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Old 11-15-2011, 11:33 AM   #76
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Question CTD when using shouts

Thanks OpenMindedWorld for the tweaks, the INI ones made my game look a lot better and not slowed a bit, but when I use shouts the game instantly CTD's with no error whatsoever, any clue as to what might be? Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #77
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First and foremost, this thread is for the casual but made for the enthusiast who wants to get the most out of the game and hardware. Many are willing to help and answer questions.

PLEASE NOTE there are countless issues with different HW configurations and issue with XF/SLI setups. On top of that the game doesn't seem to scale or fully utilize CPU' GPU' or RAM fully. ini setup's are working for some and not others. As it stands, performance may not be fully gauged until further driver or patch fixes. Thank you for your patience.

Also, when editing ini settings, always make backups. If you want to go a little further, backup your saves too. Especially if you're doing something like ugrids.

It would be very helpful to keep your links active and images hosted that are added to this OP. That way future visitors can come in and finds things without any potentially broken links.
11-13-11- Major thread overhaul and tightening. Additions to almost every section.
11-12-11- Added mod section to a dedicated post (2)
11-11-11- Patch#1
11-10-11- Thread goes live like a one night stand.
NVIDIA 285.79 Driver
- Release notes at the link.

Catalyst 11.11 and CAP1

Thanks to Pazuzu9
fDefaultWorldFOV=XX (ex.fDefaultWorldFOV=85)
fDefault1stPersonFOV=XX.XXXX (ex.fDefault1stPersonFOV=85.0000)

Originally Posted by supersaw:
Forcing the Oblivion crossfire profile gives you some CF scaling.
Can you run Skyrim? A simple gauge HERE*
*Note - you must install a plugin for proper results.

Bethesda forums HW Guide
Bethesda forums (unofficial) list of fixes HERE

Skyrim help with Mouse Control and Physics Glitches by GAF member Linearskillz

If you're having sound issues, such as static during NPC dialogue or crashing to the desktop, try this workaround
1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Sound 2. In the Playback tab, right click on Speakers (or whatever has a green tick next to it), then click Properties 3. In the advanced tab on this new window, select 24 bit, 44100Hz (Studio Quality) in the drop down menu

Better shadows

Regarding shadows, the bigger the distance(8000.0000), the lower the resolution. The lower then distance (400.0000), the shadows will be higher resolution but drawn only around you character (far less). iShadowMapResolution=XXXX (4096 or 8192 for ex) is as important. It's best to find a happy medium for your own HW configuration.

Settings that I tested and worked.

Good distance and detail
fShadowDistance=5000.0000 - If you set this lower, shadows will be rendered less further but are sharper. test it for yourself.

Low distance but high res
to this:

Experimental Memory Tweak for system memory
In SkyrimPrefs (mydocuments/mygames/Skyrim)
iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes=1800000000 - I set mine to 3000000000 (8GB RAM)

Go to Documents/My Games/Skyrim or steamapps/common/skyrim and find ‘SkyrimPrefs.ini’ file. First, to be on the safe side, make a copy of back up of this file and save it somewhere on your hard drive.

It improves the sharpness of the shadows and has a least effect on the performance so you may not see any FPS loss even when you have set it to high. You can set this value ranging from 1 – 3 (Low, Medium, High).

It improves tree LOD distance. You can change it to 10000000.0000 if you want to improve the LOD distance or keep it as it is.

It improves LOD distance of shadows. You can change it to ’1000.0000′.

Change it to 1 to enable Transparency MS.

It improves Water AA sampling. You can change it from 1 to 4 (Low, Medium, High, Ultra). Change it either to improve the eye candy or to improve the performance or find a good balance between two.

It improves the tree shadows – You can change it to 1 to enable shadows on trees or keep the shadows disabled if you are looking to squeeze performance out of your machine.

It enables land shadows – You can change it to 1 to enable land shadows. Again, shadows eat a lot of system resources and video card memory, keep it disabled if you are looking to squeeze performance.

It improves grass distance. Greatly effects performance. I have tested it up to ’400.0000′ – you can tweak it this variable either for graphics or performance.

iWaterReflectHeight=512 / iWaterReflectWidth=512
It improves Water Reflection Resolution, which obviously will use your system resources. You can either keep it as it is, if you want to improve the performance or even lower it. Or change both to 1024 for eye candy.

If you want to disable mouse acceleration, you can change it to 0. You will need to increase the mouse sensitivity in-game when you disable the mouse acceleration.

If you are experiencing low textures and other textures related graphics issues, you can tweak this variable to improve texture and skin rendering. You can set this value to 40 to start with. Or keep it as it is, if you are looking to squeeze performance
Even though these are proven to work, you at your own risk and always make backups of your ini/saves.
So you're having trouble with Skyrim and your hardware is pretty beefy, huh? Let's see what we can do.
Skyrim Tweak Guide by BoobPhysics101
NOTE: These tweaks are focused on high end rigs.

My rig:

Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.5 Ghz
Nvidia GTX 570 @ 900/2100
Asus P8Z68-V mobo
90GB Vertex 2 SSD
42" 1080p HDTV

This rig has a ridiculous CPU, a GTX 570 that's as fast as a GTX 580, fast hard drive, lots of RAM, etc. YMMV but if you have a similar level of hardware, these settings/tweaks should get you to my level of performance.

General Tweaks/Tips


Go to the Skyrim config program (Start up Skyrim from Steam, go to Options), set your resolution etc, set MSAA to 8x, set Anisotropic Filtering to 16x. EVERYONE SHOULD BE USING 16x AF, it has almost ZERO performance hit on any system!

Beneath that, under Detail, click Ultra. Go to Advanced, make sure everything is maxed out, TURN OFF FXAA (unless you like it, blech.)

Nvidia users:
Make sure to have 285.79 (these are the latest betas and have the most recent driver profiles for Skyrim
AMD users: Use the 11.10 Preview 3 or whatever is newest

Nvidia Inspector Tweaks:

1. Download Nvidia Inspector
2. Open Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim profile
3. Make it look like this:

Skyrim.ini and Skyrimprefs.ini tweaks (Location: My Documents/My Games/Skyrim)


Under [Display], change these settings as shown:


Under [Grass]:

Under [Display], make sure to put this:

uInterior Cell Buffer=12
uExterior Cell Buffer=64


Change these settings. I found these in the Skyrim main folder under VeryHigh.ini, so ensure these are set appropriately:









Give that a shot, ymmv, adjust to preferences. I still need to work on those settings as they MAY cause random CTD's (crash to desktop).

I will add further tweaks as they are confirmed working/tested by me and the other pros in this thread.

Liquidmetal14 for the OP/constant vigilance when it comes to updating the OP
TheExodu5 for tweaks/experimenting and reporting results
TheOctagon for Large Address Aware tweaking/results
Durante for a previously posted 'mini-tweak guide'
Anyone I missed.

AMD Guide by BoobPhysics

AMD users, want better performance + image quality? This is for you!

Start with a default ini. Tweak things only after confirming you get smooth 60fps as this is what worked for LiquidMetal14.

Download RadeonPro.
Make a profile for Skyrim.
Modify your settings to look exactly as shown below.

For 5850, 5870, 6850, 6870, 6950, 6970 users:

For 4850, 4870, 5770, 6770 users:

Ultra defaults and only changed resolution and distance. Notable alterations...

Thanks to Durante for the following ini tweaks (these are little more dated but have some good explanations).

Here's a summary of the most important tweaks so far:
All .ini files are stored in My Games/Skyrim.

iPresentInterval=0 in [Display] to reduce (eliminate?) input lag

In SkyrimPrefs.ini:
bTreesReceiveShadows=1 and
bDrawLandShadows=1 in [Display] to improve environment lighting and depth with a small performance hit
bMouseAcceleration=0 in [Controls] to disable mouse accleration
iPresentInterval=0 in [Display] possible again, but the Skyrim.ini setting seems to override it

Nvidia inspector settings for NV owners:
CSAA and multisampling transparency AA work well for this game, with the 0x20000000 compatibility setting:

If you use settings like these you should turn off FXAA, it will only reduce IQ.

Originally Posted by TheOctagon's high end Configs:
If you dare:


I'm posting all my screens HERE
This section will be segmented due to the nature and effects that this may cause. As always, back up your ini's and saves! Or as TheExodus says....
Originally Posted by TheExodu5:
Warning: do not mess with the uGridsToLoad setting. If you try to remove it later, your save games may break.
Follow the instructions carefully!

TheOctagon's uGrids tutorial

uGridsToLoad is (should be) a harmless setting to play with if you know how to restore your saves. As said before, your save becomes effectively 'bound' to the value you specify and will crash the game if you try it with a lower value. What you need to do is load the save with the value it was saved at, then rewrite and refresh the ini, then save again. Here's how:

1) Load game with uGridsToLoad at the 'safe' setting - the one it was at when you saved.
2) Load the save, which should load correctly.
3) Open the console and type the following:

setini "ugridstoload:general" 5

This has restored the uGridsToLoad setting to its default while your save is already open.

4) Save the game. The save you create now will work at any uGrids setting from the default up.

A Large Address Aware patch to the TESV.exe is essential for safe uGrids tweaking, and even then the results are entirely subject to your system specs and the drive you're running the game from. You're totally overloading the game's streaming system by doing this, so you'll probably need the entire game installed on an SSD for stability and performance. The aforementioned exe is a 32bit application that can't, by default, use more than 2gb of RAM. This is insufficient. By following this (very simple) method, you can give Skyrim full access to all the RAM it needs, provided you have enough:


Doing this can solve a whole range of problems, from instability when taking screenshots to random CTDs. One thing it won't do is create problems. If you're getting them after doing it, the problem is somewhere else.

I'm playing the game at 2160p with FXAA (no multisampling - that's a performance killer) and it's smooth as butter, so these tweaks do work. As with Oblivion, though, once you've taken all the necessary steps, only the intricate configuration of your PC can really determine how stable they are.

Something else to bear in mind is that this is with a vanilla install. In all likelihood, once a significant HD texture mod arrives, uGridsToLoad will become a much more volatile thing to play with.

One other thing regarding uGridsToLoad. You should probably read and apply this information from the excellent TweakGuides.com. This is for Oblivion but evidently applies to Skyrim as well.

Memory Tweaks:

uInterior Cell Buffer=3
uExterior Cell Buffer=36

The above values determine how many cells (whether for interior or exterior areas) are buffered into RAM. Note that usually the value of the Exterior Cell Buffer variable is automatically set by the engine based on the size of the uGridstoLoad variable. The higher that variable is, the higher the engine will raise this value. However if you want to smooth out your FPS, try manually setting a higher value for both of these, depending on how much RAM you have. For 1GB I recommend doubling the values (6 and 72 respectively). For 2GB of RAM, I use 16 and 102 respectively. For higher amounts of RAM, try raising them higher, however note that you should also raise the iPreloadSizeLimit value below.

iPreloadSizeLimit=26214400 - This setting appears to determine the maximum amount (in bytes) of RAM allowed for preloading game data. The higher the value, the more chance you have of reducing stuttering. The default value equates to around 25MB (divide the setting by 1024 to get KB, then by 1024 again to get MB). For those with 1GB of system RAM, try doubling the variable to 52428800. For those with 2GB, try double again at 104857600 (100MB). You can raise these values even further to experiment, however note that raising this to a large amount doesn't force all the game data to sit in RAM, and can actually cause crashes. I suggest the maximum anyone should set this to should be around 262144000 (250MB), even for 2GB of RAM. Make sure to raise your Cell Buffer values accordingly (see above).
Opening the console can be done through the tilde-key, it sits before the "1" key and under the ESC-key------

~fov x - Adjust field of view (insert fov value into, x=FOV)*
*note the following tip when using this method

In order to not break achievements follow these steps.
- set desired fov using the console
- save
- restart the game and load

~showracemenu - Bring up character customization menu (NOTE: Your health Magicka, Stamina, and Health levels will be spread evenly on using this depending on your character's level. It will remove any point distributions that were custom)
~TGM - Toggle God Mode (invincible, also removing encumbering effect and unlimited magicka and stamina)
~TCL - Toggle Collision (no clipping mode; interacting possible, walk pointing up to fly into the air)
~TMM (0) - Toggle Map Markers (all locations, tmm 1 turns on, tmm 0 turns off)
~TFC - Toggle fly cam (removes the body and set the camera free, you will not be able to interract)
~TAI - Toggle Artificial Intelligence (freezes npc, they can't walk, move, or anything.)
~TCAI- Toggle Combat Artificial Intelligence (same as TAI; however only makes the NPC not being able to combat)
~TDetect- Toggle AI Detection (You can steal all you want and no one will see you, doesn't work with pickpocketing)

Codes using player target command:

~player.addperk <ID> ( 000581e7 for Augmented Flames level 1 ; "player.addperk 000581e7")
~player.removeperk <ID>
~player.addspell <ID> ( 0007e8e1 for Raise Zombie : "player.addspell 0007e8e1")
~player.additem <ID> (F # for gold, A # for lockpick ; "player.additem F 100" adds 100 gold for example)
List's of ID's
Alchemy ID's
Apparatus ID's
Armor ID's
Item ID's

~player.modav carryweight XX - where XX is the amount by which you wish to increase your carrying capacity; e.g. if your current weight limit is 300 and you wish to raise it to 1000, use a value of 700.
~player.setcrimegold XXX - Set it high if you want to fight, set it at 0 if you want to be free.
~player.setlevel X - Make X equal your desired character level.
~player.setav speedmult X - Where X equals your movement speed in a percentage value. (100 = 100%)
~player.setav skill X - Sets skill without messing with level gains. The skill name can be found from the skill list, and X equals the value you want that skill to be. This also works for health, stamina, magicka, and carryweight. Example: [player.setav marksman 50] sets your archery to 50.
~player.modav skill X - Buffs or debuffs a skill. The skill name can be found from the skill list, and X equals the value you want that skill to be. Example: If your Block skill is 30, you can "player.modav block 10", activating a buff to your Block and setting it to 40 (with the skill level appearing green as if a spell or item is affecting the skill). The same can be done in reversing by using a negative integer. Using "player.modav block -10" would activate a permanent debuff to your Block and set it to 10 (with the skill level appearing in red).

Last edited by vizionblind: 11-15-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:30 PM   #78
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I'd like to re-emphasize an obvious tweak that is already on the list: check to make sure your gfx card drivers are up to date. This is especially true of ATI users because the software front-end (the catalys AI control panel) was telling me they were up to date, but they were actually a version behind (I was using 11.9 when I needed 11.10). This update fixed most of my problems which you might want to add to the list:

» Sudden & inexplicable massive increase in game loading times coupled with a tremendous performance decrease and literally slow (like cpu can't keep up) gameplay.

The above problem doesn't seem to copy over to NEW games, only existing ones that have been played for awhile, but regardless a driver update fixed it.

I still get CTDs every 5m to 1hr, but at least the game is somewhat playable now.

Edit: I know the latest driver is 11.11 now, but for some reason the catalyst AI as well as their stand-alone auto-detect application does not show an update for me. Only when I type in my card's info manually does it present me w/ the download for 11.11. Stupid application. I can't believe I have to manually check for updates every friggin' day now.

Last edited by Dr3x1: 11-15-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:57 PM   #79
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This is for OpenMindedWorld:

You should add this to the tweak list, as it's been helping a lot of us with beefy systems but poor performance. It sets custom memory allocation values. I've gained about 10fps in towns where they used to drop as low as 15fps. It's now playable. These lines need to be added to the Skyrim.ini file in the [Papyrus] section:


Seriously, this helped more than any custom Skyrimprefs.ini or d3d9.dll ever did. Also, like in Oblivion and Fallout 3/NV, if you change the Skyrim.ini variable uExterior Cell Buffer to a 2x multiple higher than the default (36), you get better draw distance as far as detailed objects/terrain goes. I have it set to 72, and it worked at 144.

uExterior Cell Buffer=36

uExterior Cell Buffer=72

This has very little FPS hit on my GTX470. Something to maybe add too, but the memory allocation was a massive improvement.
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:30 PM   #80
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Crash because of xfire overlay

Disable it by going to Tools > Options > Select the game > Change automatically detect to never detect.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by olafurbesti View Post
Crash because of xfire overlay

Disable it by going to Tools > Options > Select the game > Change automatically detect to never detect.
even better, dont use crappy XFIRE
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:10 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by floyd ryan View Post
Deactivate quest-marker:

C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\SkyrimPrefs.ini


But places and enemies remain! If you don't want this either:

Deactivate compass:

C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\SkyrimPrefs.ini

You DO realize you can deactivate floating quest markers in the options right?
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:30 PM   #83
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Easy borderless windowed mode:

http://chillbros.net/tools/BorderLess.exe (For anyone who's used it before, I recently updated it due to a request to change the middlemouse hotkey to something else)

Compiled AHK script. I may re-write in another language at a later date.

This works on most games, skyrim included. If you're getting a black bar at the bottom of the skyrim window, you need to exit and toggle the border before or during the "bethesda" startup screen.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:29 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by vizionblind View Post
even better, dont use crappy XFIRE
Use Evolve instead, much better They don't push a game with overlay just to have that game crash a lot... (on that note though, Evolve overlay does work with Skyrim)
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:29 AM   #85
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Changing the sound fixed it for me and played all day without a crash. Where before it would crash randomly every single time I played it.

Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Sound
In the Playback tab, right click on Speakers (or whatever has a green tick next to it), then click Properties
In the advanced tab on this new window, select 24 bit, 44100Hz (Studio Quality) in the drop down menu
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:59 AM   #86
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Changing the sound settings did nothing to help my crashing.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:13 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by vizionblind View Post
even better, dont use crappy XFIRE
Well millions of people use it and with Skyrim having 40k hours played already in this week with xfire I'm assuming allot of people are having the issue.

But this thread wasn't made for an argument about xfire being good or not. But for tweaks for Skyrim and if you want to play Skyrim without closing the game then there's a solution to disable the overlay for skyrim.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:27 AM   #88
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Post List of mods, configs and guides for better performance.

Tweak guides
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Tweak Guide - "The aim of this guide is to allow you to better understand and utilize all of the configuration options available in Skyrim, as well as a selection of advanced tweaks to enhance the game." - A must read before trying any tweaking.

Skyrim Tweak_fix Guide ITEN v1 - Small tweak guide for ati video cards, how to configure video card settings and Skyrim in game settings. (Uploaded pictures of it: Skyrim settings, Catalyst settings)

Better visuals with low FPS drop - Small tweak guide including some nvidia tweaks.

STEP - Skyrim Total Enhancement Project - Mod guide to get the best out of Skyrim, updated regularly.
Mods and tweaks
SkyBoost - "Boosts Skyrim via replacing most bottleneck code parts in the executable at runtime." Latest alpha supports patch

DNA Skyrim CFG Maker - Easy to use tool to make own .ini configurations.

Improved New Skyrim Shadows for Medium-Range PC - Shadow tweaks to improve shadow quality and performance.
Try these for low end PCs and laptops with fps issues.

Last edited by JJops: 06-28-2012 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by doomake View Post
Removing iPresentInterval=0 from Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini and adding


under [Controls] in Skyrim.ini solved the mouse issues for me.

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Old 11-16-2011, 12:09 PM   #90
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Updated tweaks and added direct links to relevant and useful tweak/addons post.

Thanks all for the help
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