99% sure skyrim hdd bottleneck

So my specs are :
i5 650
6gb ddr3 1333
560 ti 1gb (pcie x16 1.0)
160gb boot hdd
1.5tb data hdd.

Now I installed skyrim, pretty good so far. I installed roughly 10gb of graphical enhancement mods, looks better. The only problem is whenever I fast travel anywhere or even just walking around I get these MASSIVE lag spikes, like 1-3fps. I always look over and it only lags when the hdd activity is a solid blue. Any reccomendations to fix?
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  1. what model HDD do you use?
  2. System information lists the 1.5tb (ones game is on) as a ST31500341AS
  3. Apart from defrag, hdds have little chance to improve. unless you use some form of raid, your best bet is to get an SSD (thats assuming the bottle is there and not in the southbridge, wich is most likely).
  4. Check out:


    and Tom's own look:

    If the game is pulling a huge amount of gfx data during gameplay, then even with a 7k HDD there may well be lag issues - hopefully this doesn't happen too frequently. You might want to check out the 1st link and see if you need a new firmware update.
  5. If you added that many high res texture mods, that 560ti is gonna struggle with it. I highly doubt it is your HDD. Uninstall the texture packs and see if you still get the spikes. If you dont, its your vid card and the mods.
  6. You might be running out of Vram with that many graphics mods.

    What is your vram usage in game?
  7. And CPU usage. Skyrim is often CPU limited and that's a 3 year old dual core.
  8. *facepalm* It was the VRAM. Guess because I only have 6gb of ram it kept throwing files between the hdd, vram, and video card cache in the ram. I turned down the texture resolution from high to medium (with the mods it is still amazing though) and all is good!
  9. For future reference, hard drives do not impact your gaming performance. Once the level loads, the hard drive is taken out of the loop. If you're not spending a ton of time staring at a loading screen (spikes after loading don't count), it's not the hard drive.
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