Civilization V

Our final game, Civilization 5, gives us an interesting look at things that other RTSes cannot 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, driver command lists for reducing CPU overhead, and compute shaders for on-the-fly texture decompression.

Civilization V - 2560x1600 - Maximum Quality + 4xMSAA

Civilization V - 1920x1200 - Maximum Quality + 4xMSAA

Civilization V - 1680x1050 - Maximum Quality + 4xMSAA

Remember when NVIDIA used to sweep AMD in Civ V? Times have certainly changed in the last year, that’s for sure. It only seems appropriate that we’re ending on what’s largely a tie. At 2560 the GTX 680 does have a 4% lead over the 7970, however the 7970 reclaims it’s lead at the last possible moment at 1920. At this point we’ve seen the full spectrum of results, from the GTX 680 losing badly to winning handily, and everything in between.

On a final note, it’s interesting to see that the GTX 680 really only manages to improve on the GTX 580’s performance at 2560. At 1920 the lead is only 8%, and at 1680 we’re just CPU limited. Haswell can’t get here soon enough.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Compute: What You Leave Behind?
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  • blppt - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Wondering if you guys could also add a benchmark for one the current crop of 1ghz core 7970s that are available now (if you've tested any). Otherwise, great review. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    With everything being said by Nvidia, I thought this would be a Geforce 8k series class jump, while its really nothing close to that and trades blows with AMDs 3 month old card. GCN definitely had headroom so I can see lower priced, higher clocked AMD cards coming out soon to combat this. Still, I'm glad this will bring things down to sane prices. Reply
  • MarkusN - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Well to be honest, this wasn't supposed to be Nvidias successor to the GTX 580 anyway. This graphics card replaced the GTX 560 Ti, not the GTX 580. GK 110 will replace the GTX 580, even if you can argue that the GTX 680 is now their high-end card, it's just a replacement for the GTX 560 Ti so I can just dream about the performance of the GTX 780 or whatever they're going to call it. ;) Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    I didn't know that, thanks. Ugh, even more confusing naming schemes. Reply
  • Articuno - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    If this is supposed to replace the 560 Ti then why does it cost $500 and why was it released before the low-end parts instead of before the high-end parts? Reply
  • MarkusN - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    It costs that much because Nvidia realized that it outperforms/trades blows with the HD 7970 and saw an opportunity to make some extra cash, which basically sucks for us consumers. There are those that say that the GTX 680 is cheaper and better than the HD 7970 and think it costs just the right amount, but as usual it's us, the customers, that are getting the shaft again. This card should've been around $300-350 in my opinion, no matter if it beats the HD 7970. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Nah, they aren't obligated to give more then what the market will bear, no sense in starting a price war when they can have much fatter margins, it beats the 7970 already it's just enough.

    Now the ball is in AMD's court let's see if they can drop prices to compete $450 would be a nice start, but $400 is necessary to actually cause significant competition.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    This whole thing is so nutso but everyone is saying it.
    Let's take a thoughtful sane view...
    The GTX580 flagship was just $500, and a week or two ago it was $469 or so.
    In what world, in what release, in the past let's say ten years even, has either card company released their new product with $170 or $200 off their standard flagship price when it was standing near $500 right before the release ?
    The answer is it has never, ever happened, not even close, not once.
    With the GTX580 at $450, there's no way a card 40% faster is going to be dropped in at $300, no matter what rumor Charlie Demejerin at Semi0-Accurate has made up from thin air up as an attack on Nvidia, a very smart one for not too bright people it seems.
    Please, feel free to tell me what flagship has ever dropped in cutting nearly $200 off the current flagship price ?
    Any of you ?!?
    Reply
  • Lepton87 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Because nVidia decided to screw its costumer and nickle and dime them. That's why. All because 7970 underperformed and nv could get away with it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Or: Because NVIDIA and AMD and Intel are all businesses, and when you launch a hot new product and lots of people are excited to get one, you sell at a price premium for as long as you can. Then supply equals demand and then exceeds demand and that's when you start dropping prices. 7970 didn't underperform; people just expected/wanted more. Realistically, we're getting to the point where doubling performance with a process shrink isn't going to happen, and even 50% improvements are rare. 7970 and 680 are a reflection of that fact. Reply

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