Testing Methodology

We tested Skyrim with 17 graphics cards spanning all price ranges and we installed the latest drivers available -- neither AMD nor Nvidia updated their drivers for this game. Fraps was used to measure frame rates during a minute of gameplay from the first level. The performance was measured from the beginning of the level, having played through the first few levels the frame rates here seemed to be about as low as they go.

We tested the game at three resolutions: 1680x1050, 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 using the high, ultra and maximum presets.

High quality options

Ultra quality options

Maximum quality options

Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7 2600K
- x2 4GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 8-8-8-20)
- Asus P8P67 Deluxe (Intel P67)
- OCZ ZX Series 1250w
- Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
- GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB)
- GeForce GTX 570 (1280MB)
- GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1024MB)
- GeForce GTX 560 (1024MB)
- GeForce GTX 550 Ti (1024MB)
- GeForce GTX 480 (1536MB)
- GeForce GTX 470 (1280MB)
- GeForce GTX 460 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6970 (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 6950 (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 6870 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6850 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 5870 (2048MB)
- Radeon HD 5830 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6790 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6770 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6750 (1024MB)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
- Nvidia Forceware 285.62
- ATI Catalyst 11.11