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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  • Makste - Monday, November 16, 2020 - link

    I think the game optimizations for intel processors become clear at those resolutions. AMD has been a none factor in gaming for so long. These games have been developed on and mostly optimised to work better on intel machines Reply
  • Silma - Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - link

    At 4K, the 3700X beats the 5600X quite often. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, November 13, 2020 - link

    Considering Intel just released a new generation of CPU's, it's astonishing at their current IPC generation-over-generation trajectory, it will take them two more generations to surpass Zen 3. That's almost 2 years.

  • ssshenoy - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    I dont think this article compares the latest generation from Intel - the Willow Cove core in Tiger lake which is launched only for notebooks. The comparison here seems to be with the ancient Skylake generation on 14 nm. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Friday, November 13, 2020 - link

    Got my Ryzen 7 5800X on a new Aorus X570 mainboard and finally working, too.

    It turbos to 4850MHz without any overclocking, so I'd hazard 150MHz "bonus" are pretty much the default across the line.

    At the wall plug 210 Watts was the biggest load I observed for pure CPU loads. HWinfo never reporting anything in excess of 120 Watts on the CPU from internal sensors.

    "finally working": I want ECC with this rig, because I am aiming for 64GB or even 128GB RAM and 24x7 operation. Ordered DDR4-3200 ECC modules from Kingston to go with the board. Those seem a little slow coming so I tried to make do with pilfering some DIMMs from other systems, that could be shut down for a moment. DDR4-2133 ECC and DDR4-2400 ECC modules where candidates, but wouldn't boot...

    Both were 2Rx4, dual rank, nibble not byte organized modules, unbuffered and unregistered but not the byte organized DIMMs that the Gigabyte documentation seeemd to prescribe... Asus, MSI and ASrock don't list such constraints, but I had to go with availability...

    I like to think of RAM as RAM, it may be slower or faster, but it shouldn't be tied to one specific system, right?

    So while I await the DDR4-3200 ECC 32GB modules to arrive, I got myself some DDR4-4000 R1x8 (no ECC, 8GB) DIMMs to fill the gap: But would that X570 mainboard, which might have been laying on shelves for months actually boot a Ryzen 5000?

    No, it wouldn't.

    But yes, it would update the BIOS via Q-Flash Plus-what-shall-we-call-it and then, yes, it did indeed recognize both the CPU and those R1x8 DIMMs just fine after the update.

    I haven't yet tried those R2x4 modules again, because I am still exploring the bandwidth high-end, but I want to report just how much I am impressed by the compatibility of the AM4 platform, fully aware that Zen 3 will be the last generation in this "sprint".

    I vividly remember how I had to get Skylake CPUs in order to get various mainboard ready for Kaby Lake...

    I have been using AMD x86 CPUs from 80486DX4. I owned every iteration of K6-II and K6-III, omitted all Slot-A variants, got back with socket-A, 754, 939, went single, quad, and hexa (Phenom II x4+x6), omitted Bulldozer, but did almost every APU but between Kaveri and Zen 3, AMD simply wasn't compelling enough.

    I would have gotten a Ryzen 9 5950x, if it had been available. But I count myself lucky for the moment to have snatched a Ryzen 7 5800X: It sure doesn't disappoint.

    AMD a toast! You have done very well indeed and you can count me impressed!

    Of course I'll nag about missing SVE/MKTME support day after tomorrow, but in the mean-time, please accept my gratitude.
  • feka1ity - Saturday, November 14, 2020 - link

    Interesting, my default 9700k with 1080ti does 225fps avg - Borderlands 3, 360p, very low settings and anantech testers poop 175fps avg with 10900k and 2080ti?!? And this favoritize amede products. Fake stuff, sorry. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, November 16, 2020 - link

    "Fake stuff"

    Thanks for labelling your post
  • feka1ity - Monday, November 16, 2020 - link

    Fake stuff is not a label, it's a epicrisis. Go render stuff, spunji Reply
  • Qasar - Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - link

    no, but fake posts are. Reply
  • feka1ity - Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - link

    sure, everything faster than new amede is fake for fanboiz Reply

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