The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Performance

Oblivion is an incredible looking game, especially with all the options cranked up. For our tests, we used the Ultra High setting available from the launcher after applying the 1.1 patch. Unfortunately, there is no built in benchmark for Oblivion, so we are forced to use FRAPS to collect our data. Our test takes place while running in a straight line towards an Oblivion gate in the Great Forrest.

This test has higher variability than some of our other tests, so keep that in mind when looking at the numbers.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion




The two 8800 GTS parts perform nearly identically here. There is very little difference in how each card handles Oblivion. This indicates that Oblivion is much more sensitive to issues other than memory size (like processing power or memory bandwidth). While this game is actually playable at 2560x1600 on the 320MB 8800 GTS, gamers with 1600x1200 or 1920x1200 panels will be incredibly pleased with their Oblivion experience on this card.

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  • nicolasb - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    The conclusion to this article:

    quote:

    Based on the games and settings we tested, we feel very confident in recommending the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB to gamers who run at 1920x1200 or less. With or without AA, at these resolutions games look good and play well on the new part.


    This conclusion does not seem to bear much resemblance to the actual observations. In virtually every case the card performed well without AA, but dismally as soon as 4xAA was switched on. A fair conclusion would be to recommend the card for resolutions up to 1920x1200 without AA, but definitely not with.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    The GTS 320MB still performs well if taken on its own at 19x12 with 4xAA ... But I will modify the comment to better reflect what I mean. Reply
  • nicolasb - Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - link

    The way the conclusion now reads is a big improvement, IMNSHO. :-) Reply
  • munky - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    I was expecting better performance with AA enabled, and the article just glossed over the fact that the in half the games with AA the card performed on par or worse than last gen card that cost less. Reply
  • Bob Markinson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    For the base Oblivion install, yes, it's not so much of a memory hog. In-game texture use usually doesn't exceed 256 MB with HDR and 4xAA on @ 1152x864. (Also, please test AA perf too with HDR, both ATI and Nvidia do support it on their current gen cards at the same time.)
    Most popular texture mods will bring up the memory usage north of 500 MB. I've seen it hit over 700 MB. Thus, there's a good chance that any 256 MB card would be crippled with texture swapping. I should know, mine is.
    Reply
  • Bob Markinson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    For the base Oblivion install, yes, it's not so much of a memory hog. In-game texture use usually doesn't exceed 256 MB with HDR and 4xAA on @ 1152x864. (Also, please test AA perf too with HDR, both ATI and Nvidia do support it on their current gen cards at the same time.)
    Most popular texture mods will bring up the memory usage north of 500 MB. I've seen it hit over 700 MB. Thus, there's a good chance that any 256 MB card would be crippled with texture swapping. I should know, mine is.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    What texture mod would you recommend we test with? Reply
  • Bob Markinson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    Qarl's Texture Pack 2 and 3 are quite popular world texture packs. Please check this site for more details:
    http://devnull.devakm.googlepages.com/totoworld">http://devnull.devakm.googlepages.com/totoworld

    Note that version 3 really does need a lot of texture memory. Also, check out Qarl's 4096 compressed landscape LOD normal map texture pack, it'll add far more depth than the plain, overly filtered Oblivion LOD textures.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    We will take a look at those texture packs and do some testing ...

    Hopefully we can provide a follow up further exploring the impact of memory on the 8800 architecture.
    Reply
  • blackbrrd - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    I looked at the Oblivion scores, and the first thing that hit me was: they are using the standard crappy looking textures!

    No oblivion fan running a 8800gts would run with the standard texture pack. It is, at times, really really bad.

    Running a texture pack like the one above is quite normal. If you have enough video card memory there isn't much of a slowdown - except when the data is loaded into memory - which happends all the time... It does make the game look nicer though!
    Reply

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