Skyrim patch does purport to increase the game's performance with certain configurations. Bethesda forum user Arisu has created the Skyrim Acceleration Layer which, in his own words, "works mostly by rewriting some x87 FPU code and inlining a whole ton of useless getter functions along the critical paths because the developers at Bethesda, for some reason, compiled the game without using any of the optimization flags for release builds." You get all that?
We're unable to test the mod ourselves, though forum users are reporting frame rate increases in more graphically intense areas (Markarth, in particular). Meanwhile, Rock, Paper, Shotgun seems to have noticed at least a slight improvement. The mod requires the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE), which you can find here. Head over to the Bethesda forums for detailed installation instructions.