Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Performance Target: 30 FPS Minimum
Between our first sub-$200 gaming CPU article and now, Bethesda released a Skyrim patch that greatly improves performance. This game was particularly processor-dependent last time. That's not so much the case now.
There’s almost no differentiation between CPUs. Average frame rates are dismal, though, so let’s see how these competing platforms fare when the settings are lowered to facilitate better performance.
Performance Target: 40 FPS Minimum, 60 FPS Average
Little changes until we install AMD's Radeon HD 6950. Suddenly, Intel's Core i3-2100 takes off with a notable lead. The FX-4100 delivers playable frame rates, but the Sandy Bridge-based CPU maintains a 10 FPS spread.
So if you need a new system and can't afford an i5, just buy a cheap 1155 SB as a placeholder until you can . Like the conclusion states, the upgrade path is there -- I just think that if it's a temporary step, you might as well save $60 to $80 if you're upgrading in the next 4 months anyway. You'd be surprised how fast the SB budget parts are, and they're fast enough to get you through till IB.
It would be nice if they through Civ 5 or MW3 in but at least on the FPS front, I think BF3 has a bigger following on the PC and the same thing goes for Skyrim. Not sure how many people are still playing Just Cause 2 though. In either case, I think this has more to do with being able to compare these results to the results from past benchmarks they've run.
The line graph is better way to show it's behaviour over a period of time rather than a flat average, which doesn't explain frequent dips or long stretches of smooth gameplay in fps and such.
A very informative and realistic article, nice work Tom's. Lets hope AMD has something with piledriver.
If DC Sandy Bridges could be unlocked, they would be so good for gaming.