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Why do I have lag in Skyrim?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 10, 2012 10:20:21 PM

Hello,

I know this is not a ''beast rig'' but it should be able to run Skyrim with medium/high settings, right?

CPU: Core 2 Duo E7600 @3.06GHz
GPU: GTX 550 TI 1GB GDDR5
RAM: 4GB
PSU: 460 Watt

The game used to run well, but than after 45 minutes it started to lag.
But now it lags as soon as I start playing the game.
I am having lag spikes every 5/10 seconds and sometimes it is even unplayable.
Please helpe me :( 

More about : lag skyrim

a c 109 U Graphics card
March 10, 2012 10:24:18 PM

There might be bottlenecking.
March 10, 2012 11:13:58 PM

What exactly is ''bottlenecking''?
And how can I prevent it?
Related resources
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 12:10:25 AM

What version of Windows are you using? Also, are your video and audio drivers up to date?

How hot is your system getting while gaming? If you don't know, google hwmonitor and install it. Run it in the background and let it collect the information for you.

As amuffin indicated, you could have a bottlenecking issue, or you could have a temperature issue (system is slowing down because it is getting too hot), or a driver issue.

Please clarify.
March 11, 2012 12:15:11 AM

I am using Windows 7 (64 bits)
And my GPU has the latest drivers.
And yes I have noticed that my GPU (wich is 3 days old) is 75c to 82c, should I be worried? Because if yes I better take the GPU back to the store within its guarentee.
I don't want 4 months of saving money be wasted :( 
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 12:17:35 AM

That is fairly warm, but still in the "ok" range. How are your CPU temps?
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 12:19:50 AM

BTW, the bottlenecking that amuffin is referring to means that the CPU can process the data fast enough to keep up with the capability of the GPU. Kind of like having a clogged fuel filter on a high performance car, it runs poorly because it can't get enough fuel.
March 11, 2012 12:57:06 AM

Here are my CPU temperatures:

CPU temperatures at idle: Core 1= 36c Core 2=38c
CPU temperatures at load: Core 1=44c Core 2=38c
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 12:59:09 AM

OK, not a heat issue then.

What make/model of motherboard are you using? To alleviate the bottleneck amuffin referred to, a faster CPU could help.
March 11, 2012 1:04:41 AM

I am using the Msi G41M-P25
March 11, 2012 1:20:18 AM

Scaleo said:
Hello,

I know this is not a ''beast rig'' but it should be able to run Skyrim with medium/high settings, right?

CPU: Core 2 Duo E7600 @3.06GHz
GPU: GTX 550 TI 1GB GDDR5
RAM: 4GB
PSU: 460 Watt

The game used to run well, but than after 45 minutes it started to lag.
But now it lags as soon as I start playing the game.
I am having lag spikes every 5/10 seconds and sometimes it is even unplayable.
Please helpe me :( 


What resolution are you playing the game at? What framerate are you getting while you play?

My guess is that you have some programs going on in the background of the game while it's playing that are creating your bottleneck, which probably points to a CPU bottleneck if other programs are stealing your games resources.

I assume you have the latest drivers?

Check out this article, these are the framerates you should be seeing:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 1:26:48 AM

Scaleo said:
I am using the Msi G41M-P25

This motherboard can support many Core 2 Quad CPUs. See here for more details:

http://www.msi.com/product/mb/G41M-P25.html#/?div=CPUSu...

That being the case, Socket 775 Quad Core CPUs are not cheap. One could argue that you really need a new motherboard, CPU, and memory to make it worth the cost.
March 11, 2012 1:28:58 AM

To be honest I only have AVG with Steam and Nvidia runing in the background, and when I look at the CPU usage when I am playing Skyrim it is around 5 percent
And I am having around 45 fps when I am playing Skyrim and everything is normal.
And sometimes it is unplayable as soon as I start to play the game (10 fps and lag spikes)
March 11, 2012 1:32:28 AM

To be honest I only have AVG with Steam and Nvidia runing in the background, and when I look at the CPU usage when I am playing Skyrim it is around 5 percent
And I am having around 45 fps when I am playing Skyrim and everything is normal.
And sometimes it is unplayable as soon as I start to play the game (10 fps and lag spikes)
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 1:48:54 AM

Have you looked at what is running right when it lags? Do you have anything in your Startup items running that you don't need?
March 11, 2012 1:51:31 AM

Except for the Windows services and Steam,AVG and Nvidia control panel I have nothing else
March 11, 2012 1:53:43 AM

And another thing that I have noticed is that Skyrim only uses around 604.948 kB of memory and around 5 per cent CPU usage
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 1:54:38 AM

Scaleo said:
Except for the Windows services and Steam,AVG and Nvidia control panel I have nothing else

Understood. I really does sound like you are experiencing the bottleneck amuffin originally referred to.

Are up to upgrading your CPU or your CPU/mobo/RAM?
March 11, 2012 1:55:35 AM

I have a bit more profound question than any other people who are trying to help you here, just needs to know, by 4GB memory, do you mean 2x2GB or 1x4GB? Both scenario should puts you on a far different situation.
March 11, 2012 3:01:39 AM

It is 2X2GB of RAM
March 11, 2012 3:18:17 AM

Now that's interesting. You're right, your spec should capable to go at med-high preset. Plus, it's known that Skyrim doesn't benefit from more than 2 cores as tom's benchmarking stated. So, I suppose somewhere on your spec is damaged somehow. Have you OC them before?
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 3:27:50 AM

rush21hit said:
Now that's interesting. You're right, your spec should capable to go at med-high preset. Plus, it's known that Skyrim doesn't benefit from more than 2 cores as tom's benchmarking stated. So, I suppose somewhere on your spec is damaged somehow. Have you OC them before?

The jury may not necessarily agree with all tests as they relate to Skyrim. The recommended config for the game is:

Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
4GB System RAM
6GB free HDD space
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).
DirectX compatible sound card
Internet access for Steam activation

Scaleo has all but one of those items.....
March 11, 2012 3:51:33 AM

Are there any options? :( 
March 11, 2012 3:52:18 AM

Maybe there is something wrong with the PSU?
March 11, 2012 3:55:38 AM

Scaleo said:
I am using Windows 7 (64 bits)
And my GPU has the latest drivers.
And yes I have noticed that my GPU (wich is 3 days old) is 75c to 82c, should I be worried? Because if yes I better take the GPU back to the store within its guarentee.
I don't want 4 months of saving money be wasted :( 


I wouldn't be worried about the temps but I would be concerned. IMO that is a little too high.

Do you have the lastest version of Directx installed? Have you upgraded your Audio drivers?

When you upgraded the GPU drivers, did you uninstall the previous version first before you installed the new version?
March 11, 2012 4:25:19 AM

The previous Nvidia drivers are removed because Windows has ben reseted.
And about the Audio drivers and DirectX, that might be the problem (I hope so).
Please tell me more about it (how and where to download)
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 4:46:48 AM

Scaleo said:
Maybe there is something wrong with the PSU?

This is a possibility, but not likely. One of the symptoms of a failing PSU is an overheating GPU. That usually leads to a shutdown instead of lagging.

As mentioned earlier, your temps aren't great, but they aren't horrible either. You could operate your system with the side cover off to see if cooling it down helps with your performance.
March 11, 2012 4:50:27 AM

When in doubt... REBUILD your OS.
March 11, 2012 5:01:06 AM

I am surprised, but it worked! (I tested it for 90 minutes)
Ofcourse there was allot of noise and the temperature was still high (the highest temperature that it reached was 83c)
But the game itself was working very well if not perfect.
But when I was playing with the case open I thought I should feel how hot the GPU feels, and than I actually frightened how hot that was.
I could not keep my finger on the GPU for more than 3 seconds but MSI Afterburner showed me that the GPU was 63c.
And for as far I know is that 63c is not something to be concirned about,right?
But playing with a open case is not really a option :??:  .
So maybe there are other options?
And should I really be concerned about the fact that my 3 days old GPU has those kind of temperatures?
Maybe it is my PSU that is failing?
a c 216 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 5:03:18 AM

63c is considered cool for a GPU under load.
March 11, 2012 5:06:07 AM

Well that is the strange part, the GPU is around 83c under load but when I ''alt-tab'' to see MSI Afterburner I see that the temperature of the GPU notable drops by like 1c per 2 seconds.
a c 216 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 5:09:09 AM

Scaleo said:
Well that is the strange part, the GPU is around 83c under load but when I ''alt-tab'' to see MSI Afterburner I see that the temperature of the GPU notable drops by like 1c per 2 seconds.


Why is that strange? It should be dropping temps rather fast when its not currently rendering frames, although 83c is getting on the hot side, but still within limits.
March 11, 2012 5:11:03 AM

I've taken my GTX 470's to just under 95c for extended play times without anything detrimental happening... over a 100c your going to fry your GPU. 63c is nothing.

A failing PSU isn't going to make your GPU hot. Look at your ambient temperature. If you play your PC in a room that is hot, your components get that much hotter. Find a good CPU cooler. Perhaps add some more case fans with high flow rates.

If your PSU fail's your computer would most-likely bluescreen, or worst-case turn off permanently until you replace your busted PSU.

You might want to consider getting some more wattage... Some of the crappier PSU's out there aren't really that efficient... so something like a 500w PSU might only give you a peak of 350w. Your GPU pushes 250w on load, plus all your components. That means your probably going to have a PSU failure sooner than you would if you gave yourself some more wattage overhead on a better PSU. Just my opinion from experience. I remember playing Crysis back in the day with a 550w PSU and a GTX 275 and it wasn't enough for me to overclock my CPU and account for all my other PC components. Recently I upgraded to a Corsair 1200w which claims a 80% efficiency rating and it comes with a 7-year server grade warranty... I love it.
March 11, 2012 5:21:13 AM

Should I be worried for 83c temperatures?
And is it maybe better if I won't ignore the temperatures and go return this GPU.
The fact that a GPU this new gets this warm really concernes me. (4 months of sparing money)
Because with the GT240 1GB the temperature never reached above 49c.
Or maybe 83c is normal for the GTX 550 TI, because I can not find a site where there is that information.
a b U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 5:26:11 AM

I would like to know what you mean by lag? Skyrim is dependent on your connection to the Steam servers for game content. Before I say more please describe what you are experiencing.
March 11, 2012 5:36:32 AM

Scaleo said:
Should I be worried for 83c temperatures?
And is it maybe better if I won't ignore the temperatures and go return this GPU.
The fact that a GPU this new gets this warm really concernes me. (4 months of sparing money)
Because with the GT240 1GB the temperature never reached above 49c.
Or maybe 83c is normal for the GTX 550 TI, because I can not find a site where there is that information.


Scaleo,

It sounds like your not happy with this GPU. If this is the case, return it and get another to test a theory on rather if it's defective or buy a totally different GPU.

How well is your computer ventilated?
March 11, 2012 5:54:25 AM

Well sometimes Skyrim is runing with a rock solid 55 to 60 fps (80c) and some times it has lag spikes every 4 seconds, what makes it unplayable.
March 11, 2012 6:00:45 AM

Well the GTX 550 TI is acording to Gamedebate 135% better than my previous GPU, the GT 240 1GB.
The only thing that makes me want to return the GPU is that it reaches such ridiculous temperatures for Skyrim.
But even for ''easy to run games'' like Duke Nukem Forever it reached a temperature around 75c.
So is it unusual that the GTX 550 TI (Asus) reaches 83c at full load and is around 38c on idle?

PS: I am runing skyrim with the case open and I am having around 50 to 60 fps, but again the temperature is so high :cry: 
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 1:13:54 PM

When a PSU gets older, it becomes less efficient. Less efficiency means it must work harder to produce the rated power. That also means more heat and power instability.

GPUs are especially susceptible to the irregular power and additional heat.

In Scaleo's situation, it sounds like the GPU is throttling itself because it is getting too hot (as it should to prevent damage). Removing the side cover and running longer shows there is a heat problem.

What make and model of 460w PSU is being used in this system?
March 11, 2012 1:18:13 PM

COLGeek said:
When a PSU gets older, it becomes less efficient. Less efficiency means it must work harder to produce the rated power. That also means more heat and power instability.

GPUs are especially susceptible to the irregular power and additional heat.

In Scaleo's situation, it sounds like the GPU is throttling itself because it is getting too hot (as it should to prevent damage). Removing the side cover and running longer shows there is a heat problem.

What make and model of 460w PSU is being used in this system?


What do you mean with ''make''?
And I am not sure what kind of brand it is, it had written on it: P-case
a c 218 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 2:08:18 PM

Make = brand. I have never heard of a P-Case branded PSU. There should be a label on the side of the power supply with the brand and model number on it.
a b U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 4:14:30 PM

I would not rule out a hardware issue but those 4 second interrupts are probably cause by the slow transfer of information from the server to your hard drive. I would bet that if I tracked the latency of your connection, I would find a correlation with increased latency and your described lag. There is almost nothing you can do about this as the problem originates in network and hardware outside your computer. Try running a game like Crysis which resides 100% on your computer.
March 11, 2012 4:29:31 PM

Scaleo said:
I am surprised, but it worked! (I tested it for 90 minutes)
Ofcourse there was allot of noise and the temperature was still high (the highest temperature that it reached was 83c)
But the game itself was working very well if not perfect.
But when I was playing with the case open I thought I should feel how hot the GPU feels, and than I actually frightened how hot that was.
I could not keep my finger on the GPU for more than 3 seconds but MSI Afterburner showed me that the GPU was 63c.
And for as far I know is that 63c is not something to be concirned about,right?
But playing with a open case is not really a option :??:  .
So maybe there are other options?
And should I really be concerned about the fact that my 3 days old GPU has those kind of temperatures?
Maybe it is my PSU that is failing?


If you were playng with your case openned without any problems it is probobly your case that doesn't have enought air flow. What kind of case do you have?
March 11, 2012 4:38:56 PM

xxyougotownedzz said:
If you were playng with your case openned without any problems it is probobly your case that doesn't have enought air flow. What kind of case do you have?

A Scaleo-P
March 11, 2012 4:41:12 PM

COLGeek said:
Make = brand. I have never heard of a P-Case branded PSU. There should be a label on the side of the power supply with the brand and model number on it.

Well to be honest I do not see any type of brand name, only the rating
March 11, 2012 5:34:36 PM

xxyougotownedzz said:
You definetly need to upgrade your case to one that has better air flow. Here's one that is not too expensive.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

It looks indeed good, but I live in Holland, so the shipping price will be ridicilous but I still can order one just here .
And By the way did I mention that the GPU temperature still reached 81c with a open case.
The good part was that I still was able to play the game with 50 to 70 fps.
So what really bothers me is that my 4 days old GPU is going from 32c to 82c in like 15 minutes, either it is with the case open or not
Though the game keeps runing the way it was (50 to 70 fps)
So should I be worried about that kind of ''temperature risings''?
March 11, 2012 5:36:24 PM

I mean, is it safe to just keep gaming when the GPU reaches 82c?
a c 216 U Graphics card
March 11, 2012 5:41:30 PM

Yes, it's safe, but if you want to lower it, you can adjust the fan settings, or fan curve in MSI afterburner.
!