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Frame Rating: High End GPUs Benchmarked at 4K Resolutions

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: Various

Skyrim - $999 Level

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

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It would seem that with both the current 13.5 beta and the prototype driver, the AMD Radeon HD 7990 has problems with runt frames.  Both of the NVIDIA options though remain pretty accurate between the FRAPS and Observed frame rates.

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AMD's frame times are simply a mess here - the HD 7990 has no luck with either driver it seems.  Meanwhile, the GTX 690 with its dual GK104 GPUs performs much better and the GTX Titan is stellar.

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Our results show us that the GTX 690 is the better card for Skyrim at 3840x2160 though the Titan isn't far behind it.  The HD 7990 actually looks fairly good here in these results but the next graph tells a different story...

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Frame variance is the name of the game with CrossFire here it seems, regardless of our use of the prototype driver.  The GTX Titan and GTX 690 do much better, keeping variance under 6 ms throughout.

 

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The Titan's are living up to their name here though the 3-Way SLI configuration doesn't scale in some areas of the game it seems, in particular the overworld. 

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In this case at 4K resolutions the more GPUs you add, the more variance we are seeing in the frame time results.  The GTX Titan scales great from one to two cards, but the movement to three GPUs is somewhat muted.

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Our frame rates at 4K go from 65 FPS to 120 FPS to 150 FPS - it appears that Skyrim, even at 3840x2160, doesn't need more than two GTX Titan's to get the job done.

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This is kind of what we have come to expect with multi-GPU results - variance that increases as you add GPUs.  However, even at 3-Way SLI configurations, the GTX Titans are keeping variance very low.

 

Looking for native 4K captures of our Skyrim gameplay?  Have fun!

Download the MP4 (710MB)

May 1, 2013 | 12:47 AM - Posted by Tom-Seiki (not verified)

Without using the pixel clock patcher, I made a custom resolution for 3840x2160 @ 31Hz and it worked. When I tried 32 Hz, TV either showed a blue screen with message "Not support" or it would skip every other column when drawing pixels, causing the resulting image to be blurry.

May 1, 2013 | 02:02 AM - Posted by Chris Green (not verified)

I'd love to see a photo of this experiment:

Set the desktop to the native 3840x2160 resolution of that TV.

Go into photoshop and draw a checkerboard pattern, and display it zoomed to the "actual pixels" setting.

Get as close to the screen as your digital camera will focus and take a full-res picture of the checkerboard pattern.

That image should both verify that you're getting the full native resolution without scaling, and provide an evaluation of how sharp it would be for normal desktop use.

May 1, 2013 | 03:07 AM - Posted by 63jax

i see no point of such a high res if the PPI i actually low, give me 27-30 inch panel with this res and i'll be happy, it's all about PPI, not the size.

May 1, 2013 | 05:37 AM - Posted by DeadOfKnight

My thoughts exactly. It seems that 1440p would be a better experience.

May 1, 2013 | 11:26 AM - Posted by Randomoneh

Huh?

May 1, 2013 | 11:13 AM - Posted by Randomoneh

It's all about the angle between pixel centers. Further you go, angle is lower (which is good).

If you want such a high [angular] resolution, you can always sit further away, can't you? But if you have a small display with the same resolution, you'd have to sit closer, and you can't keep coming closer forever.

May 1, 2013 | 03:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why did they leave out GTX 690 in SLI?

May 1, 2013 | 07:33 AM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

Does the prototype driver work on Xfire 7970s or is it just for the 7990? Anyone?

May 1, 2013 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Sulu (not verified)

Skyrim at 4k. Mmm. Ryan you are such a tease. What with me not being able to afford it for another few years.
Nice article. Can't wait for you to run it again with the new crop of amd cards coming down the pike this fall.

May 1, 2013 | 12:33 PM - Posted by SirHammerlock (not verified)

Well I tried to download the MP4 but I get a ridiculous message from MEGA.co.nz saying that "your browser is not modern enough to download a file this large" and I can't download it.
Really?!? I can't download a file <700MB in the latest version of Safari for Snow Leopard? How much is Google paying them for that lame (and completely false) advertisement? FYI, Chrome is using the same underpinnings as my browser, WebKit.
I guess all those 1.5GB Combo Updaters and Service Packs etc that I downloaded never really happened, since I can't download files as large as 684MB according to Mega.
I don't trust anybody that withholds information and lies about why they are holding it back from you.

May 1, 2013 | 12:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"3840x2160 is exactly four times the resolution of current 1080p" ??

Please do your maths first...

May 1, 2013 | 12:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"3840x2160 is exactly four times the resolution of current 1080p" ??

Please do your maths first...

May 1, 2013 | 12:46 PM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

Well you can fit 4 1080p screens in a 3840x2160 space

May 1, 2013 | 04:08 PM - Posted by Randomoneh

When we're dealing with human perspective, resolution is not a pure number of pixels. Pure number of pixels is called "pixel count".

Now, we tend to perceive things this way: 4x4 image is twice as clear / sharp as the same 2x2 image. Therefore, you need to quadruple the pixel count to double "The Resolution". Just like "Retina" iPad looks [up to] twice as sharp as the old one.

May 7, 2013 | 12:54 AM - Posted by w_km (not verified)

Well...

1920 x 1080 x 4 = 8294400

3840 x 2160 = 8294400

Hmm...I guess they're pretty close.

May 7, 2013 | 12:55 AM - Posted by w_km (not verified)

Well...

1920 x 1080 x 4 = 8294400

3840 x 2160 = 8294400

Hmm...I guess they're pretty close.

May 1, 2013 | 01:35 PM - Posted by Fence Man (not verified)

How does the GTX 690 with 2gb ram win the day? When I play sleeping dogs maxed out with high red textures I use over 3gb at 2560x1600, how can 2gb be enough for 4K?

Are you banning people for disagreeing with you??

May 1, 2013 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

This HDTV supports 120Hz at 1920x1080.

It's been confirmed -- see this post:
http://www.blurbusters.com/4k-tv-for-only-1500-supports-1080p-120hz-and-...

May 1, 2013 | 05:13 PM - Posted by nickbaldwin86 (not verified)

Can I play @ 2560x1600 @ 120hz if I bought this monitor and say a 690 or a Titan or two :P

I just wondering if this monitor/TV is able to run that res and refresh rate?

May 1, 2013 | 05:23 PM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

Some tester said this HDTV managed to overclock -- it was able to accept 192Hz at 1280x720 (but that frameskipped). There is no answer about how 2560x1600 120Hz would behave -- someone will need to test that out.

May 1, 2013 | 06:13 PM - Posted by nickbaldwin86 (not verified)

Please do... that would be great! thanks

May 2, 2013 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

I read a report of 32Hz operation at 4K. I wonder if it can overclock to 48Hz during 4K.

May 1, 2013 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

>>> HDMI 1.4 can support 4K resolutions, but it can do so only at 30 Hz That doesn't mean we are limited to 30 FPS of performance though, far from it.

Uhh of course it does. just becuase your card is rendering 100 frames a second doesnt mean you will actually get to see any more than 30 per second if thats all your screen supports.

May 2, 2013 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

It does reduce input lag, if we can render 100fps, and send only the most freshly-generated frames to the display.

May 2, 2013 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

It does reduce input lag, if we can render 100fps, and send only the most freshly-generated frames to the display.

May 1, 2013 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a GTX 690 with two dual DVI and one DisplayPort connectors. Will a 4k signal transmit with a DVI to HDMI adapter?

PS Great review. I almost pulled the trigger on a Sony 55" 4k and then a Sharp PN-K321 just this past weekend. Now I may get the Seiki just to settle my 4k lust until the market catches up.

May 5, 2013 | 05:30 PM - Posted by Skye (not verified)

I have the same card X2 running in Quad SLI ..
Ordered 2 of the Tvs ...
Can't get it to run any Higher than 1080p and it looks like Crap ... 8(
Using the factory Adapters DVI < HDMI that came with the cards from ASUS.
No Joy ...
Even tried a Mini DP to Hdmi cable that I had on my other Rig ... No joy .. dosnt work.

Can anyone shed some light on how they did this Review ?

May 3, 2013 | 02:57 PM - Posted by P.Jack Kringle (not verified)

Why do some of your screenshots only show 1920 x 1200 resolution, yet you claim 2160p resolution across all tests?

May 3, 2013 | 03:59 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Sooooooo....If you got 3 of these TVs could you do 11520x2160 Eyefinity or Surround?

May 4, 2013 | 02:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any possibility of uploading one of the captured video files? Maybe not one of these 4K ones, but some of the ones from the other reviews? I'd like to see the video with the color bars on it, and maybe mess around with running the data extraction myself.

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