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Why is my Overclocked 8800gt having problems running Oblivion on High?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 27, 2007 12:47:36 PM

My specs:

BFG Overclocked 8800GT
Asus M2NPV-VM motherboard
700W OCZ Power supply
3 gigs DDR2
4 cooling fans and a very large case
XP

So it's possible that I over estimated this card or Oblivion is still a graphical behemoth but for whatever reason I am not getting great performance out of my card.

Trying to run the game at 1240x1080 with everything maxed, bloom and AA on 8. I get a hiccups in my FPS fairly often.

Turning some settings down or off, Bloom but with 2xAA and 1240x1080 it becomes more bearable but the drops in fps still happen.

The only other game I've really tested the card on is "The Witcher" and I can deffinately see an improvement over my x1650pro. (although I've had several strange graphical problems which may or may not just be a buggy game).

I did a search on a gaming board to see if anyone else with a 8800gt has similar problems and as it happens another owner of a 8800gt says his Oblivion performance isn't great either. Basically the same problem as me, dips in fps when settings are all on mostly high.

So was I wrong to think a 8800GT would run Oblivion perfectly? Or am I missing out on something I may not know that will help with my performance. (I am a first time nVidia user). I should say off the bat that I am using the 169.02 drivers which should be the latest drivers.

My card also already overclocked at 625Mhz core and 900Mhz bus.
November 27, 2007 1:06:14 PM

It's a driver or operating system related problem. I can play crysis, everything set to high, at that resolution smoothly on an 8800gts @575 1350 1700. Your card stock should perform as well or better.
November 27, 2007 1:12:18 PM

88gtx also not perfectly at 1080 and full AA in Oblivion(especially the out door), it's a hardware killer. and what's you cpu? and have few possibility it's about your card's OC. maybe OC make your card instable.
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November 27, 2007 1:32:27 PM

Overclocking would not make performance unstable, it would only cause artifacts/cause the game to not run at all.
November 27, 2007 5:59:25 PM

Ah an Oblivion fan. Well you really should do better than that and as far as the reason I'm not sure. I'm currently running an 8800GTS at stock 500 Mhz with e6750 (2.66), 2gb ram, good psu, etc... I max everything except outdoor shadows (slightly less than half distance) and low shadow blending, but also at 1280x1024 (best my lcd puts out). Lowest frames I come across, such as very grassy outdoor areas or bustling imperial city is low 40's (which is tolerable). I should also mention I use the HDR lighting, which I thought was better than bloom. Maybe not in 8xAA? Have to try that. I am using the 163.75 driver from the nVIDIA site. I understand you can in fact use AA with HDR, but it is very taxing and the returns are generally not worth it.

So in short your problem should not be the GT. I've seen Tom's Hardware benchmarks for the GT on Oblivion against the GTS and GTX (recent article) and it does better than my GTS and much closer to a GTX. Oblivion is a demanding mistress, lol. I'm not sure the GT can dominate Oblivion, perhaps with some o/c.
November 27, 2007 6:15:43 PM

I havent played oblivion since I had my 8800gts 320mb..but I was getting decent fps @maximum @1680x1050...someething is definitely wrong.
November 27, 2007 6:24:26 PM

it definetly sounds software related above all else. so i would look into trying different drivers, trying different driver settings, checking if there are patches or fixes for the game itself, checking if there are any updates for the os available, etc.

an 8800GT should be able to run oblivion just fine at that resolution, without any abnormalities so to speak.

try running 3dmark06, to see if your card is performing on par with other similarly built systems.
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 27, 2007 6:42:15 PM

Slow CPU? Slow hard disk? Spyware running in the background?
November 27, 2007 7:12:52 PM

Yeah was about to ask, what CPU are you using?
November 27, 2007 8:07:01 PM

forgot CPU in that list, its a AMD 64 x2 dual core 5200+

I should also mention I did a defrag and virus scan yesterday.

I am gonna try the 162.09 beta driver and use the 3dmark to see if I can deduce anything.

My BIOS may not be up to date but isn't it a risk to update those?
November 27, 2007 9:08:37 PM

http://www.tweakguides.com/Oblivion_1.html

Specifically peruse the last page "[Page 13] Neat Stuff & Conclusion", if curious how that guide relates
to Oblivion performance issues.

The game engine in Oblivion, GameBryo, tries to do a lot at once. I could go on a rant about how poorly I
feel the game is configured out of the box, but you hardly need convincing.
December 24, 2007 9:56:36 AM

I'm running a stock 8800gt so I thought I'd post in here.

I agree that there is something defenitly wrong on your end.

my system runs Oblivion at 1680x1050 with almost all visual settings maxed out (bloom instead of hdr)
and it runs smooth. I get the occasional dip in fps you see on any game chart but nothing that impacts gameplay.

Also, newer higher end cards are designed to run demanding games at higher resolutions If you look at a lot of reviews for these cards, you will see that in a lot of games the lower resolutions like 1280x1024 see a much lower boost from these cards. If you can hook up to a larger monitor or can increase your resolution it might be worthwhile to run a comparison to see how how the same settings run at a higher resolution. If there is little performance difference then it is probably something in your system holding you back.
a b U Graphics card
December 24, 2007 10:16:31 AM

I've seen this issue brought up in a review once. there was something wrong with the game, but I can't remember what it was. The issue is not your hardware I'm pretty sure. Check out the forums at Bethesda's website, I know there was a setting that would fix it. I just cant remember what it was...
May 5, 2008 12:01:36 PM

I have the very same issue. I built myself a secondary gaming rig December last year. Core2Duo 6750,2 GIG OCZ Ram, XFX 8800GT ALpha dog edition, Asus P5K Mobo,700W Aopen PSU.....

Strange thing is though, that Oblivion runs better on my old machine (amd4800,2gig Kingston HyperX DDR400,XFX 8800GTS640) than on the new one.

And the Intel machine aint stock! Running 3.6GHZ per core, Ram timings Super Tight, and GT Card clocked very very high. I am/was until recently number 7 on the list of top 3dmark/aquamark/superpi scores in South Africa (where I live), so I know how to setup a machine, but I can't get rid of the stutter in Oblivion with this machine.

BTW, Oblivion is the only game I have this with!!!!

I have tried Official drivers, Beta drivers, Custom drivers (like guru3d etc)

why I say its card related (wich is weird cause alot of peeps are playing oblivion fine with a GT) is because when I take my GTS640 out of my AMD machine, and put it in the intel machine, no Driver changes whatsoever, the stuttering just dissapears.

I even tried setting some stuff lower in the ini files for the game, like grids to load, and grass and view distance overides.

Put it like this, I get the stutter even on 640x480, all details lowest on the GT. GTS is 100%.

But in ALLLLLLL other games, the Intel machine is untouchable. I don't Understand!
May 5, 2008 5:34:02 PM

Maplassie said:
I have the very same issue. I built myself a secondary gaming rig December last year. Core2Duo 6750,2 GIG OCZ Ram, XFX 8800GT ALpha dog edition, Asus P5K Mobo,700W Aopen PSU.....

Strange thing is though, that Oblivion runs better on my old machine (amd4800,2gig Kingston HyperX DDR400,XFX 8800GTS640) than on the new one.

And the Intel machine aint stock! Running 3.6GHZ per core, Ram timings Super Tight, and GT Card clocked very very high. I am/was until recently number 7 on the list of top 3dmark/aquamark/superpi scores in South Africa (where I live), so I know how to setup a machine, but I can't get rid of the stutter in Oblivion with this machine.

BTW, Oblivion is the only game I have this with!!!!

I have tried Official drivers, Beta drivers, Custom drivers (like guru3d etc)

why I say its card related (wich is weird cause alot of peeps are playing oblivion fine with a GT) is because when I take my GTS640 out of my AMD machine, and put it in the intel machine, no Driver changes whatsoever, the stuttering just dissapears.

I even tried setting some stuff lower in the ini files for the game, like grids to load, and grass and view distance overides.

Put it like this, I get the stutter even on 640x480, all details lowest on the GT. GTS is 100%.

But in ALLLLLLL other games, the Intel machine is untouchable. I don't Understand!


Boys I think I have the answer to your stuttering problem cos I had it too, and it is down to....

...the sound card! (or onboard sound chip)


I had an odd stuttering problem in the outdoor areas, galoping around on a horse every couple of seconds there was a very perceptible stutter. After alot of brain bashing and playing with the options it struck me that my onboard sound on the asus-p5b couldn't handle the number of different sound channels being called apon when outside and getting up to mischief. That would explain the (very) regular slight pauses while moving about, outside in particular, with the sounds of the horse running, my clothes and armour jiggling up and down and the sounds from npcs and animals (b#stard wolves chasing me around the map and bitting my horses legs) all trying to force their way out of only a handful of channels.

Anyway to cut straight to the point, using the tweakguides.com Oblivion guide, I disabled sound effects and hey presto the stutters went and everything ran as smooth as my graphics card could allow for. Try disabling sound effects and music and see if the stutters go away. If they do, then get the latest drivers for your onboard sound or sound card and give it a serious check to make sure its configured properly. (using tweakguides.com) you can also I believe set the maximum number of sound channels the game will use, chopping this down to 8 or even 6 should help matters if you still can't get the stutters to go away, and have found that disabling all sound removes the stuttering.

Me I just gave up and got a cheapo creative audigy se card (ive got xp so im fine :lol:  ), which eliminated all stuttering except for loading pauses.

Cheers
May 5, 2008 5:39:46 PM

@maplassie: "Put it like this, I get the stutter even on 640x480, all details lowest on the GT. GTS is 100%." Just to add I tried this too to see if i was simply struggling for frames, was getting like 40+fps (on a 7600gt) according to fraps but still got stuttering. Honestly try disabling sound effects and music in the configuartion files, just look it up on tweakguides, and see if that helps any. If it does, you'll have cracked the cause of the prob. straight away.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 8:27:00 PM

I had some stuttering when it was loading new scenery onto the card. There are some tweaks that improve this a bit. My 2900XT does a pretty good job with it after the tweaks, and that is with a major graphics mod and such. It definitely is a game that needs tweaking (for gameplay and graphics) but after you do so it is quite fun.
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 8:46:26 PM

what cpu do you have? maybe a CPU bottleneck, even though that is highly unlikely.
probably software related, update oblivion and drivers.
May 5, 2008 11:54:23 PM

I had the very same issue with Oblivion on my machine. It took me about six months, but I did finally crack it. First I need to say that I have optimized the .ini files pretty heavily using http://www.tweakguides.com/Oblivion_1.html as a guide. I am running an MSI 8600 gts over-clocked and an E6600. The standard MSI OC gpu/vram speeds for this video card are 700/750. Well, after playing around with further overclocking in Ntune, I discovered that the vram was clocked too high at 750. You'll notice that everyone who has posted with this issue has a factory overclocked video card. Well, when I backed it down to 739 the stuttering in Oblivion went away and it played as smooth as silk. Oblivion is very sensative to overclocked hardware. Now I can't turn everything all the way up, but this little tweak combined with all the .ini changes I made previously allow me to play at 1680 x 1050 with everything on high except for grass and self shadows which I have disabled. I am using bloom lighting and 16x AF with no AA. Framerates average maybe around 40 outdoors (or higher) and only really drop below 30 in a few areas (like the stables around the Imperial City). Even though the 8600gts isn't known as a powerhouse it is more than adequate for a good gaming experience in Oblivion. The 8800gt should be able to play the game flawlessly if you've tweaked the .ini file clock down the vram.
May 6, 2008 12:28:19 AM

Sometimes very high AA (8x+) can cause problems with single card solutions. Turn AA off and see how it performs. If it performs much better, then turn the AA up to 2x... and then 4x. In my opinion 4xAA is plenty. I would suspect if AA is causing problems, then it's when you're up in the 6xAA and 8xAA range.
a b U Graphics card
May 6, 2008 12:35:47 AM

The X2 5200+ will at times give some slow fps in Oblivion. In and around towns I'd expect some low lows from the CPU alone. AT 1280x1024 8xaa/16xaf you should only run into a GPU problem outside in the lush foliage (deep grass). edit: I agree though, try 4xaa for testing.

In an area that is running slow, switch to 1024x768 or 800x600. If your fps do not improve, that area is cpu limited.

Anyway, here is an example from testing I did at MAX details in Oblivion. Note in the town, there was no difference using an 8800GS (slower than your card) at 16x12 or 10x7 resolution. It simply was not GPU limited. But notice the X2 5600+ outperformed the X2 4200+ by a good bit. And, also both the CPU's struggled at 16 fps & 22 fps as a low in the town, even at 10x7 no fsaa.



Contrast that to by far the most GPU demanding part of the game I could find to test, waist high foliage out in the Great Forest in the 3rd person view. Note no difference between cpu's at 16x12, but otherwise the CPU still comes into play. Also note no fsaa and this foliage area is hammering the 580/1400 clocked 8800GS.

May 8, 2008 1:01:33 PM

WEll well well. I am such a plank, got it sorted.

Max frames to render ahead was set to 8, for some very very very weird reason, as I think the default is 2.Dunno how it got to 8 LOOOL! I set it to 1, and stutter is gone. yay.

But now, I am experiencing a weird sort of "frame Skipping". Using Fraps to display my FPS (also used ATI Tool) Outdoors it is a constant 75FPS (Vsync), but you will move forward, and the frames will stay on 75FPS, but your character would have moved around 5 meters/yards.OR while you draw your sword back for a power attack, it shows the start of the animation, and then it's over, cause the "frame skipping" takes out the rest. It's quite funny to check. Again, only Obivion bound. haha.

Well I only started playing Obilivion again cause I am really bored, so It's no biggie really, just irretating.
May 8, 2008 3:01:22 PM

im still clinging to the sound prob theory. You cant set 8 frames ahead unless your using vista right?
!