The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (DirectX 9)


The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered.

Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel.

The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

Frame Rating: GeForce GTX Titan, GeForce GTX 690, Radeon HD 7990 (HD 7970 CrossFire) - Graphics Cards 21

Frame Rating: GeForce GTX Titan, GeForce GTX 690, Radeon HD 7990 (HD 7970 CrossFire) - Graphics Cards 22

Frame Rating: GeForce GTX Titan, GeForce GTX 690, Radeon HD 7990 (HD 7970 CrossFire) - Graphics Cards 23

Frame Rating: GeForce GTX Titan, GeForce GTX 690, Radeon HD 7990 (HD 7970 CrossFire) - Graphics Cards 24

Our settings for Skyrim

Here is a video our testing run through, for your reference

Skyrim is another game in our series of tests do not show performance degradation due to runts or dropped frames. However, it's obvious that the HD 7970s in CrossFire are not scaling as you would expect them to either.  Bot the Titan and the GTX 690 are outpacing it by a healthy margin.

What we do see in Skyrim is nice, tight bands of frame times with the exception of the occassional stutter or spike; but those are occuring not only AMD's HD 7970 CrossFire configuraiton, but also with the GTX 690 and even the single GPU GTX Titan.

The graph of minimum FPS looks different in Skyrim than in any other game, with a nearly constant slant slope from left to right.  The two NVIDIA cards track pretty closely with an average of around 150 FPS while the HD 7970s in CrossFire start at an average of 115 FPS and fall down from there.

Even though all three cards have some bigger spikes and hitches in frame times, none of them exhibit a lot of frame time variance and all remain within a very tight window at 1920×1080.


Again, at 2560×1440, nothing changes from the FRAPS frame rates to the frame rate averages reocrded by our new Frame Rating system.  However, CrossFire still doesn't look very impressive.

Frame times also remain consistent at this resolution with the same kind of spiking and hitching dilemma we found above.  All three configuraitons exhibit very similiar levels of frame time variance even though the HD 7970s are obviously slower overall with higher frame times.

Looking at average frame rates (estimated by the 50th percentile here) you'll find the GTX 690 as the initial winner with close to a 20 FPS edge of the GTX Titan and both NVIDIA options leaving the HD 7970s in CrossFire well behind.  However, at 80-85th percentile mark you'll find that the GTX Titan actually creeps ahead indicating slightly better frame rates on the edges of performance.

Even though frame rates vary on all three cards, the frame times are consistent across the board, indicating a good experience in all three cases.


Without the results to emulate the HD 7990 with HD 7970s in CrossFire, the NVIDIA GTX 690 and GTX Titan results are showing a slight edge to the dual-GK104 part early in the benchmark with a much closer result in the latter half.

While we have seen spikes in frame times caused by the Skyrim engine at 19×10 and 25×14, they are much more apparant with the GTX 690 here at 5760×1080 than they are on the GTX Titan.  Because of that, the Titan is definitely looking like the better multi-display gaming option.

Interestingly, even with the additional spikes we saw with the GTX 690 above, the minimum FPS graph is showing the GTX Titan BARELY behind the entire latter 50% of our results which would tell one story, but…

Frame time variance tells another.  Even though the frame rates are lower on average for the GTX 690, the truth is that the GTX Titan produces a better, more consistent and smooth frame rate over time than the dual-GPU option can.


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