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Oblivion STILL owns video cards.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 25, 2011 7:07:26 PM

I recently bought a single vanilla EVGA GTX 480 and threw it in my gaming rig with a Core i7 920 overclocked to 3.4GHz and 6GB G.Skill. And even more recently added 2 128GB C300 SSDs in RAID-0, then reinstalled Win 7, optimized the OS, it's FAST, blah blah blah.

Been playing Oblivion for a while since then and it's been great, of course. Maxed all of the settings, even tweaked a few Oblivion.ini settings for some more graphical goodness. In the last couple weeks I've been using the EVGA Precision tool, which helps me know how much of the video card is being used. It also measures temps, fan speed, and allows you to control fan speed and clock speeds but I haven't messed with those. To my surprise, Oblivion will use as much as 86% of my GPU in some situations. I have the driver sitting at 4x AA and 16x AF so that will bring utilization up naturally.

In the past few days I've been using the latest NVidia drivers which allow Ambient Occlusion and I read that it works well with Oblivion. I figured the GTX 480 would have enough headroom to use the Quality setting, especially for a 4 year old game, so I pumped it up to Quality. Again, to my surprise, the GPU was hitting 99% a lot more often, mostly in wooded areas. Choppiness ensued. I bumped it down to Performance and there were more shadow anomolies than having it shut off completely, but performance was slightly better. I ultimately shut it off because of the anomolies (most notibly was a definied square shadow area that looked a lot better without AO).

Moral of the story: Oblivion is still a force to be reckoned with, and even moreso with Ambient Occlusion turned on. However, you can make the game look AMAZING even without making any changes to the skins. If you enable precision shadows, force SM3.0 (which apparently does nothing for graphics quality in Oblivion), enable Ambient Occlusion, and forcing full LOD (level of detail) on trees, things do look a lot better, but the game slows down considerably. I would say that 95% of the slowdown occured with AO enabled. Enabling precision shadows, tree LOD, and SM3 didn't seem to hit performance much at all.

Just my 2c, I will continue to tweak and test as time goes on. I still love this game :) 
February 2, 2011 10:10:34 AM

You sound like you have a Celeron cpu and a FX 5200 graphic card?

My old rig beats the hell out of Oblivion. Don't get me wrong, even now i play the game and enjoy. I also use Oblivion HD texture patch (2 GB) and many other patches that make Oblivion graphic better.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 153 U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 10:15:29 AM

Yeah this doesn't really make sense. I have my Oblivion decked out crazy hard with exremely high-resolution textures and LOD beyond what you can see, and I don't have any trouble running the game what so ever. Max settings and .ini tweaks that can only hinder performance by increase Tree and Grass LOD.

I think most of "beating" is coming from AO, which isn't really Oblivions fault, right?
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 125 U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 10:49:54 AM

Your GTX480's usage should be at 99% all the time whilst playing any game so long as there's no FPS cap caused by the game itself or V-sync. This way your GTX480 will produce as many FPS as it can.
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February 2, 2011 12:34:26 PM

Helltech said:
Yeah this doesn't really make sense. I have my Oblivion decked out crazy hard with exremely high-resolution textures and LOD beyond what you can see, and I don't have any trouble running the game what so ever. Max settings and .ini tweaks that can only hinder performance by increase Tree and Grass LOD.

I think most of "beating" is coming from AO, which isn't really Oblivions fault, right?


I agree, but can you explain to me what is "AO"? English is not my main language so i don't understand all abbreviations. :??: 
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 12:43:03 PM

adampcman said:
I agree, but can you explain to me what is "AO"? English is not my main language so i don't understand all abbreviations. :??: 

It means ambient occlusion.Other names for it are HBAO,SSAO.google it for the meaning.In any game when you enable it it creates soft shadows in grass and at other areas by the gpu by calculating it.There is a 5-15fps loss on enabling.Actually unless you took a screenshot you wouldn't know the difference bewteen on and off so I always turn it off in all games
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February 2, 2011 12:48:38 PM

celpas said:
It means ambient occlusion.Other names for it are HBAO,SSAO.google it for the meaning.In any game when you enable it it creates soft shadows in grass and at other areas by the gpu by calculating it.There is a 5-15fps loss on enabling.Actually unless you took a screenshot you wouldn't know the difference bewteen on and off so I always turn it off in all games


Thanks man! So it means that by enabling AO, GPU works a little more and CPU a little less. :) 

BTW i think that the best answer for this topic was from "omgitzfatal" member.
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 1:06:36 PM

adampcman said:
Thanks man! So it means that by enabling AO, GPU works a little more and CPU a little less. :) 

BTW i think that the best answer for this topic was from "omgitzfatal" member.

Just to help you if you want some examples of AO here are some screenshots form battle field bad company 2
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=315680
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 125 U Graphics card
February 2, 2011 4:00:21 PM

celpas said:
It means ambient occlusion.Other names for it are HBAO,SSAO.google it for the meaning.In any game when you enable it it creates soft shadows in grass and at other areas by the gpu by calculating it.There is a 5-15fps loss on enabling.Actually unless you took a screenshot you wouldn't know the difference bewteen on and off so I always turn it off in all games

Sorry to call you out on this, but it really annoyes me when people put xx setting will reduce your FPS by xx amount without giving an example or even a % figure.

It doesn't make any sense to say AO will cause 5-15FPS decrease... You could say enabling AO will reduce your FPS by roughly 5-15% on average, but you need evidence to back it up, otherwise its just guess work.

If you want to say a % figure then you first have to know how many FPS the OP is getting with AO disabled..
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February 3, 2011 7:47:52 AM

@celpas Thanks link was useful. How to enable AO for Oblivion? Maybe by editing ini (configuration text)?

@omgitzfatal Agree, it's more professional to say % and to back it up with links or photos. We will learn ;) 
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 171 U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 6:48:15 PM

i can max oblivion at my res 1440x900 with all setting turned up max with 4xaa and 16xaf on my severely overclocked 8800gts.
But i hear it often the newer cards still have some problems with it, maybe they are just too new.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 125 U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 7:18:46 PM

Forcing settings the game engine wasn't built with usually causes it to take up a lot more resources than it otherwise would.

Hell, in Minecraft I put on a 256 texture pack (16 being default) and turned on SSAA, and my FPS is around 80. In MINECRAFT. lol. Although it only uses one 5850 since there's no CF support for it.

But anyway, what's your favorite car to drive around the test track, Stig?
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 7:34:31 PM

I have the most ridiculous size of textures you can find for Oblivion running, as well as many other tweaks and forced 16x AA and I'm still sitting at a cool 90+ FPS with my GTX 480...
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a c 385 Î Nvidia
a c 592 U Graphics card
February 3, 2011 8:09:44 PM

The percentage for GPU usage while gaming is not an indication of how much it is stressing your video card. Frames per second at maximum settings is an indication of how demanding a game is to your GPU.
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February 3, 2011 8:34:57 PM

17seconds said:
The percentage for GPU usage while gaming is not an indication of how much it is stressing your video card. Frames per second at maximum settings is an indication of how demanding a game is to your GPU.


That is not strictly true, this just shows how well your computer as a whole can run a game.

For example, if I had a Celeron 1.2GHz processor and a GTX580 running Oblivion, the CPU would be bottlenecking the GTX580 and so my FPS would not be an indication of how demanding the game is on my GPU.
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February 10, 2011 12:22:08 AM

Just to clarify, I'm running at 1920x1080, 16xAF 4xAA, and normally have AO off. I run with VSync on. I should really shut it off to see what kind of FPS it will do, but if turning AO on brings it down to 30fps in certain circumstances, then it can't sustain 60fps even with VSync off. AO will bring a card to its knees for any game from what I've read. But I should see what what it does with AO off and VSync off.

I also have a tweaked .INI file but it's not extensively tweaked, just a few items.
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August 30, 2011 5:15:49 PM

Some of you are hitting 90 fps in Oblivion? I have GTX 570's SLI'd and even on vanilla Oblivion the console command tdt showed my FPS topped out at 61 fps.
Now that I have enabled open cities and better cities simultaneously I get massive frame spikes while within cities or even looking toward the city. I've reached as low as 15fps.

My i5 processor is running at 4ghz per core and I have 8gb of corsair dominator 1600mhz RAM. The log lists SLI as 'no'. I must have something enabled that kept my vanilla Oblivion down at 60fps and Oblivion probably doesn't recognize the SLI set up.

I get an average of 75fps in Crysis 2 with the added high definition textures and directx 11 update. I get better frames in Metro 2033 on Ultra than Oblivion as well. Hm.

What's really odd is this; I downloaded a texture pack for Oblivion that can usually cause a FPS drop on systems. After the install my frames remained almost exactly the same, yet the screen still felt like it was slightly stuttering, especially if I looked at the ground and took a step forward. Maybe I have Vsync enabled or something, I'm not sure, but I'd love to figure it out and fix it.

I just don't see any real reason my 570 Superclocked editionS put out less FPS in Oblivion than someone else's single 480. I have to of had made a mistake somewhere in my in-game settings or need to make an adjustment elsewhere. There is no need for my performance to have dropped to such a degree when I used optimized versions of mods (low poly grass, redimized version of the texture pack). I'll probably snag a sound card to free up the processor a bit more. The thing never yet to see temperatures over 46C under load.
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September 21, 2011 1:15:12 AM

xxLivingxx said:
Some of you are hitting 90 fps in Oblivion? I have GTX 570's SLI'd and even on vanilla Oblivion the console command tdt showed my FPS topped out at 61 fps.
Now that I have enabled open cities and better cities simultaneously I get massive frame spikes while within cities or even looking toward the city. I've reached as low as 15fps.

My i5 processor is running at 4ghz per core and I have 8gb of corsair dominator 1600mhz RAM. The log lists SLI as 'no'. I must have something enabled that kept my vanilla Oblivion down at 60fps and Oblivion probably doesn't recognize the SLI set up.

I get an average of 75fps in Crysis 2 with the added high definition textures and directx 11 update. I get better frames in Metro 2033 on Ultra than Oblivion as well. Hm.

What's really odd is this; I downloaded a texture pack for Oblivion that can usually cause a FPS drop on systems. After the install my frames remained almost exactly the same, yet the screen still felt like it was slightly stuttering, especially if I looked at the ground and took a step forward. Maybe I have Vsync enabled or something, I'm not sure, but I'd love to figure it out and fix it.

I just don't see any real reason my 570 Superclocked editionS put out less FPS in Oblivion than someone else's single 480. I have to of had made a mistake somewhere in my in-game settings or need to make an adjustment elsewhere. There is no need for my performance to have dropped to such a degree when I used optimized versions of mods (low poly grass, redimized version of the texture pack). I'll probably snag a sound card to free up the processor a bit more. The thing never yet to see temperatures over 46C under load.


Sounds like vsync to me, especially if you're capped at 60fps, and I think Oblivion is supposed to work with SLI. I'd check vsync, but having it enabled would reduce tearing and possibly increase studdering because if you reach an area that your card can't maintain 60fps, it'll drop to 30fps immediately to stay within a multiple of 60. It's 60, 30, then 15. It is forced to skip rendering a frame so that it doesn't try to display the frame while the screen is refreshing.
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September 21, 2011 1:16:42 AM

Also, is your i5 a dual-core with HT? Oblivion can use two CPUs, but hyperthreading would help. I don't know that a sound card would give you a whole lot, but I still do it to offload that little bit ;) 
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a c 80 Î Nvidia
a c 216 U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 1:25:11 AM

leo2kp said:
Sounds like vsync to me, especially if you're capped at 60fps, and I think Oblivion is supposed to work with SLI. I'd check vsync, but having it enabled would reduce tearing and possibly increase studdering because if you reach an area that your card can't maintain 60fps, it'll drop to 30fps immediately to stay within a multiple of 60. It's 60, 30, then 15. It is forced to skip rendering a frame so that it doesn't try to display the frame while the screen is refreshing.


That's not always true. If Oblivion uses buffering, it will alternate buffers and allow for FPS between 30 and 60. OpenGL often didn't do this, which I'm not sure if Oblivion uses OpenGL or DirectX, but if it is OpenGL, you can enable triple buffering in your graphics card control panel.

I generally recommend Vsync, but if you do have difficulties with things as you said, then you might want to turn it off. I personally use a 120hz monitor now, which allows for much higher FPS and Vsync almost never caps me at 60 FPS, it goes all over the place, as long as triple buffering is available.
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a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 1:26:48 AM

Last time I tried Oblivion on my 6850 I was getting 50-60fps on Eyefinity 5040x1050 resolution and max settings.
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a c 80 Î Nvidia
a c 216 U Graphics card
September 21, 2011 1:51:32 AM

Keep in mind, he's talking about Oblivion with many mods to enhance visuals and probably playability.
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March 16, 2012 6:10:42 PM

I'm trying to get the best setting for Oblivion and I can't get a stable 60 fps. This seems to be regadless of if I have a vanilla install or a version with plenty of mods.

Here's my spec

cpu : i5 @ 3.3mhz, gpu : nvidia gtx570, ram gskill 8 gigs at 1333mhz, hdd : 300 gigs veliceraptor @ 10k rpm.

All in-game setting are max. I disable Ambient Occlusion, which make the game more stable, but I still get framerate droping at ~40 when there's a lot to be displayed. Disabling vsync allow me to get framerate over 60, but I still get FPS drop at ~40 and it make the game a lot less smooth. IDK what to disable or enable at this point. I even still get that with grass disabled completly.
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March 17, 2012 10:15:06 PM

I finally found what was killing my framerate :

Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration -> Multiple Display Performance Mode (suggested global setting)

I now set it to "Single Display Performance Mode" and it fix everything. I even now use AO and all other features with steady 60fps.
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March 25, 2012 3:22:52 PM

Nice! I might have to look in to that for Skyrim.
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