Can A New GPU Rejuvenate A 5 Year Old Gaming PC?

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Civilization V

Civilization V:

Civilization V was benchmarked with all settings on high with 4x MSAA enabled. We used the game's built-in Late Game View benchmark. The "Use the GPU for texture decompression" option was checked, but grayed out when testing on the GeForce GTX 260.

Civilization V doesn't run very well on the GeForce GTX 260, at least not in DX10/DX11 mode. The GTX 660 is nearly 3x faster. Part of the reason why may have to do with the option to use the GPU to decompress graphics textures. On the GTX 260, this box is checked and enabled by default, but the performance delta separating the GTX 260 and the GTX 660 in Civilization V's texture compression benchmark is significant to say the least.

According to the game's documentation, the texture compression test is "used to measure the performance of Compute Shading features via our variable bitrate compression technology."

Well, it's safe to say the GeForce GTX 660 is a little better than the GT200-era GPU. The performance jump between the two cards in Civilization V is something of an outlier for a game that's often been considered CPU-bound -- but upgrading the GPU clearly makes a major difference in DX11 mode.

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