Notebookcheck

Anno 2205 Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 11/09/2015

Moon landing. There is currently much heated debate as to whether Anno 2205 can live up to its predecessor in the realm of game mechanics. Here at Notebookcheck, we're primarily concerned with the city-builder game's graphics. Do the visuals do justice to the future world scenario? We tested a number of notebook GPUs at various settings.

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For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

No doubt about it: Anno 2205 is one of the most beautiful strategy/city-building games ever made. Whether from far away or several times magnified with zoom, graphically the title looks superb from almost every point of view. From the carefully designed houses to the authentic-looking vegetation, every detail is simply world-class. While older games in the series often displayed objects and people at unrealistic proportions, characters and vehicles are now properly sized in relation to buildings. The closer the player moves the camera towards the unfolding scenes, the more visible the developer's efforts become. Blue Byte has created a fanciful place where dozens of cars roam the streets and cheerful people stroll about in the park. The studio's competition rarely dreams up so much hustle and bustle.

The graphics splendor is enhanced by an optional day and night cycle, as well as distinct weather patterns and regional conditions. Over the course of the unending campaign, the player isn't just exposed to idyllic island worlds: You can also inhabit the arctic, and even colonize the moon. Because the game difficulty varies depending on the sector, the player is constantly confronted with new challenges. Thanks to the well-designed and successfully executed introduction, Anno newbies should be able to quickly figure out both the city-building aspect and the economic simulation (the combat system is just generally simple).

Anno 2205
Anno 2205
Anno 2205

But back to the graphics: If we had to critique something, it would be the look of the water. Even at maximum details, the surface, waves and breakers aren't completely convincing. Still, this doesn't do much damage to the generally exquisite visuals. The game also deserves praise for its numerous settings options. Alongside resolution and image mode, the graphics menu contains 14 further possible adjustments.

For those who don't feel like going through the lengthy process of tuning, Anno 2205 offers the option to adjust the overall quality in one go. The five presets (Low to Ultra High) take care of the "small stuff." With the exception of anti-aliasing, all of the levels are well-balanced. Because anti-aliasing is already activated on the Medium preset, the game demands more of the hardware than comparable titles do. In general, Anno 2205 requires a very powerful system; the results from our benchmark tests underscore this fact. Excellent: The game doesn't need to be restarted after settings changes. As far as we can tell, all of the options are correctly applied.

Anno 2205
Anno 2205
Anno 2205

In our experience, the engine (specially designed for Anno 2205) runs without any errors. Both during gaming and in the benchmark tests, we didn't experience any crashes or significant drops in performance. The little bugs in the realm of sound (radio messages sometimes cut out mid-sentence) are forgivable, as are the fairly unobtrusive appearances of better texture and polygon levels. The only thing that got on our nerves was the fact that the mouse often has issues when a 4K display is set to 3840x2180 pixels (only part of the screen is reachable). When this happens, usually it helps to change the window mode (Alt + Enter) or briefly select a different resolution.

Warning: Even with the brand new driver, notebooks with graphics switching (Optimus for Nvidia, Enduro for AMD) use the processor's chip. The user must assign the program-exe to the dedicated GPU to attain the expected level of performance. On the plus side, the game's file size is quite moderate (~13 GB download). The load times are also reasonable.

Anno 2205
Anno 2205
Anno 2205

Benchmark

Unlike in our review of The Sims 4, we chose not to use a manual camera tracking shot for the Anno 2205 benchmark; instead we used the "Rotate Camera" feature hidden in the bottom right corner. The "Camera Sequences" option would seem a good choice here, but during the air tour sequence the performance demands drop significantly, rendering the scene a poor representation of the real gaming experience. The same goes for the impressive "Postcard View." Our benchmark sequence takes place in the beautiful "Walbruck Basin" sector, complete with a dense forest, high mountains and tons of water.

In order to tax our test devices as much as possible, we embellished almost the entire starting island with buildings. As the video below shows, the camera zooms out before the benchmark begins and centers on the "Security Department." We start our Fraps recording as soon as the image begins to turn and Anno 2205 fades out the overlay. After a complete 360-degree rotation, which takes about 30 seconds when the computer's performance is good, the benchmark ends. Because the sequence is identical every time, the comparability between computers is excellent. However, the minimum frame rates aren't very informative, as they are very dependent on the region, city size, camera movement and zoom level.

Results

The higher the graphics quality, the higher the system requirements. Intel GPUs perform especially poorly. Neither the HD Graphics 4600 (Haswell) nor the HD Graphics 5500 (Broadwell) can fluidly render Anno 2205. Even at minimum details and 1024x768 pixels, the entry-level models didn't manage more than 20 fps. It's not clear where the fault for the bad performance lies: It could be with the Intel driver, or the developer might have poorly optimized the game for Intel chips. Nvidia and AMD GPUs currently do better, though mid-range GPUs like the GeForce GT 740M or GT 750M only successfully run the game at low settings. For 1366x768 pixels and medium graphics quality, you'll need at least a GTX 850M. High details, 4x anti-aliasing and 1920x1080 pixels even require a GTX 970M.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra High Settings
Ultra High Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra High Settings
Ultra High Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings

The performance demands are extremely high on the maximum setting, which only differs from the "High" preset in shader quality, anti-aliasing and range of vision. Neither the leading notebook graphics card - the GeForce GTX 980M - nor its GTX 980 desktop counterpart can take on these settings without stuttering. You'll need a GTX 980 Ti or an SLI system composed of two GTX 980M chips to run the game at "Ultra High." Things look similar in the 4K arena. No test device managed more than 35 fps when faced with a mixture of 3840x2160 pixels, high details and 4x MSAA. Here's a tip: Nvidia's Kepler architecture is substantially weaker at maximum settings than the following generation (Maxwell). For instance, a GeForce GTX 880M performs below a GTX 960M, even though the latter usually computes much more slowly.

Anno 2205
    3840x2160 High Preset AA:4x     1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:8x     1920x1080 High Preset AA:4x     1366x768 Medium Preset AA:2x     1024x768 Low Preset
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
34.2 (min: 32) fps ∼39%
31.6 (min: 29) fps ∼42%
84.3 (min: 77) fps ∼56%
145.4 (min: 139) fps ∼81%
156.4 (min: 148) fps ∼81%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
26.9 (min: 25) fps ∼31%
26 (min: 23) fps ∼34%
66 (min: 61) fps ∼44%
126 (min: 111) fps ∼70%
170 (min: 157) fps ∼88%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
23.8 (min: 20) fps ∼27%
22.7 (min: 19) fps ∼30%
52.2 (min: 43) fps ∼35%
126.4 (min: 106) fps ∼71%
135.1 (min: 128) fps ∼70%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
18.6 (min: 17) fps ∼21%
16.8 (min: 14) fps ∼22%
44.2 (min: 34) fps ∼29%
100.4 (min: 81) fps ∼56%
139.9 (min: 117) fps ∼72%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 3770K
Desktop-PC
14.4 (min: 12) fps ∼16%
13.3 (min: 11) fps ∼18%
40.3 (min: 37) fps ∼27%
88.6 (min: 80) fps ∼49%
144.6 (min: 140) fps ∼75%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
16.7 (min: 14) fps ∼19%
8.8 (min: 5) fps ∼12%
39.8 (min: 36) fps ∼26%
77.8 (min: 71) fps ∼43%
134.8 (min: 125) fps ∼70%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
13.5 (min: 12) fps ∼15%
6.8 (min: 4) fps ∼9%
33.6 (min: 29) fps ∼22%
66.1 (min: 59) fps ∼37%
116.3 (min: 107) fps ∼60%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
10.4 (min: 8) fps ∼12%
10.1 (min: 7) fps ∼13%
26.1 (min: 23) fps ∼17%
57.6 (min: 52) fps ∼32%
105.2 (min: 97) fps ∼55%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
7.9 (min: 5) fps ∼9%
4.9 (min: 2) fps ∼6%
20.9 (min: 18) fps ∼14%
47.4 (min: 42) fps ∼26%
78.8 (min: 71) fps ∼41%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
7.3 (min: 2) fps ∼8%
8.4 (min: 6) fps ∼11%
19.3 (min: 16) fps ∼13%
44.8 (min: 40) fps ∼25%
81.8 (min: 74) fps ∼42%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
2.4 (min: 1) fps ∼3%
11.3 (min: 7) fps ∼7%
24.2 (min: 22) fps ∼14%
42.4 (min: 40) fps ∼22%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
3.4 (min: 1) fps ∼4%
8.1 (min: 5) fps ∼5%
18.2 (min: 16) fps ∼10%
31.7 (min: 29) fps ∼16%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
1.7 fps ∼2%
6.2 fps ∼4%
13.9 fps ∼8%
24.8 fps ∼13%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
10.9 (min: 8) fps ∼6%
25.8 (min: 20) fps ∼13%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
3.7 (min: 1) fps ∼2%
6.5 (min: 4) fps ∼4%
14.4 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
2.8 (min: 1) fps ∼2%
5 (min: 1) fps ∼3%
8.3 (min: 7) fps ∼4%

Test Systems

Four of our test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, GTX 970M, GTX 980M)
  • A505 (Core i7-4720HQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 960M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

Three notebooks came from Nvidia:

Intel provided us with another:

  • Schenker S413 (Core i7-4750HQ, 8 GB DDR3, Iris Pro Graphics 5200)

The desktop computers contain CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus, as well as graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. We use the Asus PB287Q as our 4K monitor.

GPU drivers: Nvidia 358.50, AMD 15.10 Beta, Intel 20.19.15.4300 (Win 10) and Intel 10.18.14.4294 (Win 7).

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Anno 2205
 Anno 2205 (2015)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
2xAA
high
1920x1080
High Preset
4xAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra High Preset
8xAA
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
4xAA
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
112.2
114
101.1
76
88.1
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
102
57.1
68.4
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
111
49.8
54.8
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
188
176
151
602
712
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
114
56.3
66.8
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
170.1
157.1
88
31.5
35.4
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
140
472
57.52
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
91.22
44.63
49.23
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
43.9
52.2
 18AMD Radeon R9 Fury
171
140
76
33
34.3
 19AMD Radeon R9 Nano
31.4
32.6
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
156.4
145.4
84.3
31.6
34.2
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
157.952
145.32
94.62
32.452
37.552
 26AMD Radeon R9 390X
143.6
132.6
69.8
27.7
29.3
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
116.3
110.3
55.6
17.5
21.4
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
146
135
96.9
31.9
38.2
 31AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
70
28.7
26.1
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
96.152
89.152
78.354
28.84
32.4
 36NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
126.2
92
27.252
34.1
Pos      Model                                     Anno 2205
lowmed.highultra4k
 44AMD Radeon R9 290X
170
126
66
26
26.9
 51NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
131.22
126.43
63.13
22.73
23.52
 52NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
193
179
82
34
 53AMD Radeon R9 280X
129
95
52
22.7
22.8
 54AMD Radeon R9 380
160.1
96.5
44.2
17.6
17.8
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
175.2
124.7
57
20.6
20.9
 56NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
63.7
20.6
24
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
61.8
20.7
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
127.84
107.054
54.84
17.24
19.22
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
113.8
101.6
56.3
13.8
23
 68NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
179
123
58
21
 69NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
54.3
17
19.6
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
113
92
43.7
13.9
 71AMD FirePro W7170M
146
93
43
20
 73AMD Radeon R7 370
115
71
30
13.6
13.5
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
134.8
77.8
39.8
8.8
16.7
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
144.6
88.6
40.3
13.3
14.4
 83AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
33.3
13.4
12
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
129.23
100.73
45.63
15.63
15.5
 89NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
116.3
66.1
33.6
6.8
13.5
Pos      Model                                     Anno 2205
lowmed.highultra4k
 91AMD Radeon HD 8970M
106
64.9
32
13.1
 101*AMD Radeon R9 M390
103
31.5
12
12
 103AMD Radeon Pro 460
120.9
25.9
8.8
 105NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
105.23
60.052
26.13
10.23
10.152
 113NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
60.6
46
27.2
9.1
 118*AMD Radeon Pro 455
86
17.5
7.7
 121NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
78.8
47.4
20.9
4.9
7.9
 129*AMD Radeon Pro 450
87
18.3
 130NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
853
42.63
19.63
8.852
 132AMD Radeon R9 M385X
47.4
50.5
24.1
9.9
 133NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
81.8
44.8
19.3
8.4
7.3
 134NVIDIA Quadro M1000M
121
65
30
14
12
 136AMD Radeon R9 M280X
45.1
37.1
17.1
 141NVIDIA GeForce 945M
63.3
37.8
17.2
7.3
 183NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
54
33
14
 199AMD FirePro W4100
38
19
10
5
3
 204NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
42.4
24.2
11.3
2.4
 206*NVIDIA Quadro M520
60.1
36.2
17.7
7.4
 207NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
53.254
27.94
12.654
5.93
 209NVIDIA GeForce 940M
42.3
21.6
9.9
4.4
Pos      Model                                     Anno 2205
lowmed.highultra4k
 217AMD Radeon R7 M370
35.4
19.8
8.7
4.1
 226*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
26.1
14.4
6.7
 228Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
25.8
10.9
 230NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
31.7
18.2
8.1
3.4
 231NVIDIA GeForce 930M
40.6
22.3
9.7
4.8
 233*Intel Iris Graphics 550
44.1
27.5
11.7
5.3
 235*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
38.1
19.1
 239Intel Iris Graphics 540
37.72
20.652
9.052
 269NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
33.2
16
 270AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
32.1
16.6
8
 271AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
28.92
18.42
5.92
2.9
 272*AMD Radeon R7 M460
31.4
16.5
7
3.7
 275AMD Radeon R7 M360
31.33
17.43
7.63
3.72
 277*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
23.72
14.152
6.5
2.2
 280AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
36
17.8
7.4
 281AMD Radeon R7 M440
35.3
17.1
7
 287AMD Radeon R7 M340
35.6
17.3
6.9
3.3
 288NVIDIA GeForce 920M
30.4
17.5
8.5
5.3
 289AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
30.5
16.4
6.7
3.1
 290Intel HD Graphics 630
36.6
21
8.5
Pos      Model                                     Anno 2205
lowmed.highultra4k
 292Intel HD Graphics 530
9
4.6
 296AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
17.4
11
 299*Intel HD Graphics 620
23.5
16.2
6.8
 300AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
27.6
14.8
6.1
2.2
 321AMD FirePro W2100
23
15
7
3
2
 365AMD Radeon R5 M335
28.9
15.8
6.8
3.1
 366AMD Radeon R5 M330
25.4
13.7
 367AMD Radeon R5 M430
27.7
14.1
 368AMD Radeon R5 M255
33
16.2
6.9
 370NVIDIA GeForce 910M
22.1
13.7
6.3
3.1
 372Intel HD Graphics 520
20.22
10.752
6.4
 373Intel Iris Graphics 6100
28.9
15.8
 374NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
24.8
13.9
6.2
1.7
 393Intel HD Graphics 4600
13.62
5.852
3.352
 395Intel HD Graphics 5500
8.3
5
2.8
 399*Intel HD Graphics 615
15.9
10.2
 440Intel HD Graphics 515
15.5
9.3
 441Intel HD Graphics 4400
21
9.2
 442*Intel HD Graphics 510
19.9
11