GPU Tests: Civilization 6 (1080p, 4K)

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 fifth 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.

MSI GTX 1080 at 1920x1080

(1080p) GTX 1080: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(1080p) GTX 1080: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(1080p) GTX 1080: Civilization 6, Time Under 60 FPS

MSI GTX 1080 at 4K

(4K) GTX 1080: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(4K) GTX 1080: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile>(4K) GTX 1080: Civilization 6, Time Under 60 FPS

ASUS GTX 1060 at 1920x1080

(1080p) GTX 1060: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(1080p) GTX 1060: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(1080p) GTX 1060: Civilization 6, Time Under 60 FPS

ASUS GTX 1060 at 4K

(4K) GTX 1060: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(4K) GTX 1060: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(4K) GTX 1060: Civilization 6, Time Under 60 FPS

Sapphire R9 Fury at 1920x1080

(1080p) R9 Fury: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(1080p) R9 Fury: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(1080p) R9 Fury: Civilization 6, Time Under 60 FPS

Sapphire R9 Fury at 4K

(4K) R9 Fury: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(4K) R9 Fury: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(4K) R9 Fury: Civilization 6, Time Under 30 FPS

Sapphire RX 480 at 1920x1080

(1080p) RX 480: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(1080p) RX 480: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(1080p) RX 480: Civilization 6, Time Under 60 FPS

Sapphire RX 480 at 4K

(4K) RX 480: Civilization 6, Average Frame Rate(4K) RX 480: Civilization 6, 99th Percentile(4K) RX 480: Civilization 6, Time Under 30 FPS

Benchmarking Performance: CPU Legacy Tests GPU Tests: Shadow of Mordor DX11 (1080p, 4K)
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  • Dr. Swag - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    Is it just me that sees "[table]" in the test bed and setup part? :P Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    As always, still writing as the embargo passes :D Always down to the wire, then over the wire, and a hop skip and a jump into a fast typing frenzy of fastidious fire. Reply
  • Dr. Swag - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    No worries :). I can only imagine how much testing you've been doing ever since the Ryzen 7 launch :D

    You guys are still my favorite review site. Keep up the good work!
    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    Thanks Doc! I pretty much always prefer your in-depth analysis to other authors on other review sites. I really enjoy the way you do and word things - I put it down to a combination of your academic and pro-OC background. :-)

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    Reply
  • ianmills - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    Ian it would be great if there was some easy way to only see only the parts of the review that are updated. Perhaps a diff can be done somehow ;) Reply
  • EasyListening - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    Hey you rhymed! Reply
  • leexgx - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    EEC compatibility (not support at the moment) you can use ECC ram but the ECC functionality is disabled (don't know when or if AMD will enable it on none workstation CPUs) Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    You mention a Ryzen 1400X in the conclusion, but I only see a 1500X and a 1400 at the beginning of the review. I do see a 1500X in the chart, so maybe you mean that?

    Paragraph just before "On the Benchmark Results"
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    I did indeed. :) Updated. Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    I figured as much, unless you had access to a secret CPU I'd never seen before :P Reply

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