Do the £120 wonders have what it takes to run the latest mega RPG?

Mid-range video cards tested in Skyrim

The Tech Report rounded up the current crop of mid-range graphics cards and threw them at the recently released Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to see how they shape up.

Tech Report’s Cyril Kowaliski said that high-end cards such as the Radeon HD 6950 and the GeForce GTX 560 Ti had "no trouble cranking out smooth, low frame times at 1080p" in the highest graphics setting but some scenes such as the castle scene in Whiterun did result in choppy behavior.

Skyrim’s lower "high" setting suits cheaper cards such as the GeForce GTX 460 and Radeon HD 6850 putting in a good innings while still looking pretty good. Not bad for video cards that can be had for as little as £120.

AMD cards, however, were said to suffer from a jittery effect of using fire spells in the snow, something Nvidia counterparts didn’t suffer from. Other than the odd AMD jitter effect, Tech Report said that the mid-range rivals were more or less evenly matched.

The new AMD Catalyst 11.11a drivers appeared in the middle of the test so weren’t factored although Kowaliski tested to see if the snow/fire jitter remained. Sadly it was. Maybe when AMD are fixing Crossfire for Skyrim they will fix this too.

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