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Counter-Strike Global Offensive Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Peter Krastev), 08/31/2012

CS reloaded. Over 10 years after the original, Global Offensive is a reboot of the successful multiplayer tactical shooter. Despite its age, the basic game idea is still very popular. The dusty Source Engine is both a curse and a blessing.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Artwork: Valve)

The Counter-Strike series spin-off will surely be discussed in great detail by its fan base. Is the visual update and the addition of a ton of features and game modes make Global Offensive the next step in evolution or is it just Valve trying to line their pockets? Certainly looks like we are talking about a rip-off as CS: GO costs 14 Euro (~$17) on Steam. This article focuses primarily on the technology and performance of different notebook graphics cards.

Description

Counter-Strike has conquered the hearts of so many gamers, not only because of its low hardware requirements, but also because of its team aspect and the tactical components. Thousands of players battle on the servers every day and some LAN parties are unthinkable without CS. Since the last part (CS: Source) has been out for a while, Valve saw that the time was right for a successor. Global Offensive is largely based on the same gaming principles and expands the multiplayer with a couple of new feature like the game modes ’Arms Race’ and ’Demolition’ (you automatically get a better weapon after a kill).

Many textures look blurred up close.
Many textures look blurred up close.
The weapons course is advisable for beginners.
The weapons course is advisable for beginners.
Counter-Strike was never popular among youth advocacy.
Counter-Strike was never popular among the youth.

In order not to fall easily in the heated online battles, beginners should first complete the ’Training camp’. The weapons handling, grenade use, and bomb placement are explained here. The ‘Single Player’ mode is right for those who want to try what they've learned. Global Offensive offers playing against bots whose level of difficulty can be adjusted in several steps. Those who feel ready to face a human player after the dry runs can enter a ’real’ server through the intuitive menus.

Planting a bomb still is one the key elements of the game.
Planting a bomb is still one the key elements of the game.
Global Offensive offers a lot of guns.
Global Offensive offers a lot of guns.
We are already familiar with a similar time course in Call of Duty.
We are already familiar with a similar time course in Call of Duty.

Benchmark

Benchmark route
The route for the benchmark

We had numerous reasons against an online benchmark. Since the threat of virtual death hangs on every second, the choice of an appropriate sequence would be quite hard and we did not want to ruin the round for other players. Due to the typical multi-player problems (lag influences the subjective game quality), we therefore preferred an offline skirmish with bots. At ’Harmless’ level, the AI hardy fights back.

The old mas shine in a new light.
The old maps shine in a new light.
There are many cover possibilities.
There are many possibilities for finding cover.
Money is the reward for success.
Money is the reward for success.

We tested one of the most played maps ’Dust II’. We begin the round as terrorists and more or less circle once around bomb sites A and B (see the screenshot and the video). The entire sequence takes about a minute and is recorded with the help of Fraps. During the run we wanted to ensure high comparability. Because of the less demanding technology, some fluctuations are inevitable.

Settings

Graphics options
Graphics options

The graphics options are typical for a PC game. In the video options one finds basic parameters such as resolution, aspect ratio, brightness and the size of the HUD (Head Up Display). The real thing is under the tab ’Advanced’. Not every title out there offers more than 10 different settings. Some options can ’only’ be turned on or off (Multicore-Rendering, FXAA, VSync & Motion Blur), while others can be adjusted at steps Very Low, Low, Medium, High and Very High. Among these are the shadow quality, the model, texture, effects and shader details as well as the ominous ’Paged Pool Memory’. The MSAA anti-aliasing reaches 8x and the anisotropic filtering about 16x which is something exemplary.

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Low
Low

From a technical point of view, Global Offensive is unfortunately not outstanding. Despite the various improvements, the Source Engine seems rather outdated. In terms of polygon count and texture sharpness, the tactical shooter cannot compete with other FPSs like Max Payne 3Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2. Upon closer inspection, most wallpaper objects seem vague.

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Low
Low
Discussion

In comparison to CS: Source, this version is certainly an evident progress. Especially when it comes to atmosphere, Global Offensive takes a step forward. Thanks to the rich decorative objects, the levels now seem less dull. The successful lights and shadows help the ’Look and Feel’. Typical of Valve, there is attention for consistency of the look of the game. For next year though, we wish for a modern engine.

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Low
Low

Results

The moderate hardware requirement is one of the strong points of CS: GO. Even with Intel's older HD Graphics 3000, multiplayer mode is possible depending on the resolution at lower or normal settings. Midrange GPUs such as the GeForce GT 630M manage higher details and 2x anti-aliasing without problems. For 1920x1080 pixels, 4x anti-aliasing and maximum details (incl. FXAA), you do not need a high-end GPU at all. These settings are possible with the GeForce GT 640M. For the latest enthusiast-level GPUs like the Radeon HD 7970M  and the GeForce GTX 680M, Counter Strike does not seem to pose a challenge.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive Benchmark

Verdict

Valve seems to have optimized the technical framework perfectly. Global Offensive may not be visually exciting, but it scores points with its surprisingly low hardware requirements which come in handy mainly for weaker systems. The low price of 14 Euro is extremely fair and deserves some praise. 

Some maps are really idyllic.
Some maps are in idyllic settings.
The game has a great atmosphere.
The game has a great atmosphere.
Some level objects can be destroyed.
Some level objects can be destroyed.

Test Systems

Most of the devices come from Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de):

  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670M, GTX 675M, GTX 680M & Radeon HD 7970M, 8 GB RAM)
  • XMG A502 (Core i5-3360M, GeForce GT 650M & HD Graphics 4000, 8 GB RAM)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000, 8 GB RAM) 

The drivers used were versions: 304.79 Beta (Nvidia), 8.951.6.0 (AMD) and 8.15.10.2761 (Intel).

The Guild Wars 2 benchmark is planned for the end of August.

From left to right: Schenker XMG A502, Xesia M501 & XMG P502
From left to right: Schenker XMG A502, Xesia M501 & XMG P502

Overview

The chart below contains all previous benchmarks and will be expanded in the future.

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Perf. RatingCounter-Strike: GO
 Counter-Strike: GO (2012)
low
1024x768
(Very) Low
med.
1366x768
Medium
high
1366x768
High
4xAF 2x MSAA
ultra
1920x1080
(Very) High, FXAA
8xAF 4x MSAA
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
~97.125%
272
 6AMD Radeon R9 Fury
~95.725%
268
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
~97.275%
263.4
261.9
257.3
 17AMD Radeon R9 290X
~10025%
280
 21AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
~5975%
186.1
159.7
127.8
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
~88.975%
249
238
228.5
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
~83.550%
228
224
 33AMD Radeon HD 7970
84.4
251.1
233.8
212.6
212.2
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
79.6
246.3
220.8
198.9
191.6
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
85.7
261.2
243.4
227
190.72
 57AMD Radeon HD 8970M
80.7
261.3
238.3
219.7
148.12
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
67.2
230.8
194.7
169.3
128
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
91.5
272.2
264.2
251.2
196.5
 65AMD Radeon HD 7970M
67.8
228.8
200.1
178
121.452
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
77.1
232.7
220.8
208.2
168
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
82.1
261.8
244.2
224.5
150.9
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
~6875%
220.6
193.3
131
 83NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
~68.575%
205.1
182.4
163.4
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
~35.325%
98.9
Pos      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 90AMD Radeon HD 6870
~67.525%
189
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
74.6
267.2
243.852
182.52
106.93
 101NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
58.8
208.3
167.9
153.8
102
 109AMD Radeon HD 7770
75.2
249.9
230.4
199
128.2
 110NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
74.8
246.9
218.7
199.7
138.7
 119AMD Radeon R9 M370X
69.4
265
218
159.3
103.4
 120NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
67.8
244.4
222.9
164.4
95.7
 122NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
~62.475%
230
171
98
 124NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
59.2
225.4
180.3
140.2
90.5
 125*NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
47
182
156.8
107.2
57.9
 130AMD Radeon HD 8870M
48.8
183.2
138.4
116.3
87.2
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
60.2
226.5
189.7
142.2
88.5
 145AMD Radeon HD 8850M
~33.450%
101.9
78.1
 150AMD Radeon HD 8790M
~42.375%
149
116
73
 158NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
49
237.3
140.62
92.152
56.72
 161NVIDIA GeForce 940M
45.6
168.1
141.1
112.6
68.1
 167NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
44.9
161.3
136.8
111.9
72.3
 169NVIDIA GeForce 840M
~23.350%
79.6
45.5
 170AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
~16.825%
47
 171NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
~45.375%
176.4
124.9
59.8
Pos      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 175Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
52.3
240.4
181.3
88.4
51.9
 176*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
15
57.1
42.9
38
23.6
 178NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
27
89.23
76.73
70.23
54.13
 180*Intel Iris Graphics 550
51.7
205.4
172.5
112.9
64.5
 184NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
53.3
231.2
165.4
112.3
63.4
 185NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
~36.250%
109
86
 187NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
34.7
149.7
113.252
77.252
32
 202NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
40
157
128
92
52
 204*NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
48.9
204.7
158.3
103.8
58.2
 206AMD Radeon HD 8750M
34.6
135
100.6
82.3
53.5
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
33.6
129
99
84
49
 215AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
26.2
86.6
79.8
70.8
44.1
 219AMD Radeon R7 M360
26.6
88.9
87.3
65.8
43.8
 235AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
20.5
74.7
64
50.2
31.3
 249AMD Radeon HD 8730M
35.4
142.4
105.2
83.4
48.8
 251NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
37.4
166.9
117.2
81.6
35.9
 268AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~36.575%
132.3
94.7
65.5
 269AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
14.9
48.1
43.7
37.3
30.8
 271AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~29.975%
101.1
81.5
56.7
 274AMD Radeon HD 7660D
~19.325%
54
Pos      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 292AMD Radeon HD 8650G
15.5
46.8
42.2
36
42
 295AMD Radeon HD 7520G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
20.7
70.6
57.1
50.8
43.9
 296AMD Radeon HD 7670M
33.2
139.652
96.92
752
45.752
 297NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
31.5
139.23
97.93
65.63
35.43
 298AMD Radeon HD 7560D
~23.150%
79
45
 300AMD Radeon R5 M335
23.4
108.7
68.1
48.3
26.4
 302AMD Radeon R5 M330
~3175%
125
73.3
50.3
 305NVIDIA GeForce 820M
~39.975%
135
105.8
78.7
 306Intel HD Graphics 520
25.9
115.13
76.93
56.43
29.93
 307Intel Iris Graphics 6100
27
112.5
81.2
63
32.8
 308NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
~31.575%
107.2
88.2
56.8
 316AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
~12.975%
43.1
33.2
26.6
 320AMD Radeon HD 8550M
~12.775%
38.7
33.6
29.4
 321Intel Iris Graphics 5100
28.6
144.9
80.1
51.7
30.8
 326Intel HD Graphics 4600
34
186.9
99.2
52.252
27.152
 328Intel HD Graphics 5500
16.6
713
51.33
36.23
19.73
 334AMD Radeon HD 7660G
~1850%
58
39
 350ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
27.7
101.6
87
70.1
39.1
 353AMD Radeon HD 8550G
~13.925%
39
 360AMD Radeon HD 7610M
35.6
176
99
70
38
Pos      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 369Intel HD Graphics 515
17.6
76.7
57.3
35.1
20.2
 370Intel HD Graphics 4400
~23.375%
903
563
413
 374AMD Radeon HD 7550M
~3375%
133.3
75
56.9
 382AMD Radeon HD 7600G
~1375%
48
31.8
24.8
 400Intel HD Graphics 5300
14.6
623
49.73
25.13
19.83
 408AMD Radeon HD 7480D
21.6
82
73
50
27.1
 409Intel HD Graphics 4000
16
78.156
46.86
26.76
20.93
 412*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
7.2
27.9
19.8
16.7
13.2
 413*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
~12.475%
43.7
31.5
23.9
 415AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
~12.375%
35.4
35.3
27.6
 416AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
13.3
48.3
42.2
30.6
21.5
 417Intel HD Graphics 4200
12.8
70.7
35.5
18.9
12.5
 419AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
27.8
134.3
81.2
54.1
29.4
 426AMD Radeon HD 8450G
12.8
45
33.5
26.4
33
 430AMD Radeon HD 8400
14.9
60
47
33.7
19.3
 432NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
~22.675%
75
68
38
 433AMD Radeon HD 7520G
~17.875%
61.4
44.4
37.1
 443AMD Radeon HD 8330
~13.275%
43.252
35.252
26.8
 446AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
~15.275%
52.8
40.8
28.5
 463Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
~4.375%
12.2
11.5
10.4
Pos      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 467AMD Radeon HD 7420G
~15.275%
52
39
31
 472Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
~12.975%
46.2
34.7
22.5
 492Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
6.7
21.63
18.63
20.3
11.4
 503AMD Radeon HD 8240
~7.550%
21.1
19.2
 504AMD Radeon HD 8250
~5.475%
17.4
14.3
11.9
 508*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema)
~14.550%
43.6
34.5
 511Intel HD Graphics 3000
11.6
60.62
37.42
16.652
10.6
 514NVIDIA GeForce G210M
13.9
63
43
29
14
 529AMD Radeon HD 8210
~7.125%
19.3
 532Intel HD Graphics 2500
13.7
79.52
37.52
19.32
11.7
 533Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
~8.575%
37
20
11
 567*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
11
60
30.3
18.8
9.7
 572Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
~10.850%
36.352
21.952
 621Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
~475%
16.2
9
6.8
* Smaller values are better. / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Counter-Strike Global Offensive Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2012-08-31 (Update: 2013-06- 6)