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My PC running Windows XP sp3 has a Athlon 64 X2 3600+ processor, a 7200RPM 160GB HD, a ATI 3850 graphics card and 2GB of RAM. (Note that there's plenty of free space on the HD and it's defragmented regularly.)

Loading a civilization savegame of a normal sized map of a somewhat progressed game takes > 5 minutes. I think that is too long :-)

Should I get an SSD? Should I upgrade my system to a more modern processor? The gfx card can't really be limiting my load performance, or can it? Disable Antivirus?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have basically the same gaming machine as you, but I have a 300GB velociraptor and my load times are about 30sec. You need a much better moving hard drive or a SSD.

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I am now accepting this answer, as I have a new machine (everything new) with an SSD and I really have the impression that the SSD has a tremendous impact on load performance in all games ... – Martin Apr 26 '12 at 11:41

Those load times sound pretty long.

The graphics card has nothing to do with loading, it shouldn't influence load times. Loading is probably limited by disk access or CPU. You could try to start it in windowed mode an look at the cpu usage during loading. This should give you an idea if the CPU is the bottleneck.

Disabling Antivirus could help, you should try that. Just don't forget to activate it again afterwards.

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1) How do I start in windowed mode? 2) Good idea about perfromance monitoring ... I should check and get a perfmon profile for Civ5 together. – Martin Nov 10 '10 at 11:42
It's in the Civ5 graphics options. – Mad Scientist Nov 10 '10 at 11:44

Some anti-virus software like Microsoft Security Essentials, can be configured to only virus scan in/out going files. This avoids the sometimes useless scanning of files that are being read from your harddrive.
...Always, at your own risk. However, better than disabling all together.

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