Oblivion boasts some of the most advanced 3D rendering technology currently available for the PC. However, in software threading terms it remains a rather old school title. Granted, the engine does make use of some multi-threading, but the benefit of adding a second CPU core is nothing like as dramatic as the 80 to 80 percent performance scaling seen with the recent Quake 4 beta patch. The maximum performance benefit of a dual-core processor is around 20 percent. And as our benchmark results demonstrate, a dual-core chip won't give your frame rates a boost where you need it most - out in the Great Forest.
System Memory Performance Scaling
Take a peek at our benchmark results and you could be forgiven for thinking that system memory availability has no impact on Oblivion performance. But this is one test where the benchmark figures don't tell the whole story. For starters, level loading times with anything less than 1 GB or RAM are painfully slow - perhaps three to four times longer with 512 MB than 1 GB and above!
Once you are in game, performance only remains unaffected by RAM availability if you restrict your movements to a relatively small area as we did for our benchmark tests. If you choose to explore further, you'll suffer frequent stuttering and disk thrashing as the game engine attempts to seamlessly load and discard scenery. We wish to stress this once more, 1 GB is the minimum to allow the engine to achieve smooth transitions.
- Elder Scrolls IV: Computer Oblivion
- Testing Oblivion: Not Quite A Straightforward Matter
- The Settings
- Entry-Level Performance: Radeon X1600 XT And GeForce 6600 GT
- Entry-Level Performance, Continued
- Mid-Range Performance: Radeon X1800 GTO And GeForce 7600 GT
- Mid-Range Performance, Continued
- High-End Performance: Radeon X1900 XTX And GeForce 7900 GTX
- High-End Performance, Continued
- Image Quality Options In Detail: The Great Forest
- Memory Buffer Comparison: 256 MB Vs 512 MB
- Golden Oldies: ATI Radeon X850 XT PE And Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra
- Oblivion Multi-Threading: Single Versus Dual-Core Performance
- Pixel Shading Performance: ATI's R520 Vs R580
- Wrapping Things Up: What Have We Learnt?