Civilization 6

First up in our CPU gaming tests is Civilization 6. Originally penned by Sid Meier and his team, the Civ series of turn-based strategy games are a cult classic, and many an excuse for an all-nighter trying to get Gandhi to declare war on you due to an integer overflow. Truth be told I never actually played the first version, but every edition from the second to the sixth, including the fourth as voiced by the late Leonard Nimoy, it a game that is easy to pick up, but hard to master.

Benchmarking Civilization has always been somewhat of an oxymoron – for a turn based strategy game, the frame rate is not necessarily the important thing here and even in the right mood, something as low as 5 frames per second can be enough. With Civilization 6 however, Firaxis went hardcore on visual fidelity, trying to pull you into the game. As a result, Civilization can taxing on graphics and CPUs as we crank up the details, especially in DirectX 12.

Perhaps a more poignant benchmark would be during the late game, when in the older versions of Civilization it could take 20 minutes to cycle around the AI players before the human regained control. The new version of Civilization has an integrated ‘AI Benchmark’, although it is not currently part of our benchmark portfolio yet, due to technical reasons which we are trying to solve. Instead, we run the graphics test, which provides an example of a mid-game setup at our settings.

At both 1920x1080 and 4K resolutions, we run the same settings. Civilization 6 has sliders for MSAA, Performance Impact and Memory Impact. The latter two refer to detail and texture size respectively, and are rated between 0 (lowest) to 5 (extreme). We run our Civ6 benchmark in position four for performance (ultra) and 0 on memory, with MSAA set to 2x.

For reviews where we include 8K and 16K benchmarks (Civ6 allows us to benchmark extreme resolutions on any monitor) on our GTX 1080, we run the 8K tests similar to the 4K tests, but the 16K tests are set to the lowest option for Performance.

For all our results, we show the average frame rate at 1080p first. Mouse over the other graphs underneath to see 99th percentile frame rates and 'Time Under' graphs, as well as results for other resolutions. All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance



ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB Performance



Sapphire R9 Fury 4GB Performance



Sapphire RX 480 8GB Performance



Civilization 6 Conclusion

In all our testing scenarios, AMD wins at 1080p with minor margins on the frame rates but considerable gains in the time under analysis. Intel pushes ahead in almost all of the 4K results, except with the time under analysis at 4K using an R9 Fury, perhaps indicating that AMD is offering a steadier range in its frame rate, despite the average being lower.

Benchmarking Performance: CPU Legacy Tests Gaming Performance: Ashes of the Singularity Escalation (1080p, 4K)
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Gulagula - Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - link

    Can anyone explain to me how the 7600k and in some cases the 7600 beating the 7700k almost consistenly. I don't doubt the Ryzen results but the Intel side of results confuses the heck out of me.
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - link

    Sustained turbo, temperatures, quality of chips from binning (a good 7600 chip will turbo much longer than a 7600K will), time of day (air temperature is sometimes a pain - air conditioning doesn't really exist in the UK, especially in an old flat in London), speed shift response, uncore response, data locality (how often does the system stall, how long does it take to get the data), how clever the prefetchers are, how a motherboard BIOS ramps up and down the turbos or how accurate its thermal sensors are (I try and keep the boards constant for a full generation because of this). If it's only small margin between the data, there's not much to discuss.
  • Funyim - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Are you absolutely sure your 7700k isn't broken? It sure looks like it is. I understand your point about margins but numbers are numbers and yours look wrong. No other benchmarks I've seen to date aligns with your findings. And please for the love of god ammend this article if it is.
  • Hurr Durr - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    One wonders why would you relegate yourself to subpar performance of AMD processors.
  • Alistair - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    Your constant refrain belonged in the bulldozer era (when the single threaded performance difference was on the order of 80-100 percent). Apparently you can't move past the Ryzen launch. If a different company such as Samsung had launched these CPUs the reception would have been very different. I've never bought AMD before but my Ryzen 1700 is incredible for its price, and I had to be disillusioned by my terrible Skylake upgrade first before I was willing to purchase from AMD.
  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    don´t argue with trolls....
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    Why would Intel enable HT when they could sell it as DLC?
  • coolhardware - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    Glad to hear that the benchmarking is (becoming) less of a chore :-) Kudos and thank you for the great article!
  • fallaha56 - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    Surely that AVX drop -10 when overclocking was too much?

    What about delidding?
  • Samus - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    It still stands that the best value in this group is the Ryzen 1600X, mostly because it's platform cost is 1/3rd that of Intel's HEDT. So unless you need those platform advantages (PCIe, which even x299 doesn't completely have on these KBL-X CPU's) it really won't justify spending $300 more on a system, even if single threaded performance is 15-20% better.

    Just the fact an AMD system of less than half the cost can ice a high end Intel system in WinRAR speaks a lot to AMD's credibility here.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now