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





Benchmarking Performance: CPU Legacy Tests Gaming Performance: Shadow of Mordor


View All Comments

  • spdragoo - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Per Tom's Hardware (

    "Our test rigs now include Meltdown And Spectre Variant 1 mitigations. Spectre Variant 2 requires both motherboard firmware/microcode and operating system patches. We have installed the operating system patches for Variant 2.

    Today's performance measurements do not include Intel's motherboard firmware mitigations for Spectre Variant 2 though, as we've been waiting for AMD patches to level the playing field. Last week, AMD announced that it’s making the mitigations available to motherboard vendors and OEMs, which the company says should take time to appear in the wild. We checked MSI's website for firmware updates applicable to our X370 platforms when AMD made its announcement, but no new BIOSes were available (and still aren't).

    Unfortunately, we were only made aware that Variant 2 mitigations are present in our X470 board's firmware just before launch, precluding us from re-testing the Intel platforms with patches applied. We're working on this now, and plan to post updated results in future reviews.

    The lack of Spectre Variant 2 patches in our Intel results likely give the Core CPUs a slight advantage over AMD's patched platforms. But the performance difference should be minimal with modern processors."

    For those that are TL:DR in their viewpoint: unlike Anandtech, TH did NOT include all of the Spectre/Meltdown patches, & even said that there might be differences in their test results.
  • Chris113q - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Other reviewers also had their setups meltdown/spectre patched and it's been already confirmed that these patches don't greatly impact gaming performance at all.
    It's clear that Anandtech's results are wrong here. I have read 12 other reviews and most of their results differ from the ones you got. You'd have to be delusional to take just 1 review as the absolute truth.
  • Ninjawithagun - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Incorrect. Those reviews were conducted back in January 2018 (look at the review dates). Microsoft issued new patches for Meltdown and Spectre earier this month (April 2018). I could find no other performance review showing performance gain/loss for Intel CPUs based upon the new patches other than the one posted now by AnandTech. Reply
  • Ninjawithagun - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    The only way to know for sure is for each hardware reviewer to provide the exact version of Windows 10 they used for testing. This will prove whether or not they ran benchmarks with the most current Windows updates/patches. Reply
  • Intel999 - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    It is plausible that many reviewers were lazy and carried over data from earlier reviews on Intel and 1000 series Ryzen CPUs.

    Thank you Anandtech for doing aa genuinely unbiased review that required a great deal of extra work compared to others.
  • 5080 - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    And don't forget BIOS patches as well. If you have a fully patched system the impact is even bigger than just updating with the Windows KB patches. Reply
  • sor - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Looking at Tom’s results, they have OC intels in first place. Other than that it’s damn close. Is there a chance you’re just browsing graphs to see who is in the top spot and not really comprehending the results?

    Aside from that, the test setups and even benchmarks used are different. You owe Ian an apology for not realizing you’re comparing OC results to his.
  • Silma - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Yes. Ian is a top reviewer. At worst he made a mistake in this evaluations. It happens to the best of us.
    However, I have an issue with non OC test. It seems to me people will purchase overclockable processors and graphic cards to overclock them. At least game results should probably be based on OC benchmarks.
  • pogostick - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    @Silma No, it makes more sense to do it this way. Everyone who buys these processors are guaranteed to have a part that will run the manufacturer spec. OC is a random lottery. Reply
  • ACE76 - Thursday, April 19, 2018 - link

    Wrong... majority of even gamers DON'T overclock...that us relagated to a niche market of enthusiasts. Reply

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