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zhokar

Suggestion for STEP user with Skyrim Flora Overhaul with performance issues

Question

Obviously Skyrim Flora Overhaul with iMinGrassSize set to 40 results in a noticeable performance hit. Increasing iMinGrassSize will result in patchy grass that imho looks even worse due to the even grass distribution.

 

Grass On Steroids greatly improved the performance for me. What it does is increase grass density at higher iMinGrassSize settings, the mod uses 75, without a big performance hit. It also changes the grass distribution, making fields and especially smaller patches patches seem more natural. There is even a SFO variant for download that doesn't change the grass height, another key feature of this mod.

 

I've been digging through the forums a bit and FPS that people reported for the mod in comparison to others and vanilla is pretty much what my own testing has shown.

 

It has also improved my VRAM usage which seems a bit weird to me. On the one hand the higher iMinGrassSize results in fewer textures on the other hand the increased density of the mod results in similar visual density so in my mind it shouldn't change the memory usage. I'd be happy if someone could explain and or verify that observation for me.

 

Cheers

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Increasing the grass density will reduce the number of meshes loaded. In turn with "shadows on grass" on this reduce the shadow computation. 

 

Reduced number of meshes = less shadow computation = more performance = less resource use. 

 

The GPU does not care if a mesh is 1 unit large or 10.. it cost the same amount to display. 

 

There are not fewer textures loaded.. since you most likely still have all variations of the grass loaded. However there are not that many textures.. and most of them in SFO are only 1k in size. As long as you are in any exterior cell then you most likely have them all loaded at all times anyways. 

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Thanks a lot for that quick explanation. So if I understand correctly: His 75 ini setting means less meshes are loaded. The mod just makes it look like more grass although less is loaded. About right?

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It makes the meshes larger in the game world so it seems like they cover more ground. Hence you need to load less of them to get the same relative coverage. 

 

Only real problem with the mod is that it makes the meshes about as large as character which you will start to notice eventually. 

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Yes, I have noticed out of place plants on cobble roads and a worse look up close. But as far as overall scene quality is concerned it has improved the look for me. I think it's a great compromise for STEP users who need to run close to baseline settings but still want a flora improvement. To be honest, Skyrim Flora Overhaul at high iMinGrassSize settings looks pretty bad.

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