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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  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Long story short, we were having CMS problems earlier so we were messing with the URL slugs. Not that the slugs actually matter, but it's been fixed. Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Slugs are important for soil health. slimy and kind of icky looking... they are good to have. Reply
  • Natfly - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Not to mention search engine optimization Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    I see that.... oops. Reply
  • bhima - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    You show $399, but the MSRP is $319. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    A lot of em are going for $299, but why put anything in there but RELEASE PRICE on the chart - that way you can show the GTX570 at $349.
    Bias ? You decide.
    Reply
  • BoloMKXXVIII - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    blanarahul, very insiteful comment.

    The GTX 660 Ti seems like a good "bang for your buck" card. NVidia should count itself lucky for having trouble keeping up with demand. My worry is they lose focus with the number of markets they are trying to fill. Something I am sure AMD will be watching for.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Yes nVidia sure loses focus - uhh... loses focus...sales GREAT - loses focus...
    Biased stupidity ?
    You decide.
    What it means ?
    No one knows.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    They're not loosing focus, it's a new strategy and it must work wonders. Instead of releasing new products as quickly as possible and fill the market with all the parts from low to high-end performance, they get out the new higher-end parts and rely on their last gen cards to fill the holes.

    Clean out the shelves so dealers don't get stuck with older technology not selling. And at the same time, not taxing new fabrication process(28nm in this case) by needing alot more to fill demand in every way.
    Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    If they had released this at 249$ they would have never been able to supply the demand. . .why not just go for the jugular of amd? Oh yeah balance and perceived value in the market, only hurts us really. Reply

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