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What is the best CPU for games like CIV4?

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by Ariminio, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    It's a nice CPU for sure, but it won't be the best for Civ4. Five of those cores will be idle; better to buy an Intel part with fewer cores and better performance per clock (and probably a similar clock rate) for the same price.

    I found them impressive. For the price, you're getting an astounding value, especially the 1055T at $200 for a hexacore. With the $50 rebate, all the better, but even without it, if I were looking for the most raw power per dollar (and were assuming I could take advantage of all the cores), I'd go for the 1055T.

    Lower-end, the 2.7 GHz Tri-Core at $70 from AMD is also excellent in performance per $, as are the lower-end quad-cores.

    Most likely, yes, that will be the best CPU for Civ4. For Civ5, it won't be, as Civ5 will support more cores.

    There is a slight chance that an older CPU will work better for Civ4. I know for Civ3, the cache size of the CPU apparently had a large impact on performance (I've never been able to test this myself, due to lack of sufficient hardware resources). Thus, it is possible that the 3.33 GHz Core 2 Duo E8600, with 3 MB of L2 cache per core instead of the 512 KB of L2 cache plus 2 MB of slower L3 cache per core of the i5-680, would actually perform better at Civ3, and possibly Civ4 as well (I know less of what impacts Civ4's performance at the CPU level).

    Many synthetic benchmarks don't depend much on cache size, but I have seen some benchmarks where the older Q9550 (2.83 GHz, 3 MB L2 cache per core) beats the newer i7-860 (2.8 GHz, 256 MB L2 cache per core plus 2 MB of slower L3 cache) due to its larger L2 cache. If this would hold true for Civ, the Xeon X5270, which is essentially the E8600 but clocked at 3.5 GHz, would likely be the best CPU for Civ4.

    It's even possible that the old Xeon 7150N, based on the Pentium D, would be best for Civ3 or Civ4, due to its gigantic 8MB of L3 cache per core, and 3.5 GHz clock rate. I doubt it, but T.A. Jones used to swear that Civ3 ran considerably better on a Cedar Mill Pentium 4 with twice the cache of a Prescott, so I won't rule it out.

    For Civ4, you'll be fine with any current-generation IGP. For Civ5, I think it's too early for any of us to know for sure.
     
  2. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    I was thinking about Civ 5, because it can use up to 8 cores, so it's better than an i5 in that case because of more cores (IIRC)

    plus they have decent cash
     
  3. Ariminio

    Ariminio Chieftain

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    Why do you think Civ5 will support so many cores, all I see in the Civ5 forum in the confirmed features thread is that the graphics engine supports more cores, but the rest is for 2 cores. Does support for 8 threads mean 8 cores, or what?


    "The new graphics engine spawns numerous small jobs, which make more efficient use of multi-core CPUs as well as implementing a new message-passing architecture, in which the main game engine communicates with the graphics subsystem through messages. (Tomshardware)

    For the first time in the series the game is being developed for dual core processors, with support for up too 8 threads."
     
  4. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    incorrect, five cores will not idle, Windows runs on it's own core if possible (helps prevent system lockup) those extra core also run other thread that exist in background, also it will ramp up 400MHz on used cores if 3 or more are idle, plus some have OC'ed it to 4.2GHz



    A core processes only one thread at a time
    so eight cores can handle eight threads
    game probably has dual core as recommended
     
  5. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I think the best you can do is go for a dual core that is already above 3 GHz, and has a 3-4mb L2 cache. Probably something like a Wolfdale CPU. Then pair it with an overclockable motherboard and try to get 4 Ghz or so. Though perhaps if you update your ram to solid state ram????

    That and a good GPU or turn off the animations.

    The main limiting factor is Civ4 is only a 32bit program. So throwing in more RAM doesn't help. You need some kind of sci-fi RAM.
     
  6. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    Solid State RAM? Its been that way since pretty much...ever.
     
  7. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    1) I didn't realize RAM came in non-solid state
    2) BTS is large address aware, more RAM does help
    3) SSD does help
    4) A low cost GPU could probably work

    Wolfdale @4.2-3GHz
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/wolfdale-steroids,1777-5.html
     
  8. Fëanor

    Fëanor Chieftain

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    With solid state ram he probably means Non-volatile ram, (Flash Memory).

    Though i have no idea how or why replacing your ram with Flash memory would yield any performance boost.
     
  9. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I was having a brain-furt. Actually what I meant was disk-based RAM, and direct virtual memory to run off of that. That would eliminate the bottleneck of data transfer from the HDD, by making them run at RAM speed.

    LOL Solid State Ram has been that way forever. :LOL:
     
  10. Fëanor

    Fëanor Chieftain

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    I was playing around with a RAMdisk for the last couple of days to see if i could get Hearts of Iron 3 to run better, sadly despite the 4500-6000MB/s read/write speeds the performance is still abysmal.

    Much like Civ4 the performance is bottlenecked by the Coding and not the Hardware.

    Intel's Anaphase would seem to be a promising way to boost performance in older/badly optimized games. Although 10% boost is hardy revolutionary i hope that the concept can be taken much further.
     
  11. killayoself

    killayoself Chieftain

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    I'm going from:

    P4 - socket 478 - 2.53 GHz
    30 GB 7200rpm HDD (don't know cache size this sucker is oooold)
    1 gb RAMBUS ram
    Radeon 9700 Pro w/128 MB ram

    to

    i7-930
    6GB tri/ddr3 1600
    1 TB 7200rpm HDD (only 16 MB cache thou)
    HD 5670 1 GB

    I turned everything to low on my current system, and it does fine up to a huge map late game. I'm getting around 10 to 15s turns on large map in the late game, so for an 8 yr/old pc, I'm not complaining.

    I'll report back when the new system comes in.
     
  12. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    hehe, I'm stuck with a blasted P4 3.2 GHz Prescott, despite it being from 05 it just keeps on chugging (workstations are nice)

    My house might get foreclosed on soon ruling out an upgrade
     
  13. killayoself

    killayoself Chieftain

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    I'm getting ~6-8 turns on Huge map with 12 civs. AWESOME! (specs two posts up). Looking forward to Civ 5 now!
     
  14. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    From Civ4's perspective, they might as well be idling. They will be handling background tasks, of course, but there's no benefit to Civ4 to you having six cores instead of two (unless you have way too many background tasks). In my own testing, I have found that running my processor at 2.4 GHz with one core enabled in the BIOS is better for single-threaded games than running it at 2.2 GHz with two cores enabled. If your programs aren't taking advantage of them, it isn't worth spending money on multiple cores. Two is nice to avoid lockups from a single-threaded programming pegging your CPU, but many quad-cores or higher are sold more on marketing than actual need.

    The new AMD Turbo Boost equivalent is a nice feature, though. I'd suspect an overclocked Wolfdale or i5 would still do better than even an overclocked 1090T for Civ4, though, at lower cost, and a high-end dual-core AMD should do nearly (perhaps equally) as well at much lower cost.

    Good luck avoiding foreclosure. I'm glad you have the sense not to spend money on expensive non-essentials at a time like this - I know some people who still buy HDTVs and the like despite facing foreclosure.
     
  15. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Through checking Civ IV actually spawns 9 threads which deeply confuses me.

    not essential=not bought, our aging cathode ray is dying, when it does we will cancel TV subscription, at least the lender approved us trying to sell it (at 300,000 out house is a really good deal, unfortunately we bought at ~750,000; stupid architecture crashing forcing my dad to take a 50% pay cut to keep his company afloat)
     
  16. sammer

    sammer Chieftain

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    Hey guys Im not very competent when coming to computers, but ive already had to put up with re installing the game twice after downloading the patch it gives me the "error loading shader libraries" i have two files ive dl'd that should fix it but im not sure where to find the root directory for civ iv.Kindle Wireless Reading Device Electronic Book ReaderAdd a reply
     
  17. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    Wrong thread first of all.


    Secondly, the Civ 5 System requirements were released today. The minimum specs say a dual core, but recommended is a quad core. If Civ 5 can actually make full use of a quad core, then I shall be the first one to say that I was wrong and that a quad core might be better for it. I will also add that for the majority of games that remains untrue.
     
  18. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    So I guess that means Civ5 is multi-threaded?


    Edit: Apparently it is, for performance:
    http://www.weplayciv.com/node/293

     
  19. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    Oh thats excellent. Sounds like my quad-core is going to get a gaming workout finally.
     
  20. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    I had a 2.8ghz core 2 duo and it played Civ 4 beautifully.
     

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