Gaming Tests: Civilization 6

Originally penned by Sid Meier and his team, the Civilization 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 underflow. Truth be told I never actually played the first version, but I have played every edition from the second to the sixth, including the fourth as voiced by the late Leonard Nimoy, and 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.

For this benchmark, we are using the following settings:

  • 480p Low, 1440p Low, 4K Low, 1080p Max

For automation, Firaxis supports the in-game automated benchmark from the command line, and output a results file with frame times. We do as many runs within 10 minutes per resolution/setting combination, and then take averages and percentiles.

AnandTech Low Resolution
Low Quality
Medium Resolution
Low Quality
High Resolution
Low Quality
Medium Resolution
Max Quality
Average FPS
95th Percentile

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

 

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  • jakky567 - Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - link

    Total system, I think the 5950x should be more popular. That being said, the 5900x is still great. Reply
  • mdriftmeyer - Monday, November 9, 2020 - link

    I spend $100 or more per week on extra necessities from Costco. Your price hike concerns are laughable. Reply
  • bananaforscale - Monday, November 9, 2020 - link

    5900X has good binning and the cheapest price per core. For productivity 3900X has *nothing* on 5900X for the 10% price difference and 5950X is disproportionately more expensive. Zen and Zen+ are not an option if you want high IPC, 3300X basically doesn't exist... I'll give you that 3600 makes more sense to most people than 5600X, it's not that much faster. Reply
  • Kangal - Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - link

    "Price per Core".... yeah, that's a pointless metric.
    What you need to focus on is "Price per Performance", and this should be divided into two segments: Gaming Performance, Productivity Performance. You shouldn't be running productivity tools whilst gaming for plenty of reasons (game crashes, tool errors, attention span, etc etc). The best use case for a "mixed/hybrid" would be Twitch Gaming, that's still a niche case.... but that's where the 5800X and 5900X makes sense.

    Now, I don't know what productivity programs you would use, nor would I know which games you would play, or if you plan on becoming a twitcher. So for your personal needs, you would have to figure that out yourself. Things like memory configurations and storage can have big impacts on productivity. Whereas for Gaming the biggest factor is which GPU you use.

    What I'm grasping at is the differences should/will decrease for most real-world scenarios, as there is something known as GPU scaling and being limited or having bottlenecks. For instance, RTX 2070-Super owners would target 1440p, and not 1080p. Or RTX 3090 owners would target 4K, and not for 1440p. And GTX 1650 owners would target 1080p, they wouldn't strive for 4K or 1440p.

    For instance, if you combine a 5600X with a Ultra-1440p-card, and compare the performance to a 3600X, the differences will diminish significantly. And at Ultra/4K both would be entirely GPU limited, so no difference. So if you compare a 5800X to a 3900X, the 3900X would come cheaper/same price but offer notably better productivity performance. And when it comes to gaming they would be equal/very similar when you're (most likely) GPU limited. That scenario applies to most consumers. However, there are outliers or niche people, who want to use a RTX 3090 to run CS GO at 1080p-Low Settings so they can get the maximum frames possible. This article alludes to what I have mentioned. But for more details, I would recommend people watch HardwareUnboxed video from YouTube, and see Steve's tests and hear his conclusions.

    Whereas here is my recommendation for the smart buyer, do not buy the 5600X or 5800X or 5900X. Wait a couple months and buy then. For Pure Gaming, get the r5-5600 which should have similar gaming performance but come in at around USD $220. For Productivity, get the r7-5700 which should have similar performance to the 5800X but come in at around USD $360. For the absolute best performance, buy the r9-5950x now don't wait. And what about Twitch Streamers? Well, if you're serious then build one Gaming PC, and a second Streaming PC, as this would allow your game to run fast, and your stream to flow fluidly.... IF YOU HAVE A GOOD INTERNET CONNECTION (Latency, Upload, Download).
    Reply
  • lwatcdr - Monday, November 9, 2020 - link

    "You can get the 3700 for much cheaper than the 5800X. Or for the same price you can get the 3900X instead."
    And if you want both gaming and productivity? They get the 5800X or 5900X. So AMD has something for every segment which is great.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 12, 2020 - link

    The 5900x is margin of error from the 5950x in games, still shows a small uptick in gaming compared to 5800/5600x, offers far better performance then 5600/5800x in productivity tasks, and is noticeably cheaper then the 5950x.

    How on earth is that a non buy?

    The rest may be better value for money, but by that metric a $2 pentium D 945 is still far better value for money depending on the task. The 5000 series consistently outperforms the 3000 series, offring 20% better performance for 10% better cash.
    Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Saturday, November 14, 2020 - link

    AMD has the best products to offer
    Soo you expect them to sell it at a cheaper rate than intel ?
    Reply
  • Threska - Monday, November 16, 2020 - link

    AMD has a good product RANGE, which means something for everyone AND all monies go to AMD regardless of consumer choice. Reply
  • Ninjawithagun - Friday, November 20, 2020 - link

    The price hike is mainly to cover ongoing R&D for the next-gen Ryzen Zen 4 CPUs due out in 2022. The race between Intel and AMD must go on! Reply
  • jakky567 - Monday, November 23, 2020 - link

    I disagree about the 5900x being a no buy.

    I feel like it goes 5950x for absolute performance. 5900x for high tier performance on a budget. And then the 3000 series for people on a budget, except the 3950x.

    The 5900x has all the l3 cache.
    Reply

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