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CPU Limited games people would like in the next CPU rebench.

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All over the internet I see people write 'At 4K the CPU doesn't matter, you are GPU bound anyway.'. It annoys me because it is not true for a large set of games that don't get tested or games where FPS matters less than simulation rates or turn times.

Games such as mid - end game Stellaris tic rates, or CK3 (and other grand strategy games) or Cities Skylines. What about good old AI Turn time for the likes of Civ 6, HumanKind, Old World, Gal Civ 3, Age of Wonders etc. How about RTS games like Troy or Age of Empires? Sometimes FPS tanks but other times it is the simulation rate that tanks even with good FPS. Factorio UPS is another good non FPS gaming metric that can benefit from a powerful CPU or RimWorld.

The idea of this thread is to get together a list of games like the above where FPS is tied to the CPU more than the GPU or where the simulation rate grinds to a halt even if the FPS stays hunky dory. I have added a few above but have probably missed a lot. Hopefully we can then agree on 2/3 games that can be included next time @W1zzard does a CPU test rebench. Where games don't have a built in benchmark or a conventional testing method we can think of ways to bench it. So for Stellaris you could load a late game save on a very large map with all AI players and see how many years pass in a given time period on the fastest game speed.

*Above games but in list form for easier reading*
  • Stellaris
  • CK 3
  • Cities Skylines
  • Total War (Troy, WH3 whichever the latest and greatest is)
  • Factorio
  • Civ 6 (and newer)
  • HumanKind
  • Old World
  • Age of Wonders
  • Galactic Civilisations
  • RimWorld
 
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Lightning Returns (I can provide save file), go to fully populated Ruffian town. Expect a stutter fest which is primarily bottlenecked by rendering thread busy constantly dumping and reloading textures.

Ideally poorly optimised games should get more representation in these tests.
 

Frick

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The most important CPU bound game is not on your list: Dwarf Fortress.
 

W1zzard

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I like Stellaris and Civ, these are also quite popular, but the others? Some I've never even heard of

Won't touch anything that's always-online (because patches will mess with results) and WH3 (which has a horrible Denuvo implementation consuming 1 of 5 activations per 24h each reboot)

Humankind seems to be a flop? Sitting at mixed on Steam right now with 15k reviews (more than I expected)

Others very old

Age of Wonders Planetfall .. such an uninspired game, did anyone like it? kinda old, too

Old World could be interesting

Stellaris > Galciv
 
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What about something running UE4?
 
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I like Stellaris and Civ, these are also quite popular, but the others? Some I've never even heard of

Won't touch anything that's always-online (because patches will mess with results) and WH3 (which has a horrible Denuvo implementation consuming 1 of 5 activations per 24h each reboot)

Humankind seems to be a flop? Sitting at mixed on Steam right now with 15k reviews (more than I expected)

Others very old

Age of Wonders Planetfall .. such an uninspired game, did anyone like it? kinda old, too

Old World could be interesting

Stellaris > Galciv

I just threw a list of games together to try and start a discussion.

Depending on how many of these kinds of games you were thinking of testing I think that the following would be really good
  • Civ 6 Gathering Storm Turn time test.
  • Stellaris FPS for large battles and late game tic rate testing (or an alternative Paradox strategy game like CK3 or whatever).
  • Factorio UPS benchmark because that is already built.
If you were thinking of more then Cities:Skylines is a Unity engine game and gets very CPU bound with high pop cities. Dwarf Fortress is pretty popular and I know ex Anandtech Ian had an automated test script for that. Maybe there are others titles other people would want to see.
 
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Dwarf Fortress maybe :)
 

Frick

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I like Stellaris and Civ, these are also quite popular, but the others? Some I've never even heard of

Won't touch anything that's always-online (because patches will mess with results) and WH3 (which has a horrible Denuvo implementation consuming 1 of 5 activations per 24h each reboot)

Humankind seems to be a flop? Sitting at mixed on Steam right now with 15k reviews (more than I expected)

Others very old

Age of Wonders Planetfall .. such an uninspired game, did anyone like it? kinda old, too

Old World could be interesting

Stellaris > Galciv

I haven't played Humankind, but I always take Steam avarages with a dune of salt.

Stellaris performance testing seems very hard to do seeing as how many patches has an impact on performance. Don't update is the answe of course, but that leaves readers with performance numbers that does not reflect the game they are playing.

The most important CPU bound game is not on your list: Dwarf Fortress.

I have read more on this and apparently DF is RAM dependant, not as much CPU bound.
 
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I'd add Dyson Sphere Program too. Although it's really well optimized it can still get CPU bound on heavily factorized planets in late game. It's a great looking game too.
 

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Emulator would be nice to see. Not sure how easy it would be to implement though
 
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ARMA 3 and DCS World. But they are old and kind of hard to test out.
 

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ARMA 3 and DCS World. But they are old and kind of hard to test out.

+1 DCS hammers my Core 0 and Core 1 like no other game. Better GPUs do enable fancier eye candy but it's still basically all CPU at lower altitudes. I feel like consistent testing might be an issue though, seeing as replay tracks are so buggy and unpredictable, and the frequency of updates.

Arma 3 I'd say is less CPU-bound as it's just a very badly written game. It doesn't even make much use of any CPU core when it needs it, it's just happy with tanking the FPS.
 
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I would put "The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience" on the list. Granted, there aren't yet any games out, but there will be a flood of games comming based on UE5. There are already some confirmed in development & with the ability to port UE4 games into UE5 we will most likely see loads of "remastered" games or ugraded games in development.

It's a "open" engine & kinda easy to handle, so I expect even loads of indy devs will jump on it. :) Next level s**t.

 
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99.9% of games will be GPU bound at 4K. Only games that are super old or have lots of AI thats usually also un-optimized running on a single core will see a increase form clock speeds.
 

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I would put "The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience" on the list.
I think in a few months Epic will have figured out the required optimizations for UE5 and this will be a complete non-issue

Yes emulators.
Great idea, I like. Any suggestions? Not Dolphin, something for a more modern console
 
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I think in a few months Epic will have figured out the required optimizations for UE5 and this will be a complete non-issue


Great idea, I like. Any suggestions? Not Dolphin, something for a more modern console
Sir, any of the switch emulators that you think is appropriate and rpcs3.
Thank you.
 
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Here is a writeup with some more CPU intensive games.

They also test Stellaris and make an important note that a fixed time period to test how many days pass is probably a bit unfair on faster CPUs because as each day passes the simulation gets more complex so each additional day takes slightly longer. It would probably therefor be better to do a time to X days and then you can average that out to create a days/s chart like.




It would be so interesting to see how these parts compare to ADL or how it handles P vs E cores and other such tests that someone without the hardware just cannot do.
 

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Sir, any of the switch emulators that you think is appropriate and rpcs3.
Thank you.

What about Ryujinx? Though not sure how hard it is on the cpu, as it runs great on my 12700k
 

bug

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Stellaris performance testing seems very hard to do seeing as how many patches has an impact on performance. Don't update is the answe of course, but that leaves readers with performance numbers that does not reflect the game they are playing.
And that's ok, because we're looking at benchmarking CPUs, not games.
 

W1zzard

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but that leaves readers with performance numbers that does not reflect the game they are playing.
And that's ok, because we're looking at benchmarking CPUs, not games.
That's my biggest issue with these tests that probably should be called "synthetic". Also is it reasonable to adjust the test suite to cherry pick workloads that show "interesting" numbers or even best-case results?
 

bug

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That's my biggest issue with these test that probably should be called "synthetic". Also is it reasonable to adjust the test suite to cherry pick workloads that show "interesting" results?
I wouldn't necessarily call these "synthetic". Sure, the newest games are GPU related at 4k, but, guess what?, not all games are "newest". And people do play older games.

I'm wondering if it would be feasible to used a few of these titles to replace 720p and 1080p tests. Because they would be both testing the same thing. Bit if you did that, I'm pretty sure someone in the eSports camp will take issue. So yeah, have fun trying to please everyone :D
 

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And that's ok, because we're looking at benchmarking CPUs, not games.

Then why use any game in a benchmark if it doesn't matter wether the result is indicative of real world performance or not?
 
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