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.
Our settings for Skyrim
Here is a video our testing run through, for your reference
While Skyrim tends to be somewhat CPU bound, that doesn't mean that all high end graphics cards perform the same. In fact, though we see no reduction in observed frame rates because of runts, both the HD 7990 and the HD 7970s in CrossFire are behind the GTX 690 and GTX Titan at 1920×1080.
All four graphics cards produce very similar frame time results with mostly consistent bands. There are spikes in all four results, with maybe a handful more seen in the AMD options.
The GTX 690 and the GTX Titan stay consistently faster than the HD 7990 or HD 7970s in our minimum FPS percentile graphs.
Frame variance is pretty low across the board, which means we would recommend the card with the best average frame rate, in this case the GTX 690 or GTX Titan.
Though we don't see scaling with the HD 7970s using 13.3 driver, we do see that pick up once again with the 13.5 beta with the HD 7990, but with the unfortunate addition of some runts.
There are really only two spots of runts in our run through here with the HD 7990, though in our multiple test runs we saw them consistently. Otherwise, the frame time data looks pretty strong for AMD here.
The new combo of 13.5 beta + HD 7990 is able to make a stronger case up against the GTX 690 and GTX Titan in Skyrim at 2560×1440 but its episodes of runt frames do drag down the minimum frame rate data more quickly.
After the 80th percentile mark you can see that we have some increased frame variance on the HD 7990, but it doesn't get over 6 ms until the 99th mark – you'll likely still have a good experience with the card.
Once again, we couldn't get reliable results from Eyefinity + CrossFire from the HD 7990, so we are leaving it out of discussion here. More on this in another piece up soon!