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"Object Fade" Setting & Random Stuttering (on powerful PC)

stutter cell loading vanilla object fade distant object detail ini microstutter skyrim annoying

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#21
bhaktisean

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I've never chimed in before (here in the forums), but reading your process with the stuttering is so parallel with my experience I had to try and contribute. Sorry for the long post!!!

 

I have a high end system (X79, 4820K, SLI GTX780 (3GB), 16GB RAM, SSD, etc, running ENB as well) and I get the same problem. I've tried everything, spent hours upon hours researching this, and have come to the following conclusions:

 

It is worth distinguishing between micro-stutter and MACRO-stutter (a term I picked up on S.T.E.P). Micro-stutter is what you get when your system is producing too many frames, and the rendered scene exhibits very fast visual jitter (the whole screen vibrating - easily fixxed with an FPS cap of 59-60), and might also be accompanied by craziness in Skyrim's havok system. I believe the stutter you are referring to is MACRO, and is far worse with its intermittent delays and stuttering.

 

It has been my experience that when my system is tapped, meaning game/mod resources cannot flow freely between GPU/CPU and Skyrim, I get macrostutter when crossing cell boundaries, turning around suddenly, etc. It seems to last varying amounts of time based on the following variables:

 

(You didn't mention this but) Screen resolution has a huge impact. I'm running at 2560x1440, and all the texture heavy mods (including my own Lunari Race and Dragon Tree Temple), plus HD texture packs and Verdant grass mod, PLUS running ENB on top of it, that it maxes out my systems ability (dependent on Skyrim's engine of course) to move assets around smoothly. If I run my monitor at 1920x1080 I have zero macrostutter.

 

Shadow distance and detail seems to significantly impact my system as well. If I run fShadowDistance at 4000 I get stutter and decreased FPS overall. If I run fShadowDistance at 2600 the stutter is greatly reduced (playable).

 

Shadow resolution also makes a HUGE difference. There have obviously been so many community hours dedicated to deciphering and understanding Skyrim's mediocre shadow rendering system, and I have fiddled with it for far too long as well. Running ENB, I have set iShadowMapResolutionSecondary=1024 (farther shadow resolution),  iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=2048 (intermediate distance shadow resolution), with iShadowMapResolution=4096 (closest shadows).

 

The difference between 4096 and 2048 for iShadowMapResolution makes a HUGE difference in macrostutter on my system. At 4096 I have some short stutters, depending on what resources need to load and how complex my location is regarding proximity to multiple cell boundaries. It's playable, but at 2048 I have virtually no stutter. I am using ENB of course, and so the shadows are GREATLY enhanced by the ENB detailed shadows function.

 

And there's anti-aliasing. I found when running ENB that it's best to turn off all four of the ENB AA options, and just use the SMAA function of SweetFx. I get a noticeable FPS jump when not combining the two. I am sometimes tempted to just run SweetFx, but after having spent some quality time looking at a well set up ENB, especially with ambient occlusion, detailed shadows, and bloom, I don't think I can go back.

 

I have had more problems than remedies with INI settings designed to support multithreading etc. I've tried it all, and honestly my system runs better without such tweaks (and I LOVE to freaking TWEAK).

 

In the end I find what you have already described - that with a heavily modded Skyrim, especially when those mods include masses of enhanced and HD textures, we are pushing Skyrim to the breaking point, far beyond anything it was ever designed for. Modding for me is so much fun, and truth be told, I am one of those geeks who spends far more time modding and checking out the inner world of Skyrim than actually playing the game!

 

I think it's fun, and often frustrating, to watch a game like Skyrim (and Oblivion before it) have such a long life as the community and the many brilliant modders out there pour their passion into the game to raise it constantly to the level we all want to see...

 

Let us know if you find anything else that helps with your stuttering...



#22
njkilleen

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I've never chimed in before (here in the forums), but reading your process with the stuttering is so parallel with my experience I had to try and contribute. Sorry for the long post!!!

 

I have a high end system (X79, 4820K, SLI GTX780 (3GB), 16GB RAM, SSD, etc, running ENB as well) and I get the same problem. I've tried everything, spent hours upon hours researching this, and have come to the following conclusions:

 

It is worth distinguishing between micro-stutter and MACRO-stutter (a term I picked up on S.T.E.P). Micro-stutter is what you get when your system is producing too many frames, and the rendered scene exhibits very fast visual jitter (the whole screen vibrating - easily fixxed with an FPS cap of 59-60), and might also be accompanied by craziness in Skyrim's havok system. I believe the stutter you are referring to is MACRO, and is far worse with its intermittent delays and stuttering.

 

It has been my experience that when my system is tapped, meaning game/mod resources cannot flow freely between GPU/CPU and Skyrim, I get macrostutter when crossing cell boundaries, turning around suddenly, etc. It seems to last varying amounts of time based on the following variables:

 

(You didn't mention this but) Screen resolution has a huge impact. I'm running at 2560x1440, and all the texture heavy mods (including my own Lunari Race and Dragon Tree Temple), plus HD texture packs and Verdant grass mod, PLUS running ENB on top of it, that it maxes out my systems ability (dependent on Skyrim's engine of course) to move assets around smoothly. If I run my monitor at 1920x1080 I have zero macrostutter.

 

Shadow distance and detail seems to significantly impact my system as well. If I run fShadowDistance at 4000 I get stutter and decreased FPS overall. If I run fShadowDistance at 2600 the stutter is greatly reduced (playable).

 

Shadow resolution also makes a HUGE difference. There have obviously been so many community hours dedicated to deciphering and understanding Skyrim's mediocre shadow rendering system, and I have fiddled with it for far too long as well. Running ENB, I have set iShadowMapResolutionSecondary=1024 (farther shadow resolution),  iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=2048 (intermediate distance shadow resolution), with iShadowMapResolution=4096 (closest shadows).

 

The difference between 4096 and 2048 for iShadowMapResolution makes a HUGE difference in macrostutter on my system. At 4096 I have some short stutters, depending on what resources need to load and how complex my location is regarding proximity to multiple cell boundaries. It's playable, but at 2048 I have virtually no stutter. I am using ENB of course, and so the shadows are GREATLY enhanced by the ENB detailed shadows function.

 

And there's anti-aliasing. I found when running ENB that it's best to turn off all four of the ENB AA options, and just use the SMAA function of SweetFx. I get a noticeable FPS jump when not combining the two. I am sometimes tempted to just run SweetFx, but after having spent some quality time looking at a well set up ENB, especially with ambient occlusion, detailed shadows, and bloom, I don't think I can go back.

 

I have had more problems than remedies with INI settings designed to support multithreading etc. I've tried it all, and honestly my system runs better without such tweaks (and I LOVE to freaking TWEAK).

 

In the end I find what you have already described - that with a heavily modded Skyrim, especially when those mods include masses of enhanced and HD textures, we are pushing Skyrim to the breaking point, far beyond anything it was ever designed for. Modding for me is so much fun, and truth be told, I am one of those geeks who spends far more time modding and checking out the inner world of Skyrim than actually playing the game!

 

I think it's fun, and often frustrating, to watch a game like Skyrim (and Oblivion before it) have such a long life as the community and the many brilliant modders out there pour their passion into the game to raise it constantly to the level we all want to see...

 

Let us know if you find anything else that helps with your stuttering...

"Macrostutter" definitely seems like a much better way to describe what going on. Thanks.

It's definitely comforting to know that, at least, it isn't just my computer doing something wonky. I kind of already knew that Skyrim's engine wasn't particularly designed for 2014-level graphics, but still... ya' know... I want it to be. (Yeah... first world problems. Whatever.)

I would be prepared to just dial everything back to vanilla... but it seems that even when I have just the "official" high-res dlc installed (and no other mods whatsoever)... the game likes to macrostutter. Most of the time it seems as if it's actually stuttering more than it would be if I just had a modded high-res texture pack on. My guess is that the official dlc replaces a lot more textures than a modded texture pack does.  (quantity over quality... i guess)  It seems odd to me that the "official" dlc would cause macro stutter on a powerful GPU.

 

I don't believe this is a problem with VRAM. I have 4GB of it (okay, 3.5gb + 0.5gb if you follow the news for the gtx 970... but that's irrelevant since I haven't even crossed 2gb with the setup I currently have).

My screen resolution is 1920x1080, and i'm not running DSR or anything like that. For me, changing shadow resolution didn't seem to have much of an affect... the results would be different on different runs / tests.

I've got to agree with you about the tweaking philosophy. The less, the better.

 

However, one tweak that did seem to decrease macrostutter in certain areas was raising the ugrids to 7. Weird. I guess the game is just forced to load in more stuff so there is a longer delay between moments when it has to pull stuff from the drive. It isn't gone, however, and I switched back.

This game is so much more trouble than its worth   :)
 



#23
iPiton

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I'm having the exact same problem as you, OP. My games run at 60 fps with vsync with no exceptions but can still stutter.

 

I'm also gone completely nuts with the stuttering as I experience it in some other games besides skyrim. 

 

My specs are gtx 970

gigabyte gaming 5 motherboard

16 gigs DDR4 ram and 

i7 5820k cpu

 

The only way I could minimise the stutter is also by disabling the bloody official HD texture packs, however i do keep texture Pack 3 (i believe) as it makes characters more HD and does not seem to contribute to stutter.

 

I run the game on ultra with max anti-aliasing and I've spent hours and hours and hours fiddling in NVidia control panel.

 

I'm not 100% sure but I'm coming to the conclusion that the game and the HD packs especially are simply not optimized perfectly. I think a lot of people simply don't notice these mini-stutters once in a while or are not bothered by them.

 

I also experience such stutters in the current 6.0 WoW occasionally, however the Player Test Realm for patch 6.1 seems to make it much better  - which means that the game is being optimised?.

 

I also experience such stutters in Amnesia: The Dark Descent - IMPORTANT I even experience them in a custom map with 4 walls and a floor - which means that the engine is just an old piece of s*** because obviously there is nothing to cause stutter in such a map. 

 

I also experience such stutters in Elder Scrolls online VERY VERY OFTEN - even on low settings and more often on higher settings.

 

I am not entirely certain and it's still eating me but I am coming to the conclusion that it's just the games and their engines which are s*** and are incapable of running everything perfectly with no mini-stutter.

 

Edit: Also I clearly remember Oblivion stutters way more often than Skyrim having worse graphics. Maybe it's even less optimized?


Edited by iPiton, 21 February 2015 - 11:32 AM.


#24
Leoprodigy

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I use to have the same problem on a fairly strong computer. I started fresh with a clean Skyrim and even downgraded to Bethesda HD testure back to Low with everything set to minimum. I still managed to achieve a stutter despite all the SkyrimPrefs and Skyrim.ini tweaks i spent countless weeks researching. The problem was solved by downloading the EVGA Precision X16 graphics card manager and increasing the GPU memory offset by 10mhz. I also unchecked the chain symbol that links your cards power consumption and performance with its temperature since i have more than enough fans. Started up Skyrim and instantly keep a consistent 45-60fps while running around with all graphics maxed and all my 2GB textures (landscape, armor, skin, hair, particles, sky, and while running full effects from my ENB).

My Specs: 
Disk Drives- Samsung SSD 840 EVO 1TB ATA Device

Display Drivers- NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 ACX 2.0 4GB

Processors- i7-4790 @4.00GHz

Random Allocation Memory- 2 Cosair Vengeance 4GB DDR3  



#25
scorpgul

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Hello mate, my case is so similar to yours, I was actually shocked when I read it lol. Find my thread here:

 

http://forum.step-pr...ng-on-good-rig/

 

I have managed to eliminate 90% of the stutter just by:

 

Changing the "DISTANT OBJECT DETAIL" settings in SkyrimPrefs.ini from ULTRA to HIGH.

DISTANT OBJECT DETAIL ULTRA:
fTreeLoadDistance=75000
fBlockMaximumDistance=250000
fBlockLevel1Distance=70000
fBlockLevel0Distance=35000
fSplitDistanceMult=1.5

DISTANT OBJECT DETAIL HIGH:
fTreeLoadDistance=40000
fBlockMaximumDistance=150000
fBlockLevel1Distance=40000
fBlockLevel0Distance=25000
fSplitDistanceMult=1.1

 

Also I am following the STEP 2.2.9 guide and the first step is to run the Skyrim Launcher and set everything to Ultra, set all sliders to HALF, except Grass. Set Antialiasing to 4x


Edited by scorpgul, 28 March 2015 - 11:51 PM.


#26
skyroq

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@scorpgui - Thanks for posting that, seems to work for me too. 



#27
Adalgar

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Yep, works for me too. Tested for an hour non stop horse riding. Hardly a hiccup, smooth sailing. System pretty much similar like njkilleen's and scorpgul's. ENB, DynDOLOD, lots of mods.

 

BTW - for reference - when you set DISTANT OBJECT DETAIL to high through the skyrim launcher it will halve the shadow draw distance when shadows are set to ultra, so best change it in skyrimprefs.ini so one can still have the 8000 shadow draw distance.

 

Thanks for posting, both njkilleen and scorpgul, and for looking in the right direction and finding the culprit.


Edited by Adalgar, 12 April 2015 - 11:35 AM.


#28
Adalgar

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Though lowering the [TerrainManager] settings in SkyrimPrefs.ini does help, I wasn't happy with the less distant detail. When only lowering the fTreeLoadDistance to a value of 55000 there were significant less trees in the far distance. So I tried something different. Since my set-up probably is script heavy I upped fUpdateBudgetMS in Skyrim.ini to 1.6. Please see Papyrus section in Skyrim Stability Guide for information - http://www.nexusmods...im/mods/50244/?

 

I've set [TerrainManager] settings back to ultra and thus far it seems to be much better while again horse riding for an hour. Of course, it could also be just a coincidence.


Edited by Adalgar, 12 April 2015 - 04:56 PM.


#29
skofuz

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skyrim.ini

[Papyrus]

fUpdateBudgetMS=1.6

 

skyrimprefs.ini

[Display]

fShadowDistance=3100.0000

 

these two changes effectively removed this shitty macro-stuttering for me, thanks guys.



#30
MotoSxorpio

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Here we go, the forty bagillionath stutter-related thread.

I recently rebuilt my gaming PC. After getting everything in place and booting up the game, I found that it has a rather strange intermittent stutter. I hesitate to call it micro-stutter as I know that exact terminology is a little fuzzy, but instances of it are definitely not longer than a quarter of a second... if even that long at all. Most consistently it seems to occur when (I would assume) the game is loading a new cell or pulling textures and various objects from the hard drive. If I were to walk down the road from Helgen to Riverwood multiple times, it would occur in almost exactly the same places each time. Keep in mind, this is not a game-breaking issue by any means, its just a little bit of an annoyance given the time and money I put into my new computer.

 

The funny thing is, I had a similar issue with my last computer. The stutter was much more pronounced, however, and I fixed it completely by reformatting the computer and doing a clean installation of my graphics drivers. But this time I've tried... pretty much every stutter-related solution so far. Vsync on/off. Forcing Vsync with external applications. Limiting the frame rate to 60/59/58. Enboost (with various settings). Skyrim Memory Patch. Reverting to completely vanilla Skyrim with absolutely no mods installed. Reformatting my computer again and making sure all of my driver's were good to go. You name it, I've probably done it.

The issue does get more noticeable the more texture mods I pile into the game, but it most certainly is present in Vanilla as well. My GPU has 4GB of VRAM, so I don't think that is the problem.

 

After all this, I was resolved to simply call it a fundamental issue with Skyrim's rather... quirky engine. None of my other games were doing this. About to give up, I reverted everything to Vanilla and set all of the game settings to 'Low.' Boom, stutter gone. Curious, I began raising individual settings back to Ultra and found - after some trial and error - that the settings causing stutter were, without a doubt, "Object Fade" and "Distant Object Detail." Pulling those to Low eliminates the issue.

All of this is to say:  I'm am fully aware that Skyrim's engine has its optimization and memory issues. I must ask, however, are there any INI tweaks (or any other solutions) that would allow me to retain Ultra (or at least decently high) settings for Object Fade / Distant Object Detail without re-introducing stutter? I've seen many forums with people describing things like iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes and iPreloadSizeLimit along with other things. I've also seen conflicting posts saying its a bad idea to mess with those settings. I have not changed the uGrids value, not have I done any major INI shenanigans on my own. Like I said, the stuttering happens in Vanilla.

My specs:
Intel i7 - 4790K
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI Mobo

Asus Strix GTX 970 4GB

OCZ Agility 240GB SSD (that Skyrim is installed on)

16GB G.Skill DDR3 Ram
(Nothing is overclocked)

970 4gb has an issue where the last 512mb of memory allocation doesn't work as smoothly as the rest. Get a non-defunkt card or limit your VRAM somehow. Possibly, you could assign 512 to swap space for ENB (reserved memory setting in ENBLocal.ini) but I have no idea where Boris has that swap allocated to, first or last. You will always have this unless you find some workaround by NOT using that last 512mb.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: stutter, cell loading, vanilla, object fade, distant object detail, ini, microstutter, skyrim, annoying

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