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Test System And Benchmarks

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: PC Performance, Benchmarked

We’re testing a wide range of graphics cards, from the low-end Radeon HD 6450 and GeForce GT 420 to the powerful Radeon HD 6970 and GeForce GTX 570, along with a GeForce GTX 460 SLI setup. Note that Crossfire does not yet work with Skyrim, so we couldn’t test Radeon HD 6850s in tandem. However, AMD assures us that it's working on a driver update that should be available soon.

Skyrim employs a 60 FPS frame rate cap, but we turned it off by adding the line “iPresentinterval=0” to the Skyrim.ini file.

The lowest frame rates in Skyrim are usually encountered outdoors when trees and plants are present. We found the small town of Riverwood to represent some of the most demanding scenery, and so we tested there using Fraps.

Test Hardware
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
Overclocked to 4 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
MSI P67A-GD65, Intel P67 Chipset
OCZ DDR3-2000, 2 x 2 GB, at 1338 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-20-1T
Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Samsung 470 Series SSD 256 GB, SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics CardsGeForce GT 430 DDR3
GeForce GT 240 GDDR5
GeForce GTX 550 Ti GDDR5
GeForce GTX 460 1 GB GDDR5
GeForce GTX 570 GDDR5
2 x GeForce GTX 460 1 GB GDDR5 in SLI

Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
Radeon HD 5570 DDR3
Radeon HD 5770 GDDR5
Radeon HD 6850
Radeon HD 6970 GDDR5
Power Supply
Seasonic X760 SS-760KM: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper TX 2
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Graphics Driver
GeForce: 285.62 (285.79 Beta for GeForce GTX 460 SLI)

AMD Catalyst 11.10
The Elder Scrolls V:
Version, Riverwood area, Fraps
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