Guide:NVIDIA Inspector

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A guide to using Nvidia Inspector -- by TechAngel85 & S.T.E.P. Team

GUIDE FORUM THREAD




NVIDIA Inspector

NVIDIA Inspector is a tool created by Orbmu2k. It provides detailed hardware information much like GPU-Z from all the available hardware senors pertaining to the video card. This sensor information can also be monitored via the included monitors, which in turn can be logged to a CSV file for later viewing. Inspector also provides simple overclocking tools to control the GPU clock, memory clock, shader clock, voltage, and fan speed of the video card; however, not all of these options will be available to all users.

NVIDIA Inspector's real power lies within its driver profile settings (game profiles). Inspector includes over two hundred individual game profiles. Profiles allow user-defined, game-specific Inspector presets that will be loaded and used when the game is launched. These settings are also more extensive than the settings included in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Finally, this Guide does not provide the gold-standard of Inspector settings that the user simply copies. That would be impossible to do with the endless combinations of video cards and system hardware. This Guide does provide a breakdown of each of the Inspector dialog menus so users may be better informed about the capabilities of these settings and the applicability to a particular game environment.

Installation & Setup

One of the wonderful things about NVIDIA Inspector is that it's a standalone application. There is no installation required. Simply download the tool, extract the folder, and run the .exe to launch the program. This means it can also be run from USB flash drives and used on the go. When changing the location of where the program is located in, be sure to move the entire folder and not just the .exe file. Users can download NVIDIA Inspector here: NVIDIA Inspector

NVIDIA Inspector Overview

Main Screen

InspectorMainScreen.png

When you open the program, this is the first screen you'll see. Here you'll find all your hardware information. You'll also notice two buttons on the upper left side. The first button uploads a screenshot of the app to Techpowerup.org. The second button below that will open your hardware monitors. Further down to the right of the Driver Version box is a button that will open the game profiles plugin for Inspector. Finally, at the bottom there is a banner to allow you do donate, a drop-down box to allow you to switch between multiple GPUs if you're running SLI, and a button that will open the Overclocking pane. Clicking this button will prompt a warning about overclocking, before the pane opens.

Monitors

InspectorMonitors.png

Clicking the Sensor Monitoring button will open the this screen. Monitors are discussed on the Sensor Monitoring tab.

Driver Profile Settings

InspectorProfiles.png

Clicking the Driver Profile Settings (game profiles) button will open this screen. Game profiles are discussed on the Custom Profiles and Settings tab.

Overclocking Pane

InspectorOverclocking.png

Clicking on the Show Overclocking button and choosing "Yes" to the prompt will open this overclocking pane. Overclocking is discussed on the Overclocking tab.

Sensor Monitoring

InspectorMonitors.png


Sensor monitoring can be very helpful when testing hardware stability, performing overclocks, mod testing, or when testing new settings or changes to those settings. Inspector includes 14 different monitors for this purpose. These include:

  • GPU Usage
  • VPU Usage
  • MCU Usage
  • BUS Usage
  • Memory Usage
  • GPU Clock
  • Memory Clock
  • Shader Clock
  • Voltage
  • GPU Temperature
  • PCB Temperature
  • Fan Level
  • Fan Tachometer
  • GPU Power Level
  • Total Power Level

Of these, the most useful are going to be determined by what you are using the monitors for.


Customizing the Monitors

To open the monitors, click on the Sensor Monitoring button located on the main screen on the upper left side. Once opened, the monitors are defaulted to stay on top of all other windows. The default monitors displayed are the GPU Usage, GPU Clock, Voltage, GPU Temperature and the Fan Level. To change the monitors simply right-click on the monitor window and hover over "Monitors". The monitors which have a check beside them will be the monitors displayed. You may display as few as one or all of them, if you desire.

The other settings on the right-click menu are as followed:

GPUs
This allows to you select which GPU you wish to monitor if you're using more than one such as in SLI.
Monitors
Provides a list of all the monitors available.
Antialiased Graphs
Makes the graphs a bit less jagged.
Always on Top
Toggle whether the monitor windows stays on top of other windows or not.
Capture Disabled Monitors
Toggles whether to capture all monitor data or just the monitors you're displaying via the Monitors menu. Enabled by default.
Log Active Monitors to CSV
Toggles whether or not to log the active monitors to a CSV file for later viewing.
Store Configuration Settings
Selecting this will save the monitors your using for the next time you open Inspector; else, the default set of monitors will appear when you close and reopen the program.
Reset All Monitors
Resets the monitors to start fresh.
Hide to Tray
Minimizes the monitor window to the system tray. This is useful when monitoring your system over time.
Close
Closes the monitor window.

Custom Profiles and Settings

Info-Logo.png Notice: Some settings may differ from what is seen in the images below. Various options are available with various NVIDIA cards so do not be alarmed if there are extra or missing settings on your system from what you see below.

Driver Profile and Settings

Driver Profile Settings or game profiles can be opened from the main screen by click the Driver Profile Settings button located to the right of the Driver Version box. Game profiles are the main attraction with NVIDIA Inspector because when used, these profiles will allow custom driver settings for individual games. The profiles will then be saved and loaded once the game is launched. You may be asking what's the difference between the NVIDIA Control Panel profiles and NVIDIA Inspector profiles. The answer is, Inspector provides a more extensive set of settings and options than the NVIDIA Control Panel does. Many of the settings and additional options that are included in Inspector are hidden from the Control Panel, for whatever reason, but still exist within the driver. Inspector gives you full control over these hidden settings.

InspectorProfiles.png

Setting Up the Skyrim Profile

Over 200 profiles are already included in Inspector and there is rarely a need to create a new profile. This is because the profiles exist within the graphics drivers, themselves. Whenever NVIDIA releases a new driver version, they often come with new or updated profiles. Skyrim's profile is one of these; however, if you ever need to create a new profile you can do so by clicking the "Create New Profile" button on the toolbar of the Driver Profile Settings window.

Info-Logo.png Notice: The following procedure is done for Skyrim in regards to STEP; however, the procedure is the same for editing the settings for all games.

To load Skyrim's profile, open the Driver Profile Settings window. In the text box on the toolbar, type Elder. You'll see four profiles for the Elder Scrolls games. Click on the profile for "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim". This loads the pre-configured profile for Skyrim. If you already set some settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel, you'll see those settings here. If not, the settings will be the default ones. We'll go through each section and settings below that are relevant to the STEP Guide. Far more detail about each section and setting can be found in the Advanced Settings section below.

InspectorProfilesSkyrim.png

Compatibility

InspectorSkyrimCompatibility.png

These settings should general not be changed as they are set to work with Skyrim.

Sync and Refresh

InspectorSkyrimSyncandRefresh.png

These settings should generally remain at their defaults as shown in the image above.

Antialiasing

InspectorSkyrimAntialiasing.png

The settings for AA should match the picture above for the STEP recommendations from the STEP Guide. The STEP Guide mentions the two settings listed below. To further tweak this section refer to the Advanced Setting section below.

Antialiasing - Mode
Mode should be set to "Application-controlled". The default AA method in Skyrim is Multisampling (MSAA), so "Application-controlled" yields MSAA.
Antialiasing - Setting
This should also be set to "Application-controlled / Off" to ensure that AA is working.

Texture Filtering

Texture Filtering

The settings for AF should match the picture above for the STEP recommendations from the STEP Guide. In the INI tweak section on the STEP Guide, Anisotropic Filtering (AF) was turned off. Now it needs to be turned on using Inspector.

Info-Logo.png Notice: Users not using ENBoost should set Anisotropic filtering setting as indicated below. ENBoost users should ensure the Anisotropic filtering setting is off and set ForceAnisotropicFiltering is set to true in the enblocal.ini file.
Anisotropic filtering mode
This should be set to User-defined / Off.
Anisotropic filtering setting
Recommended value is 16x; however, a very slight performance gain can be achieved with a lower setting. It is not recommended to drop below 8x. Setting this to a high value like 16x as recommended, may cause texture shimmering in mid to long range texture LODs. If this happens, adjusting the LOD bias value can help to remedy the issue. To learn how to do this, visit the Advanced Settings section below.
Continue with STEP Guide

At this point, you should be done with any editing needed for the STEP Guide. For user who are installing the Guide, please return there and finish setting it up before doing any advanced editing in Inspector. Your STEP setup should be 100% stable before moving on to the advanced section of this Guide.

Advanced Settings

There are many settings for Nvidia GPUs and more are being added with every generation of GPUs, so this section will explain many extra settings that may be of interest to users that want to further customize their experience.

Info-Logo.png Notice: STEP users should not complete this section until their STEP installation is complete and confirmed to be stable.

Inspector Overclocking

Overclocking in Inspector is not much different than overclocking in other third party software. Keep in mind, depending on your video card model, not all overclocking controls will be at available in Inspector. Inspector was not written with overclocking in mind; therefore, if a more powerful and precise option is needed users should look elsewhere. It's also a good idea to have monitors open when overclocking to monitor the effect of the changes.

Warning-Logo.png Warning: Inspector and STEP can not be held liable for any possible mishaps resulting from overclocking your video card. Potential problems resulting from overclocking can include anything from voiding your warranty to overheating and bricking (rendering it useless) your card and anything in between. If users decide to overclock their video card, they do so at their own risk. This overclocking overview is meant for information purposes only!

InspectorOverclocking.png

To open the overclocking pane, click the "Show Overclocking" button at the bottom of the main screen. A prompt with a warning will appear asking if users are aware of the risk with overclocking. Clicking "No" closes the windows. Clicking "Yes" will open the overclocking pane. Clicking the "Show Overclocking" button again will hide the pane. Below is a break-down of the items on this pane:

Fan
The large vertical slider controls the fan speed on the video card. By default it is set to "Auto" and is the recommended setting. To manually set the fan speed, uncheck "Auto" and move the slider to the desired position. Then click the "Set Fan" button below the slider to lock in the new setting.
Performance Level Drop-down
This is a drop-down menu which allows the selection of various performance levels the NVIDIA drivers use. The performance level is normally changed dynamically by the drivers depending on the GPU load. The main levels are P0, P1, P8, and P12; though this may differ depending on the card model. P0 is for high loads such as video gaming, P8 is for loads similar to video acceleration, and P12 is an idle load; when the video card isn't really doing anything. If there are different values, remember that the lower values are higher performance and the higher values are for lower performance.
Unlock Min & Unlock Max
The frequencies available by default are locked in via the NVIDIA drivers. Clicking "Unlock Min" or "Unlock Max" will removed these driver limitations so overclocking to higher frequencies or underclocking to lower frequencies is enabled. Clicking these buttons again will re-lock the frequencies to the driver limitations.
GPU Clock
The GPU clock normally stays grayed out and is provided for informational purposes. This clock can be changed but not individually with Inspector. It is changed by changing the Shader Clock and always remains half the frequency of the Shader Clock. For example, if your Shader Clock is set to 1600MHz then your GPU Clock will be set to 800MHz.
Base Clock Offset
Measured in megahertz, this changes the frequency of the GPU clock. The buttons below the sliders allows for fine tuning of the frequency.
Memory Clock Offset
Measured in megahertz, this changes the frequency of the card's VRAM. The buttons below the sliders allows for fine tuning of the frequency.
Shader Clock Offset (not pictured)
Also measured in megahertz, like the Memory Clock Offset, this changes the frequency of the Shader Clock.
Power and Temperature Target
These two sliders set the power target and temperate target for the video card. The top slider sets the upper power target which is the power the card will use. The second slider sets the temperature upper target which is the maximum temperature the card will run at. Checking the "Priorize Temperature" box will set the temperature target to take priority over the power target. This is a safety feature to help prevent the video card from overheating. If these settings are used, it is highly recommended to check the "Proirize Temperature" box.
Over Voltage
Here it is possible to change the voltage to which the video card receives. This can be very dangerous! Use extreme caution if changing this setting!
Create Clocks Shortcut
This is where Inspector shines! Clicking this button will save a shortcut to the desktop to specific clock settings. These means it's possible to have different overclocks for different game profiles or other tasks. Double clicking on one of these shortcuts will adjust the clocks to the preset settings automatically. This eliminates the need to open Inspector and do it manually every time for each game. So if a 10% overclock is desired while video encoding, a 25% overclock while gaming, and default settings the rest of the time, all that is required is to make three Clock Shortcuts with the respected settings and double-click the appropriate shortcut anytime to change between tasks. Easy and brilliant! One of these preset can also be loaded at system start-up by simply placing the shortcut in the "Startup" folder in the Windows Start Menu.
Apply Defaults
This reverts any changes to the clock back to their driver defaults.
Apply Clocks & Voltage
This applies the clock and voltage settings immediately.

Editing Skyrim Settings - Advanced

The default Skyrim profile can be adjusted or a custom profile, which has already been discussed, can be used to further tweak the game. Most of the settings and their functions will be listed here; however, do not be alarmed if the profile looks different from the images below. Various graphic cards will have various options available to them so user may see more or less settings than what is covered below.

Info-Logo.png Notice: The following sections are specifically for Skyrim. They may be used as a reference to understand what the settings functions are; however, the recommendations given are specifically for Skyrim. They may or may not apply to other games.

Compatibility Header

InspectorSkyrimCompatibility.png


This section determines the compatibility for other sections in the profile. Rarely do these setting ever need to be changed from their defaults. For Skyrim, these settings should not be changed as they are set to work with the game.

Ambient Occlusion compatibility
Should be set to: 0x00000029 (Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
Antialiasing compatibility (DX1)
No setting
Antialiasing compatibility
No setting
Antialiasing Fix
Off
SLI compatibility bits (DX1)
No setting
SLI compatibility bits
Should be set to: 0x42C80005 (Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

 

Sync and Refresh Header

InspectorSkyrimSyncandRefresh.png

Frame Rate Limiter
This is the driver side frame rate limiter. Capping or limiting the frame rate is useful for users with high-end cards or users with 120/144Hz monitors, since it is typical the frame rate will frequently move between above and below the monitor's refresh rate. This up and down causes choppy graphics and running above 60FPS will cause havoc issues in Skyrim. Limiting the frame rate prevents this. Users who need to limit their frame rate should set the limit to 58FPS for Skyrim. A more general recommendation is to cap the frame rate to 2/3 of the monitor's refresh rates which is measured in hertz. For example, a user with a 120Hz monitor should cap their frame rate to 80FPS. User should be aware that ENBSeries also includes a Frame Rate Limiter which can be used instead of this driver version.
Info-Logo.png Notice: Pay special attention to triple buffering and v-sync below if using FPS limits on high-end cards.
Info-Logo.png Notice: Monitor refresh rates of 75 Hz may be fine without FPS limiting, but 60 Hz is a typical refresh rate.
GSYNC - Global Feature
Turns on NVIDIA's GSYNC feature for users who have a GSYNC enabled monitor.
GSYNC - Requested State
Information unknown
Maximum pre-rendered frames
Maximum pre-rendered frames sets the number of frames the CPU can pre-render before the GPU takes over. Increasing this setting can cause an input delay (in milliseconds) from the mouse and keyboard when set to higher values; however, this will be different for every user. Raising this value can actually improve performance if users experience no input lag or stuttering by doing so. The recommended setting is to leave it at its default; however, feel free to experiment. No harm will come from doing so. If experimenting, use the highest value possible where no lag or stuttering is experienced.
Preferred Refreshrate
Information unknown
Triple buffering
Set this to "on". Triple buffering improves performance among v-sync/frame rate and monitor refresh when v-sync is enabled and the frame rate is less than the monitor refresh rate (when it is not, there is still no drawback). This setting does nothing when v-sync isn't enabled.
Info-Logo.png Notice: Pay special attention to Frame rate limiter (above) and Vertical Sync (below) if using FPS limits on high-end cards.
Vertical Sync Smooth AFR behavior
This supposedly smooths out the stutter from movement and panning when vsync is turned on. This has not been tested well for Skyrim. Some users report smoother camera panning with this setting turned on. Recommended setting is to leave this set to "Off" until more testing is done.
Vertical Sync Tear Control
Leave set to default; "Standard".
Vertical Sync
Users should leave this setting on "Use the 3D application setting", unless playing an older game which does not have native vsync. In that case, users should use, "Force On".
For Skyrim users: leave this set to Use the 3D application setting. If iPresentInterval has been set to 0, users should change it to 1 or simply delete the parameter from the INIs to force the default which is enabled. iPresentInterval should NOT be disabled in the Skyrim.ini file! If users are using ENB or ENBoost, then vsync should be enabled in the "enblocal.ini" file.
Info-Logo.png Notice: Pay special attention to Frame rate limiter and Tripple buffering (above) if using FPS limits on high-end cards.

Antialiasing Header

InspectorSkyrimAntialiasing.png

Antialiasing - Behavior Flags
This tells the driver how to use antialiasing. Keep the default setting which is for Skyrim: "0x00000005 (... Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, ...)"
Antialiasing - Gamma correction
The default setting is On and this can remain on its default for Skyrim. Gamma correction can improve colors in a game; however, this will have little to no effect in Skryim.
Antialiasing - Line gamma
This should remain set to "default" for Skyrim.
Antialiasing - Mode
Mode should be set to "Application-controlled" for Skyrim. The default AA method in Skyrim is Multisampling (MSAA), so "Application-controlled" yields MSAA. For other users, the "Application-controlled" value allow the game to control AA. The "Override any application setting" will override the game's AA and force the AA method which is specified below in Antialiasing - Setting. The "Enhance the application setting" will process the AA method specified below in Antialiasing - Setting on top of the game's default AA. This last method can be performance intensive. SMAA users will want to set this to "Application-controlled".
Antialiasing - Setting
This should also be set to "Application-controlled / Off" to ensure that AA is working in Skyrim. For other users, this setting changes the type of AA used when either "Override any application setting" or "Enhance the application setting" is selected in Antialiasing - Mode above. SMAA users will want to set this to "Application-controlled / Off".
Antialiasing - Transparency Multisampling
Use the default; "disabled" for Skyrim. Enabling this in Skyrim has been known to cause textures which are not suppose to be transparent to display as transparent; including walls, door, and characters. If transparency AA is desired in Skyrim, use supersampling (below) since it's higher quality at about the same performance cost.
Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling
Transparency antialiasing provides AA for transparent textures and will be most noticeable on fences, foliage, trees, and water. For Skyrim, it is recommend to remain set to "Off / Multisampling". If used, "2x Supersampling" is recommended as the minimum; however, adjust according to the performance/quality desired. Higher values come at more of a performance cost. Sparse Grid Supersampling is often better in most games; however, in Skyrim it will cause issues with the transparent textures of fires so only use Supersampling.
NVIDIA Predefined FXAA Usage
FXAA should be set to "Disallow" for STEP, but can be used. FXAA is a fast AA method. Although it works, it also softens the textures and hazes the scene so you loose some texture sharpness. Some users like this effect (Gopher being one of them); however, due to its effect on textures, it will add a bit of a "fantasy" feel to the overall game. This setting simple allows or disallows FXAA usage by the game.
Toggle FXAA Indicator on or off
Leave as default; off. Setting to On will display an indicator on the screen telling the user if FXAA is enabled or not.
Toggle FXAA on or off
Leave as default; off, for STEP. This will force FXAA on or off. If FXAA is desired, it's recommended to use a FXAA injector instead. RCRN includes a very nice FXAA injector which is extremely light on performance.
Info-Logo.png Notice: Any ENBSeries version after v0.119 no longer has support for hardware AA. If you're planing on using an ENB which uses a version newer than v0.119, please turn AA off here in the drivers. The ENBSeries v0.139 and above now offers edge antialiasing which is similar to MSAA, but with a bit more blur. For a better AA solution with ENB, use SMAA Injector.

AA Performance Data

Multisample Antialiasing
From 0xMSAA to 2xMSAA: ~07% loss
From 0xMSAA to 4xMSAA: ~15% loss
From 0xMSAA to 8xMSAA: ~30% loss

Sparse Grid Supersampling
From 0xSGSS to 2xSGSS: ~01% loss
From 0xSGSS to 4xSGSS: ~02% loss
From 0xSGSS to 8xSGSS: ~06% loss

 

Texture Filtering Header

Texture Filtering

Anisotropic filtering mode
Anisotropic filtering is a texture filtering technique that improves clarity of textures when those textures are viewed at an angle such as when walking down a path or viewing water from the shore. It is recommended to force AF through the drivers. When doing this, turn off anisotropic filtering on the Skyrim launcher or via the "SkyrimPrefs.ini". The recommended setting to force anisotropic filtering is User-defined / Off.
Anisotropic filtering setting
The recommended setting is 16x; however, for a very slight performance gain a lower setting can be used. Higher values, like the recommended setting, may cause texture shimmering in mid to long range texture LODs. If this happens, adjusting the LOD bias (below) can help to remedy the issue.
Info-Logo.png Notice: ENB/ENBoost users should keep AF disabled in the drivers and turn it on the "enblocal.ini" file.
Prevent Anisotropic filtering
This will override the profile used for anisotropic filtering. Leave this set to default, "Off" for Skyrim.
Texture filtering - Anisotropic filtering optimization
Filtering optimization should remain off for best texture quality.
Texture filtering - Anisotropic sampling optimization
Sampling optimization should remain off for best quality.
Texture filtering - Driver Controlled LOD Bias
This will turn the driver's control of the LOD Bias on or off. Leave it set to On for Skyrim. If you need to adjust the LOD Bias (below), this will need to be set to On.
Texture filtering - LOD Bias
Note there are two settings for LOD Bias. "LOD Bias (DX)", which is for DirectX games, and "LOD Bias (OGL)", which is for OpenGL games. Use the LOD Bias which is for the game's use of DirectX or OpenGL (DirectX is most common). For Skyrim, this is DirectX. LOD bias reduces the quality of textures as the distance grows from the viewpoint to those textures. Setting this to a lower value will increase distant texture detail but will also come at a performance cost and lowering the value could also cause glitches such as texture shimmering. If a high anisotropic filtering setting is causing texture shimming (known as Z-fighting), then raising this value will make the distant textures more blurry and help to reduce the shimmering. It's best to leave it set to default if possible; "+0.0000".
Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias
If using anisotropic filtering, it is best to set this value to "Allow". The "Clamp" setting is no longer supported by NVIDIA even though it still appears in Inspector.
Texture filtering - Quality
Recommended minimum setting here is "Quality" for STEP. "High Quality" is best quality with the highest performance impact. Likewise, "High Performace" is the best performance, but with the lowest quality.
Texture filtering - Trilinear optimization
Trilinear optimization should be set to "Off" for best texture quality.

AF Performance Data

Anisotropic Filtering
From 0xAF to 2xAF: ~01%
From 0xAF to 4xAF: ~03%
From 0xAF to 8xAF: ~04%
From 0xAF to 16xAF: ~04.5%

Texture Filtering - Quality
High Performance to High Quality: ~01%

 

Common Header

Common

Ambient Occlusion setting
This setting forces the driver-side AO on or off. Ambient occlusion (AO) is a lighting technique that determines when certain pixels are blocked from the environmental light by nearby geometry, in which case, its brightness value is reduced creating a shadowing effect. This provides much richer, more realistic shadowing in-game. However, AO is very performance heavy. The recommended setting for STEP is to leave it disabled; however, if the system can handle the extra performance cost, the recommended minimum setting is Performance. If this minimum setting is found to be too heavy on performance, try turning it off and opting for SSAO provided by ENBSeries. If both AO and SSAO are too heavy, the only solution left is to turn it off completely.
Ambient Occlusion usage
If Ambient Occlusion setting (above) is set to anything other than Off, then this setting should be set to "0x00000001 (... Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, ...)" for Skyrim. If Ambient Occlusion setting is set to Off and SSAO via an ENBSeries will be used instead, then this setting should be set to "Enabled". Else, if Ambient Occlusion isn't used at all due to the performance loss, this setting should be set to "Disabled".
Extension limit
Leave as default; Off. This only has to do with OpenGL games and can cause crashes in DirectX games.
Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration
This is not relevant to SLI systems. If only have one monitor is used for gaming, use the "Single display performance mode". If multiple monitors are used for gaming, use the "Multi display performance mode". If multiple monitors are used and some issues arise with the previous setting use the "Compatibility performance mode".
Power management mode
This should be left on it's default; "Adaptive", which ensures the graphics card changes its speed according to the load it's under. "Per maximum performance" should only be used for troubleshooting purposes!
Shadercache
Release with driver version 337.88, Shader Cache saves compiled shaders to a cache on your hard drive. This allows the shader to simply be recalled from the hard disk the next time it is required, potentially reducing load times and CPU usage. This setting turns the shader cache on or off. It is recommended to remain on.
Show PhysX Visual Indicator
Leave as default; Off. Setting this to On will show an indicator.
Thread optimization
Leave as default: Auto. This will allow the drivers to choose whether or not to use the multiple cores/hyper-threading of the CPU.


AO Performance Data

Ambient Occlusion
No AO to Performance: ~28%
No AO to Quality: ~49%
No AO to High Quality: ~55%

Maximum Pre-rendered Frames
1 Frame to 8 Frames: ~03% (gain)
1 Frame to 8 Frames with AFx16: ~09% (gain)

 

Overall Performance Data

Before all edits:
FPS: Avg: 58.665 - Min: 51 - Max: 61

After all edits with no Ambient Occlusion:
FPS: Avg: 49.050 - Min: 38 - Max: 61
Before to After: ~16%

After all edits with all recommended settings:
FPS: Avg: 33.623 - Min: 28 - Max: 40
Before to After: ~42%

Troubleshooting

There's not much for troubleshooting currently. Troubleshooting will be added over time.

Transparent Textures

If transparent textures are present which should not be transparent, this could be caused by Sparse Grid Supersampling or Transparency Multisampling. To fix this issue set Antialiasing - Transparency Multisampling to "Disabled". You can also switch Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling to "Supersampling" instead of "Sparse Grid Supersampling".

SSAO Not Rendering

Some NVIDIA cards (like the GTX 560 Ti) ceased rendering SSAO outdoors in Skyrim after the official 1.5.24 patch. The problem hasn’t been resolved but NVIDIA is aware of it. For now, you can temporarily switch to Oblivion or Fallout 3 compatibility to get back the SSAO outdoors.

Raw Performance Data

Below is the raw data from FRAPS for anyone interested. The system used during data collection:

  • Windows 8 Professional 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7 2GHz
  • 8GB system RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M 1GB VRAM

Data

Mulisampling Antialiasing
2xAA //Frames: 1008 - Time: 17813ms - Avg: 56.588 - Min: 51 - Max: 60
4xAA //Frames: 964 - Time: 18609ms - Avg: 51.803 - Min: 46 - Max: 59
8xAA //Frames: 712 - Time: 16703ms - Avg: 42.627 - Min: 38 - Max: 50


Sparse Grid Supersampling
2xSGSS //Frames: 1494 - Time: 25203ms - Avg: 59.279 - Min: 54 - Max: 62
4xSGSS //Frames: 1400 - Time: 23828ms - Avg: 58.754 - Min: 50 - Max: 61
8xSGSS //Frames: 1450 - Time: 25812ms - Avg: 56.175 - Min: 44 - Max: 62


Anisotropic Filtering
No AF //Frames: 2525 - Time: 42859ms - Avg: 58.914 - Min: 52 - Max: 62
2xAF //Frames: 2462 - Time: 42312ms - Avg: 58.187 - Min: 50 - Max: 62
4xAF //Frames: 2482 - Time: 43609ms - Avg: 56.915 - Min: 46 - Max: 61
8xAF //Frames: 2397 - Time: 42219ms - Avg: 56.775 - Min: 47 - Max: 62
16xAF //Frames: 2374 - Time: 42016ms - Avg: 56.502 - Min: 47 - Max: 62


Texture Filtering - Quality
High Performance //Frames: 2367 - Time: 41375ms - Avg: 57.208 - Min: 48 - Max: 62
Performance //Frames: 2370 - Time: 41454ms - Avg: 57.172 - Min: 48 - Max: 62
Quality //Frames: 2370 - Time: 41812ms - Avg: 56.682 - Min: 47 - Max: 62
High Quality //Frames: 2395 - Time: 42266ms - Avg: 56.665 - Min: 47 - Max: 62


Ambient Occlusion
Off //Frames: 753 - Time: 12657ms - Avg: 59.493 - Min: 57 - Max: 62
Performance //Frames: 1750 - Time: 41016ms - Avg: 42.666 - Min: 36 - Max: 48
Quality //Frames: 1289 - Time: 42203ms - Avg: 30.543 - Min: 27 - Max: 35
High Quality //Frames: 1154 - Time: 43016ms - Avg: 26.827 - Min: 24 - Max: 31


Max Pre-rendered Frames
1 Frame //Frames: 2949 - Time: 51562ms - Avg: 57.193 - Min: 46 - Max: 62
8 Frames //Frames: 2638 - Time: 44828ms - Avg: 58.847 - Min: 52 - Max: 69

With Anisotropic Filtering x16
1 Frame //Frames: 2497 - Time: 48640ms - Avg: 51.336 - Min: 40 - Max: 60
8 Frames //Frames: 2574 - Time: 45563ms - Avg: 56.493 - Min: 47 - Max: 69


Before Edits
Frames: 2485 - Time: 42359ms - Avg: 58.665 - Min: 51 - Max: 61

After Edits with no Ambient Occlusion
Frames: 2044 - Time: 41672ms - Avg: 49.050 - Min: 38 - Max: 61

After Edits with all recommended edits
Frames: 1461 - Time: 43453ms - Avg: 33.623 - Min: 28 - Max: 40