AMD Radeon RAMDisk and Skyrim – update

Just a quick update here on something else I had to do to get Skyrim working with my AMD Radeon RAMDisk

Due to the number and size of the mods I like to use, my Nexus mods folder (r:\mods) has increased beyond 5GB, just a bit too much for my RAMDisk to keep Skyrim going at the 21.5GB that I have it now set at. So I used the information I’ve previously provided to come up with another solution.

del "r:\mods\Landscape Texture Pack WIP 2048-329-v2-1.rar"
mklink "r:\mods\Landscape Texture Pack WIP 2048-329-v2-1.rar" "C:\Games\Skyrim\mods-orig\Landscape Texture Pack WIP 2048-329-v2-1.rar"

What this does is remove the mod from the RAMDisk, freeing up space, then uses the mklink command to redirect to the backup location we created previously. I freed up 3.8GB by doing this on all the larger mods.

The bad news is, that Nexus Mod Manager has to open and scan the contents of every mod file. By placing the mod (through redirection/symlink) back on the HDD, it slows down the disk read time significantly. There is an alternate method to this, that I found online, but I do not think it is much better. It will definitely speed up the load times of NMM however.

To increase your NMM load time, complete the following for all of your larger mod files. How many mods you have and their file sizes, relate directly to how many you will need to do. Previously (before using a RAMDisk) I did this with any mod having a file size of 24,000 KB or larger;however with the RAMDisk I am currently only doing it on mod files of 100MB or larger.

  1. Make sure all of your mods you wish to use are installed and activated.
  2. Backup the mod file from c:\games\skyrim\mods (the default location for NMM).
    • Something we already did if you have followed parts one and two of this tutorial.
  3. Finally, edit the archive deleting everything but the smallest single file.
    • Normally that would be either the readme, or a .xml file.
    • Often located in the fomod folder, if it exists.

Upon closing the archive (make sure to use winrar for any .rar files, and 7zip for any .7z files, else you may have unexpected results), the archive size should change to a number less than 5KB, and if you are lucky, less than 1KB. This will scan VERY fast when NMM loads compared to having multiple Gigs of mods in the folder). Before I switched to the RAMDisk my mod scan could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on my current level of disk activity, as best I can tell the process is intentionally throttled by NMM as the defualt mods folder is on the OS drive and the devs didn’t want to cause disk thrashing or system performance issues. This process does not affect your installed mods, unless you try to activate or remove them.

Please note, when NMM launches the next time it will notify you that something has changed (once for each mod you modified this way), asking if you want to update the mod (yes or no). If you select “no” everything will be fine, if you select “yes” it may remove the mod from your game (replacing it with nothing, as your compressed file is empty now) or just error as the archive does not have any files left in it and you will then have to deactivate the mod, close NMM, copy the file back/import the file, and then reactivate the mod.

Hope this helps some of you out.

Previous posts in this series
AMD Radeon RAMDisk and Skyrim – part 1
AMD Radeon RAMDisk and Skyrim – part 2


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