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Help! Skyrim Low FPS

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January 25, 2012 12:04:08 PM

Hello, I'm having major lag spikes on Skyrim. Sometimes gameplay is smooth (25+ FPS), then poof :sarcastic:  less than 10 FPS. Though the recommended setting is set to high, I can barely even play the game properly on 800x600 lowest settings without the lag issue.

I'm using an Alienware m17x R2 with:
Win7 64 bit
Intel i7 Q740 @1.733GHz CPU
6GB RAM
Nvidia Geforce GTX 285M overclocked 900/2200 on 290.53 beta driver

I'm also trying the beta 1.4 patch for Skyrim.

I've also tried the ENB and d3d9 .dll files, disabling v-sync and turning off controller in settings.

Any ideas? Thanks :??: 

More about : skyrim low fps

January 25, 2012 12:32:00 PM

Run a monitoring program in the background to keep track of CPU and GPU utilisation when you are running the game.

Then, when you are experiencing the slowdown, see what is causing the bottleneck.

A GPU utilisation of 100% indicates that you are being GPU bottlenecked.

A CPU utilisation of 80-90% on one core and about 40% on another core indicates that you are being CPU bottlenecked. (For this reason the CPU monitor must be per core, otherwise you will not pick up instances of CPU bottlenecking).

My suspicion is that you are being CPU bottlenecked. The reason I suspect it is because Skyrim is a notoriously CPU limited game and is known to be highly clock speed dependent - the noteworthy point about your system is your CPU's low clock speed. Although your GPU is not brilliant, it should be good enough to run Skyrim acceptably at undemanding settings. Also, the fact that you're getting low poor performance even when running at a low resolution is a classic sign of CPU bottlenecking.

If you are CPU bottlenecked then that's both good news and bad news. The good news is that (up to a point) you can increase the graphics settings without harming performance. The bad news is the flip side: if you're getting sucky performance you can't improve it be lowering the graphics settings.

If you are indeed CPU bottlenecked, there is not a great deal that can be done I'm afraid. Overclocking helps but I'm guessing you can't overclock your system. You might also get a marginal boost from turning off hyperthreading. Another thing is to close down all unnecessary background processes.
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January 25, 2012 12:34:05 PM

Have you tried any of the mods from skyrimnexus?

ive used this mod to speed up frame rate http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=4387

you can use the nexusclient to add or delete it if needed bit it help me to get 10-15 fps up on what i was getting
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January 25, 2012 1:24:02 PM

bwrlane said:
Run a monitoring program in the background to keep track of CPU and GPU utilisation when you are running the game.

Then, when you are experiencing the slowdown, see what is causing the bottleneck.

A GPU utilisation of 100% indicates that you are being GPU bottlenecked.

A CPU utilisation of 80-90% on one core and about 40% on another core indicates that you are being CPU bottlenecked. (For this reason the CPU monitor must be per core, otherwise you will not pick up instances of CPU bottlenecking).

My suspicion is that you are being CPU bottlenecked. The reason I suspect it is because Skyrim is a notoriously CPU limited game and is known to be highly clock speed dependent - the noteworthy point about your system is your CPU's low clock speed. Although your GPU is not brilliant, it should be good enough to run Skyrim acceptably at undemanding settings. Also, the fact that you're getting low poor performance even when running at a low resolution is a classic sign of CPU bottlenecking.

If you are CPU bottlenecked then that's both good news and bad news. The good news is that (up to a point) you can increase the graphics settings without harming performance. The bad news is the flip side: if you're getting sucky performance you can't improve it be lowering the graphics settings.

If you are indeed CPU bottlenecked, there is not a great deal that can be done I'm afraid. Overclocking helps but I'm guessing you can't overclock your system. You might also get a marginal boost from turning off hyperthreading. Another thing is to close down all unnecessary background processes.


Thanks for your reply! :wahoo:  Yeah i can't oc my CPU. Sadly, the option is greyed out in the BIOS menu. Guess I should get a new laptop soon. Hard to believe i spent quite a bit on this PC only to have it become not up to standard within 1+ years. Thanks again!
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January 25, 2012 1:27:42 PM

sah202 said:
Have you tried any of the mods from skyrimnexus?

ive used this mod to speed up frame rate http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=4387

you can use the nexusclient to add or delete it if needed bit it help me to get 10-15 fps up on what i was getting


TESVAL does help abit; increase in about 5 FPS though, so I'm still kinda affected by the lag.
But still, thanks! ;) 
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January 25, 2012 2:31:26 PM

food7 said:
Thanks for your reply! :wahoo:  Yeah i can't oc my CPU. Sadly, the option is greyed out in the BIOS menu. Guess I should get a new laptop soon. Hard to believe i spent quite a bit on this PC only to have it become not up to standard within 1+ years. Thanks again!


I know what you mean, but your computer is still ok for the vast majority of games (as long as you aren't fussed by medium graphics settings).

It's just that Skyrim hits your laptop where it hurts. Your laptop's weak point is its clock speed and clock speed is exactly what Skyrim wants. Other games will be fine.
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!