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(Skyrim) Low fps ONLY in towns. GTX 560Ti

Last response: in Video Games
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November 21, 2011 8:22:44 PM

32-60 fps outside, even more inside.

20 fps when in town (Like Whiterun). more specifically, fps only drops when i face inward toward the town. The second I look away FPS instantly goes up.

Playing on ultra, forcing 16x Anisotropic, 2x AA, 2x SS via nvidia control panel.
Radial Blur quality low, everything else on highest settings.

GTX 560 Ti
4 Gigs DDR2 RAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz
750W PSU

What concerns me the most, is that my friend has a GTX 260, quad core cpu, and 4 Gigs of RAM, and his computer breezes through with ease with the same game settings as me.
While my almost identical rig (except for updated video card) stutters at the site of buildings, his easily handles it.

Why is this? Im using the most up to date nvidia drivers.
November 21, 2011 9:25:35 PM

hmm, have you gotten the new drivers? nvidia put out new drivers for skyrim optimizations.

whats your resolution? same as friends? could be a factor. But my guess is drivers because that performance is not where it should be for this game...
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November 21, 2011 9:35:44 PM

Same resolution. 1650x1080.
I am using the 285.79 beta driver ( newest one with skyrim optimization)
I don't think my frined has the newest driver though.
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November 21, 2011 9:42:47 PM

I forgot one detail.

While both my friend and I have the same amount of RAM, he has DDR3 and I have DDR2.

Could this explain the massive fps drop around buildings/towns?
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November 21, 2011 10:05:04 PM

If RAM was the issue, and was bottle necking my sytem, would more RAM help?

Or would I need DDR3 because DDR3 is faster?
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November 21, 2011 10:26:01 PM

Important facts about skyrim are a) that it is CPU limited b) it only uses 2 cores so a quad is no better than a dual.

I have similar experience as you but less severe. My config with 560 ti in sli and core i7 920 @ 4ghz. There is a noticeable slowdown in frame rate in the cities, but on mine, it slows to about 40 fps from an average of about 80.

Key point is that my gpu utilisation never exceeds 70%, a clear sign of CPU bottlenecking.

Nothing really you can do except upgrade your CPU.
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November 21, 2011 10:33:22 PM

He can't really upgrade his cpu to something worth upgrading to without buying a new motherboard and basically upgrading his whole computer. For an easier solution I'd buy a heatsink and try to oc your cpu to help out a bit.
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November 21, 2011 10:37:57 PM

crewton said:
He can't really upgrade his cpu to something worth upgrading to without buying a new motherboard and basically upgrading his whole computer. For an easier solution I'd buy a heatsink and try to oc your cpu to help out a bit.


His computer is old enough it might be worth it to upgrade the motherboard, CPU and RAM. He can use the rest of the computer. I'd recommend a Sandy bridge setup, but if money is tight, or he wants to wait, then trying to OC might not be bad either.
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November 21, 2011 11:22:20 PM

Try turning AF down in the mean time, try 8x.

At this point I would try a driver sweeper, which will delete all remnants of drivers from your registry and anywhere else, then you just do a fresh install with the latest drivers.
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November 22, 2011 12:38:20 AM

bwrlane said:
Important facts about skyrim are a) that it is CPU limited b) it only uses 2 cores so a quad is no better than a dual.

I have similar experience as you but less severe. My config with 560 ti in sli and core i7 920 @ 4ghz. There is a noticeable slowdown in frame rate in the cities, but on mine, it slows to about 40 fps from an average of about 80.

Key point is that my gpu utilisation never exceeds 70%, a clear sign of CPU bottlenecking.

Nothing really you can do except upgrade your CPU.


If like you said, Skyrim only uses two cores, and i have 4 cores, what would upgrading my CPU do? Do you mean a CPU that has higher ghz?

I also found some youtube videos of people playing with the GTX 560 Ti

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRnvcUxofzY He has a quad core CPU but also has more RAM (DDR3) than me

Ive also heard that skyrim doesn't use much more than 2 Gb of RAM. So I just want to make clear whether it is definitely the RAM or the CPU that is the problem.

Maybe it's both...?
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November 22, 2011 1:59:56 AM

tom did a skyrim benchmark review. Very thorough and a good read http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-... This is the cpu benchmarks using a gtx 570 and changing the cpu. As you can see higher clock = better fps and the bottom shows that adding cores doesn't increase performance.

That is why I suggested getting an aftermarket heatsink for your cpu and trying to overclock it a bit in order to improve your performance :) 
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November 23, 2011 1:20:27 PM

Im running skyrim on a desktop and a laptop. On the desktop I can max it buttery smooth. It's got an i5 2500k @ 4.2 Ghz, GTX 570 and 8 GB of DDR 3 ram. My issue is with my laptop and its a weird one. I have a brand new dell XPS 17 (l702x) with an i7 2670qm @ 3.1 Ghz with intels turbo boost, GT 555 GPU and 8GB of DDR3 Ram. On the laptop it will run on max with AA and AF set to off at 30-40 fps. Here is the strange part. Im seeing like a stuttering but only indoors like in a castle or a dungeon (which of course i expect to see better performance inside). FRAPS shows a steady frame rate but its like its jumping. Its hard to explain. If I stand still and do a 360 degree spin its like its not even close to smooth. Im not just being critical. Its almost becomes unplayable. As soon as I go back outside, smooth again.
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November 23, 2011 1:37:42 PM

is it stuttering or tearing? you could try enabling vsync to get a steady 30fps and see if that helps.
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November 23, 2011 2:49:31 PM

crewton said:
is it stuttering or tearing? you could try enabling vsync to get a steady 30fps and see if that helps.


Its a stutter for sure. The weird part is that FRAPS does not show a drop in frames.
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November 23, 2011 4:02:50 PM

It could be with the resolution, the small enclosed homes don't fit right with your laptops resolution causing stuttering?
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November 23, 2011 4:35:12 PM

dakjones said:
Its a stutter for sure. The weird part is that FRAPS does not show a drop in frames.


That sounds like microstuttering.
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November 23, 2011 6:32:37 PM

What does that mean? And what would cause the to happen only indoors vs in the open world where the game should be more demanding?
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November 23, 2011 6:58:14 PM

It's definitely your CPU bottlenecking. I have nearly the exact same specs as you and encounter the same issues. Unfortunately, since the game was designed mostly for consoles first, Bethesda devs utilized CPU's for rendering shadows and NPC's. Unfortunately that means that people like us are stuck with a great GPU that is not being fully used. Either we hope and pray a modder or Bethesda releases a patch/fix, or we upgrade the CPU.
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November 25, 2011 2:10:52 PM

bystander said:
That sounds like microstuttering.


Microstutter is only applicable to multi-GPU set-ups. That laptop only has one GPU.

Laptops are a difficult to diagnose; not to mention some manufacturers really push the thermal boundaries of the parts and implement all kinds of insane throttling "solutions" that really aren't solutions at all. Not that this is the case here, but laptop manufacturers do weird things that aren't always apparent until issues arise.
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November 25, 2011 5:29:52 PM

Microstuttering is not limited to multiple GPU's, it is just more often related to multple GPU's. Bad ram can also cause microstuttering.
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November 25, 2011 5:32:28 PM

reset your nvidia control panel to default... and your fps should go back to normal. the reason you got such a drop is you tried implementing unsupported filters.
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November 28, 2011 6:03:56 AM

try turning shadows down to high, or maybe medium. i have a 2500k overclocked to 4.2 ghz and i get the same slow downs in towns if i use ultra shadows. everything else, graphics wise does not seem to effect framerate much. also set everything in the nvidia control panel to "application controlled" (if you don't see that option, use the default option)
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December 2, 2011 7:37:22 PM

bystander said:
Microstuttering is not limited to multiple GPU's, it is just more often related to multple GPU's. Bad ram can also cause microstuttering.

wrong, the definition of "microstuttering" is frames appearing with an uneven "micro" delay between them due to out of sync rendering of multiple GPU's. The delay is so small that most of the time your eyes cant see it and its not detected by real time FPS monitors like fraps. A single GPU setup can not cause frames to be displayed out of sync like that because it has no other card to synchronise with. If its stuttering on a single card setup, then its just stuttering, not microstuttering. http://www.overclockers.com/micro-stutter-the-dark-secr... heres a good article and shows how to measure/record microstutter.
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December 2, 2011 8:36:26 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
wrong, the definition of "microstuttering" is frames appearing with an uneven "micro" delay between them due to out of sync rendering of multiple GPU's. The delay is so small that most of the time your eyes cant see it and its not detected by real time FPS monitors like fraps. A single GPU setup can not cause frames to be displayed out of sync like that because it has no other card to synchronise with. If its stuttering on a single card setup, then its just stuttering, not microstuttering. http://www.overclockers.com/micro-stutter-the-dark-secr... heres a good article and shows how to measure/record microstutter.


The OP mentioned he is getting what appears to be stuttering, but has no slow down in FPS.

Besides the multiple GPU part, it fits. The question is what is causing it.
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December 26, 2011 8:00:08 PM

Hi

I had the exact same problem with everything in game set to "HIGH", My specs are as follows

AMD Phenom II X4 955 (OC @ 3.6GHZ)
4GB DDR2 800 RAM
1GB GTX 560 (Non ti OC, 900 Core 1800 Shader)
Game played at 1080p on 24" Monitor

and my FPS dropped significantly in towns, with mine it was definitely SHADOWS and AF that were the culprit. In all towns I felt this hit in frames with lots of buildings on screen, but especially in Solitude just after entering and looking into the town my FPS was around 25. however in the rest of the game I was getting 50-70fps buttery smooth game-play. Now I have lowered my Shadows to Medium and AF to 8X and going back to Solitude in the same position I now get 31 fps so iv pulled back 6 fps which is quite a haul and its noticeably more playable (obviously lowering further may gain more but I didn't want to go any lower). Maybe try these 2 settings on your set-up also and see if it helps. And maybe nvidia will optimise future drivers for further gains.

Regards

Danny
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December 27, 2011 1:39:55 AM

i have a problem too my cpu is athlon II 245 4gb ram gpu 6770 but when i play skyrim fps always below 60 in town even in outdoor, in town is the worst, so i've tried lowering resolution to 1024x800 it just the same. my game quality is set to high and fxaa enabled and AA 8 lowering AA has no significant effect, is it cpu bottleneck?
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January 23, 2012 10:23:39 PM

i have a 560ti i also have massive lag spikes only after a month i figured out its all to do with skyrims shadow setting.
find skyrimprefs.ini in your documents then edit the lines

iShadowMapResolution=(SomeNumber)
fShadowBiasScale=(SomeNumber)
iShadowMaskQuarter=(SomeNumber)
to
iShadowMapResolution=2048
fShadowBiasScale=0.2540
iShadowMaskQuarter=4
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January 24, 2012 6:06:02 AM

Make sure your Graphics Control Panel setting are "use application options" or turned down.
Then when starting game MAX everything out expect for Radial Blur Medium and Shadows Low, Dont worry the FXAA will compensate for any low detail shadow aliasing. You will not notice any difference.

Or try turning FXAA off and shadows Medium.
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February 25, 2012 11:07:14 AM

abugroza said:
i have a problem too my cpu is athlon II 245 4gb ram gpu 6770 but when i play skyrim fps always below 60 in town even in outdoor, in town is the worst, so i've tried lowering resolution to 1024x800 it just the same. my game quality is set to high and fxaa enabled and AA 8 lowering AA has no significant effect, is it cpu bottleneck?


i have a 6850 and if you put AA x8 the pixles don't reder as fast but it donsn't touch the frame rate so i would stick with 4x - 2x or even none for optimal performence
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