[GS] Lag/flicker on system that shouldn't see lag/flicker


Mar 11, 2019
I'm seeing unit lag and screen flicker in games regardless of map size, number of civs, barbarian activity, graphics settings, etc. I've played (or initiated and quit after lag/flicker appears) at least 20 games now on Duel-sized maps with 1 AI Civ, no CSes, and no barbarians in Strategy View to attempt to diagnose and/or resolve this. The issue will *always* occur, the timing depends on the starting era.

On my system (hardware):
  • My current setup is a 2700X, 1070 (8GB), 16 GB RAM, SSD, Win10. The hardware is solid so far as I can tell through freeware benchmarking (e.g. userbenchmark, Heaven 4.0).
  • FYI I played Vanilla a lot on release with the same system other than a i5-3570k with 8 GB RAM. That played very nicely, even with very large maps and 1440p. Late game lag only due to AI.

On my install/drivers (software):
  • I've verified installation files in Steam. They're fine.
  • I've uninstalled, then restarted, then reinstalled twice. No help.
  • I've disabled the 4 mods I use (all QoL UI stuff, all well known and maintained). No help.
  • I've booted to Safe Mode and used a tool to completely remove my graphics drivers, then reinstalled driver. No help.

On Civ6 specific benchmarks:
  • Vanilla AI benchmark is ~6.5s per turn.
  • GS AI benchmark is ~33.0s per turn.

Is there anything I can do to further diagnose and resolve this? I'm losing my mind. It's difficult to be specific about the issue(s) other than to describe symptoms: there's screen flicker, and there's lag in moving from one unit to the next. I have vsync off, so I'll go from seeing something like 400 fps (according to the steam overlay indicator) to seeing 20 fps then 1 fps as I move to a unit, then freeze and boom. Aside from the flicker it's very similar to the typical late-game AI slowdown you'd see on any Standard or larger map.

Anecdotally I feel like it may have something to do with Worker units? It's hard to say, though, because usually in these test games there's not a lot of units out there, so it's possible that's a false impression.

What's especially frustrating is that one of the things I had really enjoyed about Vanilla was Strategy View, I was able to turn sliders way down and just enjoy big maps and big games without too big of a performance hit. To return to GS and have that taken away is a real gut punch. I was looking forward to exploring the new game mechanics and civs, but it's hard to do that when the game's slogging in Strategy View on a Duel Map by T70 (for an Ancient Start).

EDIT: This is happening in both DX11 and DX12. 90% of my testing has been with DX11.
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