Diablo III Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 05/19/2012

Welcome to Hell! After years of waiting it is finally available: Legendary developer Blizzard Entertainment has at last launched Diablo III, the long-awaited successor to one of the most popular action role-playing games of all time. We dug into the dark fantasy world and ran Diablo III on several notebook graphics cards. Can your notebook system make it through Hell alive?

Diablo III

The launch of Blizzard's latest action RPG clickfest was not optimal to say the least. Overloaded servers, error messages, connection loss, broken achievements.. those who pre-ordered or stood in line to purchase the game likely went through a Hell of their own as Blizzard scrambled to hotfix the game-breaking issues.

Still, user madness has calmed a bit now that Blizzard's servers have had a few days to settle down. Of course, this hasn't stopped us from benchmarking the game with a wide range of mobile GPUs - both discrete and integrated. Blizzard titles have historically relied more on creative artwork than beefy hardware to express their games and, in this article, we find out exactly how wide of a range of mobile GPUs Diablo III can reliably support. Let's begin!

Graphics

technologically old, but high artistic level
technologically old, but high artistic level

Assuming that you have logged in, you'll be greeted to a dark yet welcoming atmosphere reminiscent to its predecessor over 10 years ago. It's not a graphics horsepower to be sure, but its distinct feel and tone both highlight the dystopian setting perfectly.

What really makes the atmosphere pop aren't the number of polygons but rather the fine attention to details, impressive lighting and the encompassing art style. Unlike the graininess of Diablo II, Diablo III appears to be a mix of watercolor and comics with a pale but more colorful range. Blizzard could have easily made the game feel look like a WoW-clone with a top-down perspective, but have genuinely found an agreeable balance to perfectly capture the Hellish setting that is so unique to the Diablo Universe.

Benchmark

Our benchmark scene takes place in the old but familiar grounds of New Tristram as seen in the video below. The tested scene is as follows:

We directly teleport to the village market square from "The Old Ruins" where we then immediately activate FRAPS. We command our hero to follow a winding upward path and along the street. After hitting some bushes right outside of town, we turn and run back the same path to the start location of the test. The duration of the recorded scene is approximately 30 seconds long.

Settings

We utilized four different graphical settings to test each of our mobile GPUs. Our lowest settings, which should be suitable for office or entry-level notebooks, ran the game at only 1024x768 pixel resolution with everything either on Low or Off. The more standard setting of 1366x768 pixel resolution is more ideal for cheap, all-round notebooks. Multimedia or gaming notebooks will be able to play at 1080p on High or Ultra details right from the get go.

As usual, we deactivated VSync during our benchmarking tests.

Low Setting: 1024 x 768, Low / Off
Low Setting: 1024 x 768, Low / Off
Medium Setting: 1366 x 768, Medium / Low
Medium Setting: 1366 x 768, Medium / Low
High Setting: 1366 x 768, High, Anti-Aliasing on
High Setting: 1366 x 768, High, Anti-Aliasing on
Ultra Setting: 1920 x 1080, High, Anti-Aliasing on
Ultra Setting: 1920 x 1080, High, Anti-Aliasing on

It's practically a given that a Blizzard game can run on low-end hardware, but what really surprised us is the texture quality difference between the lowest and highest settings -- or should we say, the lack thereof. Unlike many other games, changing the graphics settings will actually not reduce or improve in-game textures by a significant amount. Unless if you are concentrated on looking for minute differences (which you probably shouldn't be doing considering the hordes of Evil trying to kill you), you will hardly recognize the texture quality discrepancies during the heat of battle.

Instead, altering the graphics settings will have a more profound effect on shadows and antialasing. In a game where lighting is key, the loss or reduction in shadow quality can quickly deteriorate the engaging atmosphere Diablo III has to offer. Jaggies can become apparent as well, which is especially unfortunate on characters and NPCs as they will consequently sport slanted edges and appear too polygonal for our tastes. In general though, Diablo III never looks bad regardless of the settings and has definitely surprised us in terms of visual fidelity on lower-end settings.

Low Setting
Low Setting
Medium Setting
Medium Setting
High / Ultra Setting
High / Ultra Setting
Low Setting
Low Setting
Medium Setting
Medium Setting
High / Ultra Setting
High / Ultra Setting

Results

If case if you haven't figured out the good news yet, your trip back to Hell isn't going to require luxury notebook hardware. If you have reserved settings and resolution demands, Diablo III can be played even on Intel's last generation HD Graphics 3000 in low details.

However, we still recommend using a discrete GPU to experience the Blizzard title at its fullest. A graphics card on par with the entry-mainstream GeForce GT 630M will be able to play on medium to high details without a problem. A typical upper mid-range mobile GPU like the GeForce GT 640M can run the game at maximum settings.

Note: Regardless of the computer you might experiences stuttering. The frame rate depends on game mode and number of opponents and our test scenario is not very demanding.

Benchmark table Diablo III
Benchmark table Diablo III

Test Systems

Many thanks to Schenker notebooks, who kindly provided us with the following laptops:

  • XMG P501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GTX 560M, GTX 580M, Radeon HD 6970M & HD 6990M, 8 GB RAM)
  • XMG A501 (Core i7-2630QM, HD Graphics 3000 & GeForce GT 555M, 8 GB RAM)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M, 4 GB RAM)
Von links nach rechts: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501
Von links nach rechts: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501

Please find a list with further Diablo III benchmarks below.

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
 Diablo III (2012)
low
1024x768
Low / off
med.
1366x768
Medium / low
high
1366x768
High
on AA
ultra
1920x1080
High
on AA
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
251.2
284.8
226
 6AMD Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
242.7
237.5
194.2
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
216
200
200
188
 10AMD Radeon HD 7970
213
190.8
188.9
191.4
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
193
125
117
84
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
312.8
250.8
246.1
217.7
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
232.1
199.8
206.3
186.12
 19AMD Radeon HD 7870
277.6
228.9
226.2
163.4
 21AMD Radeon HD 8970M
244.8
206.5
182.7
115.8
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
186.5
168.5
184.752
157.254
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
264.5
240.7
236.8
173.4
 29AMD Radeon HD 7970M
243.1
210.6
128.2
94.13
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
340.8
284.2
261.1
170.9
 35NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
224.2
200.1
196
141.3
 40NVIDIA Quadro K5000M
3172
232
209
131.52
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
194.6
176
109.9
 45NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
182.7
179.6
136
 48AMD Radeon HD 6870
280
227
201
127
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
241
174
110
80
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 50NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
216.4
204.82
180.62
111.73
 54NVIDIA Quadro K4000M
247
183
158
83
 55ATI Radeon HD 5850
248.3
181.6
121.2
91.4
 56NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
212.2
161.4
102.3
73.91
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M
191.2
156.9
99.7
70.9
 58AMD Radeon HD 6990M
210.2
145
97.1
73
 59AMD Radeon HD 7770
212.9
155.1
129.6
86.3
 60NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
241.4
197
178.4
106.7
 67NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
227
96
 68AMD Radeon HD 6970M
193.4
132.1
89.4
64.6
 69NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
236.3
165.4
144
89.5
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
168
152
94
 72NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
185
133
833
593
 74AMD Radeon HD 8870M
132.9
96.2
85.4
54.2
 76NVIDIA Quadro K3000M
178.52
1342
115.52
72.52
 78AMD FirePro M6000
172
121
93
69
 80NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
163
124
102
57
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
179.7
99.9
109.73
673
 89AMD Radeon HD 8850M
77
68.6
43.1
 91AMD Radeon HD 8790M
97
70
61
37
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 97NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
145.42
113.22
102.62
66.62
 99NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
164.37
1057
869
58.19
 101NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
108
74
78
42
 102NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
156.262
111.472
94.962
58.942
 104NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
172.3
99.9
61.3
44.2
 105AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
40.5
 106Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
133.8
86.2
75
46
 109NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
94.73
723
67.43
46.22
 110NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
138.552
89.22
76.82
44.32
 111NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
192
125
112
66
 116AMD FirePro M4000
135.952
87.152
68.852
46.72
 124AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
102.7
70.4
56.9
 125AMD Radeon HD 8750M
83.24
57.74
49.44
30.83
 126NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
132.163
91.363
83.484
49.413
 128*NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
139.7
91.82
81.252
49.8
 129*AMD FirePro M4100
96
21
 131AMD Radeon R7 M265
87.06
59.03
48.4
31.46
 135NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
1193
75.54
67.14
42.72
 136AMD Radeon HD 7730M
51
44
27
 137NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
104.5
71.652
62.952
38.2
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 140*AMD Radeon HD 8690M
70.3
50.6
40.1
29.1
 153AMD Radeon HD 8670D
115
76
62
41
 156NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
98.6
65.3
57.7
42.5
 158AMD Radeon HD 8730M
78
56
51
 160NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
98.9
65.5
57.6
 161NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
119.4
61.2
39.1
27.7
 175AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
78.2
49.7
38.9
 176*AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
75.9
49.9
43.6
29
 178AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
75.7
47.7
38
 179AMD Radeon HD 8670M
52
36
29
17
 180AMD Radeon HD 7660D
53
35
 182NVIDIA Quadro K1000M
82.52
54.52
47.52
26.52
 198AMD Radeon HD 8650G
74.9
48.1
43.4
 199AMD Radeon HD 7640G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
963
742
67.72
45.652
 201AMD Radeon HD 7520G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
80.8
54.6
46.2
30.4
 202AMD Radeon HD 7670M
61.1
44.6
38.2
 203NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
92.514
66.2516
4617
2312
 207NVIDIA GeForce 820M
70.4
60.8
36.8
 208NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
99.1
69.7
56.7
31.8
 210Intel Iris Graphics 5100
67.6
44.9
36.4
25.6
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 214AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
47.6
37.6
30.1
 216NVIDIA Quadro K610M
69
47
43
25
 217AMD Radeon HD 8550M
59.5
44.9
34.4
 222Intel HD Graphics 4600
72.95
465
38.85
245
 225NVIDIA NVS 5400M
103
67
58
35
 226NVIDIA GeForce 710M
84.8
60.7
52.9
 227AMD Radeon HD 7660G
66.52
432
33.752
20
 230Intel HD Graphics 5000
56.52
402
31.52
172
 238AMD Radeon HD 7650M
76.3
51.1
43.2
 239AMD FirePro M2000
71
24
 240AMD Radeon HD 7570M
56.456
344
283
233
 243ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
79.7
52.9
44.5
27.2
 246*AMD Radeon HD 8550G
67.7
57.3
 249NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M
84.156
50.656
39.556
21.12
 252AMD Radeon HD 7640G + HD 7610M Dual Graphics
101.42
71.852
66.72
44.1
 253AMD Radeon HD 7610M
64
44
38
24
 255AMD Radeon HD 8470D
79
50
42
27
 256AMD Radeon HD 7640G
42.7
9.5
 258Intel HD Graphics 4400
53.912
36.211
31.3510
174
 259NVIDIA NVS 5200M
742
55.52
47.52
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 261AMD Radeon HD 7550M
58.1
38.1
30.6
 268AMD Radeon HD 7500G + HD 7550M Dual Graphics
60.01
50.74
31.12
 269AMD Radeon HD 7600G
32.852
222
18.952
 294AMD Radeon HD 7480D
58
37
32
20
 295Intel HD Graphics 4000
46.3544
2642
2141
13.614
 297Intel HD Graphics 4200
35.62
22.552
17.952
9.8
 298AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
70
45
37
23
 302AMD Radeon HD 7500G
40
27
21
 305AMD Radeon HD 8450G
38.9
30.6
24.7
 309AMD Radeon HD 8400
37.552
24.82
20.62
13.4
 311AMD Radeon HD 7520G
55.5
38.5
33.4
 321AMD Radeon HD 8330
33.23
22.43
19.23
12
 342AMD Radeon HD 7420G
40.852
25.22
17.22
 357AMD Radeon HD 7400G
34
23
19
 364AMD Radeon HD 8280
31.1
19.8
16
 370Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
36.9
23
19.5
 373AMD Radeon HD 8240
28
18.6
 374AMD Radeon HD 8250
26.1
16.4
13.8
 380Intel HD Graphics 3000
31.39
178
10.78
11.652
 383NVIDIA GeForce G210M
38
25
21
13
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 398AMD Radeon HD 8210
21.13
143
11.052
 402Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
29.2
17.5
14.6
 428Intel HD Graphics 2000
24.1
 436*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
23.052
12.952
9.42
7.952
 441AMD Radeon HD 7340
29.2
19.8
 442*AMD Radeon HD 6320
22.8
 445AMD Radeon HD 8180
16.53
11.2
 446Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
18.4
12
 465Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) HD Graphics
20
12
10
 485Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
-1
 543PowerVR SGX545
3.252
* 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 > Diablo III Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2012-05-19 (Update: 2013-06- 6)