Skyrim and GPU usage

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  1. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Skyrim and GPU usage


    whats up guys?

    so im having a problem where when I run skyrim (have a bunch of mods, but even unmodded it does this) my GPU usage maxes out as 50% usage and I only get 20-40FPS. my core clock is at its max, mem clock is at its max too. just usage is low and im getting poor FPS. now this is the R9 280x with 13.11 beta drivers, maybe its a driver issue? if I remember, my last card GTX 660, ran at 100% usage.

    any ideas?

    as of now, its just skyrim that's having this issue.... my other games run fine
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  2. Posts : 48
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64
       #2

    It's a driver issue, wait for AMD to fix. :)
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  3. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    MellowCream said:
    It's a driver issue, wait for AMD to fix. :)

    ok.... without all my mods, I get much higher fps (60 or so) but still only 50% usage.
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  4. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    one other quick question.... why do my shadows look like this?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Skyrim and GPU usage-tesv_2013_10_27_23_17_40_153.jpg  
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  5. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    They are so blocky and ugly.... They r like this both in mods and off mods. On both GPUs
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  6. Posts : 394
    Windows 7 Home premium
       #6

    Go to your graphics options and see what everything is set at and adjust to your liking. You can also set things at distances beyond the max settings in the ini folder. Here is a tweak guide link to help with that. It says it's for Nvidia cards, but the settings are pretty much universal.

    I'm not talking about the in game options menu or the one on the game's main menu, but the launcher settings. Just launch the game with the Skyrimlauncher.exe rather than the Skyrim.exe and choose 'options' in the small window that pops up. If you're using the script extender it will start the launcher the first time you open it, but will act like the Skyrim.exe file after the first launch. You actually need to close out the launcher and relaunch it again or the script extender doesn't start properly BTW, just in case you didn't know that.

    Be sure to back up your original ini files. It is easy to make Skyrim unstable or even CTD by adjusting the ini settings a bit too much. It's worth tweaking as it improves many things in the game to do so and it can make the game run better than the vanilla settings, but you should be careful and mindful about what it is you're adjusting and how it affects the game. The guide explains what you need to know, and if you screw up you can reload your backup and start again. [It's also a good idea to make a backup of your adjusted ini once you've got it stable and set to your satisfaction.]

    I'm assuming your shadows are on Ultra since you're asking, though they look to be set on medium or low.

    What is the shadow distance set at?

    The thing about Skyrim's shadows is that they are all one big 'blanket' that is spread out across the game. The texture is the same size no matter how far you set the distance and stretches to cover whatever distance you set it at. Put simply, the closer the shadow distance is, the better and less blocky they look. If you set the distance too far, they become blocky even at Ultra settings. You can actually set the shadow resolution to over Ultra settings by setting the value at 8192.

    However, be aware that this is a huge resource hog. Shadows are probably the single most intensive effect in Skyrim. Turning them down is the best way to improve framerate in a machine that's struggling to run the game.

    I'm not sure why your GPUs are telling you they are only running at 50% capacity to be honest. Especially considering it's only an issue with Skyrim and not other games. Bethesda's engine isn't exactly put together great. It's very mod friendly, but honestly not very stable even with just the base game running. They aren't the best coders and Gambryo is showing it's age. They seriously need a new engine.
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  7. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #7

    everything in the INI files are stock. shadows are at ultra on the launcher.
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  8. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    ok so a driver update has helped a ton with skyrim but is still not 100%. usage is only at 80% max.

    I have fixed my shadows, but how do I increase the level of detail of the terrain at a distance and also the level of details in trees at a distance?
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  9. Posts : 394
    Windows 7 Home premium
       #9

    You don't want 100% usage. If you're getting 100% usage your GPU is running way too hard and you need to turn down your settings or you're going to melt your GPU. It's not good for any component in your PC to run at full capacity for any length of time. It's fine if it hits a spike to 100% briefly sometimes, but you don't want it running anywhere near that level any more than that.

    Honestly, if your GPU [or CPU for that matter] is running at 90% or more, you need to dial it back. It's working too hard and will burn itself out before long if you keep stressing it that way.

    75%-85% is good, that's about where you want it for running a game on average. If you're getting 80% usage, be happy. Your GPU is running as it should and isn't stressing itself under the load. That means happiness for your PC and a long life cycle for your GPU.

    You increase the LOD detail for trees and distant textures by editing your ini files settings. You can also increase the number of trees the game puts into the game. That tweak guide I posted earlier will explain how to do it. I also recommend putting in LOD mods to make them look better at distance as well.

    Be careful though, you can easily overdo it with setting your distances too far. Gradually increase them until you find that sweet spot between being pretty and performance, don't just set them at 1,000,000 and hope they work. It looks best if you increase all your LOD settings together at about the same rate, objects, actors, trees, grass, etc.

    Some of the settings are limited by the GridsToload and exterior/interior cell variables in your ini. Do not increase these. Seriously, messing with those two settings makes the game unstable and can even break your game and ruin your saves. The game will run for a little while with those settings turned up and it makes for pretty screenshots, but it will CTD repeatedly if you try to play the game that way, and they can't be turned down without eliminating your saves and starting a new game. You can't 'clean save' your way out of it once you change those settings.

    There are lots of mods that help distant textures look better. They aren't hard to find. Just go to the Skyrim Nexus or Steamworks and search for LOD and you'll get a huge list.

    I know I've said it a lot, but it's important. Back up your Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini files before you change anything in them. It can save you a huge headache if you ini edit your game into not working.
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  10. Posts : 1,486
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    how do I increase the level of detail of the terrain at a distance and also the level of details in trees at a distance?

    whats circled in red, I want better terrain details, tree details, more trees and more grass.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Skyrim and GPU usage-tesv_2013_10_28_20_25_13_326.jpg  
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