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Is i7 920 great for Skyrim?

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November 12, 2011 8:49:42 AM

Hey guys, I own i7 920 for 2 years now and I'm wondering if it does great job with Skyrim, because recommended CPU is i5-2500k. Is i7 920 still a great choice?

I will be most likely using Sapphire Radeon 6950 2gb dirt 3 edition with it.

More about : 920 great skyrim

a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 8:50:25 AM

Yes, it is.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 9:10:52 AM

Your gpu is more important depending on the resolution you play on
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November 12, 2011 11:18:10 AM

thats still an excellent cpu
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 11:30:57 AM

I have it running on an X6 with 5850'd in CF and it runs great.

I also installed it on this box (q6600 / GT260-216) and it is ok.

I installed it on an E450 this afternoon to try but I have not had the chance to finish it due to dinner getting in the way.

Gee it downloaded from the server slowly on Friday night ... took 24hrs and we have an 8Mb connection here ... must have been a lot of people purchasing and downloading at the same time I guess?

Check Don's definitve benchmarking here for further information:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

According to Don "This game clearly relies on CPU power, and you need a Sandy Bridge-based Core i3 at 3 GHz or a Phenom II at 3.5 GHz to provide a minimum 30 FPS".

On that basis your selection is fine.

I'm a bit worried the E-450 I am installing it on might have to be set on "old blind guy" graphics details now ...

Hope this helps.

:) 
November 12, 2011 1:34:42 PM

I have a i7 920 @ 3.8 and am unable to play on ultra with it...it seems completely cpu limited.

I'm not sure if there is something else at play, but as i approach the first village coming down the hill in the carriage at the very start i am getting fps in high 20's low 30's on ultra.

What sort of fps are others getting with this cpu?

I have 580 SLI, but the cards are hardly used (whether in SLI or not), and changing resolution or increasing AA makes no difference to fps.

It only uses about 50% of my cpu, but then i've heard it doesn't scale well across more than 2 cores.....

I've been thinking of upgrading my cpu for a while, and I think i might actually do it now.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 1:47:50 PM

davegl1234 said:
I have a i7 920 @ 3.8 and am unable to play on ultra with it...it seems completely cpu limited.

I'm not sure if there is something else at play, but as i approach the first village coming down the hill in the carriage at the very start i am getting fps in high 20's low 30's on ultra.

What sort of fps are others getting with this cpu?

I have 580 SLI, but the cards are hardly used (whether in SLI or not), and changing resolution or increasing AA makes no difference to fps.

It only uses about 50% of my cpu, but then i've heard it doesn't scale well across more than 2 cores.....

I've been thinking of upgrading my cpu for a while, and I think i might actually do it now.


I have a 920 @ 3.6ghz and my single 580 runs at 99% almost all times during BF3, with CPU running 80%+ on all cores. Skyrim can't be more demanding than BF3...
November 12, 2011 2:14:48 PM

gmcizzle said:
I have a 920 @ 3.6ghz and my single 580 runs at 99% almost all times during BF3, with CPU running 80%+ on all cores. Skyrim can't be more demanding than BF3...


I guess you haven't tried skyrim? If you do let me know what you get.

Battlefield is fine on my pc also...solid 60 on ultra with occasional dips into the 50's.

But then i think battlefield probably scales better across cpu cores. Skyrim is essentially never using more than half my cpu. I even tried limiting the game to run on just two cores, and the fps didn't change (if i limit the game to two cores it basically maxes out two cores and others are obviously low, if i use 4 cores windows shares it out so its roughly 60% usage on three of them, less than that on the last one.. Either way the overall cpu usage is never more than 50%).
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 2:17:15 PM

No in game v-sync............... C O N SO L E .........?
November 12, 2011 2:29:45 PM

gnomio said:
No in game v-sync............... C O N SO L E .........?


sorry, just understood your meaning.

I guess consoles don't need four core scaling either.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 3:53:39 PM

No we dont need more bad emulation software. We got Windows for that
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 4:15:23 PM

davegl1234 said:
I guess you haven't tried skyrim? If you do let me know what you get.

Battlefield is fine on my pc also...solid 60 on ultra with occasional dips into the 50's.

But then i think battlefield probably scales better across cpu cores. Skyrim is essentially never using more than half my cpu. I even tried limiting the game to run on just two cores, and the fps didn't change (if i limit the game to two cores it basically maxes out two cores and others are obviously low, if i use 4 cores windows shares it out so its roughly 60% usage on three of them, less than that on the last one.. Either way the overall cpu usage is never more than 50%).

No, I don't have Skyrim. Is it fully using your GPU, how about when you only use one 580? No game currently maxes out a 3.8ghz core i7, so your GPU should have plenty of room to stretch itself.
November 12, 2011 5:13:49 PM

It isn't fully utilizing my gpu either in single or SLI, which is why i figure there must a bottleneck elsewhere.

And it isn't maxing my cpu either, but i think that is the problem. The cpu is more than enough, but the game hasn't been made to scale over dual core it seems. It only ever uses about 50% of overal cpu.

Perhaps there is a bottleneck elsewhere, but i can't think what else it could be. There's plenty of RAM left.

Also, if i lower the resolution the fps doesn't change, if i increase the AA the fps doesn't change, and if i enable SLI the fps doesn't change which sounds like cpu bottleneck right?
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 5:35:01 PM

What % of GPU is being using with one 580, and with 2x 580?
November 12, 2011 5:37:51 PM

gmcizzle said:
I have a 920 @ 3.6ghz and my single 580 runs at 99% almost all times during BF3, with CPU running 80%+ on all cores. Skyrim can't be more demanding than BF3...


This is because battlefield 3 is almost completely dependent on raw gpu power. Because of the engine design skyrim is meant to utilize a powerful cpu while relying less on gpu power. So One is more demanding than the other for different hardware.
November 12, 2011 5:59:03 PM

To the OP: I am running on an i920 @ 3.5ghz with a GTX 460. The game plays smoothly for me at "high" settings, which are the only ones I've tried. There have been several times where video has slowed down dramatically, which I fixed by quitting and restarting. I think this is a bug in the game vs. a lack of hardware -- the exact same spot will play smoothly after the relaunch.

To davegl: have you actually played past the opening scene so you could get a sense of how well the game played overall? That opening scene has special gameplay mechanics in a number of ways, I'd at least want to be sure I'm seeing more of the regular game before I did a whole bunch of investigation or hardware purchases. There's also a new beta nvidia driver that mentions Skyrim in its release notes, I'd try that too. As you know there is currently no SLI support in the released driver and I wonder if having two cards is in fact causing a problem, even if SLI isn't turned on. Finally, consider trying High vs Ultra or a custom setting between the two -- I bet you can get 95% of the visual splendor of Ultra at 60fps no problem if you tinker a bit.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2011 6:02:11 PM

jecho said:
This is because battlefield 3 is almost completely dependent on raw gpu power. Because of the engine design skyrim is meant to utilize a powerful cpu while relying less on gpu power. So One is more demanding than the other for different hardware.

In short its a console port meaning its cpu dependent more than anything else
November 12, 2011 6:26:40 PM

somethings wrong with your sli set up. get the newest drivers. i have one 6950 2gb with a 955be at 3.7 . i play at an average of 55 fps on ultra. never goes below 45.
November 12, 2011 7:59:47 PM

Guys, to how much should I overclock my i7 920 so it won't bottleneck my 6950 when I recieve it ? I currently have my i7 920 on stock.
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2011 12:19:27 AM

Why would you overclock it any less than as much as you can?
November 13, 2011 1:05:19 AM

for skyrim, i would say to OC the 920 to about 3.6 ghz.
and you should disbale HT in bios if it would increase the OC. as skyrim uses only two cores.
it is highly dependednt on raw CPU speed.
November 13, 2011 2:39:01 AM

@gmcizzle exactly the same cpu % in SLI as in single gpu. Which isn't technically 100% but 50% of my cpu seems to be all this game will use.

@brucek2 i have the latest nvidia beta drivers. If it was an SLI issue I surely woulnd't have exactly the same issues with one card? Though you have a point. I should probably play a bit longer...but i can't help but think that opening scene can't be that demanding when considering what the rest of the game has to offer...its a carriage and a few ncp's rolling into a sparse town.

still dontcrosthestreams seems to contradict what i've been experiencing...
a b à CPUs
November 13, 2011 2:53:52 AM

GPU % usage, not CPU % usage. You can measure GPU % usage with MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision, etc. If your CPU is not at 99% I don't see how it can bottleneck you in any way. If Skyrim is only using a max of 50% CPU usage on any core, then your CPU is more than enough to handle all tasks Skyrim gives it. Heck, you could run 2 instances of Skyrim at the same time and barely be at 99% usage. Again, check your % GPU usage just to be sure.

It could be that Skyrim is just a terrible console port and refuses to use more than 50% CPU usage. I remember a few older games like that, where it just would not utilize the hardware very good, but I can't believe Skyrim would be like this. Might also be a driver issue with the game of some sort.
a c 479 à CPUs
November 13, 2011 3:15:45 AM

The i7-920 sucks for Skyrim. You need a 1.6GHz single core Pentium 4 to max out the game.







Can you tell I am being sarcastic?
a c 127 à CPUs
November 13, 2011 3:37:12 AM

brucek2 said:
To the OP: I am running on an i920 @ 3.5ghz with a GTX 460. The game plays smoothly for me at "high" settings, which are the only ones I've tried. There have been several times where video has slowed down dramatically, which I fixed by quitting and restarting. I think this is a bug in the game vs. a lack of hardware -- the exact same spot will play smoothly after the relaunch.

To davegl: have you actually played past the opening scene so you could get a sense of how well the game played overall? That opening scene has special gameplay mechanics in a number of ways, I'd at least want to be sure I'm seeing more of the regular game before I did a whole bunch of investigation or hardware purchases. There's also a new beta nvidia driver that mentions Skyrim in its release notes, I'd try that too. As you know there is currently no SLI support in the released driver and I wonder if having two cards is in fact causing a problem, even if SLI isn't turned on. Finally, consider trying High vs Ultra or a custom setting between the two -- I bet you can get 95% of the visual splendor of Ultra at 60fps no problem if you tinker a bit.


You can probably do ultra but will need to do what I did. To get ultra settings, you need to kill AA and AF and enable FXAA. Before I did that, I was only able to do high. But now I do ultra on a Q6600 @ 3GHz and a HD5870.
November 13, 2011 7:12:40 AM

enabling 16x AF should not have any effect on FPS. at most 2 FPS. probably lesser.
November 13, 2011 7:35:17 AM

I have a core 2 duo e7200 @ 3.6ghz and a 6870 and it runs just fine at all ultra ( shadows high ) at 1680*1050.
November 13, 2011 10:19:01 AM

Well I play @ 1280x1024, soon upgrading to 1920x1080. With 4890 oced a bit and stock i7 920 settings, I play at high settings with some .ini tweaks. I play smooth with some random lagg at some places. After long time playing I get a bit of stuttering. Plays fine overall.
November 13, 2011 1:40:36 PM

could the stuttering due to older drivers?
January 27, 2012 3:46:09 AM

davegl1234 said:
I have a i7 920 @ 3.8 and am unable to play on ultra with it...it seems completely cpu limited.

I'm not sure if there is something else at play, but as i approach the first village coming down the hill in the carriage at the very start i am getting fps in high 20's low 30's on ultra.

What sort of fps are others getting with this cpu?

I have 580 SLI, but the cards are hardly used (whether in SLI or not), and changing resolution or increasing AA makes no difference to fps.

It only uses about 50% of my cpu, but then i've heard it doesn't scale well across more than 2 cores.....

I've been thinking of upgrading my cpu for a while, and I think i might actually do it now.


i have an i7 920 C0 @ 3.8GHz as well, combined with a Matrix HD5870 Platinum @ 960/1250 and im running skyrim on ultra with not a single hiccup... pretty much a constant 60fps. As for cpu.. i never end up getting more then 30-40% cpu usage in most of my games... that includes metro2033 at very high settings...

kinda finding it strange and sad that some of you guys with this cpu are having problems... but im glad to say mine hasnt let me down in the 2.5yrs of owning it and having it at 3.8GHz this whole time :)  also sitting on a rampage II extreme board (latest bios rev)
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2012 4:23:09 AM

skyrim will not run too well on a i7 920 at stock but it will do.

You can run on high no problem but it will be a bit slow in towns and such.
February 10, 2013 7:44:48 AM

I have had skyrim since it has came out with a stock 920 and i have always been able to play on ultra never having a problem with anything. I can play bf3 on ultra while recording and still constantly have 60 fps. Running on a asus pt6 with 8g corsair vengence and evga gtx 580.
February 10, 2013 10:49:37 AM

Just get a 3570K and with the price get a 7950 if not a 7970 which will awesome.
February 11, 2013 3:19:15 AM

hotshot2797 said:
Just get a 3570K and with the price get a 7950 if not a 7970 which will awesome.


I agree with hotshot. You could get an i7-960 (3.2ghz per core) or get an ivy bridge that will cost a bit more but still be faster (more than a bit if you factor in the MB swap time). Less work with the 960, but ivy bridges are fast. haswell is 4-5 months away. It all depends on your level of patience.
a b à CPUs
February 11, 2013 3:24:55 AM

Yes the i7 920 is just fine.
Skyrim is much less CPU bound after the updates
!