I'm currently running a Core 2 Quad @ 2.6 Ghz with 8 Gig of RAM. Under my current GPU (Raedeon 5850) the game is playable at Ultra settings but not fantastic. I'm going to estimate the frame rate is in the 20-30 fps range. On impulse, I purchased a 6970 yesterday which should arrive in a day or so. I foolishly started researching this issue in depth AFTER I already purchased the card. My question is this: Considering Skyrim's CPU limitation, will the upgrade be significant (~20 fps increase) or should I return this card before I even bother to install it?
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If you can push it to 3.0 you'd have a decent gain but the C2Q are hit or miss on being able to get a decent overclock on. There are guides in the overclocking forum to aid you on how to safely and methodically oc your cpu in order to get the highest stable clock for your cpu. Every cpu is different and it mostly takes time and patience to get it.