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.

Battlefield 2 Performance F.E.A.R. Performance


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  • tacoburrito - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    With all the eye candy turned on, the 320mb card seems to be only on par with the previous gen 79xx cards, but costs almost twice as much. I'd much rather cough up the extra $200 and get the full GTS version. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    Actually, the 320MB card blows away the 7 series in our tests. Why would you say that it's only on par? At 16x12, the 8800 GTS 320MB is 60% faster, and the difference in performance only gets larger from there. Reply
  • tacoburrito - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    With the exception of Half Life 2, at 4x AA, wouldn't you say that the 8800 GTS 320 is only marginally better than 7950 GT, but would costs twice a much? Reply
  • tacoburrito - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    Whoops, I meant to say 7900 GTX Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    From the context of the thread, I assumed you were talking about Oblivion.

    Without AA, the 8800 320MB is much better than the 7900 GTX. With AA, there is an argument to be made, but the price of the 7900 GTX (as Jarred pointed out) is higher.

  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    I'd be very curious to find out where you're seeing 7900 GTX cards for "half the price". I don't see any in stock when taking a quick look at major resellers, and our">Pricing Engine confirms that. I'm pretty sure the 7900 GTX is discontinued now, and prices never got below $400. Reply
  • Wwhat - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    It still remains to be seen how DX10 games (or future OpenGL games that use geometry shaders?) run on the various incarnations of the new cards, you should have put that in the conclusion as a caveat, it's not just textures anymore you know.

    I don't thinks there's anything at all currently that uses geometry shaders, you wonder why some developer doesn't throw together a quick test utility, billions of people on the planet and nobody can do that little effort? geez.
    Surely someone at crytek or Id or something can write a small looping thing with a framecounter? anand should send out some mails, get someone on his feet.

  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    There are some dx10 sample apps that make use of geometry shaders ... I've been working on testing these, but it is more difficult than it may seem as FRAPS has trouble with DX10 apps.

    You do have a point though -- DX10 performance will be important. The problem is that we can't really make a recommendation based on DX10 performance.

    The 8 series parts do have more value than the 7 series and x1k series parts in that they support DX10. But this is as far as we can take it. Performance in the games we have does matter, and it is much more prudent to make a purchase only based on the information we know.

    Sure, if the cost and performance of an 8 series part is the same or very near some DX9 class hardware, the features and DX10 support are there to recommend it over the competition. But it's hard to really use this information in any other capacity without knowing how good their DX10 support really is.
  • Awax - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    The main point for me is the low impact of memory size on modern games.

    On previous generation game, like Quake4, developers had to use a lot of high resolution texture/bump map/lookup map to achieve advanced effect with the limited capacity in raw performances and flexibility of the cards available.

    With DX9 and more in DX10, the new way is to _CALCULATE_ things completely instead of having them interpolated with tricks using intermediary results or already computed lookup tables stored in textures.
  • DerekWilson - Monday, February 12, 2007 - link

    But new ways to calculate things will also benefit from having huge amounts of data to calculate things from.

    It's really hard to speculate on the direction DX10 games will take at this point. Certianly we will see more use of programmable features and a heavier impact on processing power. But memory usage will also increase. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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