Civilization: Beyond Earth Testing Notes

Along with discussions of the performance, there are also a few bugs and other quirks in many games that could use fixing. In the case of Civilization: Beyond Earth, my testing has uncovered a few issues. First and foremost, the problem with the MSI GS60 running at higher than 1080p definitely needs a fix (most likely from NVIDIA's or Intel's drivers, though possibly it's something specific to the laptop that MSI would need to fix, or perhaps it's something with the game itself).

Another issue I encountered (which might be hardware specific) is that the game always drops to a 24Hz refresh rate on my Acer XB280HK LCD; the monitor supports 3840x2160 at 60Hz, and if I change the refresh rate after the game has started everything is fine. When I exit and restart, unfortunately, the game is back to 24Hz even though the settings claim it's at 59Hz.

Of course I'd also love to see the support for Mantle SFR "just work" without requiring any manual tweaking of configuration files. Fixing Mantle support for users with more than two GPUs is a known issue, though it only likely affects a handful of users. Another known issue is that if Windows is set to anything other than 100% scaling, the game basically breaks right now – your mouse cursor doesn't map properly to the screen coordinates so you can't click on buttons or units. And let me just say that a 28" display running at 3840x2160 does not result in particularly legible text (in Windows) for my tired old eyes at 100% scaling.

While I'm here talking about fixes, it would also be great if Firaxis improved the usefulness of the benchmark results. Right now, all it generates is a CSV file with one long line of comma separated values containing the frame rendering times (in milliseconds). That's certainly better than nothing, but I had to create a macro to convert the row into a column, calculate the total time and number of frames (and thereby the average FPS), as well as determining the instantaneous frame times. In some ways it's easier to just use FRAPS to log the performance during the benchmark, but of course FRAPS only works with Direct3D and OpenGL and not Mantle.

Being able to launch the benchmark from a command prompt without Steam complaining about the extra command line parameters (see above dialog) and being able to launch the Mantle version of the game from the command prompt would also be appreciated. The latter is a Firaxis issue, while Steam now appears to complain about any command line parameters on the games I've tested. Basically, if you're going to include a built-in benchmark, generating data in a more useful format and providing tools to automate testing multiple settings helps the people that will actually use the benchmark (i.e. hardware reviewers like me).

AMD CrossFire Performance Closing Thoughts
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  • siriq - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    Well, i got EVGA 570 classified so i don't need to bother myself with oc. This is what the card do on stock. Will make vid as well if i can get some sleep :D
  • siriq - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    It is just funny i am right after r280 with few fps behind.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    How are you testing, and how are you calculating the FPS? If you're just using FRAPS and not running the benchmark, you won't get comparable results.
  • siriq - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    -benchmark lategameview in the shortcut.
  • feeblegoat - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    I looked the invisible page 3. Not sure I'd only appears on the mobile site. Also, it's good to see the 250x benchmarks thrown in. As a two-year-old gtx 660m owner, I appreciate the low end benchmarks.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    I added page 3 after the initial posting (and some much needed sleep). I just checked on my smartphone and it loads okay, so can you try reloading the page? Let me know if it still doesn't work.
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    If you're planning to do a bit more testing, I'd like to see how the 480 or 580 manage to do.
  • RagingCain - Friday, October 24, 2014 - link

    I will be building a Frame Time Analyzer, similar to my BF4 FTA for Mantle/DX11 users.
    OCN THread:
    My Website:
  • siriq - Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - link

    I had pretty much the same result. Just tested 2560x1440 4xMSAA ULTRA(with high option i have the same as well) with GTX 570 and avg fps is 24.5 . In 1920x1080p just lagging behind of the R9 280 AMD vga. Not bad from Nvidia.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 30, 2014 - link

    Hold on there... the average of the R9 280 at 2560x1440 Ultra is 41FPS, and at 1080p it's 54 FPS. If you're at 24.5 FPS, your GTX 570 is about 50% faster than the slowest GPU I tested, the R7 250X (which is a $100 GPU, sometimes less).

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