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Nazgren

some questions regarding the Windows 8 + 10 4gb limit

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Hi,

I recently built a powerhouse system in order to push Skyrim to the limit but made the mistake of upgrading from windows 7 to 10 in order to get DX12 for my future plans for SLI. I recently discovered the 4GB memory limit causing me to be stuck at 10fps at best with only the barebones of a graphics set up and an ENB. From what I have read on here and ENBdev people seem to be blaming Nvidia and the Windows 8 + 10 graphics drivers, but here is an article where the Windows Visual Studio and .NET Framework team accept responsibility for this. So is it Nvidia or is it Windows? Is there any word on when this will be fixed? My AMD Phenom II x4 965 performed better then my i7-6700k as a result, which is utter madness. What are my options for getting around this? Is my only option to dual boot (dont want to delete 10 already) 7 just to play Skyrim and Fallout 4?

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I'm fairly certain I have read Arthmoor (lead on the unofficial Skyrim patches and well-respected mod author) state that it is not driver related, and is in fact Windows. However, I searched for 5 minutes a few days ago to find this post and I was unsuccessful. I'm fairly certain it was AFKMods forum or Bethsoft forum.

 

Who was saying it was the Nvidia drivers on ENB? Boris himself (author of ENB and all-around technical guru)? If so, I would definitely consider what he had to say, for sure.

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If you read the last comment on that bug, it states:

We have determined that this bug belongs to the Windows Platform team and we have transferred this bug to their database. Per their request, we will close this bug and they will contact you directly if they need further information.

This seems to imply this is an issue in the Windows platform itself.

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It was Boris saying this, but I don't think he can be certain. He's still on XP and doesn't officially support anything past Windows 7.

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This was my confusion, two people that both should have a very good idea of what they are talking about have conflicting opinions. I would probably lean towards windows as they have accepted the blame and there has been no word from Nvidia, but if so then why has Microsoft not yet fixed the issue? Without knowing even the basics of memory allocation, I would have thought this would simply be a case of replacing the bad 8+10 code with the working 7 code?

 

Is there a workaround I have yet to encounter or is a 7 Dual Boot my only option?

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I imagine they have not fixed it because it pertains to DirectX9, and I doubt many people have complained to Microsoft. Microsoft tends to look toward the future instead of the past, and I doubt they will ever fix this unless there is some miraculous surge of complaints.

 

As far as a workaround...I personally know of none. But that doesn't mean much. I would suggest going the dual-boot route.

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Unless you install all 4K textures, you will be unlikely to exceed 4G VRAM limit. SR:LE (Lots of 2K texture) + REGS + MMO pack will use only 3 - 3.5GB VRAM max. This setup will look great up to 2K screen. I have 980 ti on Windows 10. I was on Windows 7 before, which shows no performance benefit by my testing.

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I installed optimised base textures, SMC and Grim and Sombre Hircine and have already exceeded the 4gb. I have not even begin to fine tune my textures and ini settings which will no doubt push my vram settings even higher. Windows 7 is about £30 on Amazon, so I'm not overly worried.

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If anyone wants to better understand the '4' GB Limit (even under 64-bit architecture running 32-bit software), then skim this thread, which was where we really began digging into the issue and possibly helping to spur the dev of Boris' and sheson's great contributions (ENBoost and Skyrim memory patch via SKSE)

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These are separate issues, z. The issue here is that 32-bit DirectX9 games can use more than 4GB Video RAM on Windows 7, but these same games are capped at 4GB Video RAM on Windows 8 and Windows 10 for some unknown reason. One person even created a demo app that allocates more than 4GB Video RAM and it runs perfectly on Windows 7, but it throws a DX9 memory allocation exception on Windows 8 and Windows 10.

 

I think ENBSeries is saying his Video Memory Size Tool is showing the same 4GB Video RAM cap on Windows 8 and 10, and this just allocates blocks of Video RAM until the allocation fails to determine the video memory size. This reports 7904 MB on Windows 7 and 4064 MB on Windows 10.

 

Apparently a lot of people thought it was an Nvidia driver issue that was preventing the use of more than 4GB Video RAM, but it looks as if it may be an intrinsic issue in the Windows 8/10 platform itself since Windows 7 isn't affected and both NVidia and AMD cards are capped at 4GB on Windows 8/10.

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I would imagine if it is a Microsoft issue as it seems to be and it has not been fixed since they were informed of it in April then it likely will never be fixed. Boris won't do anything about it as he isn't bothered about Windows 8 or 10 and he seems to be the only person modding this kind of thing. We can only dream.

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I could be wrong, but I don't think Boris can fix it, Nazgren. I did a little bit of research on this today (for my daily mod knowledge boost), and found a thread on the Nvidia forums started by a user named ENBSeries. This was Boris himself posting, and in the thread he was asking for Nvidia to fix the issue. The thread ends with a link to the page you linked to in your original post.

 

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/863242/geforce-drivers/-request-remove-4gb-limit-of-vram-for-dx9-games/1/

Edited by Nebulous112

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I know, I refered to that topic in the op, but it has since then been discovered that the issue is not Nvidia, but Windows, which he can get around, like he did with ENB in the first place.

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Does anyone know if SteamOS will run skyrim and ENB ok, as in without the 4064 limit? Am so far hearing good things about SteamOS and seeing as Windows 7 seems to be out of production it may be the only alternative. Lots seems to think it runs games better due to it being built on Linux too, but never looked into it before so I'm not sure.

Edited by Nazgren

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