DX12 is noticeably faster in Anno 1800 than DX11 on older systems, 10fps performance improvement

Anno 1800 releases tomorrow and Ubisoft has provided us with a review code for our PC Performance Analysis purposes. This new strategy game comes with support for both DX11 and DX12, therefore we’ve decided to benchmark these two APIs in order to see whether there are any meaningful performance differences between them.

For this benchmark test between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, we used our Intel i7 4930K (overclocked at 4.2Ghz) with 16GB of DDR3 RAM at 2133Mhz, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080Ti, Windows 10 64-bit and the GeForce 425.31 driver.

Since the game does not come with any in-game benchmark tool, we’ve tested the main map in the Sandbox mode. Do note that this is a stress test as we’ve used a “closer to the field” viewpoint (which was more demanding) than the traditional isometric camera view. In the traditional isometric view, both DX11 and DX12 were able to push over 60fps so those using this viewpoint will not encounter any major performance issues. We’ve also lowered our resolution to 1080p (in order to avoid any possible GPU limitation) but kept the in-game Ultra settings.

At first glance, DX11 and DX12 appear to be performing similarly. Anno 1800 was not showing any performance differences between them when we started a new map, however things quickly changed when we started building our city.

After creating a small city, we noticed a 10fps difference between DX11 and DX12. Still, this isn’t mainly due to better CPU scaling but rather thanks to the lower memory overhead that DX12 is known for. As we can see from MSI Afterburner, Anno 1800 does not take full advantage of multiple CPU cores/threads in both DX11 and DX12 (the game mostly relies on one CPU core/thread).

Still, Anno 1800 is yet another game in which DX12 performs better than DX11. To be honest, we aren’t really surprised by these results as we’ve seen similar CPU/memory improvements when using DX12 in other games too, such as Hitman 2 and The Division 2. And since we haven’t encountered any crashes in DX12, we strongly suggest using this API when playing this latest strategy game.

Stay tuned for our PC Performance Analysis article!