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RPGWatch Forums » Games » The Elder Scrolls » The Elder Scrolls I - IV » Morrowind performance issues on a modern PC

Default Morrowind performance issues on a modern PC

August 29th, 2010, 18:18
I'm kinda scratching my head on this one, and need any advice that I can get. I have a modern win7 x64 pc loaded to the gills w/ RAM, and a crazy video card that chews up and spits everything out no problem. Yet Morrowind tends to run kinda slow in cities. It's playable, dont get me wrong, but it's frustrating to see my framerate drop to 15-25 fps and the game run kinda sludgy in a piddly city like Ebonheart, for instance.

Ive scoured the net, tweaked the .ini file, run the FPS optimizer -what gives??

I know it's an old program on a new system. It's a common thing to be disappointed when installing an oldie and expecting to play it cranked to the max, just to find that it was poor programming as much as a weak pc that made it run like shit back in 2004. But I find it hard to believe that with all the MW disciples still playing this game to this day, that there's no fix. There has to be a tweak, a patch, something that I'm missing here.

Someone please tell me they have the Morrowind silver bullet for all-round awesome performance…
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August 29th, 2010, 19:04
If you don't get help from others, I can start a new MW game on my pc (i7 cpu, ati 4890, win7 64) and test it. I'll come back to you tomorrow.

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August 29th, 2010, 19:27
I'm playing the steam version btw, so I'm assuming all official patches have been applied.
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August 29th, 2010, 20:44
For me, MW runs at a pretty constant 60fps with very rare dips to 30 or so. One thing to note is that your video card is hardly used, just about everything is done by the CPU. BTW, this is with MGE and high res texture packs. (win7/64, amd x2 3ghz, 5770)

I would recommend going to the official forums to ask opinions there. They have a very friendly and responsive group there.
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August 29th, 2010, 21:57
Ive been tinkering it all morning, and I found a few things that really helped.

First, I limited the FPS to 75, and I turned the shadows down to about half. That had areas formerly dropping down to 25 staying at 60ish fps. Unfortunately, my girl wants to leave the house today and do stuff so i cant mess w/ it more at the moment. Women…
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August 30th, 2010, 18:29
Actually, another problem reared it's head and the game really started going south after I checked "speed up cursor in menus" or whatever in FPS optmizer… the game was freezing after leaving menus, or running badly. I completely disabled FPS optimizer, and the game started running like shit again. It was still acting weird in menus whether on or off. At this point, I was seriously tired of it.

I started thinking that the FPS optimizer, whether on or off, was affecting my game. It has an .ini file, maybe it made changes to the MW .ini file, who knows. That's the weakest link, that's the biggest overall change that I've made to the game. I didnt have the frame count going on early in my install, and I didnt use the program until about 5 hours in, so I couldnt gauge the programs effect on my initial game in early game Seyda Neen.

I deleted the optimizer, it's opt_ini file, and reinstalled the default morrowind.ini file (im not poring thru the entire thing) and the game runs great now. Full shadows, full rez, you name it. I still cap the frame rate at 60, and it stays pretty consistently there. I played for a few hours and all was well.

So, the moral of this story I suppose that I learned is to be careful w/ the "FPS Optimizer" program, it's a very powerful tool. Or in my case, just dont friggen use it ='.'=
Last edited by xSamhainx; August 30th, 2010 at 18:42.
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August 30th, 2010, 19:37
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
I deleted the optimizer, it's opt_ini file, and reinstalled the default morrowind.ini file (im not poring thru the entire thing) and the game runs great now. Full shadows, full rez, you name it. I still cap the frame rate at 60, and it stays pretty consistently there. I played for a few hours and all was well.

So, the moral of this story I suppose that I learned is to be careful w/ the "FPS Optimizer" program, it's a very powerful tool. Or in my case, just dont friggen use it ='.'=
Seems to be a good rule for all older games on newer hardware:
Capping the framerate to 50 in the *.ini file allowed me to play Shogo again.

Not using external tools, when not absolutely necessary is another one. DOSBox is the only exception from that in my experience, it never failed me.
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August 30th, 2010, 19:47
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
… my girl wants to leave the house today and do stuff so i cant mess w/ it more at the moment. Women…
I'm with you, brother.

Do you by any chance work in computing? If not, I recommend that you get a more suitable job - lots of things can be justified, and you won't necessarily be lying either, if you work in that field. Besides, my wife has a laptop of her own, and since we're on the same local network we can communicate using email. Great!!!

And if you ever get children (or have children): Buy them computers ASAP!!!! They'll learn a lot of english from it.

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August 30th, 2010, 19:51
You didn't install any mods other than the FPS Optimizer?
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August 30th, 2010, 19:56
Pibbur -She's a computer scientist actually, so it's not that we have dissimilar interests. She was in her own little subsector of Morrowind Hell too, trying to get some house mod to work that she's been working on for days. She just has the opinion that one should actually turn off the computer and go outside once and awhile on the days off, possibly one of our greatest differences!

JD - yeah, I have better bodies/heads/clothes, texture replacement pack, and a few other fixes like no-glow for enchanted items, and no confirmation when harvesting herbs. Im also rolling w/ a Ninja outfit

I considered the mods may be a problem, but my testing has found disabling/re-enabling them to produce no noticeable performance changes. I'm pretty convinced that it was my own hamfisted messing w/ the FPS optimizer and ini tweaking that did it.
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September 2nd, 2010, 00:39
yeah its really buggy.
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September 2nd, 2010, 16:37
The default configurations on a lot of MW users I see on the net seems to be:
step 1 - install morrowind
step 2 - install MW FPS Optimizer

Like it's a given, a no-brainer. Just use it. I havent read anything about it being buggy, that's why I dove right in without hesitation. Looks like I need to be more careful!

Still running great hours later at 60 FPS sans that program.
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September 2nd, 2010, 19:15
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
Pibbur -She's a computer scientist actually, so it's not that we have dissimilar interests. She was in her own little subsector of Morrowind Hell too, trying to get some house mod to work that she's been working on for days. She just has the opinion that one should actually turn off the computer and go outside once and awhile on the days off, possibly one of our greatest differences!
Hah! Obviously she's not a REAL computer scientist. (You know, I just had to say that. Fortunately she doesn't know who I am and where I live. I hope).

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