The last new game in our benchmark suite is Civilization 5, the latest incarnation in Firaxis Games’ series of turn-based strategy games. Civ 5 gives us an interesting look at things that not even RTSes can match, with a much weaker focus on shading in the game world, and a much greater focus on creating the geometry needed to bring such a world to life. In doing so it uses a slew of DirectX 11 technologies, including tessellation for said geometry and compute shaders for on-the-fly texture decompression.

It’s also one of the few games banned at AnandTech, as “one more turn” and article deadlines are rarely compatible.

Civ 5 has given us benchmark results that quite honestly we have yet to fully appreciate. A tight clustering of results would normally indicate that we’re CPU bound, but the multi-GPU results – particularly for the AMD cards – turns this concept on its head by improving performance by 47% anyhow. The most telling results however are found in the GTX 460 cards, where there’s a clear jump in performance going form the 768MB card to the 1GB card, and again from the 1GB card to the EVGA card. The 1GB GTX only improves on memory, memory bandwidth, and ROPs, greatly narrowing down the factors. No one factor can explain our results, but we believe we’re almost simultaneously memory and geometry bound.

With that in mind, this is clearly a game that benefits NVIDIA’s GPUs right now when we’re looking at single-GPU performance. This likely comes down to NVIDIA’s greater geometry capabilities, but we’re not willing to rule out drivers quite yet, particularly when a partially CPU-bound game comes in to play. In any case NVIDIA’s advantage leads to their wiping the floor with AMD here, as even the mere GTX 460 768MB can best a 5870, let alone the 6800 series.

Crossfire changes things up, but only because NVIDIA apparently does not have a SLI profile for Civ 5 at this time.

HAWX Battlefield: Bad Company 2
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  • Goty - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Other reviews show 6850s hitting 1GHz+ with software voltage modification, so I don't think that will be an issue. Reply
  • karlostomy - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    The question then is, why did anandtech choose to include the EVGA card that NVIDIA no doubt hand picked and delivered?

    Including the OC 460 card is one thing, but at the very least some 'attempt' at oc'ing the 6850 would have retained a semblance of reviewer impartiality.
    Reply
  • wyvernknight - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    According to this article i just read it can do 6 way eyefinity.

    http://www.semiaccurate.com/2010/10/21/amds-6870-b...

    The diagram is close to the bottom.
    Reply
  • notty22 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    The reviewer addressed why the 460 o/c was included. Owners/gamers are reporting the ability to clock their 460's to the 810,820,850 mhz the clocks various "special" models come @ with stock voltage. I agree , its more of why did Nvidia do this ? Imho, it was to position the card without competing/obsoleting the gtx 465/470. Now that Nvidia has lowered the prices, and the good price point the new AMD cards launched with, this is a exciting time for the gamer.
    Now lets get some new, more powerful dx11 games !
    Thanx for the COMPLETE review !
    Reply
  • Kyanzes - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I could have sworn that AvP had been mentioned as a future standard test game on Anandtech. I could be wrong ofc. Reply
  • 3DVagabond - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I'm really surprised you went along with using the EVGA (OC) card nVidia sent you. They sent you what is commonly referred to as "a ringer", and you went along. You should have used the stock 460 (both models) and a stock 470, IMO. Why let nVidia name the conditions? They are obviously going to do everything they can to tilt the playing field. Was there anything else they wanted that you did for them? Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Well in the article, they basically admitted to "caving in" to Nvidia by including the overclocked card. Obviously Nvidia was very keen to have a specific card included, seems dubious.

    "However with the 6800 launch NVIDIA is pushing the overclocked GTX 460 option far harder than we’ve seen them push overclocked cards in the past –we had an EVGA GTX 460 1GB FTW on our doorstep before we were even back from Los Angeles."

    I mean stating, "a matter of editorial policy" then ignoring that policy outright seems pretty sketchy to me. Like you said, makes one question the results in general.
    Reply
  • DominionSeraph - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    If AMD's official segmentation strategy were to put a factory overclocked 6870 against the GTX 470, what would be the issue with AnandTech comparing the two? Granted, it doesn't mean much to enthusiasts who would just buy a stocker and overclock it to pocket the price differential, but I'd wager a card bought by your average idiot buying off the shelves of Best Buy isn't going to see anything other than the factory clocks. Reply
  • bji - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Actually the people overclocking their video cards and then dealing with overheating and loud-as-an-aircraft-engine fan noise are the idiots.

    Just thought that if you were going to go around saying disparaging things about people who have different values than you do, that you might appreciate some of the same.
    Reply
  • spigzone - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Maybe if you had dropped testing the FTW 460 for the time being, saving it for your 'overview' test next week, you would have had enough time to release a fully fleshed out and organized review instead of letting Nvidia jerk you around, compromising your own 'editorial policy' on only using stock cards in the initial review and saving you the time and trouble of coming up with lame @$$ rationalizations. Reply

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