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Low FPS on Skyrim with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 17, 2011 6:55:14 AM

Hello forum,

I just bought a Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 graphics card to play Skyrim with. All settings are maxed out, but whenever I go into a texture heavy place e.g. a town, my FPS goes to shyte.

The recommended specs for the game are:

Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
Memory: 4GB System RAM
Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher; ATI Radeon 4890 or higher)

My sys specs are:

Processor: Core 2 duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.33 GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
Power Supply: 650MHz


I tried overclocking the video card with Zotac's FireStorm software overclocker, but whenever I try to overclock to 900MHz my comp crashes with white screen. Could this be a CPU bottleneck?

Can someone please shed some light on this subject?

Thank you.
November 17, 2011 10:17:06 AM

of course your card is getting bottleneck gtx480 is old but it is closer to the gtx 570..
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a b Î Nvidia
November 17, 2011 4:37:38 PM

stringcheesy said:
Hello forum,

I just bought a Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 graphics card to play Skyrim with. All settings are maxed out, but whenever I go into a texture heavy place e.g. a town, my FPS goes to shyte.

The recommended specs for the game are:

Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
Memory: 4GB System RAM
Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher; ATI Radeon 4890 or higher)

My sys specs are:

Processor: Core 2 duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.33 GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
Power Supply: 650MHz


I tried overclocking the video card with Zotac's FireStorm software overclocker, but whenever I try to overclock to 900MHz my comp crashes with white screen. Could this be a CPU bottleneck?

Can someone please shed some light on this subject?

Thank you.


i believe your cpu are bottlenecking the card so you might need to push your cpu clock a bit. btw did you use driver that came with the card or using the latest beta driver from nvidia? nvidia recommend driver version 285.79 (beta) for skyrim. my system (see sig) able to handle the game just fine with high setting + FXAA (no MSAA). its not breaking 60fps but most of the time i was able to get above 30fps
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November 17, 2011 5:01:58 PM

Your processor is your bottleneck. Skyrim is a very CPU intensive game and towns are a much more cpu intensive area which is why that is where you are seeing the slowdowns.
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December 5, 2011 2:35:17 PM

untrue, skyrim is not a cpu intense game at all, nor are you bottlenecking your gpu. skyrim is buggy as hell , look up skyrim fps issues, tons of them . try some till your is fixed. im running i3 3.33, 4 gigs ddr3 , gtx 260 maxcore, and im running ultra setting on 1680x1050 at 60 fps or more, even in intense battles. no hick ups or anything, i used this fix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-oH33H3sqc&feature=rela... and completely fixed all problems i was having. and at max settings i only used about 800ish vid mem. i would then change the .ini file to a read only doing this will disable the controller but if you want you can enable it in game and still have the fps boost. its something about starting with controller function that fucks fps.
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December 5, 2011 5:23:46 PM

try running the game when it drops fps, then have a cpu meter also running and switch to windows to check what cpu load you have.
this helped me find the bottleneck on my old e6750, so i clocked it up and managed to overcome my bottleneck that way.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
December 5, 2011 5:27:16 PM

bobatronik said:
untrue, skyrim is not a cpu intense game at all, nor are you bottlenecking your gpu. skyrim is buggy as hell , look up skyrim fps issues, tons of them . try some till your is fixed. im running i3 3.33, 4 gigs ddr3 , gtx 260 maxcore, and im running ultra setting on 1680x1050 at 60 fps or more, even in intense battles. no hick ups or anything, i used this fix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-oH33H3sqc&feature=rela... and completely fixed all problems i was having. and at max settings i only used about 800ish vid mem. i would then change the .ini file to a read only doing this will disable the controller but if you want you can enable it in game and still have the fps boost. its something about starting with controller function that fucks fps.


You do have to consider that your CPU is a lot faster than his, even at the same clock. The weakness of the i3 is not a problem on a game that only uses 2 cores. Although I'm sure some of those fixes are worth doing, just pointing out that your system is more capable at Skyrim that his, at least for your resolution.
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a c 412 Î Nvidia
December 5, 2011 7:41:00 PM

Be sure to use the latest 290.36 beta drivers, then play around with the override settings in the Nvidia Control Panel under the program specific settings. Be sure to turn Vsync off.

I find that turning AA down to 4x works best, yet with everything else turned up to max/Ultra. Also, don't try any of the graphics tweaks listed in various places around the web until you get the basic settings to a comfortable level.
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December 5, 2011 8:10:44 PM

It is possible you are bottle necking your GPU with your CPU. Skyrim can be pretty system intensive when you are in places that have heavy tessellation etc.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
December 5, 2011 8:24:34 PM

shred93 said:
It is possible you are bottle necking your GPU with your CPU. Skyrim can be pretty system intensive when you are in places that have heavy tessellation etc.


Skyrim is a Dx9 game. There is no tessellation.
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a b Î Nvidia
December 6, 2011 2:43:49 AM

bystander said:
Skyrim is a Dx9 game. There is no tessellation.


^ what the man says.

Despite it being dx9, it looks AWESOME though :) 
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December 6, 2011 6:49:58 AM

bystander said:
You do have to consider that your CPU is a lot faster than his, even at the same clock. The weakness of the i3 is not a problem on a game that only uses 2 cores. Although I'm sure some of those fixes are worth doing, just pointing out that your system is more capable at Skyrim that his, at least for your resolution.


even on my other rigg, core2duo 2.66 wolfdale , 4 gigs ddr 2 , 9600 gt, with that fix i was able to go from medium to ultra at 1680x1050 with just a little frame rate drop in intense places. On that 480 of his it should dominate at whatever he throws at it. its ether one of the simple frame rate fixes or the new update or his bios. that 480 is an amazing card. it is most deffinatly being bottle necked in some way but skyrim is nether graphically demanding or video memory needy to have any influence on that particular card or the system.
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December 6, 2011 8:29:06 AM

stringcheesy said:
Hello forum,

I just bought a Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 graphics card to play Skyrim with. All settings are maxed out, but whenever I go into a texture heavy place e.g. a town, my FPS goes to shyte.

The recommended specs for the game are:

Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
Memory: 4GB System RAM
Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher; ATI Radeon 4890 or higher)

My sys specs are:

Processor: Core 2 duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.33 GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
Power Supply: 650MHz


I tried overclocking the video card with Zotac's FireStorm software overclocker, but whenever I try to overclock to 900MHz my comp crashes with white screen. Could this be a CPU bottleneck?

Can someone please shed some light on this subject?

Thank you.


On my pc i saw a huge jump in fps when i turned the shadows to medium. I strongly believe skyrim shadows aren't run on the gpu but are running on the cpu.

My cpu Phenom II x3 @3.4ghz + HD5770.
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December 6, 2011 12:11:29 PM

bystander said:
Skyrim is a Dx9 game. There is no tessellation.

Thanks for pointing this out I was not aware. Sorry for the false information.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
December 6, 2011 3:09:08 PM

shred93 said:
Thanks for pointing this out I was not aware. Sorry for the false information.


One way to check is to run MSI Afterburner in the background and turn on the FPS counter, which also shows what DX version is being used. I've caught games I new were advertised as DX11 games, that weren't, prompting me to find out I was running the wrong .exe (Dragon Age 2).

I find it useful anyways.
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December 6, 2011 4:37:33 PM

bystander said:
One way to check is to run MSI Afterburner in the background and turn on the FPS counter, which also shows what DX version is being used. I've caught games I new were advertised as DX11 games, that weren't, prompting me to find out I was running the wrong .exe (Dragon Age 2).

I find it useful anyways.


Thanks I'll try that then :) 
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