The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Prior to the launch of our new benchmark suite, we wanted to include The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is easily the most popular RPG of 2011. However as any Skyrim player can tell you, Skyrim’s performance is CPU-bound to a ridiculous degree. With the release of the 1.4 patch and the high resolution texture pack this has finally been relieved to the point where GPUs once again matter, particularly when we’re working with high resolutions and less than high-end GPUs. As such, we're now including it in our test suite.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 2560x1600 - Ultra Quality + 4xMSAA/16xAF

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 1920x1200 - Very High Quality + 4xMSAA/16xAF

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - 1680x1050 - High Quality + 4xMSAA/16xAF

Skyrim presents us with an interesting scenario. At anything less than 2560 we’re CPU limited well before we’re GPU limited, and yet even though we’re CPU limited NVIDIA manages to take a clear lead while the 680 still finds room to push to the top. For whatever the reason NVIDIA would appear to have significantly less driver overhead here, or at the very least a CPU limited Skyrim interacts with NVIDIA’s drivers better than it does AMD’s.

In any case 2560 does move away from being CPU limited, but it’s not entirely clear whether the difference we’re seeing here is solely due to GPU performance, or if we’re still CPU limited in some fashion. Regardless of the reason the GTX 680 has a 10% lead on the 7970 here.

Starcraft II Civilization V
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  • unphased - Saturday, July 28, 2012 - link

    I'm using Precision X to OC my Gigabyte GTX 670 and I've got the Mem clock offset at +550Mhz. In the chart log it continues to run at 3557Mhz even while I am not playing any games.

    Is this normal? I even switched off Aero to check and it hasn't changed.
    Reply
  • Gastec - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    I know I'm nobody, not like you americans who are always "somebody" or "something" but I can't just sit here and read and not react. It's enough that I have to put up with them on YouTube, why do you condone them here as well? I'm refering to the likes of Wreckage and CeriseCogburn users that are obviously payed individuals to do negative publicity, here in favor of nVidia. Is that something acceptable here? Am I too old or not "in tone" with the working of the Internet or what? Reply
  • Gastec - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Having white american genetic traits that allow you to be a convincing how-to-become-rich-and-successful book and TV religion seller migh be a praized quality in your american lands but in my lands we know one thing, and one thing only: that 60 fps is what we want in our games, be them old or new. I don't care if the card can do 120 fps, 10 more than the 110 fps that the other brand can do. That's irrelevant. My monitor works at 60 Hz. If one card can do 55 fps MIN/100 fps MAX, I'll take it over the other one that can do 40 fps MIN/120 fps MAX anyday. So why don't you think about that and convince me to buy your card. With pictures of course. Reply
  • IuteTalpa - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    Hello,

    My name is Iute Talpa and I am adicted to tank games. When you buy nvidia 680 card you receive a promo code that can be used in World Of Tanks. Can please send me that code on dbtreborn@gmail.com ?

    I would really appreciate your gesture.
    Regards,
    Treborn
    Reply
  • BrotherofCats - Monday, June 10, 2013 - link

    I have had nothing but trouble with this card from the start. It crashes a dozen times a day, mostly when I am playing a video, but sometimes when I am using my word processor or Excel. Mostly it freezes the screen for about a minute, then come back with a pop up box that states my driver crashed and has recovered. About twice a day it does a complete crash, the two peripheral screens going white and the central screen gray, and I have to hard boot my computer to get it working again. Have asked for help on the Nvidea forums and facebook page, and none of their solutions, clean install of the driver, or using an earlier driver has worked. Saw on the facebook page that other people are having the same problem. Will probably have to scrap this expensive turkey and get something cheaper that works. Not recommended at all. Reply

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