I just got dragon age 2 (I know, it's an old game by now, but I'm behind) and noticed it was running pretty choppy on ultra settings. My setup:
Core i5-760 oc'd to 3.6ghz
Palit Sonic Platinum GTX 460
4 gb gskill ripjaw ddr3 ram (it's 1600 speed but I run it at the stock settings which is 1333 I think)
So I fraps it and saw I was only getting ~20 fps on ultra settings, 8xAA at 1650x1080. I was surprised so I did a google search and found some bench marks and it looks like this is about normal for ultra settings. I dropped it to high and am still only getting a disappointing ~32 fps.
Anyway, is DA2 simply very gpu demanding or is the gtx 460 getting old? I mean my rig is only 14 months old. I knew at the time of course I wasn't buying the top of line card but I hoped a 460 would let me play new titles on high settings for a couple years. A $240 card (at the time) shouldn't go obsolete that quick right? I'm thinking I won't be able to play Skrim on ultra settings either at this point. Maybe it's time to upgrade my mobo, grab another 460 (they're pretty cheap now) and sli?
You certainly won't be able to handle Skyrim on ultra. The 460 was never a top-of-the-line card. It's not getting old, particularly; it's just not a phenomenal card.
Tom's microstuttering article (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...) basically tosses 460 SLI out the window. It'll get good fraps numbers, but it'll look bad, and that's what matters.
I'd say that in general, it takes more cash than that to max current games. I don't think anyone has hard numbers on Skyrim, but assuming it'll be fairly demanding (BF3/Crysis 2 -ish) it'll probably take a 580, or maybe even 2x570, to max.