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incremental modding progress - how to best test?



I skipped making a backup the first time around and am re-downloading Skyrim now. My first attempt at installing all the mods as laid out in STEP 2.1 was a success but performance was abysmal. It averaged at 3 stunningly beautiful frames per second. I then downsized all textures to 1024 and while that solved the performance issue, several textures now looked worse than before. Much worse. Hence, the scrap.


This time around I would like to be more selective and also test various mods right after installation to see how each individual one affects performance. Finding the right mix of pretty and smooth for my system. Is there a best way to do this? Can a save file where some mods may have been disabled and others added later serve for this?


Loosely quoting from memory: "Some content has been altered since you last loaded this game, are you sure you want to continue", this warning makes me hesitant. On the other hand, how good of a benchmark can the ride to the execution block be since you can't really test magical effects yet. I think there was some kind of spell impact mod I never got the chance to test at all.


I'm sure you have a lot more experience than me in this, so your expertise would be welcome.

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First there is a new STEP 2.2 out which should be some help in this regard. Second, check out Skyrim Installation guide in the guides section and go from there. Basically make sure your rig, OS, Steam, and Skyrim are in optimal order. I think there is a link in there to the Nvidia skyrim tweaking guide as well.


As far as textures go, start with how much ram you have. There is a great guide in the Skyrim Installation guide. I have 1.25g vram and I stick to mostly 1024 unless somebody says otherwise on a particular mod. You better check out The Texture Pack Combiner on the nexus too.  Cestral has already done most of the heavy lifting for you as far as textures go.


Then you need to start getting real freaky with Wrye Bash, MO and DDSopt for serious optimization. Great guides here too on that.


Finally, you most assuredly are going to have to start a new game. I doubt your old ones will run with the new setup.

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