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Is it possible to reduce shadow distance in cities only?

cities shadows performance

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#1 perkymcgiggles



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Posted 29 December 2014 - 04:35 AM

So I've been slowly going through the STEP guide and testing performance as I go.  I noticed that with 'fShadowDistance=8000' I can pretty much go anywhere outdoors and get rock solid 60FPS no matter what's going on on-screen.  However, when walking into a city such as Markarth the FPS drops drastically to 30-40FPS~.  I did some testing and determined that the fShadowDistance tweak is the real killer.  If I set it down to 2000 instead of 8000 my FPS increase dramatically to 55~ FPS.  Now, Markarth is probably the most demanding city I think.  Whiterun doesn't run bad at the 8000 value, but my goal in testing this is to get the game stable and playable when it is at its worst. 


So this brings up my original question, is there a way I can run two different ShadowDistance settings simaltaneously?  Could a mod theoritcally exist which lowers ShadowDistance in demanding cities, but goes back to its original value once you leave said city?  That's the only work around I can think of that would solve this problem.  If anyone has any ideas on what I can do to get this performance back in cities such as Markarth I would be all ears though!


Note: I tested this performance issue in both vanilla Skyrim and partially modded STEP Skyrim.  Performance is terrible in both and adjusting ShadowDistance is the single determining factor in FPS.

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#2 hishutup


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Posted 29 December 2014 - 04:55 AM

No, you have to set it and leave it or do it manually...
Skyrim doesn't have something like streamline for oblivion to my knowledge.

Maybe it isn't the shadow distance but the resolution. I cant remember the names precisely but here you go ...
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#3 perkymcgiggles



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Posted 29 December 2014 - 01:41 PM

I tried playing with the resolution.  I set shadows to low in the launcher and worked my way up from there.  Increasing shadow resolution from 512 to 2048 had no effect on my FPS.  It wasn't till I started adjusting the shadow distance that I saw my FPS begin to dwindle (In cities only!). 


FWIW I am running a Core i5 3570k @ 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 780, Windows 7 64bit w/ all latest updates and drivers.  I think the real killer for me is my resolution at 2560x1600.  Shame there is no way to get around this hurdle.  I guess I'll keep tweaking the settings till I find the balance of making the shadows look good and cities being playable.

Edited by perkymcgiggles, 29 December 2014 - 01:45 PM.

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