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What would I need from a new PC to run CIV IV smoothly

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ringwraith18, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. ringwraith18

    ringwraith18 Chieftain

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    Soooo on my laptop i can run Civ IV fine, but late game, especially with certain mods, I get a significant lag between game turns. What specs on a new computer would allow me to run Civ IV on larger maps without any slowdown late game?

    I assume I'd be looking at a quick processor and low latency RAM. Anyone with a high-spec rig let me know how Civ IV runs on it?
     
  2. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    This is my system and it runs CIV smoothly on all sizes and also in lategame.

    Alienware M17rx4 - Intel Core i7-3630QM - FullHD - ATI HD 7970M - 16 GB RAM @ 1866 MHZ - 256 GB SDD (Samsung 840 Pro) - 500 GB HDD (Seagate)

    Anyhow, when playing those extreme Huge / Marathon games, restarting the game every 10th turn or so is advisable, but as every turn lasts between 30 minutes and 1.5h with my playing style, that's ok for me.

    I noticed great performance gains in CIV when installing the SSD, but here comes the clue: There's a tool named "RADEON RAMDisk" which let's you run CIV completely from the RAM of the PC (RAM is cheap so large quanteties are usually no problem) . Since I use that tool, lags have diminished up to a point where they are mostly non-existent anymore, and passing from one turn to the next also has gone down by 50% compared to SSD.
     
  3. pepoluan

    pepoluan Chieftain

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    I have almost no problems running Civ4 + K-Mod + Blue Marble on my laptop with the following specs:
    • Windows 7 Pro
    • 4 GB RAM
    • Intel i3-2365M 1.40 GHz
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000

    However, for full enjoyment, I recommend the following specs:
    • At least Core i3 @ 2 GHz (or similar from AMD)
    • Windows 7 Pro 64-bit*
    • 8 GB of RAM
    • At least Radeon HD 4000-series (or newer, or something similar from Nvidia) VGA

    * The 64-bit version of Windows is essential for running Civ4 without much problems. Especially so if you like Large/Huge maps and heavy mods such as Realism: Invictus.
     
  4. elitetroops

    elitetroops Chieftain

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    It's funny that the back of the case says "recommended system requirements: 1.8GHz Pentium 4, 1 GB RAM, 128 MB Video card". I wonder what masochists that system is recommended for...

    Despite those recommendations, when I installed it on my Core i5 laptop with 8 GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and some built in 256 MB Video card, it said my system is below the recommended requirements and set all graphic settings to minimum. :dunno:

    On my desktop (Core i7 3GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5570, Windows 7 pro 64-bit, play at 1680x1050 resolution) it works like a charm. Never experienced any lag I would find annoying. Haven't played huge maps, though. Only load times can be annoying with large games, but that is solved by exiting to the main menu first. Much faster to load from there.
     
  5. Imperial Archon

    Imperial Archon Chieftain

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    For games made in the 2005-2010 (-ish) era to run smoothly, you're generally going to want:

    - Upwards of 4 GB of RAM
    - Windows 7 (Vista is like Firaxis trying to implement some of the Civ 5 and Civ BE concepts/mechanics like they did; Windows 8 if you're a Masochist).
    - A graphics card in the 7000/8000 series, or greater (Back in the day, I ran Starcraft 2 on ultra settings with an NVIDIA 9600 series, so sort-of extrapolating off of that). Basically at least 1 GB of dedicated memory on the thing.
    - Any of the i3/i5/i7 processors are more than enough. You can probably even manage with Dual-Core or Quad-Cores released in the late 2000's/2010 (I don't think they sell these in PCs anymore though...), although performance will be impacted significantly as your computer ages after a couple years (expect to have what feels like 30% performance speed after like 3-4 years, although all computers degrade after a few years regardless).
    - Standard 13-15+ inch screens released these days should have sufficient resolutions for you to display just about anything.

    If you're buying any sort of gaming laptop, I sure hope you're not planning on playing it on battery - you WILL run out of juice within 3 hours if you have any decent sort of graphics card installed.

    Also, a video card is NOT the same as a graphics card (iirc, a graphics card plugs into motherboard, Video card is what your monitor plugs into)
     
  6. s.bernbaum

    s.bernbaum Mostly lurking

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    That was probably a high end system when the game first came out. Maybe it did not run great but it was the best the average player was likely to have.

    This happens because the game consults an internal table of systems that it will run on. Suboptimal systems are not in the table, so it defaults to the minimum settings. Because new systems since the table was compiled are also not in the table, they also are treated as if they were suboptimal. You can disable the check for the system suitability in the .ini in your documents folder.
     
  7. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera Chieftain

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    That is interesting, thanks for the insight. I wondered about that too, I just figured the game was jealous of the capabilities of my 4-core, 64-bit system and decided to try and make it look bad.
     
  8. vincentz

    vincentz Programmer

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    Ram and videoram is always important, but I guess that single core efficiency is most important since it only runs on one core (32 bit). Therefore i think an Intel system is preferable. (Core vs core on intel vs amd is better for intel). 64 bit OS is a must since it pretty much eliminate MAFs (memory allocation failure).

    I haven't tried any of the BIG mods (c2c or IR), but idt civ requires that much power (I have an old PC which I use for MP with a friend, its 32bit, 1.5gb ram, 128 MB vram and slow processor, and it runs fine late game in my VIP mod which I guess is considered medium to large.)
     
  9. Mizar

    Mizar IM

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    Well the average system when Vanilla came out was like that description.
    It was somewhat of a pain, though.
     
  10. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    What you need to run "smoothly" depends hugely on the type of game (in particular, map size) you're playing, as well as what you consider "smooth". For AI turn times, the biggest factor (assuming you have sufficient RAM - at least 5 GB and a 64-bit OS) is single-threaded CPU power.

    The 64-bit is key, as otherwise you'll be limited to 3 GB of RAM (2 GB without the 3 GB switch), which will be limiting on the largest maps and mods. Ideally, you'll have at least 4 GB for Civ4 + 1 GB for everything else, hence the 5 GB I mentioned above. It doesn't really matter if the 64-bit OS is XP x64, Vista x64, 7 x64, or 8 x64 - the key is that it's 64-bit. Even Vista will work if you don't leave tons of other programs running while you play Civ, and I say that as someone who hates Vista even more than Mac OS 9.

    The single-threaded part is also key. Civ4 will not take advantage of multiple threads for AI turns (nor will any other Civ game, except perhaps Beyond Earth). If your choices are a 3.5 GHz dual-core or a 3.0 GHz quad-core, all else equal, the dual-core will be better for Civ4. Anything from Intel's Sandy Bridge generation or later (such as the i5-2500) is more or less equal here, as Intel's CPU performance, per-core, has not increased significantly in the past 3-4 years, and AMD has not yet caught up to Intel's huge lead. The current best CPU value for Civ, assuming you value time spent waiting on the AI, is probably the 4670K. Pair that up with 6 GB RAM and a 64-bit OS, overclock it a bit, and you'll be more or less as good as you can get.

    Graphics cards don't really matter at all for AI turn times. Perhaps with some mods it might affect how fluid the game is during your turn, but generally anything that's new will have an adequate GPU, including integrated GPUs.

    I'm skeptical that an SSD would make any difference, as provided you have enough memory Civ shouldn't have to load much from disk once the game's going. But I haven't tested that myself.

    And yeah, whoever designed the minimum/recommended specs was a masochist. I started with a PC with 512 MB of RAM, and it was agony. Eventually it got bumped to 1 GB, but I still eventually went back to Civ3 since it was so much less agonizing to play on that hardware.
     
  11. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    I bought an HP laptop a couple years ago, and equipped it with a discrete graphics card for playing Civ 5. The CPU is an Intel Core i5-2520M @ 2.5GHz, and I splurged for 8GB of RAM and Win7 Pro.

    Here's the punch line -- because of some overheating issues, I've been playing games using only the built-in graphics, rather than the discrete card. Civ 4 BTS and Warlords play just fine on standard size maps, using the integrated graphics. No mods, so I can't say much on that.

    If you buy a new system that is equipped to run Windows 8 (or Win10), I think it will probably run Civ4 just fine.
     
  12. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    SSD or Harddrive definately makes a difference in CIV, even SSD and RAMDisk does. Scrolling over the map has a way better latency with RAMDisk, opening a city happens absolutely instant.

    I once loaded one of those Huge / Marathon Highscore games which I played, those where I had 200 cities, went in the capital, pressed the right-key and stopped the time 'til the capital came up again. Result: RAMDisk was twice as fast as my SSD.
     
  13. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    I'm sure that any of the latest AMD or Intel integrated graphics would be plenty for this game now.
     
  14. Dhoomstriker

    Dhoomstriker Girlie Builder

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    This tip sounds pretty useful. Can you explain how one goes about using that program? For example, would I have to reinstall Civ 4 directly onto the RAMDisk? Would I just need to set my saved game directory to reside on the RAMDisk? I tried grabbing the free version of that program and it appears to make a virtual hard drive for you, but I'm not sure how to go about running Civ 4 from there.
     
  15. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    You simply need to copy your Civilization IV Folder onto that drive, then even your mods and settings will be taken over. Create a desktop Icon for the RAMDisk stored version, and you're done :) . Saves will be automatically still be in your normal folders then, which will not slow down performance but makes things easy. Save-files are only a few hundred kb, it's the game itself that causes the loading times. So easy as a cakewalk :) .
     
  16. google400

    google400 Chieftain

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    I can run the game smoothly with a Geforce 7025, 4GB of RAM, an AMD Athlon II X2 270, just a little bit of lag in zoom out with everything max
     
  17. ringwraith18

    ringwraith18 Chieftain

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    Thankyou very much for the feedback everyone! Finally got round to ordering my PC, its specs include Intel Core I5 4460 3.2ghz and a Nvidia Geforce GTX 760. It doesn't say what speed the RAM is, just that it's 8GB and DDR3.

    So I think i should be fine :D
     
  18. stljeffbb

    stljeffbb XML Journeyman!

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    ...I can chime in and say that the Raedon RAMDisk does wonders for the speed of a turn! I run RoM-AND with the planet generator and some of my own home brew (settlers are not producible anymore but happen based on nation's population size with a bit of randomness thrown in)...long story short, turn speed is cut down to about 18 seconds in the late game as opposed to about 50 seconds without RAMDisk :crazyeye:
     
  19. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    What size ramdisk. the freeware version or a larger for pay one.
     
  20. stljeffbb

    stljeffbb XML Journeyman!

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    Hello rah.....I use the 12GB version 'cause I have 16GB of RAM available to use. The 12GB version is the least expensive, the 4GB is freeware.

    Jeff
     

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