Civilization V

Our final game, Civilization 5, gives us an interesting look at things that other RTSes cannot match, with a much weaker focus on shading in the game world, and a much greater focus on creating the geometry needed to bring such a world to life. In doing so it uses a slew of DirectX 11 technologies, including tessellation for said geometry, driver command lists for reducing CPU overhead, and compute shaders for on-the-fly texture decompression.

Civilization V - 2560x1600 - Maximum Quality + 4xMSAA

Civilization V - 1920x1200 - Maximum Quality + 4xMSAA

Civilization V - 1680x1050 - Maximum Quality + 4xMSAA

Remember when NVIDIA used to sweep AMD in Civ V? Times have certainly changed in the last year, that’s for sure. It only seems appropriate that we’re ending on what’s largely a tie. At 2560 the GTX 680 does have a 4% lead over the 7970, however the 7970 reclaims it’s lead at the last possible moment at 1920. At this point we’ve seen the full spectrum of results, from the GTX 680 losing badly to winning handily, and everything in between.

On a final note, it’s interesting to see that the GTX 680 really only manages to improve on the GTX 580’s performance at 2560. At 1920 the lead is only 8%, and at 1680 we’re just CPU limited. Haswell can’t get here soon enough.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Compute: What You Leave Behind?


View All Comments

  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Well, it's possible, but for financial reasons they won't do so.

    If they had created a 28nm product with similar thermals as the GTX 580 as well as similar die size you would indeed see a massive increase in performance..

    However this generation nVidia wanted to improve on all aspects to some degree so as such not as much can go into performance.

    We have an massive improvement in die area, a mile improvement in performance and a decent improvement in energy consumption and considerable improvement in energy efficiency. A very well balanced product.
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    The GTX580 is $470, so who believes Nvidia was dropping a killer card in at $299 like Charlie D the red fan lie disseminator said in his rumor starting post ?
    His lie has worked magic on all minds.
  • silverblue - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    The 680 shouldn't be $300 any more than the 580 should be $470. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    Spinning so hard you're agreeing while drilling yourself into a dark hole. Reply
  • SlyNine - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Agreed, back when the 9700pro came out we seen the first signs of this. The cards began needing external power adapters. The HSF's started growing to get those 4x increases.

    It was only a matter of time until they hit a wall with that method, and here we are.
  • johnpombrio - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    Rumor is that BIG Kepler will be named GTX685 and be out in August. Reply
  • Philbar71 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    "it takes a 16% lead over the GTX 7970 here"

    Whats a GTX 7970????
  • prophet001 - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    i saw that too... must have been a late night last night. we can let it slide :)
  • N4g4rok - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    It's pretty impressive. I'd like to see what it will cost from one of the retail sites. I'm not necessarily regretting the 7950 i got, but that nice little FPS bump you get from the 680 is nothing to turn your nose up at. Reply
  • Jorgisven - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    "Overall GTX 580 is targeted at a power envelope somewhere between GTX 560 Ti and GTX 580, though it’s closer to the former than the latter." Is this a typo (580 instead of the intended 680)? Or am I just not understanding this correctly? Reply

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