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Poor performance even without mods... Normal?



Hi all,


For some reason I seem to be getting poor performance on vanilla skyrim, so any extensive modding (like STEP) seems to be out of the question. My rig isn't that bad, the VRAM isn't the best but still from what I can gather from reading the STEP guide and from other users with similar specs I shouldn't be having this much problems right? (see specs below)


The only changes I've made to vanilla Skyrim are those suggested in the STEP guide up until and including step 2C (Extenders). I've got AA set to 4x in skyrimprefs.ini and anisotropy to 8 in enblocal.ini, and run at 1920x1080 resolution. ENBoost is on with reserved memory at 128MB and videomemorysize set to 3746 (my total available graphics memory - 350). The Helgen intro scene benchmark I get is attached in the first pic. As you can see VRAM and GPU usage are constantly maxed out with fps generally 35-45.


I then disabled the HR-DLC, which resulted in a drop in VRAM usage to about 850MB, but for some reason there was no change in FPS or GPU load whatsoever (see the other attachment).


My question is, is this normal with regards to my specs? I know it is generally recomended to have at least 2GB VRAM when using mods, but my specs are well above the official 'recommended' specs for vanilla skyrim, yet I can barely run it? Any ideas on what i can do?



Intel i5 3470 3.2GHz


Nvidia GTX 650 1GB, latest drivers.

Windows 8



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Since the 650 was a budget version if I recall it had some of the features of the 660´s but at much lower clock speeds and memory. 


First thing is to drop AA... that card simply was not really made for that. 


Do not worry about usage... on just about all cards any full screen game will make full use of the GPU. It is not a bad thing in itself. 


Also the intro will always show lower performance than most of the rest of the game due to its complexity. If you want a better idea on how your game is going to run do a generic console start from the main menu. 


Open the console in the main menu and type "coc riverwood" 


In short 1Gb is really pushing it at 1080p... Especially if you want AA activated. And again keep in mind that the clock speeds on that card is not as high... compared to a 660 which wont care one bit about 1080p, even with AA on. 

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I suppose it's good to know there's nothing wrong, and that it's just the GFX card that's crap (I had no idea it was a low-end budget version).


Thanks man. Will turn off AA, get some optimized/reduced textures and avoid HD texture mods, I think I'll be fine.

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