Skyrim, y u do dis!?!?! (Strange FPS drops and locks)

Started playing Skyrim again after a long break, and I can't remember if it did it before, but I keep getting strange FPS problems. Sometimes I'll get a constant 60 fps (but never going higher, strange as I don't have vsync on in CCC and I don't think Skyrim has a vsync option) but sometimes I'll look another direction and BOOM! I drop to 30 FPS and it just stays at that frame rate, as if it is locked there, unable to go any higher. Also, back to what I said about 60 FPS, eventhough it's no higher than 60 FPS, I still get really really bad screen tearing eventhough my monitor's refresh rate is 60hz. Pretty much I'm either getting a constant 60 FPS with screen tearing, or a bloody annoying 30 FPS. I know this sounds an awful lot like that kind of vsync (I forget the name, like adaptive something) that will halve your refresh rate if it can't keep up the constant 60 FPS, but if it is that, I have no idea how to turn it off! Please let me know what you think guys!

My PC specs:

Phenom II x4 965 BE @4ghz

Radeon HD 7850 2gb 256-bit 1ghz core, 1200mhz VRAM

8GB G-Skill Sniper series RAM 1600mhz


Do you have mods installed?  Too many graphically intensive mods can be the cause of a sluggish frame rate.

In order to disable vsync in Skyrim, you have to edit the SkyrimPrefs.ini file.  Look for the line iPresentInterval under the Display section.  If it doesn't exist, add it and set it equal to zero. Then click file and save.  Make sure you create a backup of your .ini files before editing them. Store these backups somewhere safe in case you ever need to revert to your original settings. I recommend storing them in a folder on your desktop for easy access.

Also, make sure everything is up to date (Skyrim, drivers, etc.).