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.

All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance


1080p

4K

8K
 
16K
 

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6G Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury 4G Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire Nitro RX 480 8G Performance


1080p

4K

On the whole, the Threadripper CPUs perform as well as Ryzen does on most of the tests, although the Time Under analysis always seems to look worse for Threadripper.

Benchmarking Performance: CPU Legacy Tests CPU Gaming Performance: Ashes of the Singularity Escalation (1080p, 4K)
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  • verl - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    "well above the Ryzen CPUs, and batching the 10C/8C parts from Broadwell-E and Haswell-E respectively"

    ??? From the Power Consumption page.
    Reply
  • bongey - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Yep if you use AVX-512 it will down clock to 1.8Ghz and draw 400w just for the CPU alone and 600w from the wall. See der8auer's video title "The X299 VRM Disaster (en)", all x299 motherboards VRMs can be ran into thermal shutdown under avx 512 loads, with just a small overclock, not to mention avx512 crazy power consumption. That is why AMD didn't put avx 512 in Zen, it is power consumption monster. Reply
  • TidalWaveOne - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Glad I went with the 7820X for software development (compiling). Reply
  • raddude9 - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    In ars' review they have TR-1950X ahead of the i9-7900X for compilation:
    https://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/2017/08/amd-thre...

    In short it's very difficult to test compilation, every project you build has different properties.
    Reply
  • emn13 - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Yeah, the discrepency is huge - converted to anandtech's compile's per day the arstechnica benchmark maxes out at a little less than 20, which is a far cry from the we see here.

    Clearly, the details of the compiler, settings and codebase (and perhaps other things!) matter hugely.

    That's unfortunate, because compilation is annoyingly slow, and it would be a boon to know what to buy to ameliorate that.
    Reply
  • prisonerX - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    This is very compiler dependent. My compiler is blazingly fast on my wimpy hardware becuase it's blazingly clever. Most compilers seem to crawl no matter what they run on. Reply
  • bongey - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    Looks like anandtech's benchmark for compiling is bunk, it's just way off from all the other benchmarks out there. Not only that, no other test shows a 20% improvement over the 6950x which is also a 10 core/20 thread cpu. Something tells me the 7900x is completely wrong or has something faster like a different pcie ssd. Reply
  • Chad - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    All I know is, for those of us running Plex, SABnzbd, Sonarr, Radarr servers simultaneously (and others), while encoding and gaming all simultaneously, our day has arrived!

    :)
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - link

    We checked with Ars as to their method.

    We use a fixed late March build around v56 under MSVC
    Ars use a fixed newer build around v62 via clang-cl using VC++ linking

    Same software, different compilers, different methods. Our results are faster than Ars, although Ars' results seem to scale better.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Friday, August 11, 2017 - link

    Of every review out there, only your "superior testing methodology" presents a picture where TR is slower than SX. Reply

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