On my old laptop, the animations were PAINFULLY slow. I remember the mp game where my opponent decided to surprise DOW me with about 50 bombers. I saw the first animation for about 30 seconds.... .... made tea.... drank tea..... .... made *dinner * (not kidding) -- animations still going as I sat down to eat..... So, since that time, I just bought an off the shelf desktop computer at Best Buy (an HP envy). Wow, the game is *so cool* when the animations work! I get through the modern era turns on a huge map with 22 civs (well, a few less by that time of course ) and 40 CS in less that 15 seconds. I couldn't even play a huge map before -- large maps with 13/25 took about 3-5 minutes in the modern/atomic era. So, I don't know what the exact difference is (but it may have already been mentioned), but there was a big change for me from laptop to desktop -- maybe it's a dedicated graphics card, etc.