Editor: Julio Franco

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Benchmarks: Civilization V, Dragon Age II

For testing Civ V we used a saved game that is more than 300 turns in which provides a good representation of gameplay. Using Fraps we measured the performance at various zoom levels while scrolling around the map.

The Radeon HD 6990 is back on top as we test with Civilization V and at 5040x1050 we found it to be 19% faster than the GeForce GTX 590. This margin is reduced to just 9% in favor of the Radeon at 5760x1200 and then finally 6% at 7680x1600. Still we were impressed to find both graphics cards averaging over 30fps at 7680x1600 in this DirectX 11 title.

Also check out our complete Civilization V GPU/CPU performance report

Dragon Age II

We used Fraps to measure frame rates during a minute of gameplay from Dragon Age II's first single-player level. The test begins as the player engages a number of hostiles on top of a rocky mountain outcrop. The scene is fairly busy, so as usual this should present an ideal scenario for testing the GPUs.

Whereas Crossfire is poorly implemented in Crysis 2, the same can be said about SLI when playing Dragon Age II. Although recent Nvidia driver updates have done a lot to correct Dragon Age II performance it appears that SLI is still lacking even with the latest 270.61 driver. This in spite of Nvidia's claims that a GeForce GTX 580 SLI configuration will see up to 516% performance increase at 2560x1600 with 8xAA/16xAF enabled using the “Very High” quality preset.

We know that the GeForce GTX 580 is 10% faster than the Radeon HD 6970 at 2560x1600, so the weak performance from the GTX 590 you see above is due to lack of SLI support. As a result the Radeon HD 6990 was 84% faster at 5040x1050, 81% at 5760x1200 and 133% faster at 7680x1600.

Also check out our complete Dragon Age II GPU/CPU performance report