How $200 Goes a Lot Further


Bring in the graphics torture tester! Oblivion is mean on graphics cards. This game pushed the performance bottleneck onto the graphics card in all tests as the Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 Conroe 2.93 GHz processor unlocked the headroom for DX9 cards. However, when the DX10 based cards came onto the market, we saw the tides turn and even Oblivion is CPU bound in some situations (mainly in indoor locations).

Looking at the midrange cards, the Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate shines. It surpasses the performance of the GeForce 7900GTX in the outdoor scenes and is on par with it for the indoor scenes. The GeForce 7950GT is not far behind but when looking at the indoor scenes, the Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate is able to provide up to 10 frames per second more than the GeForce 7950GT at resolutions of 1280x1024 and above. It was able to stay within five frames of the GeForce 7900GTX for lower resolutions and then beat it at high resolutions.

The Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate was the clear winner in Oblivion as it could deliver the most frames per dollar spent. The GeForce 7950GT was no slacker either; it did well in the wallet department.