'It’s like watching Star Wars and genuinely thinking, ‘what about those poor Death Star construction workers?’ You’re missing the point: Skyrim is a huge and engaging world to explore and it treats you with great moments, from your first dragon encounter to finally being able to craft dwarven armour.'
We've updated our Skyrim benchmark to include the official high resolution texture pack, available as a free DLC. We set the game to its 'Ultra' setting and record a sixty second manual play through just outside the town of Whiterun during a thunderstorm. We use a section where we are able to run forward in a straight line for a minute without being attacked so the benchmark remains consistent, and use the third person camera view.
Many modern games make little use of the CPU, instead ploughing resources into the GPU, making the CPU’s impact on high-resolution performance difficult to test. As such, we’ve drafted in the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, one of the easier games in our 3D benchmark suite, as well as a GeForce GTX 680 2GB to remove as many of the graphical limitations as possible. We’ve still tested at a meaningful resolution however, and with ultra-detail and high-resolution textures (although no AA).
Total War games have been making grown PCs cry ever since the original Shogun was released in 2000. The many units, model animations, AI routines and the usual physics and object collision make Shogun 2 as hard a task to run for the CPU as the graphics card.
We use the built-in CPU test, launched by right-clicking on the game in your Steam library. This stages a scripted battle, where we watch the action at a reasonably zoomed-in level. We leave the detail settings at default and record the action for 60 seconds using FRAPS.
Shogun 2: Total War CPU Test
1,920 x 1,080, default settings, no AA, no AF
Intel Core i7-4770K (4.7GHz)
Intel Core i7-2600K (5GHz)
Intel Core i5-2500K (5GHz)
Intel Core i7-3770K (4.8GHz)
Intel Core i5-3570K (5GHz)
Intel Core i5-4670K (4.6GHz)
Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition (4.7GHz)
Intel Core i7-4770K (3.5GHz)
Intel Core i5-4670K (3.4GHz)
Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition (3.3GHz)
Intel Core i5-3570K (3.4GHz)
Intel Core i7-3770K (3.5GHz)
Intel Core i7-2600K (3.4GHz)
Intel Core i5-2500K (3.3GHz)
AMD FX-8350 (4.8GHz)
Intel Core i3-4130 (3.4GHz)
AMD FX-8350 (4GHz)
frames per second, higher is better
Note: an issue with the Steam version of Shogun 2 and the FX-8150 caused the system to crash when it tried to load the level. This has since been resolved, and we'll try and add these numbers as soon as possible.