The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Bethesda's epic sword & magic game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is our RPG of choice for benchmarking. It's altogether a good CPU benchmark thanks to its complex scripting and AI, but it also can end up pushing a large number of fairly complex models and effects at once, especially with the addition of the high resolution texture pack.

Skyrim with its optional high resolution texture pack is the textbook case for 2GB cards right now. At 1680x1050 (with lower quality settings) matters aren’t so bad, but at 1920x1200 1GB cards flat out run out of VRAM. This goes for both the GTX 650 Ti 1GB and the 7850 1GB, leaving the field to 2GB cards such as the 7850 2GB and the 2GB factory overclocked retail cards. To that end with enough VRAM the GTX 650 Ti cards can just hit 60fps with their factory overclocks, but the 7850 2GB, which was already just trailing the GTX 660, is well ahead.

Dropping down to 1680x1050 is enough to mitigate the lack of VRAM, but even then the GTX 650 Ti doesn’t fair particularly well. On an absolute basis it’s at 84fps, which is more than smooth, but the 7850 still enjoys a 30% lead. On that note, along with a lack of total VRAM, a lack of memory bandwidth seems to really be hammering the GTX 650 Ti, which is why we not only see the Zotac card pop to the head of that pack, but is why the 7850 and even the GTX 560 do so well here.

Starcraft II Civilization V
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  • flipmode - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Please, that mantra is goofy. Of course there is such a thing as a bad product. You're telling me you've never run into a product that you wouldn't buy at any price? I have. Not saying the GTX 650 Ti fits that description - it doesn't - but I just wish you'd dispense with that silly expression. Reply
  • Paulman - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I think it's a good saying, especially when applied to the two horse race between AMD/ATI and NVIDIA. Both companies have been executing fairly well over the past half decade or more, and ultimately the biggest factor that determines the success or value of a card is the performance vs. price. The only thing that would mess with that is a significant spat of failing parts, or ridiculously high power/noise consumption that can't be mitigated, or unfixably buggy drivers. But barring such catastrophe scenarios, if your part isn't that great by the time it hits the market, just lower the price :P Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    It's amazing the amd fanboy brain farts spewing here.

    AMD lowered their frikkin 7850 price, not the card that "isn't that great that just hit the market".

    I'll also point out that this nVidia card does 4 monitors out of the box, and the Asus version at the egg has a great port setup for that, and is inexpensive.

    It's just amazing to me really. AMD drops in price, and the idiot response is late and slow for the card reviewed demanding a lower price.

    LOL - it's so so freakin sad.
    Reply
  • rarson - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    You don't understand economics, do you? Reply
  • Homeles - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    "AMD lowered their frikkin 7850 price, not the card that 'isn't that great that just hit the market.'"

    You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills, kid. You have completely missed the point of the post you are replying to. Quite laughably, really, especially given your condescension.
    Reply
  • Siana - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    OMG a sane person on the Internet!

    JIHAAAAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • Uritziel - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    Nothing keeps a price from being negative, so the saying isn't really wrong. Bet you'd buy that bad product you have in mind for -$5000... Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    Here, where are the amd fanboys usual bloviating load of crap spews ?

    I'll pretend I'm them.

    This card OverClocks to 7850 speeds and passes it for $5o LESS ! you'd have to be an idiot to buy the amd card when every single nVidia 650Ti hit the same awesome overclock flying past the 7850 !
    Not to mention eyefinity sucks and is dead now that 4 monitors are rockin on these 650Ti's !
    I'd sure like to see amd innovate but all they care about is MONEY $$$ so they charge more!

    There we go amd fanboys, FTFY, and the worse part of it all for you is it's all true instead of big fat lies like when you do it !
    Reply
  • rarson - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    This has nothing to do with fanboys, just like the last post didn't. We're talking about economics here, not AMD vs. Nvidia. Stop looking at everything through your green-tinted glasses and try reading what is actually on the screen. The comment you replied to has nothing to do with the cards you mentioned. Reply
  • Galidou - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    He says everyone is lying when speaking about AMD while he can hardly stay in the right path himself.... He's taking the side of the most powerful companies in the world(anything that's against AMD is worth taking their side) while spewing shit like: ''all they care about is MONEY $$$.''

    Let's go, take the side of the giants of this world, kill the small companies spewing shit about them so the world can turn more monopolistic than it is now... LoL funniest vomit the world had to know about... Make the rich even more rich and KILL everyone below... I have to admit AMD is in a bad situation, their CPU division fares ALOT worse than their GPU division but it's not a reason to be so stupid... so freaking imbecile..... Just so stubbornly refusing to have any respect toward anyone that doesn't TOTALLY embrace his stupid closed vision of the computer industry.

    I just wish AMD gets out of there, if not then too bad, we can't change things for them. They are fighting against the giants of the computer industry that have a hundred times more budget than they do... Just for that, I'm wishing they succeed in the future.
    Reply

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