As the various issues with my skyrim setup have been every so slowly ironed out for 1.6, i can focus a little on an issue that has been bugging me for quite some time.
The dreaded texture pop!
I understand that this is an engine issue, but with vanilla skyrim its much less apparent and abrupt. It was also evident in oblivion, but by the time i modded oblivion, the mod scene was 5 years old. With all the optimizes and patches, this issue never happened with a fully modded oblivion.
Im using the term texture pop quit generically. The actual issue relates to several types of pop in. These are mainly related to exterior environments. Its totally immersion breaking to see a plain vista, move a few meters and then suddenly see many LOD to normal objects change, objects such as npcs and monsters, and grass to just massively pop in all at once.
1. Grass pop
- grass ini tweaks, such as increasing the amount of grass rendered does work but it still pops in. With an increased grass draw distance, there is just more grass that pops in.
- Again, ini tweaks regarding trees does not seem to change this much. I can increase the draw distance that normal trees are rendered, but i still get a massive pop in from LOD to normal when i cross a certain distance.
- Terrain detail such as rocks, waterfalls, etc. This has been mitigated by some mods, but is still apparent, especially LOD to normal transition.
- This is the least evident, mostly because these things do not take up much of the vista. But sometimes is still noticeable.
- Certain decals, like moss on ruins walls, also pop in, and are more delayed than the above ones. Still, its not so bad since they are again a small part of the environment.
I would not be asking for help if it was not so bad. Its bad on open plains, and its bad in forest, etc. Major eyesores are the terrain, grass, and tree pop in. Every thing just pops in at a certain point, usually when im half way across what is rendered using ugrids 5.
Fixes i have tried;
1. Moved skyrim to an SSD drive - didnt help at all.
2. Various ini tweaks regarding draw distance for certain things. A lot is already covered in the z-fighting fix tweaks. Other tweaks like LODmeshes had no effect.
3. Mods - these help by allowing me to see more lod terrain in the distance, but the transition pop is still as evident.
4. Removing Hi-Res DLC - actually helped a bit. No idea why, removing other large texture packs didnt reduce the issue as much as removing the DLC did.
5. Texture optimization using latest DDSOpt pre-III - did not help, but helped in ensuring i stay well clear of my vram limit, which allows me to eliminate that as the problem.
6. Various tools such as CleanMem, Gamebooster, FPS Booster, CCleaner, etc. Nothing either.
Fixes I have not tried;
1. uGrids 7 - This would work. I know it works with my setup, but its just causes too many stability issues.
2. Rolling back to a nvidia driver earlier than the last 2xx version. Currently using latest stable release 301. Beta drivers higher than that did not seem to make a difference.
Thats about it. Has anybody experienced this problem? It would be fine if things were rendered gradually, but the pop in so immersion breaking it drives me crazy. If you know a fix, even a partial one, I would be super happy to hear it :) Thanks!
CPU: i5 2400 3.1GHz
GPU: gfx 560 Ti 2GB
RAM: 8Gb DDR3
HDD: 60GB SSD
OS: Win7 64bit