The Intel 9th Gen Review: Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K Testedby Ian Cutress on October 19, 2018 9:00 AM EST
Gaming: Civilization 6 (DX12)
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 fourth 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.
|AnandTech CPU Gaming 2019 Game List|
All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.
Continuing the theme we’ve seen thus far, Civilization 6 is another game where the 9900K does provide some benefits, but not under all circumstances. The game is not particularly GPU-intensive to begin with, so at just 4K Ultra we’re still not entirely GPU limited; but past a Ryzen 7 2700X or so, all the CPUs start running together. We have to drop to 1080p Ultra to really pull the CPUs off of the dogpile, at which point the 9900K comes out in the lead.
This is another game that doesn’t seem to care about core counts so much as it does frequencies. So the 9900K has the strongest position here, while the 9700K brings up second place. But neither are very far from the 8700K, with Intel’s latest coming in at just 12% faster than their former flagship even at these CPU benchmarking sympathetic settings.
Curiously we also see the 9900K fall behind the 9700K at 4K and higher. The difference is easily close enough to be noise, but it might be a very slight impact of the lower-tier chips not having to share their cores with hyper-threading.