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> Starting Skyrim on PC
Renee
post Dec 10 2014, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE(Lopov @ Dec 9 2014, 04:19 PM) *

Sorry to hijack your thread, Renee.

Don't apologize. It is tangents of conversation like these that I can possibly learn a few things, and I just did
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Lopov
post Dec 17 2014, 10:05 PM
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Three things I want to share:

1)I didn't have a single CTD after saving only with the console.

2)Stutter is gone. It may have something to do with A Quality World Map mod because I used a classic map option which is said to cause problems with generating distant objects. Since I've been using another map, distant objects are more visible again and stutter is gone. Though I haven't been to the Rift yet so I don't know whether that area is "cured" as well because it was the most problematic.

3)I also fixed the yellow flashing that was caused by turning Antialiasing on. I found the solution on Google and it said to change settings in AMD Catalyst Control Center by checking the box "Use Application Settings" regarding AA. Checking these boxes worked and my screen no longer flashes yellow when in 1st person. Hope it stays that way.


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Renee
post Dec 23 2014, 05:50 PM
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Finally got Skyrim working on PC last night. smile.gif Oh yeah. I haven't created a character yet, I just wanted to see if the game would start, if I did things right.

One of the things I noticed: FPS. I've got Fraps running, but even if I didn't I was noticing how much FPS (frames per second) was bouncing around, just during the carriage ride. Nothing crazy; it's not like the images on my screen were stop-starting or anything such, but after figuring out how to get Oblivion running nice and smooth, it's something which I now notice.

So I have two questions.

1). In Oblivion I use a 4GB patch mod + OSR (Oblivion Stuttter Removal) to get my game running with minimal hitches. I typically have it set at 33 fps while in towns and outside, and sometimes I will switch to 60 fps while dungeon-diving. Is there a similar program (or set of mods) for Skyrim?

2). Some people say it's impossible to tell the difference between 30 fps and 60 fps. I disagree. 60 fps is heavenly. I can always tell the difference while playing Oblivion (assuming I've got OSR set to allow 60 fps) but the problem is Oblivion cannot maintain a solid 60 fps most of the time (not with the Ultra settings I have on), which I think has something to do with the fact that it can't utilize more than one core of a processor.

So my question: is it possible to get Skyrim working at 60 fps at all times? biggrin.gif I noticed during that carriage ride that FPS was bouncing in the 30s and 40s. When I got Skyrim installed, I also noticed it automatically set the game for ULTRA settings, but maybe VERY HIGH would make things smoother.

Damn. Three questions. Sorry. This third question is optional, because it requires research, maybe.

3). Here is my computer's specs. It's got an Nvidia GT640 card. Let's say I installed a more powerful graphics card; a GTX 760 or something. Do you think this would allow more headroom for ULTRA settings + 60 fps, since Skyrim can utilize more than one core?

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 23 2014, 05:53 PM
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SubRosa
post Dec 23 2014, 06:41 PM
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A better video card will certainly help performance. Whether it will get you to that smooth 60 fps... I dunno. There are of course other factors as well, how much RAM you have, how fast your RAM is (it comes in different speeds, which are of course limited by your motherboard), how fast your hard drive is, how fast your processor is, etc... But in the end, a new video card will definitely help.

You might never get it perfect. I have a pretty good machine - Intel i7 3.2 ghz, 16gb of DDR3 Ram, a Solid State hard drive, and two Nvidia GT 760 video cards in an SLI. But I still get what is called micro stutter. Sometimes my fps will drop by just a few digits - literally just from 60 only to 56 - and the game will very noticeably stutter. That is with Vsync on, which caps your fps 60. I manually turned Vsync off and my fps is usually over 100. But I still got that micro-stutter. So I turned it back on. From the Googling I have done, a lot of other people with good machines have the same issue.

You don't have to worry about looking for a Large Address Aware (a.k.a. 4gb) patch. That was built into one of Skyrim's patches. Since Steam forces you to update the game, you already have that.

I don't know of a single specific mod for Skyrim like OSR is for Oblivion. I have seen a lot of supposed fixes for stuttering. None of them have ever helped me, and many have made my game run worse. So they are a your mileage will vary situation. Google things, make backups, and try them one at a time and see what happens.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 23 2014, 06:44 PM


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Renee
post Dec 24 2014, 03:02 AM
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Very good thanks SubRosa. 60 fps with an occasional dip into the 50s would be sweet. You know what I mean about framerates, right? 60 fps is amazing. It's not just the fact that the picture is smooth, it's also something else I can't put my finger on. The game's lighting changes, or something. It's subtle but noticeable.

I've got 16 gb of RAM, speed is 3.4 Ghz with a 3.9 'turbo' mode or something like that. Quad core. The GT640 is pretty decent for Oblivion, but I have my eye on a few better video cards from Best Buy, or maybe even Micro Center. I think I'll do some research. The thing is, I know my comp is not the very best, but I don't plan on adding any texture pack mods, so 60 fps with vanilla textures seems ultimately feasible, I am hoping.

So you use two vid cards at once? Or you just have two in your machine and use one at a time?

This post has been edited by Renee Gade IV: Dec 24 2014, 03:03 AM
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SubRosa
post Dec 24 2014, 03:25 AM
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I know exactly what you mean. I have been chasing that white FPS whale since I started computer gaming, trying to eke out every single frame I could to get that smooth as silk performance. My current gaming rig is powerful enough that I typically can play any game with all the graphics settings at the highest without any slowdowns. I even keep Vsync turned on, which I would never do in the past in order to get the best performance.

SLI is a technology that allows you to use two or more graphics cards in one computer. Not all cards can do it, and not all motherboards can either. It allows you to do things like use one card to draw one frame, then the other card to draw the next, and back and forth. Generally it means a performance increase, but not always (which the article explains later, and is something I have seen myself playing Skyrim).

SLI can also be used to improve your image quality instead, by using the alternating graphics cards to improve your anti-aliasing. I have been trying that today, and found it it also improves my micro-stutter issue, though does not completely eliminate it. So far with SLI based x64 CSAA and x16 Transparency AA I only sometimes get a 1 point FPS drop, rather than the 4 point drop with only x4 standard AA. That micro-stutter comes every time I get that 1 point drop. But it isn't as frequent as before, or as bad. I know that sounds strange, but the micro-stutter issue is a weird one, it seems to be caused by people whose computers are too powerful to play the game, not too little. The computer renders frames so quickly that it has too much free time between frames.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 24 2014, 04:04 AM


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Renee
post Dec 26 2014, 01:53 PM
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Happy Holidays and thank you once again. santaclaus.gif That's one thing I wanted to ask about: Vsync. How do we turn this on? I don't see an option in the game, or in the game's launcher options.

It's interesting because framerates are all over the place in that Tutorial dungeon, and they're going way over 60 sometimes, and I'm like "Hey video card, you don't have to work that hard!"

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ghastley
post Dec 26 2014, 03:38 PM
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I'd suspect the micro-stutter is more likely to be CPU interruptions from tasks the OS deems more urgent than the game. Multiple cores mean less of it, but sometimes the interruption involves all of them waiting for a central event to complete.

In the old days, you'd disconnect a gaming computer from the 'net, so that nothing external could interrupt it (and you could turn off the AV too), but now the games want the umbilical in place, if only to launch.


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SubRosa
post Dec 26 2014, 06:29 PM
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QUOTE(Renee Gade IV @ Dec 26 2014, 07:53 AM) *

Happy Holidays and thank you once again. santaclaus.gif That's one thing I wanted to ask about: Vsync. How do we turn this on? I don't see an option in the game, or in the game's launcher options.

It's interesting because framerates are all over the place in that Tutorial dungeon, and they're going way over 60 sometimes, and I'm like "Hey video card, you don't have to work that hard!"

Vsync is on by default in Skyrim. The game doesn't even give you an option to turn if off. Instead you can only manually shut it off by editing an .ini file. Or you can do it through the Nvidia Control Panel. Right-Click on your desktop, and you should see an option for it in the box that pops up. In the panel, go to Manage 3d Settings, and then to the Program Settings tab. Pick out Skyrim from the list (it is probably called tesv.exe). Way down at the bottom of the list of things you can tweak is Vsync, which actually has several different options besides On and Off. While you are at it, be sure you turn Triple Buffering On as well, as it helps performance when Vsync is On.


QUOTE(ghastley @ Dec 26 2014, 09:38 AM) *

I'd suspect the micro-stutter is more likely to be CPU interruptions from tasks the OS deems more urgent than the game. Multiple cores mean less of it, but sometimes the interruption involves all of them waiting for a central event to complete.

In the old days, you'd disconnect a gaming computer from the 'net, so that nothing external could interrupt it (and you could turn off the AV too), but now the games want the umbilical in place, if only to launch.

It could be the CPU, but I kind of doubt it. It isn't the very best anymore, but it is still a fast chip. And I even went the extra distance to unpark the unused cores recently. I also run a very clean computer. I make sure TSRs don't launch with Windows, except for one I need for my sound card, another I need to create a virtual dvd drive, and finally my anti-virus. Of course I need to have Steam running to play Skyrim. This weird micro-stutter is something that no one has ever been able to really solve. I suspect it might have more to do with the game itself rather than the computer. Bethesda's games are notorious for their poor coding, and this does not happen with any other game.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Dec 27 2014, 01:36 AM


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Renee
post Dec 27 2014, 02:48 AM
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Beautiful, it's all working! My first character is launched on PC!

I have decided I'm going to start using Wyre Bash. For some reason it just feels right to step it up.

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Lopov
post Jan 2 2015, 05:53 PM
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One question for those who have long-lasting characters: approximately how big are your savefiles and do you encounter any troubles when they became large?

For now I notice a steady increase in Lucius' saves and I guess that as long as save files don't get large all of a sudden, that's okay. We haven't been to some areas at all which means that I can expect it to get even larger when we'll visit unexplored places, like Solstheim for instance. So at 107 hrs my current save file is 10.4 MB with 60-70 .esps enabled but most .esps are minor things, I don't use any big overhauls or mods that'd radically change the game.

But a lot of areas are still unexplored, so I can expect my save file to be 20 MB big at some point or even more and that's what slightly worries me - what'll happen them? A friend of mine told me that had saves around 30 MB and except longer loading screens didn't encounter any problems but his game was much less modded than mine.

This post has been edited by Lopov: Jan 2 2015, 05:56 PM


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ghastley
post Jan 2 2015, 06:31 PM
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I've heard that save files in Skyrim can actually get smaller as the game discards obsolete data, for example the state of a dungeon that has reset. So you'll probably reach a steady state where new stuff is added at the same rate as old things fall out. You can only travel around so fast, and can't go back to everywhere you've been very frequently.

Mods may not add much to the save game, if all they're doing is adding static content that doesn't require a remembered state. New outfits, weapons etc. won't add to your save size, unless they're ultra-light stuff that lets you hold more items in your inventory tongue.gif

My problem is more with the number of characters and save files I have. They may be small, but there's a lot of them!


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Acadian
post Jan 2 2015, 06:34 PM
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Lopov, your save files sound fine for what you describe. How long you play and the number/nature of your mods does affect them. Buffy's current game is just under 600 hours with about 50 mods and her save files are just under 15 MB. There is currently a topic on this very subject over at BethSoft forums and what you and I have seems about right.


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SubRosa
post Jan 2 2015, 07:08 PM
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My longest running character is Persephone 1.0, and her last save game is 13.8 gb, after 139.5 hours of gameplay. Looking through her saves, I do see points where the file size dips slightly in newer saves, rather than grows. But in overall the trend has been to increase.


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