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Skyrim, Frame By Frame

FX Vs. Core i7: Exploring CPU Bottlenecks And AMD CrossFire
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As mentioned, our frame-time measurements come from Fraps, which isn't necessarily ideal given the work that happens during the CrossFire pipeline, and where Fraps derives its data. So, we wanted to at least run a second title to gauge whether the numbers and "feeling" aligned. Charting these values tells us more than the worst frame time; it adds how often and where they're occurring during the benchmark.

The benchmark that seems best-optimized for Intel's platform, Skyrim already appears devastating to AMD's FX-8350 at a mere 1920x1080. We're hoping that this artifact is a little easier to tolerate in an RPG, but spikes above 70 ms are certainly jolts you can "feel" while you're playing.

The FX-8350 gets hammered even harder at 4800x900, and the difference between AMD and Intel CPUs tells us that the graphics subsystem isn't to blame. Regardless of where Fraps takes its measurement, we simply cannot ignore the notably-higher spikes on AMD's flagship.

Both the AMD and Intel platforms fail our 50 ms upper limit at 5760x1080, at least when the game is set to the High quality preset. Somehow, the Core i7-3770K ducks in under 50 ms throughout the test using Ultra quality settings, showing far smaller spikes, even as its average frame time increases.

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