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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  • Makaveli - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    what are you ranting about wreckage NV would have done the same thing if they released their card first!

    Gouging its customers don't make me laugh. If the price is too high for you don't buy it.
    AMD didn't put a gun to anyone head.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    Nvidia released it's last 4 flagship cards at $499, yes that's correct, and this one is that.
    Not sure what imaginary world you live in, but it's one that does not include the common facts at hand.
    In other words, AMD already knew far beforehand the $499 flagship Nvidia card price was coming, and so did everyone else who paid attention.
    Reply
  • consolePoS - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    I said haha busted you dickhead goddamn Reply
  • consolePoS - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    woops thought my well thought out comment had been removed, oh well whilst I'm already commenting heres another: "Wreckage is a complete benson and an all around arse-bandit" Reply
  • slayernine - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Actually it looks to me like the 680 is hugely disappointing, losing to the 7970 and even the 7950 in some tests.

    Try reading the article....
    Reply
  • Hauk - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Wreckage first again! LMAO.. Reply
  • pandemonium - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    I'm confused...are we reading the same article? The 7970 and 680 swap top positions for the most powerful single GPU in several different ways.

    Where is this, "This cards beats AMD on EVERY level! Price, performance, features, power..... every level"?
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, March 24, 2012 - link

    We always, since game engines favor one style core over another, have a reasonable average of the games chosen to be tested as indicator of "performance".
    Every common and popular website testing has that "performance" chalked up the GTX680 winning.
    you can't argue price
    you can't argue features
    you can't argue power
    --
    20% slower overall
    $80 more expensive
    no on the fly OC, no dyna vsync, no physx- no unique destrcution, no TXAA
    loses on watts per frame
    --
    Yes we are looking at the same review but your bias has your brain dreaming up other things ?
    Reply
  • IceDread - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    No it does not.

    SLI scaling is really bad as is surround.

    http://www.sweclockers.com/recension/15196-geforce...

    Check the graphs.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, March 24, 2012 - link

    I guess SWE clockers are amateurs or have some shoulder chip..

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-sli-...

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cross...

    Nvidia 101 FPS
    AMD 89 FPS
    Reply

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