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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  • Owls - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Not hasty but trolly. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    He states the facts that shame amd's recent launch fiasco and it's trolling...
    Way to go. Tell the truth, you're a troll. Only if we tell lies for amd are we being a good poster boy.
    Reply
  • Lazlo Panaflex - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    The Bitch is back! Go troll some other site, chump. Reply
  • flashbacck - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Lol. What a loser! Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    But he read the title.
    Besides, Anand never misses chance to piss on AMD's cookies.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    "but as always, at the end of the day it’s NVIDIA who once again takes the performance crown"

    Oh boy...
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    The 680 stomped the 7970 in Civ5 and the reviewer obviously a you know what fan, said the 7970 tied. He's trying as hard as he possibly can for his brothers like you. Reply
  • mschira - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    Oh come on. You're just annoyed he beat you.
    And his comment almost makes sense.
    M.
    Reply
  • N4g4rok - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    You should probably go look at the charts, at least. Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Er... no. In some games, AMD's $350 card was faster... in many games they are are comparable with each other. But nothing deadly to AMD.

    In general, the 680 is the faster card.... hopefully we'll see a price war.
    Reply

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