Without a doubt, Oblivion is the most demanding game on the market for PC. But the demand is worth the price as this is arguably the best looking game out right now and is as fun and addicting as it is gorgeous. The plethora of graphics options allows for that and leaves ample headroom to benefits from a Quad SLI setup.
That being said, I decided for this round of benchmarking that I would take my character out to the nearest active Oblivion gate and engage in combat with whatever hellspawn was hanging around the area. And, to add to to the fun, the weather system brought a rain storm to REALLY give the system a serious load.
I also decided that since this is such a high-end graphics card and all-around high-end system, that I would pump ALL of the details as high as they could go, leaving only self-shadows and grass shadows disabled. HDR was used for the first round of benchmarks and I performed my test three nearly identical times at 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200 thanks to the quick-save system.
Oblivion HDR Performance
As the results show, Oblivions brings this system to its proverbial knees. There is no forgiveness whatsoever, as the 6fps result at 1600x1200 proves. This game demands a lot and the NX7900GT certainly delivers - at least as far as the visuals go. I cannot say the low scores disappointed me, but I was certainly not expecting 30fps at 1600x1200 with near-maximum settings.
To see how Oblivion fared with AA, the same tests were performed again, but with bloom and 4X AA instead of HDR.
I was actually surprised that the AA scores were, on the whole, better than the HDR scores. I was convinced AA would have been a much bigger resource drain than HDR. With the settings as high as the are, Oblivion has definitely never looked better, and honestly, even with the average score in both tests for 1600x1200 being only around 11FPS, it did not feel as choppy as the number would imply.
And that goes for all of the resolutions as well. If I didn't have the frame rate from Fraps to tell me otherwise, I would have guessed I was in the low-to-mid 20s as an average at 1600x1200. I am not sure if that means the engine is well-programmed or the graphics card is just that awesome (or both), but either way, I asked a lot from the NX7900GT and it did not disappoint.