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Need help with skyrim performance / lag spikes


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Hello everyone,


I'm struggling with the performance of my modded Skyrim. Sometimes it runs smooth as silk at 60 FPS, sometimes it drops to 10. I failed to pin-point exactly when and where the FPS drops happen, so I ran Skyrim Performance Monitor:




I took this sample while doing the Bleak Falls Barrow dungeon. If you look at the GPU usage graph (orange), it goes up and down like *crazy*. Is this normal for Skyrim? You can also see the FPS spikes I am talking about (blue). The available VRAM is obviously not the problem (was my first guess).


Here are the most important hardware specs of my machine:

CPU: Intel i5 2500K, 3.30GHz


GPU: AMD Radeon R9 290, 4GB VRAM, latest drivers

Disk: Samsung SSD (Skyrim and MO are installed on the SSD)


Here are the screenshots of the other two tabs of the performance monitor (those that deal with INIs):









Here's my list of active mods, exported directly from Mod Organizer:



34508,"360 Walk and Run Plus","","360WalkRunPlus_v3_1_3-34508-3-1-3.7z"
4929,"A Quality World Map","",""
10168,"ApachiiSkyHair (Full + Female)","","ApachiiSkyHairFemale_v_1_5-10168-1-5.7z"
10753,"Auto Unequip Ammo","","Auto Unequip Ammo v5_0-10753-5-0.zip"
11427,"Bathing Beauties or Beefcake - Luxury Suite","","Bathing Beauties Luxury Suite 5-1-11427-5-1.zip"
27371,"Better Dialogue Controls","","Better Dialogue Controls v1_2-27371-1-2.zip"
28170,"Better MessageBox Controls","","Better MessageBox Controls v1_2-28170-1-2.zip"
49015,"BodySlide 2 and Outfit Studio","","BodySlide 2 and Outfit Studio - v2.2d-49015-2-2d.7z"
30411,"Brows","","High Resolution-30411-v3-1.rar"
2666,"Calientes Beautiful Bodies Edition -CBBE-","","Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Edition v3.3b-2666-3-3b.7z"
4686,"CBBE Female Textures Replacer Installer","","_ALL_VERSION_ - Argonian Head Hand Fix v5-3-3-4686-v5-3-3.7z"
12092,"Cloaks of Skyrim","","Cloaks of Skyrim 1-2 -12092-1-2.rar"
56147,"Combat Evolved","","Combat Evolved - Modular-56147-2-3a.7z"
60625,"Deadly Wenches","","Deadly Wenches 1.1.1a-60625-1-1-1a.7z"
8207,"Dimes Quickstart","","QuickStart3_v1-5-8207-1-5.rar"
31527,"Dragon Soul Relinquishment - German Translation","","DragonSoul Relinquishment-31527-1-2.7z"
2700,"Duel - Combat Realism","","Duel Combat Realism 7-2700-7-8.rar"
27043,"Enhanced Lights and FX","","Enhanced Lights and FX-27043-2-0.7z"
49784,"Equipping Overhaul","","Equipping Overhaul-49784-3-13.rar"
24273,"Ethereal Elven Overhaul","","Ethereal Elven Overhaul-24273-1-1-1.zip"
49332,"Even Better Quest Objectives","","Even Better Quest Objectives German-49332-1-4.7z"
57873,"Extended UI","","Extended UI-57873-1-1-0b.7z"
12933,"Extensible Follower Framework","","Extensible Follower Framework v4-0-0 Beta 13-12933-4-0-0.7z"
13457,"Face Light","","Face Light-13457-1-8.7z"
30533,"Face to face conversation","","Face to face conversation 3_2-30533-3-2.7z"
51602,"Fair Skin Complexion","","Fair Skin Complexion for CBBE v7_6_1 Update Patch-51602-7-6-1.7z"
16731,"Fitness Body","","CBBE Fitness Blender - WIDE-16731-5-2.rar"
11811,"Fores New Idles in Skyrim - FNIS","","FNIS Behavior V5_2 -- ALWAYS necessary-11811-5-2.7z"
6333,"FSS - No pause between lines","","No pauses between lines-6333.rar"
5437,"GlossTech - Glossify your Skyrim Experience","","GlossTech v27-5437-2-7.zip"
193,"Glowing Ore Veins 300","","Glowing Ore Veins 300 2_00-193-1.rar"
57538,"HDT BB's Hair Physics Project","","BB's Hair Physics Project 1.21-57538-1-21.zip"
54044,"HDT Breast And Butt Physics - TBBP BBP Supported","","Standard - With collision-54044-v1-4.rar"
59700,"HDT Capes","","HDT Cape 1.195 Fixed Version-59700-1-195.rar"
57408,"HDT Equipment - Craftable Weapon Sling","","HDT Equipment v.0.2e - Craftable Weapon Sling (NMM Installer)-57408-0-2e.zip"
36213,"HDT HighHeels System","","hdtHighHeel_beta0_5-36213-beta0-5.7z"
53996,"HDT Physics Extensions","","HDT Physics Extensions-53996-14-28.7z"
47000,"HDT Skyrim Hair Physics Project","","Ponytail for HDT Physics Extension for Latest HDT plugin-47000-11-16d.7z"
22765,"Helmet Toggle - Show Hide","f2.02b","Helmet Toggle-22765-2-02b.7z"
29827,"I Love Cleavage CBBE HDT","","I Love Cleavage final-29827-8.rar"
29827,"I Love Cleavage CBBE HDT Bodyslide","","Bodyslide HDT Presets-29827-HDT.rar"
61255,"Immersive detection of NPC","","Immersive detection of NPC v2.5-61255-2-5.rar"
49036,"Immersive First Person View","","First Person 1_9 BETA 2-49036-1-9.zip"
25391,"Immersive Patrols - German Translation","","Immersive Patrols Aggressive-25391-2-0-2.7z"
27644,"Immersive Weapons","","Immersive Weapons-27644-1-5.7z"
30154,"Immersive Weapons - deutsch","","Immersive Weapons - v1_5 - deutsch-30154-1-5.rar"
51189,"Immersive Wenches","","Immersive Wenches 1.3.1 -Apachii Hair Version--51189-1-3-1.7z"
52213,"Infinite Gold For Merchants","","Infinite Gold For Merchants v2_1_0-52213-2-1-0.zip"
60910,"Jaxonz Utilities","","Jaxonz Utilities-60910-1-4.zip"
61035,"JK's Skyrim","","JK's Skyrim-61035-1.rar"
98,"KenMOD - Time on loading screen","","Time on loading v5-98.zip"
30986,"Knapsack Backpacks","","Knapsack Backpacks 1_5-30986-1-5.7z"
44106,"LC_Immersive Looting","","LC_Immersive Looting 1_1-44106-1-1.rar"
3288,"Lush Trees and Grass","","Lush Trees and Grass 1_87-3288-1-87.7z"
95,"Main Font Replacement","","Fertigo Pro Font-95-2-0.rar"
16864,"Momo Acrobatic Jump","","Momo Acrobatic Jump v1-8-16864-1-8.7z"
48869,"More Interesting Loot for Skyrim","","More Interesting Loot for Skyrim v5_11-48869-5-11.zip"
30,"No More Blocky Faces","","No_More_Blocky_Faces-1_50-30-1-5.7z"
13050,"No Naked Comments","","No Naked Comments 1dot0-13050-1-0.zip"
31264,"OBIS - Organized Bandits In Skyrim","","Obis - Complete Version with Scripts-31264-1-62.7z"
15703,"Pretty Combat Animations","","PCA 1.3 Installer-15703-1-3.7z"
56118,"Pretty Jump Animations","","Pretty Jump Animations v0.4-56118-0-4.7z"
13652,"Proper Aiming","","Proper Aiming 1_1-13652-1-1.rar"
24168,"RaceCompatibility with fixes","","RaceCompatibility All-in-One NMM installer-24168-1-89.7z"
29624,"RaceMenu","","RaceMenu v3-0-0-29624-3-0-0.7z"
601,"Realistic Ragdolls and Force","","Realistic Force-601-1-9.rar"
41076,"Realistic Water Two (with ENB Textures)","","Realistic Water Two - ENB Textures-41076-1-11.7z"
30936,"RealVision ENB 262c","","RealVision ENB 262c-30936-262c.7z"
25259,"Remodeled Armor for CBBE Bodyslide TBBP HDT","","Remodeled Armor for CBBE Bodyslide TBBP HDT-25259-5-1.7z"
59097,"Rosa Round-Bottom ---ADULT Follower Mod---","","Rosa Follower - Bouncy Version-59097-1-4.7z"
23906,"Run For Your Lives","","Run For Your Lives-23906-2-0-3.7z"
46465,"Safety Load","","SafetyLoad 1_2-46465-1-2.zip"
22701,"Seductive Lips HD","","Seductive Lips HD-22701-1-0.zip"
53396,"Sexy Idle Animation","","Sexy idle Animation-53396-1-0.rar"
5978,"Sexy Lockpick with sound","","E:/Programme/Skyrim Mod Tools/ModOrganizer/Mod Organizer/mods/sexy lockpick with sounds.7z"
35327,"SG Female Eyebrows","","SG Female Eyebrows-35327-1-0.7z"
60445,"SkyComplete - Automatically Track Quests - Locations - Books","","SkyComplete - Legendary Edition 1.45-60445-1-45.zip"
1175,"Skyrim -Community- Uncapper","","Skyrim -Community- Uncapper v1_15_2_0-1175-1-15-2-0.rar"
24913,"Skyrim Immersive Creatures","","Skyrim Immersive Creatures v6_5_2a NMM BAIN-24913-6-5-2a.7z"
56137,"Skyrim Realistic Texture Overhaul Clouds","","Realistic Clouds 2K-56137-1-1.7z"
19447,"Sneak Tools","f1.00","Sneak Tools 1_00-19447-1-00.zip"
23956,"Sneak Tools - deutsch","","Sneak Tools - deutsch - v1 mit MCM-23956-1.rar"
48446,"Sorceress Armors for CBBE TBBP","","CBBE - Four Sorceress Armors with High Heel System-48446-2-0.7z"
57236,"Spell Chaining (Spell Combos V2)","f2.053","SpellChaining2053MessageFix-57236-2-053.7z"
57235,"Spell Charging","f1.0096","SpellCharging10096-57235-v1-0096.7z"
24445,"SPERG - Skyrim Perk Enhancements and Rebalanced Gameplay","","SPERG 4 0-24445-4-0.7z"
29411,"TERA Armor Collection - CBBE - standalone","","TERA Armors CBBE by frigus-29411-1-3.rar"
13722,"The Eyes Of Beauty","","TEOB Elven Edition-13722-10-0-1.rar"
35474,"The Ningheim Race","","The Ningheim Race - Scripts Update-35474-1-11.rar"
57157,"Tit Kit","","TitKit-57157-1.7z"
49963,"True Eyes","f1.06","NEWEST VERSION - DOWNLOAD THIS VERSION-49963-1-06.rar"
14569,"univision Face","","univision Face for CBBE-14569-0-9.7z"
-1,"Unmanaged: Dawnguard","",""
-1,"Unmanaged: Dragonborn","",""
-1,"Unmanaged: HearthFires","",""
-1,"Unmanaged: HighResTexturePack01","",""
-1,"Unmanaged: HighResTexturePack02","",""
-1,"Unmanaged: HighResTexturePack03","",""
23491,"Unofficial Dawnguard Patch","","Unofficial Dawnguard Patch-23491-2-0-8.7z"
31083,"Unofficial Dragonborn Patch","","Unofficial Dragonborn Patch-31083-2-0-8.7z"
25127,"Unofficial Hearthfire Patch","","Unofficial Hearthfire Patch-25127-2-0-8.7z"
31255,"Unofficial High Resolution Patch","","Unofficial High Resolution Patch-31255-1-1-9a.7z"
19,"Unofficial Skyrim Patch","","Unofficial Skyrim Patch-19-2-0-8a.7z"
56980,"VioLens - A Killmove Mod","","VioLens - German 1.2-56980-1-2.7z"
59072,"Wench Body -Bodyslide 2 Preset-","","Wench Body -Bodyslide 2 Preset--59072-1-0.7z"
28235,"When Vampires Attack","","When Vampires Attack-28235-2-0-3.7z"
58635,"Wintermyst - Enchantments of Skyrim","f2.03","Wintermyst v203-58635-2-03.zip"
33914,"YY Anim Replacer - Mystic Knight","","YYAnimReplacerMysticKnight_v1_1_0-33914-1-1-0.7z"





Is anybody else experiencing these strange lag spikes? Any help / hints / useful info? I really love the way my Skyrim looks and feels with RealVision, I wouldn't want to play it without ENB :(



I'd be grateful for any advice.







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I think I've figured it out. It's a really odd story. Read on if you're interested.


So I had these lag spikes in my game. By temporarily disabling ENB completely, I got *no* performance gain at all. None. Zero. That, plus the fact that my graphics card seems to be idle rather often (when really it should be working to produce more FPS), lead me to the conclusion that apparently the game was doing something on the CPU that was dragging down the frame rate. So I looked for INI tweaks that improve Papyrus performance, tried that, and the situation did indeed improve, however only by ~5 fps.


Then I went over my mod list and checked which mods were script heavy. Or rather: which I *assumed* to be script heavy. On a mod list like mine, that took a while. Eventually, I came across HDT Physics Extension. "That might be a candidate" I thought and investigated. I opened up the Physics Extension log file.


The log file was FILLED with error messages.


The error told of an animation which was trying to access a skeleton bone, but that bone was not there. And that message repeated. OFTEN. So the problem was clear: the Papyrus engine was so damn busy to write dozens of these messages to the log file each frame (!!!) that the game started to lag heavily. Okay, so the source was clear. However, my player character uses the latest XPMS skeleton there is - no chance that this would cause such a message.


That was when I noticed: with no follower around, my game was running smoothly. Also, no messages in the error log. Lo and behold, the source of all the trouble: I'm using Emily, a custom follower. And guess what: she comes with her own skeleton which caused HDT to freak out which caused my game to lag. Replaced her skeleton with the current XPMS, and my FPS went from 17 to 47.



Damn. That was a hard nut to crack - but it's working fine now.

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