With the graphics benchmarks out of the way, let’s consider CPU clock speed scaling:
This game clearly relies on CPU power, and you need a Sandy Bridge-based Core i3 at 3 GHz or a Phenom II at 3.5 GHz to provide a minimum 30 FPS. Bear in mind that we're using the ultra detail setting here, and processing requirements drop significantly as you start stepping back. So, you can make due with a less potent chip when you dial in detail options appropriately.
Skyrim doesn’t appear to be optimized for more than two threads. Although this isn't a surprise, considering the original version of the game engine was developed prior to 2006, it’s a little disappointing that threading isn't more prevalent, since the title is so clearly affected by CPU performance.