Notebookcheck

Dirt Showdown Benchmarked

Florian Glaser, 05/26/2012

Dirtier than ever. With Dirt Showdown the race game expert Codemasters follows in the footsteps of the action-packed Flatout series. Traditional rallies are passé for now. The developer focuses on flashy demolition derbies. Find out if the track also pushes mobile graphics cards to their limits.

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Dirt Showdown (Artwork: Codemasters)

In the past, particular focus was placed on the rally aspect in the Dirt series. Thanks to the successful mixture of arcade and simulation not only action fans (Need for Speed, Burnout, etc.), but also fans of authenticity were fairly satisfied. Besides the car model and track design, especially the atmosphere and technology convinced.

Graphics

First-rate technology
First-rate technology

The same is true for the latest version. The screenshots show that Dirt Showdown offers outstanding graphics. Few rivals can present such clear textures, authentic reflections and fine shadows. The coherent light impressed us most – depending on the time of day, the levels shine in a different light. Sometimes you would just simply like to dive into the screen. The bundle is finished off with fastidious details such as cheering spectators.

Beyond that, the developer earns praise for the stylish menus that again make a quite complex impression, but whose design fits perfectly to the "destruction" motto.

The hardware requirements have increased a bit compared with Dirt 3. The latest episode occasionally runs noticeably slower when using the same hardware and settings.

Benchmarks

Cool menus
Cool menus

We use the limited demo version for our benchmarks that can be downloaded for free via the online platform Steam. Under "Showdown Tour" "Spy+ Pro" you will discover the 8-ball race that takes place in sunny San Francisco (8 ball refers to the layout).

We wait for booting and the intro video to finish and start recording with the tool Fraps when the user interface (position, health, etc.) appears. The benchmark is stopped on the finish line after exactly one round.

Settings

The graphics options are found in a clearly arranged menu. In addition to resolution, anti-aliasing (Codemasters relies on MSAA) and the screen mode, you can also modify the refresh rate and aspect ratio. To prevent annoying time lapses, VSync should also be enabled (the benchmarks were performed without VSync because of the fps limit). The detail level can be set automatically, manually or via five presets.

Great: Dirt Showdown accepts all modifications directly in a running game. Therefore, unlike other games, there is no need to restart or stop the race when altering the settings. Here are our four test settings:

Ultra setting: 1920 x 1080, ultra preset, 4x MSAA
Ultra setting: 1920 x 1080, ultra preset, 4x MSAA
High setting: 1366 x768, high preset, 2x MSAA
High setting: 1366 x768, high preset, 2x MSAA
Medium setting: 1366 x 768, medium preset
Medium setting: 1366 x 768, medium preset
Low setting: 1024 x 768, ultra low preset
Low setting: 1024 x 768, ultra low preset

As expected, the ultra and high presets do not differ much. With the exception of the coarser shadow (compare picture I and II), you cannot see any significant deviation even when looking closely. Texture quality, illumination and reflections are on a high standard.

Medium settings also look good. However, some objects at the sides (note the spectators in the third picture) do not cast a shadow. There are virtually no shadows or reflections in minimum graphics settings. The absence of spectators also has a negative impact on the atmosphere (picture IV).

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Ultra Low
Ultra Low

Results

If you want to enjoy Dirt Showdown in its full beauty, you will have to fall back on a notebook with a high-end graphics card. Ultra details, 1920x1080 pixels and four-time anti-aliasing, are only properly displayed on a top model, such as the Radeon HD 6990M or GeForce GTX 675M. At least an upper midrange member (e.g. GeForce GT 640M) should be installed in the notebook for high details and two-time anti-aliasing.

Typical multimedia graphics cards on the level of a GeForce GT 630M can only display the medium preset smoothly in higher resolutions. In the meantime, minimum settings are also properly processed by integrated GPUs, such as the HD Graphics 3000 (only applies for low resolutions).

If we rule out the ultra preset, the processor has a surprising amount of impact in Dirt Showdown. Our benchmark chart shows that notebooks with a weaker graphics card frequently overtake notebooks with a stronger GPU model – depending on the installed CPU.

Benchmark chart: Dirt Showdown
Benchmark chart: Dirt Showdown

Test Systems

Parts of the results originate from Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de):

  • 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)

Many thanks for the great support!

From left to right: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501
From left to right: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501
Discussion

In following, a list of all performed benchmarks:

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Perf. RatingDirt Showdown
 Dirt Showdown (2012)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4xMSAA
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
~73.975%
78.6
73.8
55.4
 21AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
~95.775%
92.2
88
87
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
~79.975%
85.3
88.8
50.9
 23AMD Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
~94.575%
92.5
87.5
84.2
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
80.7
102
77
75
75
 33AMD Radeon HD 7970
71.4
87.3
73.1
69.2
61.2
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
90.5
103.1
95.1
90.5
77.9
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
73
90.9
72.9
71.7
62.1
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
86.4
112.9
87.8
88
663
 52AMD Radeon HD 7870
68.7
87.3
71.2
68.8
53.9
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
~90.575%
98.1
90.6
65.9
 57AMD Radeon HD 8970M
72.3
115.1
85.3
59.252
44.62
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
75.5
101.1
81.3
75.52
53.43
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
81.3
123.1
93.8
90.2
34.1
 65AMD Radeon HD 7970M
74.2
97.7
81.1
78.3
48.73
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
66.6
94.5
77
74.6
31.4
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
78.4
109.9
85.3
84.9
45.2
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
~83.875%
96.9
91.6
48.4
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
~72.375%
80.3
84.5
39.4
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 83NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
~66.775%
101.3
67.1
23.4
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
~56.250%
61.9
39
 90AMD Radeon HD 6870
~48.325%
42
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
77.8
122
90.452
81.63
33.63
 97NVIDIA Quadro K4000M
68.2
89
81
78
34
 100ATI Radeon HD 5850
67.8
85.8
75.6
74.4
42.7
 101NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
77.6
115.61
93.01
82.7
34.02
 102NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M
57.4
79.6
62.6
61.4
34.3
 103AMD Radeon HD 6990M
57.8
81.4
62.7
60.1
35.7
 109AMD Radeon HD 7770
63.7
94
71
67.9
33.2
 110NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
58
104.7
74.052
51.352
19.22
 117NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
~53.950%
89
34
 120NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
66
93.7
73.3
76.12
31.62
 122NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
51.9
81.352
55.252
50.92
30.1
 124NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
66.9
101
77
73.22
29.42
 128AMD Radeon HD 6970M
55.6
76.6
64.2
59.5
30.3
 130AMD Radeon HD 8870M
43
72.92
47.22
37.42
24.52
 132NVIDIA Quadro K3000M
65.8
96
84
73
23
 134AMD FirePro M6000
65.6
97
90
62
27
 135AMD FirePro M5100
72.9
107
94
78
27
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 136NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
63.1
96
92
56
23
 142NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
53
74.3
62.5
57.8
25.8
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
52.5
81.552
65.82
50.74
23.43
 145AMD Radeon HD 8850M
~4575%
70
46.7
31.9
 147AMD Radeon R9 M265X
61.4
92.9
74.5
68.9
21.8
 150AMD Radeon HD 8790M
40.3
82
47
27
19
 158NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
63.3
108.2
81.8
59
21.2
 160NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
55.7
97
78
49
15
 167NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
52.6
917
61.058
53.911
18.1510
 168NVIDIA Quadro K620M
56.5
98
75
52
17
 171NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
54.4
90.652
69.72
51.32
19.7
 173NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
51.8
67.8
63
60.5
23
 178NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
38.6
64.35
48.85
32.95
17.93
 184NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
54
992
77.552
40.252
16.752
 187NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
~39.575%
57.5
40.9
14.8
 191AMD FirePro M4000
44.8
82
51
40
19
 202NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
~3175%
51
32.4
19.7
 204*NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
43.4
74.62
53.63
39.63
17.2
 206AMD Radeon HD 8750M
38.8
71.3
44.3
35.1
15.9
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
40.4
753
43.83
393
15.62
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 217AMD Radeon HD 7730M
38.7
74
45
33
15
 246NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
41.5
73.8
55.1
36.1
13.4
 249AMD Radeon HD 8730M
33.2
55.2
37.5
33
14.8
 252NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
41.8
66.6
61.4
37.1
12.9
 268AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~34.675%
51
33
29.3
 271AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~29.775%
42.1
28.7
25.8
 272AMD Radeon HD 8670M
29.2
62
35
22
9
 276NVIDIA Quadro K1000M
43
92
54
33
10
 293AMD Radeon HD 7640G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
~27.375%
35.82
26.7
25.5
 294*AMD Radeon HD 6620G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
~31.475%
41
30.5
29.6
 295AMD Radeon HD 7520G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
17.5
29.6
18.7
16.4
9.3
 296AMD Radeon HD 7670M
33.3
60.354
41.14
29.64
11.92
 297NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
38.7
76.65
49.156
30.556
123
 305NVIDIA GeForce 820M
~32.875%
48
31.6
27.6
 308NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
~28.275%
38
31.6
22
 316AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
~13.550%
19.9
11.7
 317AMD Radeon HD 8570M
24.4
59.4
29.4
13.6
7
 318Intel HD Graphics 6000
29
57
36
23
10
 319NVIDIA Quadro K610M
37.8
76
48
32
9
 320AMD Radeon HD 8550M
~11.875%
16.5
11.5
10.4
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 326Intel HD Graphics 4600
~39.150%
49.9
26.6
 328Intel HD Graphics 5500
~31.175%
51.4
30
21.9
 332NVIDIA NVS 5400M
42
80.52
56.052
33.62
12
 334AMD Radeon HD 7660G
24.2
41
27
25
9.9
 345AMD Radeon HD 7650M
~39.675%
58.8
38
32.9
 346AMD FirePro M2000
~40.350%
88
11
 347AMD Radeon HD 7570M
~3375%
57
38
16
 350ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
31.8
55.2
40.2
30.3
10.4
 356NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M
~32.675%
48.552
33.12
25.32
 359AMD Radeon HD 7640G + HD 7610M Dual Graphics
~25.675%
35.4
25.2
22.6
 363AMD Radeon HD 7640G
~23.325%
30.2
 370Intel HD Graphics 4400
20.1
41.052
24.82
17
5
 374AMD Radeon HD 7550M
~39.375%
65.4
39.6
25.9
 409Intel HD Graphics 4000
23.4
52.656
27.86
17.25
65
 416AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
~20.475%
29.2
21.1
16.4
 417Intel HD Graphics 4200
16.2
34.5
18.9
12.6
4.9
 419AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
30.2
742
32.52
222
6.52
 426AMD Radeon HD 8450G
~16.950%
25
14.7
 433AMD Radeon HD 7520G
~1775%
27.3
15.7
13.3
 443AMD Radeon HD 8330
~19.875%
27.7
20.7
16.2
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 446AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
~21.275%
31.2
21.3
17
 472Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
~18.475%
31
18.8
11.7
 504AMD Radeon HD 8250
~12.475%
15.9
12.6
11.5
 511Intel HD Graphics 3000
~17.175%
31.15
17.25
9.55
 514NVIDIA GeForce G210M
~18.575%
32
20
10
 533Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
~20.450%
35.652
13.352
 567*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
12.3
27
13.4
8.6
5
 572Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
~21.625%
28
 621Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
~6.925%
9
* 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 > Dirt Showdown Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2012-05-26 (Update: 2013-09-12)