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.

For every Portal 2 you have a Skyrim, it seems. At 1920 the GTX 660 Ti actually does well for itself here, besting the 7900 series, but we know from experience that this is a CPU limited resolution. Cranking things up to 2560 and Ultra quality sends the GTX 660 Ti through the floor in a very bad way, pushing it well below even the 7870, never mind the 7900 series.

Altogether the GTX 660 Ti achieves about 80% of the performance of the GTX 670, making this another game that is hurt badly by the loss of a ROP block and memory bandwidth. At the same time the GTX 670 is the first NVIDIA card fast enough to compete with the 7950, so the GTX 660 Ti came into this benchmark with unfavorable odds. 68fps is more than playable, but hardcore Skyrim players are going to want to stick to cards with more memory bandwidth. At best, the bright spot for NVIDIA is that the GTX 660 Ti is nearly 100% faster than the GTX 560 Ti, a remarkable improvement, but also one being fueled by the meager 1GB of VRAM the latter has.

As for our factory overclocked cards, this is another case of Zotac leading the pack. Its memory overclock is exactly what’s needed to counter the GTX 660 Ti’s lack of memory bandwidth, which helps it easily clear EVGA and Gigabyte’s cards.

Battlefield 3 Civilization V


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  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    you LIED

    Deal with it.
  • Galidou - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    And you think AMD is much different, 7950 on newegg, 4 out of 18 models are reference models and no overclocker will ever buy em because we're already informed of that.Seems like you're not checking both side stock, that's what it is to be an Nvidia fanboy, you speak of things without having a clue about what you say.

    Blah blah blah they only have 3 reference cards....

    I get on and I see 4 reference designs 2 of them are overclocked, I see 4 stock clocked cards 2 are non reference coolers. It isn't different from amd with his 4 out of 18. Poor newbie, speaking like he knows something while he's in total darkness.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Hey dummy, the initial statement was a crybaby whine that the 660Ti was reviewed in OC models.
    Try to DEAL with what I said in response to some idiot not knowing why the 660Ti had a lot of OC model reviews.
    The author here pointed out why, but I'm sure you crybabies didn't read, or just had a rage3d brain fart instead of any comprehension, otherwise you wouldn't have whined.
    PS dummy - amd cards have been out for 9 months for OC models, so checking egg now is pretty dang stupid... amazingly stupid, but that's what fanboys do - make stupid idiotic complaints, get corrected, then make more stupid idiotic replies.
    Get your head screwed on straight.
  • Galidou - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    You're right on that one, still, AMD AT LAUNCH had almost as much overclocked parts available to the public as they have now. How could you know, like you ever check the stock of AMD cards, you lack informations anyway.

    But still on almost 80% of the website they were reviewed stock clocked only. On the opposite of Nvidia having pushed for more overclocked parts to be reviewed, 80% of the 660 ti were OCed, why being so unfair if your products are FAR superior, well, because they simply are not THAT much superior.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    How could I know, and NO THEY DIDN'T.
    The crybaby liar attacking rage3d boy got it wrong again.
    Facts are what I KNOW, bs is what you talk.
    You've been corrected, AGAIN.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    LIAR " You're right on that one, still, AMD AT LAUNCH had almost as much overclocked parts available to the public as they have now."


    But as it’s turning out the Radeon HD 7970 isn’t going to be a traditional launch. In a rare move AMD has loosened the leash on their partners just a bit, and as a result we’re seeing semi-custom cards planned for launch earlier than usual. XFX looks to be the first partner to take advantage of this more liberal policy, as alongside the reference cards being launched today they’re launching their first semi-custom 7970s.
    Fully custom cards will come farther down the line. Of these 4 cards, 2 of them will be launching today: XFX’s Core Edition pure reference card, and their customized Black Edition Double Dissipation model, which features both a factory overclock and XFX’s custom cooler. It’s the Black Edition Double Dissipation

    So... hopefully you UNDERSTAND WHY you're full of it.
  • Galidou - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    There's no reason for ''Hey dummy'', ''crybaby whine'', ''PS dummy'' in our discussion, the lack of respect you use there just shows even more you're not able to maintain a good level of objectivity.

    ''Get your head screwed on straight''

    You're always trying to attack... always, sad, you're just trowing your credebility out the window yourself, not others are doing it, you alone are just trowing what little dignity you could have on a forum speaking about video cards.... comon, we're better humans that that.
  • TheJian - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    And look at the OMG wattage used and heat given at that rate...LOL.

    You live in alaska maybe this is good. You live in AZ like I do, you're mentally having issues if you leave the store without a 660 TI in this battle at $299+.

    Power@load 315w zotac amp vs. 353 7950 (vs 373w for 7950B)!

    Nevermind what happens when you OC your beloved 7950.

    NOISE? The worst 660 TI (Zotac Amp) is 49.2DB. The 7950 is already 54.9, and 7950B is even worse at 58DB (the highest card in the list!). So do you want to hear your speakers and game sounds or that fan driving you out of the room. We are talking a 9DB difference (and DB's are exponential in noise rising), not overclocked on your 7950B in these results in this article. The 7970 is less noisy than the 7950B here.
  • Galidou - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I'm looking for the Sapphire 7950, no overclocker will buy a reference design and overclock it unless they want a jet engine..... The sapphire OC is really quiet even under load, and it gets to 1150 core on low voltage and low enough temp, if it's too hot I'll even let 50mhz go away anyway it will translate into a 40% overclock.

    The thing is I don't play Battlefield 3 and never will, same for portal 2, I'm a skyrim player looking for more memory than the 1gb of my 6850 crossfire ATM. I'll play other games, but the real power of Nvidia is mainly in those 2 games.
  • TheJian - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    You got a 30 inch monitor? Otherwise the 660TI is better in almost all games and usually by a larger than 20% margin, in some cases as I already proved, even vs. the 7970ghz edition.

    Already stated 660TI is less noisy even the Factory OC'd tested here and anywhere around the web. These are not HIGHLY clocked (none of the 79xx series are in the benchmarks except for the ghz edition) and all are noisy compared to 660TI.

    Power of nv only in two games?...Already debunked unless you have a 30in or have multi-monitor spanned res (way over 2560x1600) and in both cases you're running something like a gtx690 or more than one card. See my other posts in this review comments section. I've done the comparison work for you (and tore ryan a new one while at it). All you have to do is read it and verify it all. Easy. You're wrong. Or prove it at 1920x1200 or below.

    This card comes with 2GB :) You're welcome ;)
    Show me a REVIEW site showing a 1150 core clock on 7950 that isn't pumping out an extra 80 watts to do it and I'll accept that opinion.
    1.25v, 79 watts more than 7950 default.
    Bureau of Labor Stats, avg cost per watt in usa 13.5c.
    3hrs per day (how much do you game?) @13.5c for roughly 80watts extra to run at 1150 per year=~$12 per year...Game heavy on weekends, or more during the week too? I know people that put in 10-20 hours on a weekend easy with a hot game...LOL. I wish I had that much time. Factor that over 3yrs, or live in a higher cost (Miami FL, anywhere in CA, Chicago IL) and it goes up. So at your modified version it will at least cost you ~$36 or so, not to mention the heat it generates for 3 years which may cause you to turn up your AC if you're in AZ/TX etc... :) Assuming you own the card for a good 3years before upgrading again and are a regular gamer (you have dual cards already - safe to say SLI users game more than most?), this is going to cost you some extra cash. It's NOT just the purchase price that gets you. Also I'm only talking VS the 7950 regular speeds. I'm not talking vs an already lower watt (.987v) 660TI by default, that is already cooler too no matter where you look. So the savings in more pronounced (say $40 instead of $36 over 3yrs at 3hrs).

    What can you do with a $40 savings over 3 years? Add another 8GB DDR3 module (or 2x4GB) to your machine...Buy a K chip instead of regular IVY/Sandy (really, any point in sandy now? for a $10-20 savings? Don't buy Sandy people), and get a 50PK of blank Taiyo Yuden dvdr's or some DL's, or a 25pk of blurays with that K chip. You get the point. :) It's FREE money if you choose correctly. Not to say I'm telling you to buy a 660TI...IF you have a 30in and run at 2560x1440 I'd hint at a 680 and OC it instead :) I am completely against dual cards because of heat, noise and watts...But if you couldn't care less about these things the sky is the limit for you. I will NEVER buy 2 cards when I can get ONE with a dual chip config for anywhere near the same price. It will always win on watts/not splitting mem/heat etc...Just hard to beat a card like GTX690 for all these areas vs. sli/crossfire. I want my pc silent and COLD. If you have no speakers or like my nephew game 90% with headphones, again maybe 2 cheaper cards would rock for you vs a 690 etc. Personally it's against my religion... :)
    Model #: 100352OCSR
    Model #: 100352FLEX
    Model #: 100352SR
    All newegg...Make sure you get the right one if you really want a 7950 sapphire oc. Note the connectors differences, and I'd take the top one if I was you. Not sure why the bottom one exists, as it seems a dupe of the same priced top...But you'll need to look closer, I don't want one :) Sorry.
    Nice card though, and I saw a review of the 7970 version at Hardocp (one of the best they've seen they said), it was BUILT very nice and they commented on the component level parts being better and more suited to OC. Not sure if it's the same here. Just an observation of the big brother :)

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