Day 1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
There are not too many good role-play games nowadays, but The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a treat for all the fans of the genre, particularly those that are interested in the Tamriel world created in Bethesda Softworks’ famous Elder Scrolls series that also includes such titles as Arena, Daggerfall, and Morrowind. This game was probably one of the most anticipated projects of 2006.
The game makes wide use of complex shader-based special effects and HDR. Combined with the detailedness and vastness of the Oblivion world, this makes the game a very heavy application for the graphics subsystem.
As you can see, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion runs best on a pair of ATI Radeon X1900 XT or a pair of GeForce 7900 GTX cards. These multi-GPU tandems both give you the highest performance in this game and are roughly equal between each other: Nvidia’s solution is better in some cases (see the 1920x1200 resolution results) and ATI’s, in others.
The balance between the single GeForce 7900 GTX and the single Radeon X1900 XTX is broken only by the newest graphics card from Nvidia: thanks to two GPUs on one printed-circuit board the GeForce 7950 GX2 is a little ahead in the race of single-card graphics subsystems. On the other hand, even the mighty GeForce 7950 GX2 is unable to give you a minimum frame rate higher than the Radeon X1900 XTX’s.
If you want to enjoy The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in 1920x1200, you should consider building a CrossFire or SLI subsystem in which two graphics cards are joined together to render the game scene. Owners of monitors with a max resolution of 1600x1200 may want to consider less expensive solutions.