OBLIVION
4gb Ram Patcher by Daniel Pistelli
Oblivion » Utilities
Added: 29/09/2014 - 05:42AM
Updated: 29/09/2014 - 07:00AM

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Last updated at 7:00, 29 Sep 2014 Uploaded at 5:42, 29 Sep 2014

Preliminary Oblivion Ram Optimization readme 0.1c by R.J.R. This isn't a in depth guide (yet anyways). Just some info on what seemed to work for me that you may find helpful (even if sorely lacking in some details). All credit for the awesome 4gb patch program goes to Daniel Pistelli.  Big thank you for Daniel's permission to host here on nexusmods.com. 

Oblivion is poorly optimized for modern systems. By default it is maxed out at a theoretical ram limit of 2gb (although it'll crash before reaching this limit, typically 1.6 to 1.8 gb max in practice). Using a nifty little utility you can raise the theoretical ram limit to 4gb although it'll never likely get close to utilizing this much in practice. Oblivion is hard coded for 32bit so larger than 4gb cannot be allocated per process (although seperate processes might allow greater than 4gb system ram to be to overall benefit). Some people may get a performance improvement. For others this patch would be useless. It all depends on your hardware setup, operating system (i.e. 32 bit or 64 bit), how many and which mods you are running, and finally what tweaks and extra utilities you use to help force oblivion to use some of this higher theoretical 4gb limit.

Bare minimum requirement to even consider using this patch is 4gb plus ram. Any less ram and this patch is pointless no matter how you look at it!!!  The first 4gb of ram on your computer is what Oblivion will want to use due to limitations in it's 32 bit code, so even with the 4gb patch applied you'll still want to optimize this memory by closing any unneeded processes in the windows task manager or automating this with a game optimizer which does this automatically (such as Razer Game Booster for Win XP, but which optimizer will work best for you will vary depending on your setup). Even then your operating system makes a big difference.

For Windows Systems with Less than 4gb ram
This patcher will do you no good obviously. Best bet on optimizing ram is shutting down all unneeded processes in the taskbar or using an optimizer such a Razer Game Booster which shuts down all unneeded processes while running the game automatically. 

For 64 bit Windows Operating Systems (e.g. Windows 7 or 8 64 bit) with 4gb+ ram

1st.) Use the 4gb utility downloaded here to apply the LAA patch to all .exe and .dll related to oblivion. You just open the program and select which files to patch and click open on each. The program makes backups of the original files automatically (with a ".Backup" file type you simply remove to overwrite the patched file if need be). This allows them to use greater than the default theoretically limit of 2gb. 4gb per process patched tops (less in practice). To take the fullest advantage of this patch requires 4gb of FREE ram after whatever windows and any other programs are running gobble up.

2nd.) Force Oblivion to make use of this extra ram with additional tweaks. Such as enabling a more efficient heap with OSR, etc... etc... etc...  More to come... 

For 32bit Windows Operating Systems (e.g. Windows XP, Vista ,or 7 32 bit) with 4gb+ ram
If your operating system is x86 (32-bit) then you would need to do additional configuring for a lesser potential gain in performance. You would be likely best trying to optimize what ram you have rather than using this 4gb LAA patcher (for 32-bit Windows operating systems such as Windows XP). Razer Game Booster is one such freely available utility which shuts down all unneeded processes while running the game automatically. Or you could manually shut down task in the windows task manager.

Some people using a 32 bit OS do get a performance boost using the patch, but it seems to be hit or miss. So it might be worth trying if  shutting down unneeded processes or using an ram optimizer isn't enough. Just be aware that in order to make use of more than 2gb of ram for a program on 32bit systems generally means you have to decrease the amount of memory allocated to windows which may cause issues depending on your setup. Windows XP 32 bit can be especially prone to issues when reallocating more memory towards programs. It's not uncommon for XP to become unstable, perform badly, and crash/freeze or refuse to boot up afterwards.

1st.) Required configuring the windows boot.ini to increase the max allocation of ram to programs to 3gb, leaving 1gb reserved for the operating system (by default the split is an even 2gb/2gb). This is known as 4GT tuning and may cause instability, crashes, or refusal to boot even (depending on your hardware, version of windows, and software installed). Applying the 4gb patch without the boot.ini edit may still improve memory use (to a lesser degree) by allowing Oblivion to use closer to the full 2gb (vs. only 1.6 to 1.8gb) windows allocates to programs by default.  

2nd.) Use the 4gb utility downloaded here to apply the LAA patch to all .exe and .dll related to oblivion. You just open the program and select which files to patch and click open on each. The program makes backups of the original files automatically (with a ".Backup" file type you simply remove to overwrite the patched file if need be). This allows them to use greater than the default theoretically limit of 2gb. 4gb per process patched tops (less in practice).

3rd.) Force Oblivion to make use of this extra ram with additional tweaks. Such as enabling a more efficient heap with OSR, etc... etc... etc...  More to come... 


(NOT RECOMMENDED) Highly Experimental for 32 bit Windows Operating system with 6gb+ ram 
Should you have optimized your ram, followed the steps 1-3 in the last section, you have 6gb+ ram (with 4gb normally being the limit accessible by 32 bit Windows) and you STILL need more performance... I was able to get a noticeable additional boost in Windows XP 32-bit on a 8gb ram system but it was a real hassle to configure!! Follow follow steps 1 though 3 from the last section and optionally an additional 4th step. This is an attempt to partially compensate for limitations in 32bit Windows and is of no known advantage for those running 64bit Windows. Highly experimental so I can't really recommend this just yet.  


4th.) Then I made a ram disk on the upper ram normally unaccessible to 32-bit WinXP (over 4gb) that I placed the windows page file on. Gavotte RAM Disk is a freely available program that is capable of this. It's important this ram disk is using the ram otherwise unusable by 32-bit windows (above 4gb) or else you would only be making things redundant and slow things down. PAE must be enabled whether it be software or hardware (automatically on many newer processors I've read) initiated to access ram over 4gb in windows xp 32bit (or other 32bit OS capable of this I'd surmise). There is also a registry entry that comes with the Gavotte Ram Disk which after enabling allows Window's use of the ram over the normal 4gb wall.

Even then this separate block of ram is normally invisible to programs in any direct fashion (including Oblivion). I had to make sure the Windows page file on the ram disk was set large (2 plus gb, I set mine to 4gb min/max) to help compensate for the lower ram allocated for the operating system (to prevent crashes/instability). So my theory would be that the system page file on the ram disk (using otherwise inaccessible ram for a 32-bit OS) acts as extra (albeit slower with driver overhead) ram for Windows helping to negate any performance penalty from siphoning away ram towards programs with the boot.ini edit in step 1. Again, Oblivion can't use this extra ram over 4gb directly and doesn't use ram directly over 4gb in 64 bit OS either (though it may improve overall performance on account of other programs using this ram).