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Too many mods?



Hi to the inspirational STEP team and friends, since discovering Step earlier this year I have discovered a brand new hobby, one which of course you are all very familiar. I have since experimented with a very large number of mods, reinstalled Skyrim numerous times and of course Step. My system is not great to say the least (GT 440 anyone?), but through a lot of time and effort I managed to get around 233 mods working together (I just seem to want to have everything). I have recently found through the very useful 'Mod Errors' thread, that a number of mods were likely to be causing problems and I am now planning a brand new install (my mod packs could also be organised better - great idea by the way) - I am really keen to get back into the game though but it seems that every time I reach around level 10 my game starts to CTD really badly and this includes earlier installs with slightly less mods. I have started to pick up hints on the forums that the VRAM or DRAM? starts to get filled up memorywise and wont run with too many mods especially as you get further into the game (multiple quest threads perhaps). I would like to know if there is any truth to this before I get into the whole thing again so  that I can plan it better and discard some mods (sniff):(.


Any thoughts would be a great help - thanks in advance.

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If you have 4GB or more of system RAM you should be fine, 8GB is optimal.


For VRAM 2GB will be fine to run all STEP mods (a few at hi-res) and 2 forms of AA. If you have 1GB you will need to use SMAA only and stick with all the low res versions of mods. Less than 1GB you will have to seek out mods designed to make skyrim work on laptops to install on top of STEP.


Most CTD's are caused by 3 things.

  • Poor load order, use BOSS to fix this
  • Bad mods, we have lists of mods with errors that should be avoided
  • Conflicts between mods 
Corrupted savegames can result from any of the above and you will need to revert to a save before you installed those mods to continue playing without error.
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Thanks for getting back to me frihyland, reading your list of mods with errors is what prompted me to start a new install. I have 6GB of RAM and 1GB of VRAM, a core 2 Quadcore Q6600 CPU O/clocked to 3Ghz (M/board might be dodgy though as one Dimm socket is disfunctional - BSOD frequently if I use it). I have struggled to get decent framerates > 20 but < 30 and had to drop mods like warzones because my card did not seem able to handle too many moving objects. I tried setting my resolution lower and going for medium setting in the launcher and it did not seem to make any difference to my frame rate when I had lots of mods installed, but have just tried lowering it all on my clean install and found I could get a regular 60 FPS on low settings and 45 + on medium which is new so I am trying to play around with that to get the best combination of settings to give me 50+ and I am close whilst in high settings - in trying to make Skyrim look amazing using a low setting seems to defeat the point of adding textures and effects in the first place.


I guess I will have to be patient and install my more organized packs (WIP) slowly and see what happens. I am cutting out pretty much any mod that is not in the green / clean section of your lists. ENBs are out for me as they tend to cut my framerates in half but then again with these new settings I may be able to give it another go. That said I really get on well with RCRN at present.


As to my original question I take it that provided load order is correct (I use BOSS but can't quite get my head around BUM yet despite the guide - I have much to learn) I should be able to use a reasonable number of mods in my game without worrying about not being able to get very far. I didn't think that made sense, but I was beginning to wonder.


I use Wyre BAsh and NMM, don't have a clue how DDsopt works but I do use Texture Optimizer woohoo. So I will continue my experimentation and see what happens.


I remain a big fan of what you are doing here and hope one day to contribute (once I lose my rookie status), may even try my hand at making a mod or two - now where did I put that 15 year old copy of 3D MAXX.

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