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
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
251.2
284.8
226
 7AMD Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
242.7
237.5
194.2
 8AMD Radeon R9 290X
260
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
216
200
200
188
 12AMD Radeon HD 7970
213
190.8
188.9
191.4
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
193
125
117
84
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
312.8
250.8
246.1
217.7
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
232.1
199.8
206.3
186.12
 22AMD Radeon HD 7870
277.6
228.9
226.2
163.4
 24AMD Radeon HD 8970M
244.8
206.5
182.7
115.8
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
178
116
103
75
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
186.5
168.5
184.752
157.254
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
264.5
240.7
236.8
173.4
 32AMD Radeon HD 7970M
243.1
210.6
128.2
94.13
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
340.8
284.2
261.1
170.9
 37NVIDIA Quadro K4100M
153
119
103
65
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
224.2
200.1
196
141.3
 43NVIDIA Quadro K5000M
3172
232
209
131.52
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
194.6
176
109.9
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 48NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
182.7
179.6
136
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
149
103
91
61
 52AMD Radeon HD 6870
280
227
201
127
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
241
174
110
80
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
216.4
204.82
180.62
111.73
 58NVIDIA Quadro K4000M
247
183
158
83
 59ATI Radeon HD 5850
248.3
181.6
121.2
91.4
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
212.2
161.4
102.3
73.91
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M
191.2
156.9
99.7
70.9
 62AMD Radeon HD 6990M
210.2
145
97.1
73
 63AMD Radeon HD 7770
212.9
155.1
129.6
86.3
 64NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
241.4
197
178.4
106.7
 71NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
227
96
 72AMD Radeon HD 6970M
193.4
132.1
89.4
64.6
 73NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
236.3
165.4
144
89.5
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
168
152
94
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
185
133
833
593
 79AMD Radeon HD 8870M
132.9
96.2
85.4
54.2
 81NVIDIA Quadro K3000M
178.52
1342
115.52
72.52
 83AMD FirePro M6000
172
121
93
69
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 85NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
163
124
102
57
 92NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
179.7
99.9
109.73
673
 94AMD Radeon HD 8850M
111.6
77.152
67.42
43.752
 97AMD Radeon HD 8790M
97
70
61
37
 98AMD FirePro W4170M
147
89
76
52
 103NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
145.42
113.22
102.62
66.62
 104NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
164.37
1057
869
58.19
 105NVIDIA GeForce 840M
62.6
35.7
32.4
18.2
 106NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
108
74
78
42
 107NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
156.262
111.472
94.962
58.942
 109NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
172.3
99.9
61.3
44.2
 110AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
40.5
 111Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
133.8
86.2
75
46
 114NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
94.73
723
67.43
46.22
 115NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
138.552
89.22
76.82
44.32
 116NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
192
125
112
66
 118NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
104.5
71.652
62.952
38.2
 122AMD FirePro M4000
135.952
87.152
68.852
46.72
 130AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
102.7
70.4
56.9
 131NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
132.163
91.363
83.484
49.413
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 133*NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
139.7
91.82
81.252
49.8
 134AMD FirePro M4100
96
21
 135AMD Radeon HD 8750M
83.24
57.74
49.44
30.83
 137AMD Radeon R7 M265
84.732
55.172
46.752
29.532
 141NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
1193
75.54
67.14
42.72
 143AMD Radeon HD 7730M
51
44
27
 146AMD Radeon HD 8690M
70.3
50.6
40.1
29.1
 159AMD Radeon HD 8670D
115
76
62
41
 162NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
98.6
65.3
57.7
42.5
 165AMD Radeon HD 8730M
78
56
51
 167NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
98.9
65.5
57.6
 168NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
119.4
61.2
39.1
27.7
 182AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
78.2
49.7
38.9
 183*AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
75.9
49.9
43.6
29
 185AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
75.7
47.7
38
 186AMD Radeon HD 8670M
52
36
29
17
 187AMD Radeon HD 7660D
53
35
 189NVIDIA Quadro K1000M
82.52
54.52
47.52
26.52
 205AMD Radeon HD 8650G
72.452
49.052
42.22
26.1
 206AMD Radeon HD 7640G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
963
742
67.72
45.652
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 208AMD Radeon HD 7520G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
80.8
54.6
46.2
30.4
 209AMD Radeon HD 7670M
61.1
44.6
38.2
 210NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
92.514
66.2516
4617
2312
 215NVIDIA GeForce 820M
70.4
60.8
36.8
 216NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
99.1
69.7
56.7
31.8
 218Intel Iris Graphics 5100
67.6
44.9
36.4
25.6
 219*AMD Radeon R5 M230
66.8
41.9
32.6
21.3
 222AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
47.6
37.6
30.1
 224NVIDIA Quadro K610M
69
47
43
25
 225AMD Radeon HD 8550M
59.5
44.9
34.4
 230Intel HD Graphics 4600
72.95
465
38.85
245
 233NVIDIA NVS 5400M
103
67
58
35
 234NVIDIA GeForce 710M
84.8
60.7
52.9
 235AMD Radeon HD 7660G
66.52
432
33.752
20
 238Intel HD Graphics 5000
583
402
31.52
193
 246AMD Radeon HD 7650M
76.3
51.1
43.2
 247AMD FirePro M2000
71
24
 248AMD Radeon HD 7570M
56.456
344
283
233
 251ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
79.7
52.9
44.5
27.2
 254*AMD Radeon HD 8550G
67.7
57.3
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 257NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M
84.156
50.656
39.556
21.12
 260AMD Radeon HD 7640G + HD 7610M Dual Graphics
101.42
71.852
66.72
44.1
 261AMD Radeon HD 7610M
64
44
38
24
 263AMD Radeon HD 8470D
79
50
42
27
 264AMD Radeon HD 7640G
42.7
9.5
 266Intel HD Graphics 4400
50.6516
36.215
29.914
147
 267NVIDIA NVS 5200M
742
55.52
47.52
 269AMD Radeon HD 7550M
58.1
38.1
30.6
 276AMD Radeon HD 7500G + HD 7550M Dual Graphics
60.01
50.74
31.12
 277AMD Radeon HD 7600G
32.852
222
18.952
 302AMD Radeon HD 7480D
58
37
32
20
 303Intel HD Graphics 4000
46.3544
2642
2141
13.614
 307Intel HD Graphics 4200
35.62
22.552
17.952
9.8
 308AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
70
45
37
23
 312AMD Radeon HD 7500G
40
27
21
 315AMD Radeon HD 8450G
38.9
30.6
24.7
 319AMD Radeon HD 8400
37.552
24.82
20.62
13.4
 321AMD Radeon HD 7520G
55.5
38.5
33.4
 331AMD Radeon HD 8330
33.23
22.43
19.23
12
 353AMD Radeon HD 7420G
40.852
25.22
17.22
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 356Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
36.9
23
19.5
 369AMD Radeon HD 7400G
34
23
19
 376AMD Radeon HD 8280
31.1
19.8
16
 385AMD Radeon HD 8240
28
18.6
 386AMD Radeon HD 8250
26.1
16.4
13.8
 393Intel HD Graphics 3000
31.39
178
10.78
11.652
 396NVIDIA GeForce G210M
38
25
21
13
 411AMD Radeon HD 8210
21.13
143
11.052
 415Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
29.2
17.5
14.6
 441Intel HD Graphics 2000
24.1
 449*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
23.052
12.952
9.42
7.952
 454AMD Radeon HD 7340
29.2
19.8
 455*AMD Radeon HD 6320
22.8
 458AMD Radeon HD 8180
16.53
11.2
 459Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
15.63
11.43
9.6
5.9
 478Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) HD Graphics
20
12
10
 498Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
-1
 556PowerVR 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)