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Skyrim memory useage

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March 22, 2012 7:43:08 PM

Hello there,

i'm kind of in need of help. I recently started playing Skyrim again (due to the by now available wide arsenal of mods) and installed around 50 to 60 mods. Together with ultra settings, my mid-2009 computer can about just handle the load, until i install the heaviest graphic mod of them all: the skyrim 2k hd mod. At this point it just CTD's, which makes me to believe the problem is RAM/VRAM Related (correct me if i am wrong, im not as knowledgeable on computer hardware as most here probably).
FPS has never been an issue. The thing is that when i open the task manager (performance tab) the available physical ram counter never goes below the 1gb mark, so then why would this game stop?

Some specs which you might need:
AMD Phenom 9650 quad-core processor (2.3GHz)
4.1gb RAM
Nvidia geforce gts 250

I would be grateful for any pointers, cheers :bounce: 

More about : skyrim memory useage

March 23, 2012 5:41:06 AM

What exactly happens when you add the 2k hd? Drop to very low framerates, or a crash/freeze?

March 23, 2012 10:16:03 AM

FPS has never been a problem for me, even with all my mods installed. What happens mostly is a CTD after 2 minutes.
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March 23, 2012 12:17:59 PM

I'm going to say vram as well, 250 is what? 512mb?

high res textures need more vram
March 23, 2012 12:39:14 PM

1024 allocated MB actually.

Is there any program/software where i can see exactly how much VRAM/RAM i need since the task manager doesn't seem to give me the right numbers (or i just interpret them badly) since VRAM/RAM useage numbers never exceed my total on the task manager while playing skyrim in windowed mode (but it does CTD)
March 23, 2012 2:10:57 PM

hmm windowed, have you tried full screen?
March 23, 2012 2:28:00 PM

On Nexus skyrim site, I did see a few posts that said you need to allow the exe to use more ram. you keep adding texture packs and the avalible ram runs out. (think it only uses 2Gb, no matter how much free ram you have!!!!)

look it up, should help you if you have not already using it.
March 23, 2012 2:34:08 PM

Can you play it in ultra with that hardware :o .

mean cmon 250gts... 2k mods?
why don't you keep it on high/ultra...
or get some new stuff :) .
March 23, 2012 3:09:24 PM

ronaldwishart said:
On Nexus skyrim site, I did see a few posts that said you need to allow the exe to use more ram. you keep adding texture packs and the avalible ram runs out. (think it only uses 2Gb, no matter how much free ram you have!!!!)

look it up, should help you if you have not already using it.

as of patch 1.3 skyrim can use 4 gb of ram
March 23, 2012 3:49:53 PM

if i can run saints row the third on medium, can i run skyrim? i have ati 5470 mobility
March 23, 2012 4:04:38 PM

ATI Tray Tools has an On Screen Display which can show your Memory speeds and usage % in-game; I'm not sure if that refers to gfx card RAM or system, but it could work for you in checking use.
March 23, 2012 5:11:29 PM

AntiZig said:
hmm windowed, have you tried full screen?


Not sure how that would make a difference?
AntiZig said:
as of patch 1.3 skyrim can use 4 gb of ram

Yeah, the wierd part though that according to the taskmanager Skyrim only uses about 1,2GB, not nearly enough of my available RAM..

elsnerj said:
ATI Tray Tools has an On Screen Display which can show your Memory speeds and usage % in-game; I'm not sure if that refers to gfx card RAM or system, but it could work for you in checking use.


I'll look into this

March 23, 2012 5:52:20 PM

windowed mode is higher load for gpu, full screen is lower load.
March 24, 2012 5:36:41 AM

I think I've found a solution!

"Process Explorer" lets you graph video RAM use over time. No on screen display feature yet, but you can run it in the background and check it immediately after exiting Skyrim to see if your VRAM is being fully utilized.

Graph of VRAM use will look like this:



Download here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb89665...

(To bring up the graph screen from the home window of the program hit Ctrl+I or go to View -> System Information -> GPU tab)

And then of course run Task Manager as well to monitor system RAM usage. If you don't already have it, get a program like ATI Tray Tools to monitor GPU/CPU usage in-game to ensure your GPU is running at 99% and is your bottleneck.

Hope this helps!
April 11, 2012 11:59:04 PM

Task Manager and System RAM:
Run the game for a few minutes then exit. See how much the game drops. For example, if it dropped 1 out of 10 squares (10%) and you have about 8000MBytes that's 800MBytes used.

May be an easier way.

SKYRIM HD texture pack shouldn't be applied unless you have a high-end setup that can maintain the frame rate you want at that quality which to me is higher than an HD6870 or GTX560Ti. Personally, I prefer to run games at 60FPS VSYNC'd whenever possible though users with lower-end cards might aim for 30FPS (i.e. RadeonPro's DoubleVSYNC).

I'm not quite sure what the point of this post is but let me add my two cents:
- ULTRA settings are impossible on his setup at playable frame rates
- monitoring VRAM and System RAM may be fun but it's largely pointless
- CTD with 50 to 60 mods installed. Perhaps it has something to do with the mod stability, not your RAM usage?

Skyrim and all games are only going to allocate code to available memory. Barring a really bad memory "leak" your issue isn't going to be a memory issue but rather conflicting or poor code in the mods.

The correct method of ensuring mod stability is to add one or two then play for a while to determine stability then add more. You basically need to REMOVE ALL YOUR MODS, determine that SKYRIM runs stable on its on then slowly add mods a few at a time.
!