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Find the bottleneck


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#1 Neovalen

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 04:37 PM

As the thread topic states, I'm trying to find a bottleneck. Using the same system, just changing the resolution from 1920x1080 to 5760x1080 I go from 45-55fps to 16-20fps. I'm guessing the bottleneck is the GPU, but I suppose it could just as easily be CPU or System Memory. I've attached GPU-z recordings at each resolution. Test run was from the entrance of Whiterun through the plains to the fort. I really love playing at 5760x1080 but I can't stand playing at 20fps. Luckily I still have some money left over from my tax return. System specs listed in my sig. Any help is appreciated.   Additional Information - Attached is my Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini (with txt extension since it wouldn't let me attach)
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#2 frihyland

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:34 PM

If you completely disable shadows and particles what you have left will be your gpu baseline (there's a few dozen ini settings necessary to accomplish this iirc). You can test at several resolutions and check your fps. Then do the same with your standard ini's and you'll have the difference between cpu and gpu relevance to your fps. I would guess its also likely to include a VRAM problem, you can test that by disabling all the graphics mods and the DLC and checking your fps.
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#3 Neovalen

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:56 PM

Thank you for the response. After doing some quick tests, disabling shadows entirely... fInteriorShadowDistance=0 fShadowDistance=0 fShadowLODStartFade=0 bTreesReceiveShadows=0 Did absolutely nothing to my FPS @ 5760x1080. Still ~20. Now at 1920x1080, my fps was pretty much minimum 50 and topped out at 60(cap) occasionally. There were no particle effects on screen, so I assume that isn't a factor. I'm guessing I'm hitting a VRAM/GPU cap and not a CPU cap. Next test I'll remove all the textures from my texture folder and try again.  Update: Removed all texture mods and still at 5760x1080 my fps did not appreciably increase. Capped out at ~ 25 at max but stayed around 20 still. I'm guessing that means it's raw GPU horsepower?
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#4 Neovalen

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:46 PM

I just realised I left RCRN installed. Going to do a full reinstall and see what results I get. (there goes another full day putting STEP back in... at least I don't have to redownload.)
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#5 Neovalen

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:08 PM

Alright, reinstalled, generated ini files from scratch. No change in FPS. I'm guessing I just don't have the raw horsepower to run it even at default.I still find it odd that my FPS doesn't change more than 1-4fps even when running vanilla vs full STEP/ini tweaked/DDSOpt. Going to try the disable shadows tweak someone posted about and see what changes (if anything).  Sorry about the spam updating, but removing shadows using the Shadow Removal mod my 5760x1080 went up to 30-35fps. Thats a nice jump but still not where I want to be. That being said, does that mean my CPU or binding me or my GPU? That being said, the game looks like ass with shadows removed. :)
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#6 MadWizard25

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:01 AM

Good stuff :) The more information we get on this subject the better. No worries with the spam updating, just wait a couple hours in between so other threads have a chance to move up :D As far as i can tell, from your information, and other post that are related is that increasing screen resolution will will really kill your fps depending on your VRAM. I notice you have 1GB VRAM, which imo is not enough to play on ultra with hi-res textures with your multiple monitor setup. So i would think it is a GPU bottleneck. More evidence to support this is that you have a great cpu, and plenty of memory. I have an average of 50% cpu utilization (i5-2400), and a peak of up to 3.5GB ram usage in skyrim. so that really shouldn't be an issue. However, general consensus is that shadows are cpu generated. One one hand increased vram use scales with increased screen resolution, and on the other shadows are cpu generated. By disabling your shadows you get a huge fps boost, but if you still hitting your vram limit there is only so much you can do. I would recommend download Skyrim Performance Monitor, which allows you to track in real time cpu, gpu, vram, ram, and thread utilization by skyrim. And nice place you picked for testing :) Around whiterun is a really cpu/ gpu intensive area, good for stress testing. Edit: https://forums.beths...ng-a-vram-wall/ A guy in this thread reckons that shadows are not cpu based, that thats a myth; all down to gpu. so ignore most my post :P im really not sure anymore.
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#7 Vond

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:17 AM

I have a hard time believing you could get great fps with that 5760x1080 tbh :/
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#8 Neovalen

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 04:31 PM

I've heard of people getting good performance, but most of them are running 2GB cards with crossfire/sli. I really don't know where to find a good cross-section of people to compare with to see what my upgrade options are. Thats why I came here. :)
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#9 MadWizard25

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:58 AM

I would say 2GB VRAM is for sure required to play on ultra, multiple monitors, and hi-res textures. I have a single monitor, play at 1280x1024 resolution, ultra settings with shadows on high, high res textures and i can peak at 2GB VRAM. If you look at the Skyrim Performance Monitor page on Skyrim Nexus you can see that the author easily hits 3GB VRAM use, so i suspect that hes using a setup similar to yours with multiple monitors. Imo 1GB VRAM is really not enough for you to do what you want. As to upgrading, if you can, get a 3GB VRAM card. That way you should be able to have your setup play perfectly. SLI is not really a good option either, because getting 2x2GB cards does not equate to 4GB VRAM.

However, this is my opinion with anecdotal evidence. There is also a debate around VRAM allocation vs. actually VRAM use. I cant say for sure that you really need more than 2GB vram, but i can tell you that 1GB is not enough :)
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#10 Besidilo

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:34 AM

You're VRAM limited at that resolution.I was running Skyrim at 2560x1440 with 4xMSAA and it was already hitting the 2GB (or more) of shared memory at times with high resolution texture mods. Now with a GTX 580 1.5GB, I had to pick some lower resolution textures for mods like Skyrim HD - 2K Tex. Unfortunately the game doesn't manage the assigned memory too well.
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#11 Neovalen

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:18 PM

I am thinking when I can actually get some a pair of EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB in SLI would be good. That'll give me 4GB memory (4+4/2) and hopefully superior performance. Unfortunately it likely means I'll be handing my system down to my wife since I'll need a new motherboard / processor setup to use a 680. Thank god for tax returns sometimes.
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#12 Besidilo

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:45 PM

I am thinking when I can actually get some a pair of EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB in SLI would be good. That'll give me 4GB memory (4+4/2) and hopefully superior performance.
Unfortunately it likely means I'll be handing my system down to my wife since I'll need a new motherboard / processor setup to use a 680.
Thank god for tax returns sometimes.

I don't think there's any need for SLI cards in Skyrim, not to mention that the game probably doesn't scale all that well with multi-gpu configs, with it's CPU usage and all that.

It's an old and outdated engine after all.
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#13 Neovalen

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

I am thinking when I can actually get some a pair of EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB in SLI would be good. That'll give me 4GB memory (4+4/2) and hopefully superior performance.Unfortunately it likely means I'll be handing my system down to my wife since I'll need a new motherboard / processor setup to use a 680.
Thank god for tax returns sometimes.

I don't think there's any need for SLI cards in Skyrim, not to mention that the game probably doesn't scale all that well with multi-gpu configs, with it's CPU usage and all that.It's an old and outdated engine after all.

Your probably right, but Skyrim will not be the end all of my gaming habbits over the next few years. :)
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#14 Besidilo

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:40 PM

Just get a single GTX 670 2GB and save your cash for a more meaningful upgrade in the future then. :)
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#15 frihyland

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:28 PM

Yep the 670 series is always the best value, if you can find one with 4gb VRAM you'll have a card that keeps your games running maxed out for as long as 4 years.
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