I have been playing this excellent RTS, ever since the first Anno in the series was launched many years ago. Heck, I had a ton of fun with the original game series like Anno 1602 and 1701. If you're unfamiliar with the Anno series of games, they have all been (1404 is the 3rd sequel) colony-builders that take place in vast archipelagos filled with pirates, natives, treasures, and rival colonies. Typically, players start with a single ship packed with essential goods with which they colonize a single island, and then need to expand their realm.
With the same principles and philosophy yet more trading dynamics in-game, this series changed a little. Next to that the graphics engine had an overhaul allowing a DX10 code path, brushing up and speeding up things here and there while pertaining really nice image quality.
For our test with Anno 1404 we:
enable the highest possible image quality settings.
DirectX 10 mode
4x Anti-Aliasing enabled.
Use campaign build mode and have built three islands with extensive sizes cities.
When we review processors we always tend to look at the lowest resolution, as that shows the performance aka raw power of the processor. And it's very true, in Anno 1404 at 1280x1024 a Core i7 3960X gets your 184 FPS, an Athlon II X2 645 87 FPS ... that's a 97 FPS difference (!).
Fact remains that once we move back towards 1920x1200 we see that the minute we hit Sandy Bridge based processors, the performance maxes out meaning the CPU and GPU are in symbiosis perfectly. At 2560x1600 we are GPU limited.
Considering the Core i7 2600K and AMD FX 8150 are roughly similar priced, the obvious choice is the Core i7 2600K at 124 FPS. But, at 19x12 your framerate still is 102 FPS with the FX 8150, and really all you need is 60 FPS.
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