Content of the article: "Playing Both SE and LE with ENB and mods in late 2020 (My Experience)"
So recently, I went back and installed both versions with similar mod configs and I struggled to find which one was better. My system is an 8th gen i5, 16GB RAM, with a MSI RTX 2060 Ventus. (On a 21:9 UWQHD resolution 3440×1440). I don't have a high refresh display.
Here's just my thoughts which may shed some light to those who may be facing the same dilemma.
These are what I've been told, vs how it actually turned out for me.
I was told LE was the better option, because nothing compares to LE when it comes to modding. And I totally agree. The support and variety of mods for LE is champ. Not to mention the additional options and graphical tweaks for ENB, available on LE. But there were a few steep hills to climb, especially when I'm not a deep modder – I just need some mods that I can load up easily, and start the game without tweaking so much. And I don't have a base with 2, 3, 4 overlapping mods on top of the other.
Just the base – Texture, weather, landscape, lighting combat, and a few other immersive mods, running on MO2.
On LE, there were many fixes I needed to patch in – before I even got started on the base mods I needed. A lot memory related, some graphics card related, it was like stacks and stacks of patches one on top of the other. And some manual tweaks to ini files and the like. (I did loot and bashed them too at the end btw, as recommended). But I still continued to get micro stutters throughout the gameplay and I eventually gave up. I was also averaging 30-40 fps on my system with ENB and base settings maxed out.
Did I miss some tweaks and fixes? Perhaps. I'm not a tech nerd guru. So I did my best based on what I was able to understand through different sources and mod authors. Clearly I'm not that advanced in technical knowledge to implement every fix to manually optimize my system.
I was also told, SE was the more "performance hungry", unpolished and unstable version. But also, more optimized for newer Windows systems. So there were conflicting suggestions. These came from some popular modders on the youtube community which I won't name. So I gave it a try. And liked SE better. There are minimal patches needed (system compatibility wise), without little need to fix this or fix that.
My one main take away was:
The base Ambient Occlusion for SE and built in rain occlusion (that fixed rain penetrating through shelters) was far more performance friendly and visually sufficient for me, since it's optimized as a base setting. On LE, they had to be pushed by the ENB which increased the load.
Stock settings wise, the only other performance hit(s) came from godrays, reflections and 64-bit renderer.
So while there aren't as many mods on SE, it's sufficient (at least for me). And more are being ported over which is also a good thing. On SE, I can totally free up the AO settings on the ENB among a few other minor visual tweaks that made no obvious visual difference – unless you're pixel peeping or staring long at objects close up.
Also, ENB AO and base AO didn't look too visually different. At least not to my average gamer eyes. So it was a good tradeoff. (I use Rudy btw).
On SE, I can also pump in additional settlement mods and get a decent fps of above 45. Averaging around 50+, with some areas maxing out to 60fps (on high setting). Micro stutters are also gone.
All in all, I'm pleased.
So to whoever is deciding, I hope this helps.
Again, this is just how the game turned out for me. So experiences may vary depending on which ENB you use, the mods you use, or whether you prefer reshade over ENB, etc.
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