Anno 1800 is the latest city building real-time strategy game that is currently available on the PC. Created by Blue Byte, and similarly to most recently released Ubisoft games, Anno 1800 supports both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, and it’s time now to benchmark it and see how it performs on the PC platform.
For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i7 4930K (overclocked at 4.2Ghz) with 16GB of DDR3 RAM at 2133Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580 and RX Vega 64, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080Ti, GTX980Ti and GTX690, Windows 10 64-bit, GeForce driver 425.31 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.4.2. NVIDIA has not included any SLI profile for this title in its latest drivers, meaning that our GTX690 behaved similarly to a single GTX680.
Blue Byte has implemented a respectable amount of graphics settings to tweak. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Textures, Lighting, Water, Objects, Terrain, Anti-Aliasing, Shaders, Shadows,Post-Processing and View Distance. There are also options for VSync, Fix Sun Position, Window Mode, and the DirectX API.
As we’ve already reported, the game runs faster in DX12 which is why we’ve decided to only use this API for our benchmarks. Those interested can read our previous article in order to see the performance difference between DX11 and DX12.
Since the game does not come with any in-game benchmark tool, we’ve tested the main map in the Sandbox mode. We’ve also used the traditional isometric viewpoint for our benchmarks (which is the main camera that most gamers will be using).
In order to find out how the game performs on a variety of CPUs, we simulated a dual-core and a quad-core CPU, and we are happy to report that even our simulated dual-core system was able to provide a playable experience. Without Hyper Threading, our simulated dual-core system was able to push a minimum of 51fps and an average of 76fps at 1280×720 on Ultra settings (we used 720p in order to avoid any possible GPU limitation). With Hyper Threading enabled, we saw a really small performance boost.
As you can see from our CPU graph, Anno 1800 mainly uses one CPU core/thread. Due to this behaviour, the game had better minimum framerates when Hyper Threading was disabled on our six-core and simulated quad-core systems (though the average framerates were the same). Still, and despite this inability to take proper advantage of multiple CPU cores, the game does not require a high-end CPU in order to be enjoyed.
On Ultra settings, Anno 1800 is a really demanding title and that’s because that preset automatically enables 8XMSAA. The only GPU that was able to provide a smooth gaming experience at 1080p/Ultra was our NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti.
At 2560×1440 and with the Ultra preset, none of our tested GPUs was able to offer a 60fps experience. The good news here is that Anno 1800 is a strategy game, meaning that lower framerates are acceptable for this type of game. As for 4K… well… the game was only playable on the RTX2080Ti.
As said, the main culprit for these performance numbers is MSAA. When we lowered our MSAA to 2X, our AMD Radeon RX580 was able to hit a minimum of 25fps and an average of 34fps. Similarly, our AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 was able to push a minimum of 21fps and an average of 28fps in 4K when we set our MSAA to 2X, and our NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti offered a minimum of 42fps and an average of 52fps.
Anno 1800 comes with five graphics presets – Low, Medium, High, Very High and Ultra – and the good news is that it can scale on a wide range of graphics cards. In 4K and with High settings, our NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti was able to provide a smooth gaming experience. As for Low settings, we were able to hit a minimum of 143fps and an average of 183fps in 4K.
Graphics wise, Anno 1800 is a beautiful game. Compared to the recently released Tropico 6, Anno 1800 has denser environments with more details and more NPCs on screen. The water effects are really cool, a lot of high-resolution textures have been used, the forests in the starting area look gorgeous (as well as the animals) and everything looks great.
All in all, Anno 1800 performs incredibly well on the PC platform. The game does not require a high-end CPU in order to be enjoyed and while its Ultra preset can bring the RTX2080Ti to its knees, PC gamers can lower the quality of MSAA in order to significantly improve performance. Moreover, the game can scale on a wide range of GPUs thanks to its “meaningful” graphics settings. Not only that, but Anno 1800 is yet another title in which DX12 performs better than DX11 (though we encountered some annoying crashing issues whenever we were changing resolutions).