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Why is Oblivion running slow?

  • PC gaming
  • Oblivion
  • Video Games
Last response: in PC Gaming
March 26, 2006 6:23:32 PM

My specs are listed below. Let me first off say that I run Half-Life 2 with FULL specs at 1280x1024 with FANTASTIC framerates, I mean it never slows down.... KEEPING in mind that is with one of my 7800GTXs inactive.

My question is, why then does Oblivion run choppy with full specs at 1280x1024? I have to lower the rez to 1024x768 and kick down some shadow effects and run both cards to get the framerate I would get with HL2. Is oblivion just that much crazier or was HL2 coded better? Can anyone here give me some incite?

Athlon 64 3700
2x XFX 7800GTX 256 (490/1300)
Silverstone 600w PSU
Creative X-Fi soundcard
3 gigs RAM
Plextor DVD R/W
WD Raptor 74gig
WD 160gig

More about : oblivion running slow

March 26, 2006 9:12:16 PM

It's not due to hardware, that's for sure. Might be system related (drivers/background programs/etc.) or HDD related. Try defragmenting your drive.
March 26, 2006 11:21:37 PM

So far it seems that the engine for Oblivion is perfect. There are 4 confirmed (repeatable) bugs that crash the game and 7 bugs with quests but the game engine itself is great and can run well even on slower systems.

The Oblivion.ini is very tweakable. Go to and read and download his general computer tweak guide to get your computer itself tweaked then read the fourms as there is an Oblivion Tech help thread with lots and lots of .ini and other tweaks.

He is makeing an Oblivion tweak guide that will have all the tweaks for Obvlivion.

The site might be down because he is moving the fourms to a more powerful server to handle the ever increasing load so try again to see if it's back up if ti is not now.
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March 27, 2006 5:04:33 AM

Come on, with two 7800GTX's in SLI mode he should not have to tweak anything.

Even with only one card it should have no issues although the CPU is the weakest part in his setup. Unless the game wreaks havoc on the cpu due to extreme physics (I don't have the game yet so can't tell) it should not be an issue.

Something else is seriously wrong. I'd go with Snorky's advice, although that does not explain why other games are performing as they should. Maybe there's a hardware related bug in the game?
March 27, 2006 5:29:29 AM

I noticed you are running 3gigs of ram. If that is correct, you would see better performance going down to 2gigs. 2x1gig sticks. If you exceed 2 memory banks with the AMDs it changes memory speed from 1T to 2T. I'm not saying this is causing the problem but its not giving you the best possible performance either.
March 27, 2006 9:03:26 AM

I've seen a few people state a defrag can help performance with the choppiness. It's something to do with the loading of areas. I may be totally wrong but one guy complained he could barely play it and a defrag sorted the prob.
March 27, 2006 11:16:44 AM

Ok found the answer.

For Nvida cards download Coolbits and set Max frames render ahead = 0. You will loose 1 or 2 FPS but many players say the game will run much smoother.

For thoes that have dualcore CPUs go to the Oblivion.ini file, in my documents not the game folder where you installed the game, and change these 4 settings to 1 from 0 so that they look like this:


Players have said that this really helps in battles. Rember to save your old .ini file under a different name like old_Oblivion.ini so that if something goes wrong you can restore it.

For thoes who thinks that the interface is too high up on the screen then go to your .ini file and changes these to look like this:


This will place the interface lower down on the screen.

Heres another tweak


In [Interface] block, this zooms out a bit from NPC's face when you're talking with them. Many have said it was zoomed too close so heres a fix for that.

For thoes who don't have a card with HDR or for thoes who thinks HDR looks too harsh here is a Bloom tweak that many find looks good without the FPS hit and is less harsh than HDR:


Here is a link to a nice Oblivion tweak guide that also tells you how to turn off that annoying loading area text:

Hope this helps :D 
March 27, 2006 6:30:58 PM

I noticed you are running 3gigs of ram. If that is correct, you would see better performance going down to 2gigs. 2x1gig sticks. If you exceed 2 memory banks with the AMDs it changes memory speed from 1T to 2T. I'm not saying this is causing the problem but its not giving you the best possible performance either.

Listen to this guy! Do this first and try out Oblivion before you take the time to defrag.
March 27, 2006 7:32:38 PM

Do any of you know if there is a stress test type program to see what part of my computer is the weakest link? Like what is slowing it down the most... I'm guessing the CPU but a test would be nice to see. Anyone know of anything like this?
March 27, 2006 7:37:32 PM

As I said this is not the problem, merely an observation that will effect performance. I didn't say he should do this instead of anything. I just stated if he wanted to get the maximum performance from his computer, lose a gig of ram.
BTW HL2 is not near as demanding on graphics as Oblivion or F.E.A.R. for that matter, but with what you have you should be able to run both without a problem maxed out.
March 27, 2006 7:51:21 PM

An AMD X2 4400 or 4800 would go well with your set up. All you should have to do is update the BIOS if you have not allready and your motherboard will be ready for a dual core X2. An X2 4400 sells for about $455 (us) and should last you untill the summer/winter of 2009 when you can get a 6 or 8 core CPU.

Get rid of that 1Gb stick, sell it to a friend or something, and allways install memory in pairs.

Another tip is to buy Dual Channel memory. It is sold in kits with two sticks and gets about 10% more speed out of the memory than two plain sticks of memory.

Don't forget to get heat spreaders for your memory while your at it.

2Gb of memory should work well untill the start of 2008 when you should go over to 4Gb of memory (two 2Gb sticks). I would not use four 1Gb sticks.
March 28, 2006 5:48:42 AM

It gets really choppy when outside and in fight. I have to cut out all the grass just to be able to do battle.
March 28, 2006 6:25:23 AM

I just installed Nvidia's beta drivers Forceware 84.25 and the game runs smooth at max resolution with HDR in SLI. The new drivers made a huge difference.
March 28, 2006 8:58:06 AM

Must have been a bug in the driver then.
March 29, 2006 3:01:10 AM

I just installed the newest nForce drivers for my mobo and my fps got even higher! w00t!
March 30, 2006 1:20:10 PM

I too had a problem with artefacts in the town where everybody was invisible. The 84.25 solved that. I would recommend that everybody who is playing oblivion with a nvidia card download that driver. 8)
March 30, 2006 1:45:16 PM

Thats a good point this game and battle field 2 are the only games I get that show errors due to my GFX card overheating lol
April 4, 2006 4:05:50 PM

sucks for you because you should run it and run it good. I guess your unlucky lol
April 5, 2006 9:57:56 AM

Huh? 8O I thought he said that he solved his problem???
April 5, 2006 2:58:01 PM

Your confusion is understandable, but unnecessary. let's analyze that post, shall we?

sucks for you because you should run it and run it good. I guess your unlucky lol

What is wrong with that 'sentence"? Ah, yes: lack basic grammatical structure. We can understand what he is saying, already a big plus for Internet posts, but the abhorrent quality of the phrase is self-evident. Notice also the oft-occuring, much-hated "your" and "you're" confusion.

Conclusion: a person who lacks the patience to capitalize and learn basic word structure would, quite naturally, lack the patience to read any posts save the first one.

</Pedantic Assholes FTW>
April 5, 2006 11:34:50 PM

That made me laugh... HARD... hahaha
April 6, 2006 6:10:13 AM

lack basic grammatical structure.

I guess you meant “A lack OF basic grammatical structure.” :tongue:
April 6, 2006 11:07:21 AM

How ironic.

*goes back to counting the black flies in his Chardonnay*
April 6, 2006 7:58:06 PM

format c: /q