB of VRAM.

 

With that setup, I would advise against many of the mods in your list. Are you experiencing outdoor lag only? In my experience, Skyrim Flora Overhaul comes with a huge performance hit (obviously outdoors). My one-time experience with WARZONES also resulted in outdoor lag, but that was dependent upon being near a spawn location.

 

Are the HighResTexturePack ESPs referring to the Official High Resolution Textures? I've never used them, so I'm not sure. If so, I really don't think you can afford to load such expensive textures. I'd stick with mods like 2K LITE, Bethesda Performance Textures, and Hi-Res DLC Optimized (perhaps that's what you have?).

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I haven't had a look at it, Epletbit, but I'll look it up. You may both be right about WARZONES and my testing ground, around Pinewatch, I'm pretty sure was a spawn point. I'll remove it altogether. 

 

If I'm looking at your GPU's specs correctly, it seems that you have 1GB of VRAM.

 

With that setup, I would advise against many of the mods in your list. Are you experiencing outdoor lag only? In my experience, Skyrim Flora Overhaul comes with a huge performance hit (obviously outdoors). My one-time experience with WARZONES also resulted in outdoor lag, but that was dependent upon being near a spawn location.

 

Are the HighResTexturePack ESPs referring to the Official High Resolution Textures? I've never used them, so I'm not sure. If so, I really don't think you can afford to load such expensive textures. I'd stick with mods like 2K LITE, Bethesda Performance Textures, and Hi-Res DLC Optimized (perhaps that's what you have?).

You are correct about my VRAM (sadly), but thanks for the great suggestions.

Yes, outdoors is mainly where it's at, and I have suspected SFO to drag a heavy load. However, it was part of my old setup, which is why it's hard for me to file actual claims against it, but I think you hit quite a nail with the texture packs. Atm I'm using the Official HR Textures, as I had heard somewhere that they were about as demanding and of the same quality as 2K Lite but with overall smoother performance. 2K Lite was also part of my (smooth) setup back then, so I'll try going back to that... although I'm not sure in what order to install them with STEP.

 

I'm not familiar with Bethesda Performance Textures but were using all of STEPs recommendations in addition to Optimizer Textures but I'll check it out. Have you spotted anything else that might be too much for my system?

 

Thank you both for replying.

Edited by Firebrand

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Since you're working with 1GB of VRAM, I'll make some more suggestions: 

Yes, outdoors is mainly where it's at, and I have suspected SFO to drag a heavy load. However, it was part of my old setup, which is why it's hard for me to file actual claims against it...

I strongly suspect that SFO is a culprit for your poor FPS outdoors. At the very least, I would suggest benchmarking its effect on FPS in a large grassy area, such as The Rift. If you insist on leaving it installed, I would at least change iMinGrassSize in Skyrim.ini to a high value (anywhere from 40-80) to reduce the quantity of grasses per clump. Also, the SFO author recommends changing iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure=7, but decreasing that value will also help. 

Atm I'm using the Official HR Textures, as I had heard somewhere that they were about as demanding and of the same quality as 2K Lite but with overall smoother performance. 2K Lite was also part of my (smooth) setup back then, so I'll try going back to that... although I'm not sure in what order to install them with STEP.

I'm not sure where you heard that, but it's incorrect. Many of the Official HR Textures replace 512 versions with 2048 versions which is an enormous increase (4x's the original resolution). Here are my suggestions:1.) Drop the Official HR Texture pack. It's going to be a burden on your system.

 

2.) What do you have Anisotropic Filtering set to? You can make even the vanilla textures look good (sans some shimmering) with 16x.2a.) STEP:Core recommends Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/42360/?), but I don't see it in your mod list. This is essentially a 100-Calorie version of the Official HR Texture pack that replaces 2048 versions with 1024 versions (cutting game resource usage in half). If I were you, I would use the "Full" version.

2b.) An alternative is using Bethesda Performance Textures: Armor/Clothes/Weapons (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/42360/?) and Bethesda Performance Textures - Animals and Creatures (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/43921/?). These mods are designed for the same purpose and were developed specifically for 1GB GPUs. 

 

3.) Use 2K LITE for land and architecture textures as neither of the above two mods cover those.

 

4.) Focus on textures that are truly important to you. I have 2GB of VRAM, but I'm still VERY stingy with how many textures and texture packs I use. Perhaps look into a mod like IMAGINATOR to give your game an overall improvement. 

 

I realize that you probably already know a lot of this, but it may help other beginners that are ill-informed. 

 

As an aside, does anyone know if ENBoost may actually hurt those with little VRAM? If I remember correctly, it offsets RAM resources to VRAM.

 

 

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Since you're working with 1GB of VRAM, I'll make some more suggestions:

 

I strongly suspect that SFO is a culprit for your poor FPS outdoors. At the very least, I would suggest benchmarking its effect on FPS in a large grassy area, such as The Rift. If you insist on leaving it installed, I would at least change iMinGrassSize in Skyrim.ini to a high value (anywhere from 40-80) to reduce the quantity of grasses per clump. Also, the SFO author recommends changing iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure=7, but decreasing that value will also help.

 

I'm not sure where you heard that, but it's incorrect. Many of the Official HR Textures replace 512 versions with 2048 versions which is an enormous increase (4x's the original resolution). Here are my suggestions:

 

1.) Drop the Official HR Texture pack. It's going to be a burden on your system.

 

2.) What do you have Anisotropic Filtering set to? You can make even the vanilla textures look good (sans some shimmering) with 16x.

 

2a.) STEP:Core recommends Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/42360/?), but I don't see it in your mod list. This is essentially a 100-Calorie version of the Official HR Texture pack that replaces 2048 versions with 1024 versions (cutting game resource usage in half). If I were you, I would use the "Full" version.

2b.) An alternative is using Bethesda Performance Textures: Armor/Clothes/Weapons (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/42360/?) and Bethesda Performance Textures - Animals and Creatures (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/43921/?). These mods are designed for the same purpose and were developed specifically for 1GB GPUs. 

 

3.) Use 2K LITE for land and architecture textures as neither of the above two mods cover those.

 

4.) Focus on textures that are truly important to you. I have 2GB of VRAM, but I'm still VERY stingy with how many textures and texture packs I use. Perhaps look into a mod like IMAGINATOR to give your game an overall improvement. 

 

I realize that you probably already know a lot of this, but it may help other beginners that are ill-informed. 

 

As an aside, does anyone know if ENBoost may actually hurt those with little VRAM? If I remember correctly, it offsets RAM resources to VRAM.

1+2a) I did uninstall the whole thing and replaced it with 2K Lite, installing that one before all the conflicting graphics mods in STEP. I just ran the intro with a new character and my fps has increased dramatically... although I hope the lighting/atmosphere is better outside Helgen. Doesn't Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized require the Official HR Texture Pack master?

 

2) That is something of which I'm not entirely sure. In CCC (skse_loader.exe profile) I have 16x. In Skyrim Launcher I have 8x. I run all my game instances via SKSE in MO, so I'm guessing the first option.

2b) I might just install that one once I figure out about Bethesda Hi-Res DLC Optimized. EDIT: I was surprised when installing Bethesda Performance Textures as it didn't ask to overwrite or merge with any already installed textures. 

 

3. Done.

 

4. I'll give Imaginator another go.

Edited by Firebrand

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