The game is generally going to max out whatever VRAM is available. That's normal. It will continue loading new textures as your character moves around. It's not going to unload textures that aren't in use until it fills up and needs to load in textures that aren't already in VRAM. It shouldn't be maxing out when you first load the game, since only a small set of textures is going to be viewable in one location. It would be inefficient to simply remove textures that aren't being rendered at that second, only to have to reload them when the character rotates the viewpoint and looks at those textures again. Keeping it full is the most efficient way to handle textures.
I believe that is not true. At least for vanilla skyrim. Using USKP only here. I've never seen more vram usage than 1200~mb. 2gb gpu here...
It is strange that you have those problems. 3570k running @ 4.2Ghz should bottleneck your 780 (although the secong gpu must be useless). As far as I know Skyrim runs much better with sli turned off.
But... Anyway you shouldn't get such problems. I have single gtx 680 and I get 100 avg fps. Well. That is when disabling vsync and ipresentinterval, but you shouldn't do that except when benchmarking... I mean I never drop below 60fps.
Since you have capable hardware there must be something wrong with drivers/windows. Maybe you have some virus.
I am sorry for stupid suggestions but that's the only thing that comes to my mind. Also I'll repeat: skyrim never caps vram for me. 1.2k mb was the maximum I've ever saw.
Skyrim will only load what you give it, I have run a ton of benchmark runs..(because it is 100% repeatable) the "Intro" from the beginning, to the second you jump off the wagon and the Game Auto saves. Depending on vanilla or with mods i load anywhere from 800 MB VRAM all the way to MAX on my cards (3GB).
Vanilla...not one mod = 748.95 MB
Vanilla +SKSE w /SKSE.ini = 853.08
SKSE +ENBboost + HD-DLC = 1291.25
Full STEP install + HD DLC = 2076.95
FULL STEP + My MODS (total 254 mods) with HD-DLC** and HD 2k (lite) = 2.8 GB + or -
The game plays amazing on a SLI setup.
** HD DLC 's and Skyrim texture BSA were DDSopt'ed, necessary to keep me below 3 GB VRAM usage.
Here, for reference a 2 hour play session, the beginning is in a dungeon, later part is outside world, as you see the game never filled the GPU it cleans up after itself as you load cells.
As posted before...Get and run SPM (screen shot above is from SPM.) Skyrim Preformance Monitor..will show you just what is going on.
Edited by camaro_69_327, 31 July 2014 - 10:58 PM.