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Is This Even Fair? Budget Ivy Bridge Takes On Core 2 Duo And Quad

Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim remains a popular title thanks to the modding community and official downloadable expansion packs. So, while it’s not necessarily a demanding title, we think it remains a valid benchmark. During playability analysis, I’ll often pick a fight within the City of Markarth to grab a worst-case look at system performance, but the Tom’s Hardware’s standard 25-second run through Riverwood is almost as demanding, and far easier to repeat amongst editors.

Despite official quad-core CPU recommendations, Skyrim doesn’t effectively utilize more than two cores. What’s important is that all of these processors are fully capable of playing at our benchmark settings.

Pointing out the obvious, no frame rates logged over time drop below 40 FPS using Ultra details. Yet Fraps reports a minimum of 38 FPS for the Core 2 Duo E8400.

Core i5-3570K leaves the other processors in its dust, though each one delivers a solid maxed-out Skyrim experience, which is important considering the muscular graphics pairing.