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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  • rarson - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    I might have said that ten years ago, but when I read stuff like "the GTX 680 marginalized the Radeon HD 7970 virtually overnight," I wonder what kind of bizarro universe I've stumbled into. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    That's the sales numbers referred to there rarson - maybe you should drop the problematic amnesia ( I know you can't since having no clue isn't amnesia), but as a reminder, amd's crap card was $579 bucks and beyond and nVidia dropped in 680 at $499 across the board...
    Amd was losing sales in rapid fashion, and the 680 was piling up so many backorders and pre-purchases that resellers were gbegging for relief, and a few reviewers were hoping something could be done to stem the immense backorders for the 680.
    " "the GTX 680 marginalized the Radeon HD 7970 virtually overnight,"
    That's the real world, RECENT HISTORY, that real bizarro world you don't live in, don't notice, and most certainly, will likely have a very difficult time admitting exists.
    Have a nice day.
  • Biorganic - Saturday, August 18, 2012 - link

    Go look up Bias in a dictionary instead of flinging around insults like a child. When the adults converse amongst themselves they like to Add things to the actual conversation, not unnecessarily degrade people. Thanks! @$$-O Reply
  • Jamahl - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    The point I was making was that Nvidia has seeded overclocked cards to the majority of the tech press, while you had a go at AMD for their 7950 boost.

    After all the arguments and nonsense over the 7950 boost, hardly anyone benchmarked it but still plenty went ahead and benched the overclocked cards sent by Nvidia. Two AMD partners have shown they are releasing the 7950 boost edition asap, prompting a withdrawal of the criticisms from another nvidia fansite,

    So again I ask, AMD's credibility? The only credibility at stake is the reviewers who continually bend over to suit Nvidia. Nvidia has no credibility to lose.
  • silverblue - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    I'm afraid I have to back you up on this one. NVIDIA released not one, not two but THREE GT 640s, and I think people have forgotten about that one. AMD have replaced the 7950 BIOS and as such have overclocked it to the performance level where it probably should've been to start with (the gap between 7950 and 7970 was always far more than the one between 7870 and 7950).

    Yes, AMD should've given it a new name - 7950 XT as I said somewhere recently - but it's not even two-thirds as bad as the GT 640 fiasco. At least this time, we're talking two models separated only by a BIOS change and the consequently higher power usage, not two separate GPU generations with vastly different clocks, shader counts, memory types and so on.

    If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, however I don't understand how AMD's GPU division's credibility could be damaged by any of this. Feel free to educate me. :)
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    For your education and edification: amd failed in their card release by clocking it too low because they had lost the power useage war(and they knew it), and charging way too much on release.
    They suck, and their cred is ZERO, because of this.
    Now it not only harmed amd, it harmed all of us, and all their vender partners, we all got screwed and all lost money because of amd's greed and incompetence.
    Now amd, in a desperate panic, and far too long after the immense and debilitating blunder, that also left all their shareholders angry (ahem), after dropping the prices in two or three steps and adding 3 games to try to quell the massive kicking their falling sales to nVidia injuries...
    FINALLY pulled their head out of it's straight jacket, well, halfway out, and issued permission for a GE version.
    Now, maybe all you amd fans have been doing much and very excessive lying on 78xx79xx OC capabilities, or amd is just dumb as rocks and quite literally dangerous to themselves, the markets, their partners, all of us.
    I think it's a large heaping of BOTH.
    So there we have it - amd cred is where amd fanboy cred is - at the bottom of the barrel of slime.
  • Galidou - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Anyway, with you AMD fails, always failed and will continue to fail at everything... I don't know if you think people will read your posts like religious madmans and beleive it a 100%, you're making it so exagerated, that it's barely readable.

    The words nazi and such comes back so often when you go on the madman route, that it's a wonder if anyone gives you any credibility. A little sad because you have nice arguments, you just display them surrounded by so much hate, it's hard to give you any credit for them.

    We do exagerate AMD's performance just for the sake of being fanboys, but not to the point of saying such debilitating stuff like you're so good at it. Not to the point of totally destroying Nvidia and saying it's worth NOTHING like you do for AMD. I may lean a little on AMD's side because for my money they gave me more performance from the radeon 4xxx to the 6xxx series. I won't forget my 8800gt either, that was a delight for the price too. But I can recon when a video card wins at EVERYTHING and is doing WONDERS and none is happening now, it's a mixed bag of feeling. between overclockability, optimization on certain games, etc...

    When the 8800gt and radeon 4870 came out, there was nothing people could say, just nothing, for the price, they were wonders, trampling over anythingbefore and after but at the same time you said they were mistake because they were not greedy enough moves.

    Wanna speak about greed, why is Nvidia so rich, you defend the most rich video card maker in history but you accuse the others of being greedy, society is built on greed, go blame others. Couldn't they sell their GPU at lower prices to kill AMD and be less greedy? No, if AMD die, you'll see greed and 800$ gpus, speak about greed.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Didn't read your loon spiel, again, not even glossed, part of 1st sentence.
    I won't tell you to shut up or change what you say, because I'm not a crybaby like you.
    AMD sucks, they need help, and they only seem to fire more people.
  • Galidou - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    To date your best argument that repeats itself is ''AMD sucks'' which is something you learn to say when you're a kid. You're not a crybaby ohhh that's new, you keep crying more than everyone else I've seen, TheJian might be a fanboy but you're more related to the fanatic side of the thing.

    Still, they are the most rich video maker in history, but they still try to manipulate opinions like every company does. Why? if their product is so good and perfect, why do they have to manipulate? I hear you already saying something like: It's because that AMD suck, they suck so much that Nvidia has to make em suck even more by manipulating the stoopid reviewers because the world is against Nvidia and I'm their Crusader.... good job.
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Yes, I've never crapload of facts nor a single argument of note, and your head is a bursting purple strawberry too mr whiner. Reply

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