Pack:Guide to Run SRLE with REGS on Medium Systems

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Info-Logo.png      Notice:Guide considered to be finished. Last updated: 15th of august 2014. Please go to the forum for support (top-left).

Running a full version of SRLE together with REGS will put a heavy strain on your system. Unless you have a high-end GPU with 3GB+ VRAM, you might run into severe performance issues.
This guide will provide some tips and tricks for users with medium-end GPUs to smoothen their experience of SRLE with REGS. It is aimed at those with 2 - 2.5GB GB VRAM, but can be used by anyone who wishes to squeeze out some more performance and/or save some VRAM.

Contents

Introduction

The goal is to obtain a minimum of 32 FPS in 1080p resolution in almost all locations without losing much observable visual quality. This will be achieved by doing the following:

  • Reduce the maximum VRAM usage in almost any Skyrim scenario to under 2000 MB (48MB left for windows).
  • Reduce the GPU load by opting for more performance-friendly options for mesh and distance mods.
  • Retain a steady FPS by only keeping core features of Vividian ENB enabled.

Contrary to default SRLE, this guide will make use of FOMOD installer instructions as opposed to BAIN, when applicable, so keep that in mind.

Note that this guide only provides instructions where you should deviate from the original instructions of SRLE or REGS. Otherwise install everything as mentioned in their respective guides.

For referency, my system specs:

CPU: i5 2500k @ 4.3 Ghz
GPU: AMD HD6950 2GB VRAM
HDD: 128GB SSD
RAM: 16Gb DDR-1600

Disclaimers

Warning-Logo.png Warning: This guide goes against the original quality intent of mod, pack and ENB authors and should be seen as a completely seperate little project. Do not bother them with questions related to this guide.


Info-Logo.png      Notice:This guide also contain a small number of personal preferences which don't necessarily improve performance.
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Info-Logo.png      Notice:Default SRLE + REGS requires approximatly 3GB VRAM @ 1080p. While this guide reduces the max required by approximately 1/3rd, the quality loss is arguably less than 1/5th.
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Info-Logo.png      Notice:You can, of course, only select specific tweaks. In that case I would recommend to start with NPC mods such as Better Males.
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INI Tweaks

Skyrim.ini

[Grass]

  • iMinGrassSize=50
Vanilla default is 20. Changing it to 50 saves about 5-15 FPS in grassy areas on my system. Game changer on medium-end GPUs. Experiment with =30 or =40 if you have some spare FPS after this guide, but stick to =50 for now.

SkyrimPrefs.ini

[Display]

  • iShadowMapResolutionSecondary=1024
  • iShadowMapResolutionPrimary=2048
Double check whether your Skyrim.ini has any of these parameters, and when it does, delete them from there. 

[Grass]

  • fGrassStartFadeDistance=7000.0000
This is the Skyrim default Ultra value and for pretty good reason. Please read the GRASS section of this guide. Setting it to =7000 instead of SRLE's =18000 saves about 2-10 FPS in many dense grass areas.

[Trees]

  • uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender=20

SKSE.ini

[Display]

  • iTintTextureResolution=1024


Vividian ENB

Last updated for version: 6.0131
Disable or remove the currently installed Vividian ENB version (including Extended Weathers) in Mod Organizer.

1. Main file installer options:

  • Vidian ENB 6.xxx - Vivid Performance Version
  • Vanilla or CoT only: Normal Lighting (personally I use the bright version, it makes no difference in performance)
  • ELE - Interiors Legendary
  • Do not select any Depth of Field or any of the other options.
  • Remove sunglare
  • SMAA
  • Particle Patch
  • Subsurface Patch
  • Torches Preset
  • Wearable Lanterns Preset
  • This guide is made for ELFX, not for LoS, so do not select the LoS patch.
  • CoT Extra Weather Patch
  • Vanilla Extra Weather Patch

2. Extended weathers installer options:

  • COT: Windy Clouds
  • Vanilla: Windy Clouds

ENB Groundfogs are very performance intensive, so we do not install them. Note that there will still be fog.

3. Make a new profile in ENB Manager and follow the SRLE instructions to add the just installed Vividian ENB files to the profile, along with SRLE's enblocal.ini.

4. When merging the Vividian ENB files, follow the SRLE instructions except:

  • Vividian - Windy Clouds - CoT.esp takes the place of Vividian - Extended Weathers - CoT.esp

5. Open enblocal.ini and change the following:

  • EnableOcclusionCulling=true
  • ForceLODBias=false
This is optional but can reduce aliasing/shimmering in the near distance
  • EnableCompression=false
This can greatly reduce stuttering and improve overall smoothness. The extra VRAM used by setting this to =false is minimal and totally worth it. 
  • EnableFPSLimit=true
Setting this to true in combination with FPSLimit=xx will ensure your GPU won't become overstressed and can reduce stuttering and other negative effects that result from major fluctuations in the FPS.
  • FPSLimit=34
You can increase this if your minimum FPS is always at a higher value. For testing
  • EnableVSync=false
Only set this to =true if you experience screen tearing. Generally not needed with FPS Limiter and can potentially cause input lag when used in tandem. System-dependent. 
  • EnableTemporalAA=true
Personal preference. Enabling this cost about 1 FPS performance but will greatly reduce shimmering/aliasing when moving around. It can cause ghosting as a downside, but I personally find that more tolerable than shimmering. NPCs will become more blurry. 
  • EnableEdgeAA=false
SMAA does a better job. 

6. Open enbseries.ini and change the following:

  • EnableAmbientOcclusion=false
This will be a major FPS saver at the cost of this effect. On my system it costs about 5-10 FPS.
  • EnableCloudShadows=false
This is the 2nd biggest FPS saver at the cost of this effect. On my system it costs about 3-5 FPS.

7. Optional enbseries.ini tweaks to further increase your FPS at some quality loss (individual settings generally don't make more than 1 FPS difference), ranked by their performance cost:

  • EnableSoftParticles=false
  • EnableParticleLights=false
The above 2 particle settings can help increase fps when near light sources such as flames, candles or torches.
  • [BLOOM] Quality=2
I believe this is no longer needed in the latest versions as Vividian ENB utilizes enbbloom.fx.ini but I'm not expert enough to know. To be safe, put it at 2)
  • [SHADOW] DetailedShadowQuality=2
Shadow striping might appear.
  • [SHADOW] ShadowFilterQuality=2
Shadow striping might appear.
  • [SUBSURFACESCATTERING] Quality=2
If you don't notice after changing this from =1, keep it at 2 :)

8. Open injector.ini and change the following:

  • preset = SMAA_PRESET_HIGH
The default Vividian ENB preset is UBER, which only increases SMAA quality by 10 - 20% at the cost of multiple FPS. 

I wouldn't change any other effects as they are crucial to Vidian ENB's looks (SkyLighting is disabled by default in recent versions).

After the INI and the ENB tweaks you should already notice a large performance increase. The next section will focus more on reducing the amount of VRAM used, as well as increasing performance.


SRLE Mods

Weather Systems

CoT Weather Patch

  • Install the regular edition instead of the fog edition. ENB fog is too performance intensive for medium GPUs.
  • Don't forget to merge a new esp.

General World Improvement

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

Installer Options

  • Lite version with Dragonborn DLC Half-Sized Textures

BUM Userlist updating Required:

  • SMIM-DragonbornTernFix.esp AFTER StaticMeshImprovementMod.esp
  • SMIM-DungeonsCliffsIceSkirts.esp AFTER SMIM-DragonbornTernFix.esp
  • SMIM-FarmHouseFlickeringFix.esp AFTER SMIM-DungeonsCliffsIceSkirts.esp

After installation, remove the following files:

  • meshes\architecture\farmhouse\fencewoven01.nif
  • meshes\architecture\farmhouse\fencewoven02.nif

If there is an update to SMIM which requires the full version, simply don't install the update until it has been included in the main file. The SMIM updates are usually incompatible with the light version.

Clutter and Miscellaneous

Bloody Dragon Bones

  • Install the 1k version.

Enhanced HD Dragon Bones

  • Install the 1k version

Stunning Statues

  • Recommend to install 2K versions of every texture. Statues are too big for 1k. Would not recommend 4k at all as it is a big VRAM increase (think 20-30MB more per texture).
  • Do select the meshes for every texture, they are too nice to give up.

Landscape and Environment

aMidianborn Solstheim Landscape

  • Only install the 1k version if you have performance issues in Solstheim. This won't be necessary for most users as Solstheim's VRAM use in general is much lower than Skyrim's.

Dramatic Clouds

  • Install the High version.

HD Stone Quarry and Clay Deposits

  • Install the 1k version.

High Quality 3D Map

  • Install the 1k normals only if you are experiencing intolerable slowdowns when opening the map, otherwise keep 2k.

High Quality LODs

  • Only install the medium meshes.
There has been some discussion whether normals should be installed or not. STEP recommends not to, while SRLE does. Forum thread here. Personally I do not use the normals. Whether you use them or not shouldn't make much of a performance difference, if any.

Realistic Water Two

  • Choose medium textures in the main installer.
  • Also install the Performance Waterfalls optional.
  • Do not install the optional ENB textures (unnecessary with Vividian ENB performance version as water and underwater are disabled).

The Skyrim Distance Overhaul

SDO is beautiful in open spaces but in many places in the Skyrim world you may not see the additions of SDO but it still eats up your performance.</br> It is best you do some trial and error with this mod, depending on what you need:

  • To gain 1-5 FPS (based on my findings) in some parts of the exterior world: Install Morthal Swamps Light instead of the Complete version. Clean with TES5Edit.
  • To gain 1-10 FPS (based on my findings) in some parts of the exterior world: Do not install any Morthal Swamps esp.
  • To gain 5-15 FPS (based on my findings) in some parts of the exterior world: Do not install any SDO esp (i.e. only have the *.bto files enabled)
  • If you still need more performance you can try completely disabling SDO, but you will give up a lot of quality.
Check the STEP findings for more information on what to choose. 

Ultimate HD Fire Effects

  • Install the Low Resolution version. Difference between low and medium is 2-5 FPS in areas with dense fire.

Vivid Landscapes - All in One

  • Install the main file 'xVivid Landscapes - All in One - Loose Files - Better Performance' (which is a 1k - 2k mix) instead of the full 2k version.
  • Install the update file 'Vivid Landscapes - All in One - Update for All Types' instead of the full 2k version.

Vivid Landscapes - Castle Volkahir

  • Install the main file 'Vivid Landscapes - Castle Volkihar 2048' instead of the uncompressed version.

Webs Extended

  • Install the 1k version (some webs are also found in exteriors).

Effects

Deadly Spell Impacts

  • Install the main file 'DSI Low' instead of medium.

Enhanced Blood Textures

  • Also install either the optional file '1024 Res Textures' or '512 Res Texture'. Personally I use the '512 Res Textures' as I don't zoom in on the blood before, during or after combat anyways.

Animal Companions and Mounts

The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak

  • In the installer, select 'high definition' instead of 'extreme definition'

New Creatures and Encounters

Skyrim Immersive Creatures

DDSopt guide. Ensure that Behave > Textures > Raise foilage-map opacity each level is unchecked for every mod in this guide.

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024x1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds files
  • Except the interface\skyui\_00\siclogo.dds file.

Beards, brows and Hair

Beards

Install the Normal version

Brows

Install the Normal version

Superior Lore-Friendly Hair

Recommend to keep the 2k version as the quality difference with 1k is substantial and the potential VRAM gain minimal.

Skin and Body

Better Males

While it may not look like it at first glance, skin and body mods actually costs a huge amount of VRAM. Approximately 200 - 300MB in most situations with a few NPCs. Reason for that is twofold: Some textures are uncompressed while others are compressed but too high resolution. If you follow the values below you will likely not notice any quality difference during gameplay, but will save 100 - 150MB VRAM. DDSopt settings for file selection 1:

  • In the constraints tab, uncheck everything (this will only reduce the dimensions without applying compression).
  • Resolution-limits = 1024x1024

File selection 1:

  • textures\actors\character\bretonmale\malehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\darkelfmale\malehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\highelfmale\malehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\maleold\malebody_1_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\imperialmale\malehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\orcmale\maleheadorc_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\redguardmale\malehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\woodelfmale\malehead_msn.dds

DDSopt settings for file selection 2:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 2048x2048

File selection 2:

  • textures\actors\character\khajitmale\bodymale_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\khajitmale\khajitmalehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\male\malebody_1.dds
  • textures\actors\character\male\malebody_1_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\male\malehands_1_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\male\malehead.dds
  • textures\actors\character\male\maleheadvampire.dds

CoverKhajiits

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 2048x2048

File selection:

  • textures\actors\character\khajitfemale\femalehead_msn.dds

Forgotten Argonian Roots

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select R8G8B8/A8R8GG8B8/L8/A8L8 in every respective box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024k

File selection:

  • textures\actors\character\argonianfemale\argonianfemalebody_s.dds
  • textures\actors\character\argonianfemale\argonianfemalehands_s.dds
  • textures\actors\character\argonianfemale\argonianfemalehead_s.dds
  • textures\actors\character\argonianmale\argonianmalebody_s.dds
  • textures\actors\character\argonianmale\argonianmalehands_s.dds
  • textures\actors\character\argonianmale\argonianmalehead_s.dds

Mature Skin Texture and Body

DDSopt settings file selection 1:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection 1:

  • textures\actors\character\bretonfemale\femalehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\darkelffemalefemale\femalehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\female\femalehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\female\femaleheadvampire_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\femaleorc\femaleheadorc_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\highelffemale\femalehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\imperialfemale\femalehead_msn.dds
  • textures\actors\character\redguardfemale\femalehead_msn.dds

DDSopt settings file selection 2:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 2048 x 2048

File selection 2:

  • textures\actors\character\female\femalebody_1.dds
  • textures\actors\character\female\femalebody_1_msn.dds

DDSopt settings file selection 3:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select R8G8B8/A8R8GG8B8/L8/A8L8 in every respective box.
  • Resolution-limits = 2048 x 2048

File selection 3:

  • textures\actors\character\female\femalebody_1_s.dds
  • textures\actors\character\female\femalehands_1_s.dds

RS Children Overhaul

  • Do not select the 2k Adventurers and Adventurour Outfit.

Vanilla Item Retextures and Tweaks

aMidianborn Book of Silence

As with body mods, armor mods may not look like it at first glance, but they actually contribute a lot to VRAM and general load. Hence we will reduce their size a bit while minimizing the loss in quality. DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • Armors (all *.dds)
  • Creatures (all *.dds)
  • Dragonborn DLC (all *.dds)
  • Weapons (all *.dds)
  • Content Addon (all *.dds)
  • Do not DDSopt the Uniques.

aMidianborn Hide and Studded Hide

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

aMidianborn imperial Light and Studded Armor

  • Install the 1k version

aMidianBorn Iron and Banded Armor

  • Install the 1k version

aMidianBorn Scaled Armor

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

aMidianBorn Steel Armor

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

aMidianborn Stormcloak Officer Armor

  • Install the 'low' version (which is 1k)

Better Circlets

  • Install the 1k x .5k version

EotW Dawnguard DLC Textures Remastered

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

EotW Mage Equipment Overhaul

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

EotW Mage Robes of Skyrim

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

Gemling Queen Jewelry

  • In the installer, select the .5k option where possible.

Ultra HD - Stormcloak and City Guards

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

New items

Immersive Armors

Personally I have not DDSopted this mod as very few NPCs actually wear it, and when you're the only oen wearing 2k IA items it's not a lot of extra VRAM. Still for those wishing to squeeze out all performance, you can use the following.

DDSopt settings:

  • In the constraints tab, tick everything and select DXTx in every box.
  • Resolution-limits = 1024 x 1024

File selection:

  • All *.dds

Basic Needs and Survival

Frostfall

  • Do not install the 2048 x 2048 cloak optional

REGS mods

Extra Performance Increasing Mods

Bethesda Performance Textures - Armor - Clothes - Weapons

Nexus Link

  • Version: BPT - ALL
  • Place after the Unofficial High Resolution Patch in the left pane of MO.

Bethesda Performance Textures - Animals and Creatures

Nexus Link

  • Version: BPT - AC ALL + BPT Steel Boot Fix + Children Nord Clothes
  • Place after the Unofficial High Resolution Patch in the left pane of MO.