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Benchmark Results: Skyrim And StarCraft II

System Builder Marathon, March 2012: $2600 Performance PC
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Skyrim

When we first started testing Skyrim, this title was very much CPU-bottlenecked. After a recent patch, performance jumped quite a bit, and the extreme reliance on processor power was alleviated somewhat. Today's it's still fairly CPU-bound at most settings and with most graphics cards.

As a result, this title appears to be especially suited to our CPU upgrade, though our highest test indicates that a single Radeon HD 7970 might also be a better match for it than the two GeForce GTX 580s we used last time.

StarCraft II

CPU bottlenecks normally manifest themselves as a narrow performance delta seen between a number of different resolutions. GPU bottlenecks typically become apparent when detail levels or resolutions are significantly increased.

StarCraft II counters that trend by appearing to become more CPU-limited when we set it to Ultra textures and Extreme quality. Our current build leads a little more than half the time, but its performance scales in a manner that’s not easily predictable.

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