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The Running Skyrim On My PoS project

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#1
I'm going to do everything I can to get Skyrim to run decently on my current computer (specs to the left) at my monitor's native resolution (1280x1024). That's my goal. I used to be able to play it on my Athlon64x2 4400+, may it's non-soul forever rest in peace - that thing was a loyal beast.


Skyrim's performance has been getting much better with patches, and I believe I can do it (with a lot of tweaking, at least). So first up, fixing this:



to this:

 

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#2
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#3

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#4
If you need any .ini tweaks shoot me a pm and I'll answer you here.
 

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#5
Try low texture quality too.
for that res, im sure that's not going to bog it down too much... ;)
Try it anyway ^good suggestion^

:toast:
 
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#6
Wow, I thought I was pushing it playing on a GTS 250 1GB with an i7 950. I feel for the strain you are putting on that old thing.

As mentioned, shut off the AA. I don't even use it on MY rig, and Skyrim doesn't need much AA anyway. AF is the less FPS hungry of the two, but I'd leave even THAT off.

You may want to set textures to Med too, esp if the FPS start slowing to a crawl indoors where there's lots of torches and fog.

What may be the slowest parts are the big civil war battles where there's lots of AI and smoke and fire going on though. There your CPU is going to be feeling it too.
 
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#7
What may be the slowest parts are the big civil war battles where there's lots of AI and smoke and fire going on though. There your CPU is going to be feeling it too.
Spoiler alert please! :mad:
 
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#8
Skyrim seemed to run quite smoothly on my friends backup pc that he gave to his sister for playing skyrim at 1280x800. It has a 2.8ghz pentium d, an 8800gs 384mb, 2gb ram and XP. A single core is another story though...

Can't you get a cheap second hand 3800x2 or something?
 

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#9
volumetric effects. the terrain is delt with by the card. smoke/shadows hit CPU like a brick. lower them med /low reflection on water and med to high texture effects and it should run.
 
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#10
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#11
I took off AA, did a few ini tweaks (LOD of objects and shadows, took shadows off of grass and trees, lowered the amount of trees/particles, and raised the memory limits), took off vsync, and shoved AF to 16x - texture quality is still high.

Outside runs anywhere from 20 to 45, running around Whiterun (I forgot to check at the top of the stairs, I'll be back in a minute) usually runs around 10 to 25, and inside is around 25-75 (yeah, really). Combat (nothing spectacular) bogs it down about 5 to 7 fps.

This is starting to sound significantly easier than when I first started...

Can't you get a cheap second hand 3800x2 or something?
I have no money, as in I have a sandwich bag on top of my dresser full of pennies. That's about it.

Spoiler alert please! :mad:
I've played it before when I had my x2 4400+, but I uninstalled when it broke. Unless it's for you or something...


Anyways I just took off depth of field (I didn't notice it there before), and lowered particles to 400. I'll be back soon.
 
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#12
If you could copy and paste the contents of your skyrim.ini I or someone else will probably be able to whip you up an optimised one : ]

I'm about to go to bed but if no one has done it by the time I get back from the bank tomorrow I'll do it.
 
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#13
You find out there is a civil war as soon as you start playing, don't sweat it :toast:
No kidding, and what I said about it was extremely vague.
 
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#14
Skyrimprefs.ini said:
[Display]
iTexMipMapSkip=0
bFXAAEnabled=0
fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=10000000.0000
fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=10000000.0000
fSpecularLODStartFade=200.0000
fLightLODStartFade=500.0000
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=3600.0000
iShadowMapResolution=512
fShadowBiasScale=0.5000
iShadowMaskQuarter=4
iBlurDeferredShadowMask=0
fShadowDistance=2000.0000
iMaxDecalsPerFrame=0
iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame=0
iAdapter=0
iSize W=1280
iSize H=1024
iMultiSample=1
iMaxAnisotropy=16
iPresentInterval=0
bFull Screen=1
sD3DDevice="NVIDIA GeForce GT 240"
fInteriorShadowDistance=2000.0000
bFloatPointRenderTarget=1
fLeafAnimDampenDistEnd=4600.0000
fLeafAnimDampenDistStart=3600.0000
fGamma=1.0000
iShadowFilter=3
bShadowsOnGrass=0
fDecalLOD2=1500.0000
fDecalLOD1=1000.0000
fShadowLODStartFade=200.0000
iTexMipMapMinimum=0
bTransparencyMultisampling=0
iWaterMultiSamples=0
bDeferredShadows=1
iShadowMode=3
bTreesReceiveShadows=0
bDrawLandShadows=0
bDrawShadows=1
fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=1.2000
fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=256.0000
fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=2048.0000
fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=2844.0000
iScreenShotIndex=0
bShadowMaskZPrepass=0
bMainZPrepass=0
[Imagespace]
iRadialBlurLevel=0
bDoDepthOfField=0
[LOD]
fLODFadeOutMultActors=2.0000
fLODFadeOutMultItems=3.5000
fLODFadeOutMultObjects=2.5000
fLODFadeOutMultSkyCell=1.0000
[Grass]
fGrassStartFadeDistance=0.0000
b30GrassVS=1
fGrassMaxStartFadeDistance=5000.0000
fGrassMinStartFadeDistance=200.0000
[Decals]
bDecals=0
bSkinnedDecals=0
uMaxDecals=0
uMaxSkinDecals=0
uMaxSkinDecalsPerActor=0
[TerrainManager]
fTreeLoadDistance=12500.0000
fBlockMaximumDistance=75000.0000
fBlockLevel1Distance=25000.0000
fBlockLevel0Distance=15000.0000
fSplitDistanceMult=0.4000
bShowLODInEditor=0
[BlurShaderHDR]
bDoHighDynamicRange=1
[BlurShader]
bUseBlurShader=0
[Launcher]
bShowAllResolutions=1
uLastAspectRatio=2
[Water]
iWaterReflectHeight=512
iWaterReflectWidth=512
bUseWaterDisplacements=0
bUseWaterRefractions=0
bUseWaterReflections=1
bUseWaterDepth=1
[MAIN]
fSkyCellRefFadeDistance=150000.0000
bGamepadEnable=0
bCrosshairEnabled=1
fHUDOpacity=1.0000
bSaveOnPause=1
bSaveOnTravel=1
bSaveOnWait=1
bSaveOnRest=1
[Interface]
fMouseCursorSpeed=1.0000
bDialogueSubtitles=1
bGeneralSubtitles=1
bShowCompass=1
fBookOpenTime=400
[GamePlay]
bShowFloatingQuestMarkers=1
bShowQuestMarkers=1
iDifficulty=2
[Controls]
bUseKinect=0
fMouseHeadingSensitivity=0.0180
fGamepadHeadingSensitivity=1.9000
bAlwaysRunByDefault=1
bInvertYValues=0
bGamePadRumble=0
bMouseAcceleration=0
[Particles]
iMaxDesired=400
[SaveGame]
fAutosaveEveryXMins=15.0000
[AudioMenu]
fAudioMasterVolume=1.0000
fVal7=1.0000
uID7=0
fVal6=1.0000
uID6=0
fVal5=1.0000
uID5=0
fVal4=1.0000
uID4=0
fVal3=0.5000
uID3=466532
fVal2=0.8000
uID2=554685
fVal1=0.8000
uID1=1007612
fVal0=1.0000
uID0=94881
[Clouds]
fCloudLevel2Distance=200000.0000
fCloudLevel1Distance=16384.0000
fCloudLevel0Distance=8096.0000
fCloudNearFadeDistance=6000.0000
[General]
iStoryManagerLoggingEvent=-1
bEnableStoryManagerLogging=0
[Trees]
bRenderSkinnedTrees=1
uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender=25
[Papyrus]
iMinMemoryPageSize=102400
iMaxMemoryPageSize=8388608
iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes=2684354560
Skyrim.ini said:
[Display]
sD3DDevice="NVIDIA GeForce GT 240"
iPresentInterval=0
[Grass]
b30GrassVS=1
[Water]
bReflectLODObjects=0
bReflectLODLand=0
bReflectSky=0
bReflectLODTrees=0
[General]
sLanguage=ENGLISH

I went through the first dragon fight and it got 20-30 fps the whole time, and 16-ish fps at the top of Whiterun's stairs (looking down towards the city), so I'm beginning to think that my CPU is secretly much faster than it lets on.
 
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#17
With your current setup I would suggest going to Windows 7 x86. You'll see a big improvement with only 4gb of ram, and a single core. :toast:
 
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#18
surely there's someone around with a 939 athlon x2 laying around that they'd be willing to part with if you paid shipping. This is painful.
 

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#19
I'm still using mine. If I have a motherboard crap out on me, whoever wants it can have it.

With your current setup I would suggest going to Windows 7 x86. You'll see a big improvement with only 4gb of ram, and a single core. :toast:
True! I'm using a s754 single core CPU and 2gb of RAM and it is a much better O/S than XP was.
 
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#20
It's not always like that, just when I'm on a horse and I go too fast - besides, my horse died so I walk/fast travel everywhere nowadays, so it never looks that bad anymore. Aside from that, the game is perfectly playable - just avoid riding horses.
 
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#21
...I'm beginning to think that my CPU is secretly much faster than it let's on.
"Faster" is relative to what one accepts as far as image quality and frame rates. In a game like this, the performance can start showing choppiness at anything under 45 FPS. I try to minimize my dips to no less than 40 FPS. A comfortable frame rate window in this game is at least 45-65 FPS. Where it starts affecting gameplay most is when you're trying to get in accurate arrow shots. Times like that, the choppiness is hard to deal with.

Have you tried different patches to find which ones give the best performance? I can't remember which ones they are, but the 1st or 2nd ones that claimed an FPS boost might be the best way to go.

As far as single cores go, I stuck it out with my Pentium 4 way too long. It was getting to be quite a strain on my eyes. Switching to a decent quad was one of the best gaming purchases I've ever made.
 

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#22
True! I'm using a s754 single core CPU and 2gb of RAM and it is a much better O/S than XP was.
Yea, I have 2 laptops with C2D T7200, one with xp and the other with win7 x86 and the win7 x86 is much faster. I also, tried win7x64 and with the low hardware in those machines the win7 x86 was much snapper than the x64 build. :toast:

EDIT: Anything under or equal to 4gb I would only run x86. :toast: