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Windows 7: Random CPU Spikes in Skyrim

17 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Random CPU Spikes in Skyrim

Hello. I just installed Skyrim yesterday, and I'm having an annoying issue where the game will stutter for about 10 seconds every few minutes while playing. It's not a decrease in framerate, but an actual lag that chops up the audio and video.

I've determined that my CPU usage is going through the roof when this happens, but I'm unsure why or how to go about fixing the problem. I have attempted to run the game without any other significant programs in the background, closing browser, torrent, and antivirus. I have tried the game on several graphics settings, but lowering the settings only seems to improve the framerate a bit. I do not see any correlation with the intensity of the gameplay and the CPU usage, and it isn't occuring during autosaves. It seems to happen at random.

I understand that the game is very CPU intensive, so my suspicion is that my processor may be bottlenecking the performance of Skyrim on my machine. Still though, I wouldn't have expected that to cause random stutters and freezing as much as just lower framerates.

Anyway, here are my specs. Thank you!

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 6400+ (3.21 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB (DDR2 800 MHz)
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1 GB)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Strange. Even on my Intel E7500 with the default graphics setting (which is mostly low) the game works great, and I haven't run into these kind of problems.
Have you tried updating the GPU drivers?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 pro x64

Try dropping the shadow detail on the game to low and see if that helps. It's very cpu demanding for some reason.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

My GPU drivers are up to date. I tried lowering the settings to high, which has the shadow detail on low and no water reflection, but the game is still freezing. Would it be worth setting the TESV.exe process to a higher CPU priority?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 pro x64

You could try that but like you mentioned your cpu is most likely bottlenecking the game so try dropping the settings to medium low. And see if that helps also killing some useless background tasks might help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 ultimate x86

I have the same issue, but I think it started when I got to the 2nd dungeon.
I was playing with a high fps count, even with high settings, and then all of a sudden the game began stuttering, and then it started happening very frequently, it used to happen for a few seconds, but now it doesn't let me play at all.
It happens randomly, even when I play with the lowest settings and I stand still in one place...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #7

7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I'm running this game on only a Core 2 Duo T6600 2.20Ghz and on the Mobility Radeon 4570 HD and I don't have this problem (I have the settings on High, sometimes Medium - depending on ambient room temperatures because I am gaming on a Notebook and heat is a problem for me). Your hardware is a bit better than mine, so I doubt it has anything to do with this at all.

How many threads are running in task manager under the "Processes" tab? The first thing I always do after I've powered my system on is to left-click and end all process trees to things that don't need to be running for the system to function, especially when I'm going to be gaming. Even when I am not gaming, if I don't do this, my CPU and RAM will also dip and soar from maximum load and then back to normal again. So try doing that first. But make sure you don't touch Windows.exe, Windows Logon Application or Desktop Window Manager. Everything else is fair game if it will let you end it's process (in fact, if you use CCleaner go into it's "Startup" tab to disable some of these from even starting up when the system boots, then end the rest in task manager after that every time - they'll still come on when they're actually necessary so don't worry about that).

Doing this should definitely help to free up a ton of CPU and RAM usage for Skyrim and all other games/resource hungry applications. On average, for me, it frees up 50% of my CPU and about 25-30% of my RAM. A huge difference!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

No luck. I tried lowering the graphics settings to medium, and the problem still exists. As for other programs, I run a pretty minimalist system with very few programs in the background and at startup. I use CCleaner for startup processes, and my antivirus is Malwarebyte's. My system is only using about 1.5 GB of RAM, with nothing affecting the CPU performance before I load the game. I'm not sure why this is happening. Like I said before, the CPU spikes are not noticeably related to any increase in demand by the graphics. They occur randomly, even when I am standing still, inside a building, or even in the inventory menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #9

7 Ultimate x64 SP1

In that case, try going into Task Manager and then set Skyrim to "High" on the "Priority" menu in there and tell us what happens after that (then, if it still doesn't boost it up, try "Realtime"). This definitely shouldn't be happening, especially as your CPU is faster than mine and at x4 cores. On the other hand, I've heard that sometimes AMD CPU's don't like to play nice with certain things... just something to check into, see if other people out there are complaining of the same affect with your same CPU. I'm not being bias on that, but my uncle had a supposedly equal AMD to my mom's Intel and hers ran cuircles around his in basic applications, so just saying that could be part of it. I don't believe Bethesda used AMD CPU's when they developed the game either, so it could be needing a patch to correct something later on.

That all said, 1.5GB RAM for an idle system (if that's the state the PC is in when you get that reading) I'd still say you have a fair few more processes going than you really need while gaming. You don't need your printer crap in there, or things like AAM Updaites, or even the Search Protocol/Event Notfication etc. etc. etc. (processes you CAN'T end using CCleaner's "Staturp" utility).

I get my RAM usage down to a cool 1.12GB every time, which also correlates to easing up CPU usage down to 0 - 10% instead of the 35-50% it likes to throttle around otherwise.

Also, I'd like to see a screenshot of all your Task Manager's "Processes" tab as well as the "Performance" tab if you're willing, from highest memory consumption to the least. And, if you can, while Skyrim is actually running as well. I know you said it doesn't seem to happen other than while in Skyrim, but let's just explore this a but further before getting into the hairy stuff.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

do not feel bad I have the same thing I have a
i5 x8 gigs gtx260 I could run on ultra hi but now I can not. the crazy thing is its now running on 1 thread or core the c1 I think, I alt-tabbed like 3 times and I see it on the meter. do not know what to do I HAVE ALL THE UP DATES for every thing for the people that like to say that. I tried to role back the invida driver but It did not work. it will also crash my computer not to desk top but all the way.
and its NOT A HEAT thing for the other people that like to say that.

the invida driver v285.79 beta

Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4 CPUs), ~4.3GHz
8192MB RAM
Hard Drive:
500 GB
Video Card:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)bose
Operating System:
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.110622-1506)
MIS P67A-G45 (B3)
Computer Case:
CM Storm

On Tue 11/22/2011 3:50:22 AM GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\112111-13072-01.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: partmgr.sys (partmgr+0x364E)
Bugcheck code: 0xF7 (0x6DD, 0xF8800102814E, 0xFFFF077FFEFD7EB1, 0x0)
file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\partmgr.sys <-----Used to determine system disk drives. not a problem backup hard drive fixed
product: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
company: Microsoft Corporation
description: Partition Management Driver
Bug check description: This indicates that a driver has overrun a stack-based buffer.
This appears to be a typical software driver bug and is not likely to be caused by a hardware problem.
The crash took place in a standard Microsoft module. Your system configuration may be incorrect. Possibly this problem is caused by another driver on your system which cannot be identified at this time.

On Tue 11/22/2011 3:50:22 AM GMT your computer crashed
crash dump file: C:\Windows\memory.dmp
This was probably caused by the following module: sptd.sys (sptd+0x3BE6)
Bugcheck code: 0xF7 (0x6DD, 0xF8800102814E, 0xFFFF077FFEFD7EB1, 0x0)
file path: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\sptd.sys
Bug check description: This indicates that a driver has overrun a stack-based buffer.
This appears to be a typical software driver bug and is not likely to be caused by a hardware problem.
A third party driver was identified as the probable root cause of this system error. It is suggested you look for an update for the following driver: sptd.sys .


searched your forms and ....

I see this sptd.sys, which is notorious of causing BSOD with Windows 7. Use this SPTD uninstaller when done: DuplexSecure - Downloads did it..

and I see
Remove RivaTuner/EVGA Precision/MSI Afterburner. They are a known cause of BSOD with Windows Remove it and if anything is overclocking, stop and return to default values.

I had the MSI Afterburner never used it came with the motherboard software.
you are the weak link DELETED !!

now for the other parts that I discussed. I have no idea ?? I will keep working on it and let you know.

fixed so far it was a cd emulator and some of the other thing I listed but the game will still crash nothing you can do about that its the game for sher. windowed mode stopped the game crash in some spots of the game they need to patch. right now they are more concerned about pirating then the game bugs. so it may take some time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Random CPU Spikes in Skyrim

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