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Identifying the "heavy" mods? [SOLVED - ENBoost]


DanielCoffey
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As I have mentioned in a few posts, I am having severe and disruptive "hitching" when turning the camera around in my C&PD install. It occurs both outdoors and indoors, on a fresh character, both in and out of combat, immediately on launching as well as after considerable play and it is highly irritating.

 

I have the large majority of the C&PD mods installed, even the Optional ones because I figured that an overclocked 4770K and 780ti could handle them. I should point out that I am running on Windows 10 since I have no other versions of Windows available. The game is very stable with no CTDs and only one lockup in several hours of play when zoning to an indoor location in Minefield.

 

I would like to ask how to identify the "heavy" mods that might be causing this. Rather than just disabling chunks of mods till the situation eases, I wondered if there was a more scientific way of locating the culprit. It may just be something being taken over a threshold by the sheer number of mods or it may be a single mod with a script gone bad. I would like to find out.

 

I set up several MO profiles to test this by using the FWE Alternate Start - Vault Dweller. One was FWE/MMM/RH_Ironsights and the UI mods plus all the "texture and mesh" mods and it was as smooth as anything. Rock solid 60fps at all times. The ENBoost profiling tab showed absolutely no change in frame rate as the draw calls fluctuated from c. 1500 to c. 3500 as I turned around in Springvale near the roaming Eye Bot.

 

As soon as I re-added all the "content and gameplay mods" such as 20th Century, WMK and the Locations, the choppiness was back. The frame rate was largely 60 when stationery but hitched unevenly down to the 20s as I turned. It was not a smooth decrease - it was as if there was something hard in my way and the camera froze then jumped to the new position.

 

I would consider FWE, MMM and RH_Ironsights as my core mods but unless I can be given a few pointers, I am afraid a large chunk of the rest of the guide will have to go since I do not find it playable in this state.

Edited by DanielCoffey
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I'll look in more detail at this when I am at my computer. With 3 Gb of VRAM you shouldn't typically be having problems with textures. I'm not sure how much load the two landscape LOD mods add as I haven't used them extensively yet. Impact and perhaps EVE can cause slowing during combat. The Arefu quest mod seems to add a fair amount of load. Script based plugins that reduce items like PLFewerItems can cause loading if they are enabled for too long; after using them for a while it's a good idea to uncheck them in MO. I don't use Robco Certified because it isn't very robust.

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VRAM seems to sit at about 1.5Gb used, even with all the LODs added. Fortunately I had PLFewerItems.esp hidden already. I did think about ditching IMPACT at least but it is referenced in some of TWPC patches so will need unpicking carefully.

 

I get the hitching right at the very beginning of the game too - exiting the FWE Alternate Start hut and after waiting for all the scripted items to finish still demonstrates the hitching. It is not apparently tied to any one direction - just swinging the camera round. The mods are all on an SSD so should not be causing pop-in to slow down drawing. In fact, texture/mesh/LOD-only gives a very smooth game which was why I wanted to identify the heavy script mods.

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I use FWE Alternate start also. I've tried the Ribet City start and more recently the Robco start. With all of these, and the normal start, there is a period of slowness when I enter the outside world especially if I pan the camera. I think this is due to the game loading various buffers for the cell. I later see this once in a while especially when entering the outside, but not often.

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Hishutup - you were right! Look at this reddit... https://www.reddit.com/r/FalloutMods/comments/3agal0/fallout_3_enb_fps_drop_when_turning_help/

 

And from the horse's mouth on the FO3 ENBoost page itself...

 

 

 

3) If stuttering bother too much, edit enblocal.ini file variables ExpandSystemMemoryX64, ReduceSystemMemoryUsage(especially this one), DisableDriverMemoryManager.

 

I will have a test later.

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Kelmych - I would advise keeping the Guide as it is with the ENBoost included but make the change to the enblocal.ini such that ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=false.

 

Perhaps also make a comment on RH_Ironsights along the lines of "If you see the model of the weapon not aligning with the expected aiming point and being drawn too high or too low, consider limiting the FPS to 54 instead of 60. This can be set in the Stutter Remover ini. Do not confuse this issue with the skill-based hand shake or drift which can be adjusted in the Gun Oil menu."

 

====

 

Testing... (Since I play at 1440p, I am used to 16xAF, 0xAA)

 

1. StutterRemover capped to 54fps. ENBoost installed, ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=TRUE. ENBoost handling AF/AA

 

GPU : 25%

VRAM : 1.2Gb used

FPS : 54.0 when still,

Stutter : very heavy

 

2. Stutter Remover capped to 54fps. ENBoost uninstalled. Fallout3 handling AFx16, AAx0

 

GPU : 12%

VRAM 1.2Gb used

FPS : Less than 54.0

Stutter : none, slightly choppy but steady

 

3. Stutter Remover capped to 54fps. ENBoost enabled, ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=FALSE. ENBoost handling AF/AA

 

GPU : 25%

VRAM : 1.2Gb used

FPS : 54.0

Stutter : none, smooth

 

By changing the ReduceSystemMemoryUsage to FALSE, the GPU is now doing more work but the stutter when turning is completely gone. Textures take a little while to cache but once done, the framerate is steady. It appears that when ENBoost was handling the memory, the GPU was idle more often because the stutter was reducing its workload significantly.

 

I then tried enabling the default UseEffect setting in ENBoost to turn on the rudimentary default ENB and noted that the FPS dropped to the 40s, VRAM went up to 1.5Gb, the GPU was running at 90% but everything was still smooth when turning.

 

===

 

EDIT : Repeated test 2, Stutter remover only. GPU was underutilised and often stepping down its clock. The frame rate was a little ragged and felt as though it was in the 40-s. When I put ENBoost back on with the ReduceSystemMemoryUsage set to false, the GPU was working a little harder but the frame rate was very smooth.

 

There is certainly merit in having ENBoost  in the mix providing you can edit the .ini to avoid the choppiness. I have no idea how much work the ENBoost dll is doing but it is appreciable.

Edited by DanielCoffey
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I'll add a note about your experience to the ENBoost subsection and RH_Ironsights mod in the guide. I don't want to make ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=false be the general recommended default since the purpose of adding ENBoost to this guide was for the memory buffering. 

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