This is the latest benchmark added to my testing suite, and much needed. While LOTRO was a DirectX 11 based title, it really was showing its age. Though Skyrim is officially a DirectX 9 title, it is far more stressful than LOTRO ever was. Settings are put at Ultra, 16X AF, and 8X AA with FXAA enabled and all distances maxed out. The optional high resolution textures are used. A manual run-through of Whiterun was captured by FRAPS. VSYNC is disabled through the ini file.
This particular benchmark is pretty CPU bound. It is “mostly” reproducible, but not perfectly so. We see the CrossFire solution take a hit initially, and the 7850 also keeps up nicely at the lower resolutions. Once we reach 2560×1600 though, the CrossFire solution is head and shoulders above the rest. One caveat is that the lows with CrossFire are lower than any of the single GPU cards. There is certainly some driver overhead when running CrossFire, and with such a CPU bound benchmark we see the negative side of such scaling. I do not know why the R7870 scored lower at the highest resolution than the HD 7850, but it was reproducible. Hopefully the Catalyst 12.7 drivers fix some issues that we see with Skyrim.