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Slow turn times- will a new fast PC improve them much?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Smokeybear, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    I'm sure a lot of you can relate, if you've ever played a large or especially a huge CiV map before on epic or marathon mode- by the latter half of the game, the AI turns can take forever, seriously degrading your enjoyment of the game, and majorly reducing the time you actually get to play, versus sit and wait.

    I've got a four year old PC that was top of the line back in the day, but is getting kinda slow now for the current crop of games. I've been looking at new ones lately, and the CPU processing capabilities seem to have gotten quite a bit faster with the newer intel chips, and everything from RAM speeds to motherboard buses and so forth are markedly faster now. Not to mention SSD drives that are actually large enough and cheap enough now to consider putting both your OS and a decent chunk of games on one at the same time. While a new, fast GPU (videocard) would of course also be included, I don't believe video rendering capability has anything to do with slow turn times in CiV, particularly if you have quick combat enabled.

    So what I'd like to know, is if anyone who's been in this same boat has recently updated to a new, faster PC, and noticed that it improved and significantly shortened those huge/marathon-game AI turn times for them, or not? Just curious...

    Edit: running with Intel Core i7 960 3.2GHz, 6GB of RAM at 1333MHz speed, 80GB SSD boot drive and my games are on a 3TB WD 7500rpm harddrive.
     
  2. Jimdigriz

    Jimdigriz Prince

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    Finished a huge/marathon game not long ago (7 AI civs and about 20 civ states). Got a bit slower as it went along but the turn waiting wasnt bad at all really - I remember worse with previous Civ games to be honest.

    Ive only got an I5 laptop with 1gb graphics card and 6gb ram too. Graphics settings all on medium I think.
     
  3. Unresolved

    Unresolved King

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    Well, I can't say anything in particular about large maps. But my dad's crappy laptop takes a good 15 seconds per turn on minimum graphics in the beginning of a standard map and much longer towards the end. My gaming laptop takes about a second in the beginning and 5-10 seconds at the end of the game on higher levels and maxed graphics.
     
  4. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    Well, on a huge/marathon map, or even a large/epic, I start out with 5-10 second AI turn times when everybody still has just one city each, and by turn 400 and beyond, it's already slowing down to over a minute per turn. By late game, turn 700 and beyond on marathon, i can be waiting up to 3-4 minutes for each AI turn to end. Water maps are even worse than that. If you aren't playing large or huge maps on epic or higher speeds, than you can't really relate. It is much more AI-intensive than small or standard maps are at the quicker speeds.
     
  5. Unresolved

    Unresolved King

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    The relative difference in speeds should still be relevant no matter what the size of the map is. Perhaps even more pronounced than it is in standard.
     
  6. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    The first thing to do on slowness between turn is to switch to strategic mode before ending the turn. Most of the time isn't the AI processing but is instead graphics related.

    In addition, it appears there may be a memory leak in the graphics section, because I've sometimes noticed when I saved, exited Civ V completely and restarted Civ V that it was faster.
     
  7. kirbdog

    kirbdog King

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    Yes, having a faster computer is the difference between the game being unplayable, the game being painfully slow, and (with a good rig) not knowing what people are talking about when they complain.
     
  8. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    The larger the map size, and the more civs and CS's you have on it, the longer it's going to take to process all of the crap they do every turn. Is that what you are referring to? At any rate, game speed is nothing here anyway. The critical factor is map size.
     
  9. Unresolved

    Unresolved King

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    No, the difference between a slow computer(my dad's laptop) and a fast one(mine) should be applicable for any map size.
     
  10. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    I've tried strategic mode, it doesn't make any difference. It isn't a graphics capability issue, as even my 4 year old computer can eat this game's graphics for breakfast and squirt out little tile raisins. Besides, I run with quick movement enabled, and it isn't having to redraw squat during the AI turns. No, it's the AI movement crunching that sucks down the CPU cycles, so I'm hoping a complete machine upgrade to a current screamer will fix the issue. Getting tired of it, big time. I love huge marathon games, but haven't ever been able to play them without rage quitting from the sucky slowness, long before they're done. Large maps are doable, but even they are pretty slow, long before the end.
     
  11. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    Shoulda woulda coulda. Have you actually played a huge marathon game with 12 civs and 24 CS's past turn 700? Let me know how fast that goes on either one.
     
  12. Unresolved

    Unresolved King

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    I never said it would be fast. I said it would be faster.
     
  13. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    Hehe, ok. As in snail speed, versus slug speed. Check.
     
  14. Cajamarca

    Cajamarca Chieftain

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    Why would adding a shell on its back make it faster? :confused:
     
  15. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    Ever watch a snail giddyup and go? Them li'l dudes almost got some legs when they decide to get real motivated. They suck in air and it gains force via a venturi wind-tunnel thing through their spiral shell, then they spurt it outta their bum like a ramjet. True story, saw it on the Discovery Channel.
     
  16. whyidie

    whyidie Emperor

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    Went from a 6yr old budget build to an i5 with an ssd with good results. Also upgraded memory from 2gb to 8gb and OS to Win7 from XP. So keep in mind my setup was pretty slow compared to yours.

    Load time is much improved due largely to ssd. Late game on huge/marathon is seconds, not minutes. No unit hopping at beginning of turns in the late game anymore. Oddly enough if I run on board graphics it does slow turn times AND load times down. I'm certain of this because I ended up pulling the pci card for use with my old rig. Noticeably different performance on both machines when the pci card is installed.
     
  17. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    The key is to speed up the units (or check Quick Movement in Graphics section)... if you still want the animation, but faster, I can provide my own minimod to do just that if you want (based on Thal's CEP mod)...

    Apparently, the animations get rendered even "out of the map", so every turn has to render all AI units animations even if the player does not see them. Proof? Turn animations off, and see how faster your turns are.
     
  18. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    Sounds encouraging. I suspect your video card probably does GPU-processing, whereby it 'loans' out its unused processing cycles to the CPU, so the CPU can use them to crank out the AI move calculations even faster. Some of the newer cards, particularly nVidia ones, do that. Either that, or the onboard video chip is just so crappy that it really bogs down the CPU when it has to do all the graphics too.
     
  19. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    That has got to be one of the dumbest bits of game programming I've ever heard of. <sigh> Let's see, how can we make the game engine do all kinds of stuff it should not ever have to do, and see how badly we can slow down the game in the process! Yeah, great idea! :rolleyes: Amateurs. They may be good at coming up with ideas for making a game, but when it comes down to having the programming skill to actually optimize it for decent performance on a computer (it is a PC game, after all...), they are really way out of their league. The big league game devs have figured out how to prevent the video system from creating all that unneeded stuff in order to speed up their games years ago- they need to contract one of those experts to come and tune them up.

    BTW, I do run with quick movement (no combat animations), and it still gets really slow on huge map games.
     
  20. Novalia

    Novalia Prince

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    Try running integrity checks on the files thru steam. I'm sure it won't help much unless you're bugged. But it can't hurt either. Back to one of your questions... Most of us have probably not played a game with your parameters and aren't willing to sit thru 700 turns just to benchmark turn times. But if you posted a save somewhere at turn 700 I could tell you how fast my super pc can process the turns. You might find out it takes my super pc to take a minute as well and save yourself a few bucks avoiding that upgrade.
     

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