F1 2012 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by B Schulisch), 10/03/2012

Another round. Speed junkies will get their full fix when it comes to F1 2012. The modern racing game shines with the usual pretty appearance and high speeds, in addition to the official license package. Find out which notebook hardware has enough power to master the game in this review.

F1 2012

The developer and publisher Codemasters can be described as an expert in the area of racing games without a shadow of a doubt. Along with the Formula 1 series, the series DiRT and GRID (formerly DTM) are also part of the portfolio from the British studio. The years of experience in the field certainly make themselves noticeable in the released games. Although F1 2012 may not strictly adhere to the criteria of a bona fide racing simulation, the game is nevertheless still significantly more demanding than other racing game counterparts (Need for Speed, Burnout etc.).

Technology

Technically F1 2012 is treading water somewhat. While the vehicle models and the advertising effects are quite impressive (especially the depiction of rain is stunning), latent shortcomings come to light beyond the track boundaries. One of these is the texture quality, which occasionally lags behind the current possibilities. Another is some polygons and other objects with low details. What is also a shame is that the track surroundings hardly provide any animations, making them seem a bit sterile. More track marshals or a few flocks of birds would not go amiss for example.

The navigation also allows room for improvement: Although the main menu is able to impress with a very good look, the complicated and intricate submenus tend to get a little annoying with time. Meanwhile, the adequate engine sound is unfortunately not able to gloss over this shortcoming either.

Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset (1.920 x 1.080, 4x MSAA)
High Preset
High Preset (1.366 x 768, 2x MSAA)
Medium Preset
Medium Preset (1.366 x 768)
Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset (1.024 x 768)

Benchmark

Since the free demo version doesn't have a benchmark included, we opted for the full version priced at about 40 Euros (~$51), which was kindly provided to us by Codemasters. As with F1 2011, the included benchmark is located at the lower end of the graphics menu. During the over two-minute long sequence the KI drives one lap against 23 rivals, which represents a practical scenario. After the benchmark is complete, F1 2012 gives readings for the minimum and average frame rates. The latter of these was then always entered into our database.

Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset (1.920 x 1.080, 4x MSAA)
High Preset
High Preset (1.366 x 768, 2x MSAA)
Medium Preset
Medium Preset (1.366 x 768)
Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset (1.024 x 768)

Settings

Praise is due to the developer for the comprehensive array of graphics settings. In the options menu there are almost 20 options available. Along with the resolution, the frame rate and the anti-aliasing (MSAA or EQAA), the vertical synchronization and the picture mode can also be set. Anti-aliasing is worth the while even if just for the menus (without AA a staircase effect is clearly visible).

Those that don't want to spend ages searching for the perfect configuration of settings will be happy about the five global presets (Ultra Low, Low, Medium, High & Ultra). Advanced gamers are also able to adjust the individual graphics effects manually. Irritating: Some settings are only effective after a full restart. Since the game doesn't provide a corresponding message, this could possibly be a mistake.

Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset (1.920 x 1.080, 4x MSAA)
High Preset
High Preset (1.366 x 768, 2x MSAA)
Medium Preset
Medium Preset (1.366 x 768)
Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset (1.024 x 768)

Unfortunately we had more bugs to deal with during the course of the test. The fact that F1 2012 sometimes crashed when shutting down (black screen) was another of the smaller problems. Significantly more problematic however, was the crashing on some devices while starting up - despite an up-to-date NVIDIA driver (ForceWare 306.23). Following a little Internet research, the culprit was quickly found: Deactivating the Steam Community (right-click on the game / >>Properties<<) solved the problem immediately.

Things weren't quite as smooth with the Radeon HD 7970M, which still had to operate with a slightly out of date driver until the arrival of Catalyst 12.9 (Clevo 8.951.6.0). Using the AMD graphics card F1 2012 initially didn't want to start at all (the exe file showed as a process and not as an open application in task manager). We can only assume that the aforementioned problems will be resolved with the next set of patches and driver version.

Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset (1.920 x 1.080, 4x MSAA)
High Preset
High Preset (1.366 x 768, 2x MSAA)
Medium Preset
Medium Preset (1.366 x 768)
Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset (1.024 x 768)

Results

For those that want to enjoy F1 2012 in its full glory, a graphics card from the high-end segment will be necessary. 1920x1080 pixels and the Ultra Preset (inc. 4x MSAA) are provided to a decent standard from a GeForce GTX 660M upwards. Mid-range notebooks don't have to relinquish good appearance either though. Thus a GeForce GT 630M or a Radeon HD 7670M already cope well with high details, 2x MSAA and a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The graphics chip in the current Ivy Bridge generation (HD Graphics 4000) meanwhile only manages to process medium details to a decent standard. Owners of Intel's HD Graphics 3000 will have no choice but to come to terms with low settings.

As can be seen on the comparison pictures, F1 2012 compromises considerably in terms of the atmosphere when using the preset "Ultra Low". Along with the shadows, the illumination and the textures, primarily the reflections suffer. The audience and the drivers are completely obscured, and the rear view mirror only shows a gray surface. From the medium preset the graphics quality improves significantly. A score of "Good" is only attributable to the game at the highest level with anti-aliasing enabled.

Benchmark-Tabelle F1 2012

Verdict

Not considering the new racing mode, Codemasters hasn't been daring enough to embark on any extensive experiments with F1 2012. Gamers that are looking for a successful symbiosis between arcade and simulation should definitely take a closer look at the game. In our opinion the developer could have invested a bit more effort into the appearance though. Despite the above average quality, the EGO engine is already a bit dusty in the meantime. Those that have already purchased the predecessor won't necessarily have to get their hands on the latest version. Thanks to the moderate hardware requirements, even a mid-range notebook should prove to be sufficient for a decent performance.

Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset (1.920 x 1.080, 4x MSAA)
High Preset
High Preset (1.366 x 768, 2x MSAA)
Medium Preset
Medium Preset (1.366 x 768)
Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset (1.024 x 768)

Test Systems

The majority of the devices used were from the company Schenker Notebooks (mysn.co.uk):

  • 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 driver versions of the aforementioned notebooks: 306.23 (Nvidia), 8.951.6.0 (AMD) and 8.15.10.2761 (Intel).

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

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     F1 2012
 F1 2012 (2012)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4xMSAA
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
128
118
100
 5AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
101
69
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
173
141
134
109
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
132
107
114
96
 12AMD Radeon HD 7970
120
106
95
81
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
140
112
103
79
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
184
136
125
1003
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX
97.5
 24AMD Radeon HD 8970M
144
101
91
65
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
158
120
111
762
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
158
127
116
99
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
124
102
98
79
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
1823
1363
1213
763
 43NVIDIA Quadro K5000M
155
96
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
104
97
62
 48NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
92
87
61
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
1692
1333
1174
575
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
150
113
96
48
 62AMD Radeon HD 6990M
59
Pos      Model                                     F1 2012
lowmed.highultra
 63AMD Radeon HD 7770
116
103
95
45
 64NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
140
114
109
53
 71NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
161
83
 73NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
154
122
110.52
44.52
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
137
100
91
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
155
120
105
41
 81NVIDIA Quadro K3000M
168
141
125
52
 83AMD FirePro M6000
167
122
101
51
 85NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
172
132
114
50
 92NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
155
119
108
40
 97AMD Radeon HD 8790M
112
75
69
34
 103NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
1282
873
773
333
 104NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
110.352
87.752
632
35.652
 106NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
136
110
93
41
 107NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
149
112
96
46
 114NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
1374
964
73.54
293
 115NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
142
103
85
41
 116NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
53
 118NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
77
60
30
 131NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
89
77
71
34
Pos      Model                                     F1 2012
lowmed.highultra
 133*NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
137
103
81
28
 135AMD Radeon HD 8750M
73
57
39
30
 141NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
783
70.63
69.53
343
 165AMD Radeon HD 8730M
32
29
25
 167NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
74.52
662
51.52
192
 182AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
44
35
34
 184AMD Radeon HD 7660G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
32
26
24
15
 185AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
41
33
32
 186AMD Radeon HD 8670M
582
442
39.52
20.52
 187AMD Radeon HD 7660D
88.52
652
47.52
172
 205AMD Radeon HD 8650G
48
46
39
 207*AMD Radeon HD 6620G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
35
29
27
 209AMD Radeon HD 7670M
86
67
47
16
 210NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
833
683
493
213
 211AMD Radeon HD 7560D
82
51
43
14
 216NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
66
56
46
27
 218Intel Iris Graphics 5100
52
39
32
18
 222AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
16
12
 224NVIDIA Quadro K610M
73
58
52
21
 235AMD Radeon HD 7660G
39
33
32
14
Pos      Model                                     F1 2012
lowmed.highultra
 251ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
63
46
38
13
 257NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M
59
31
29
 261AMD Radeon HD 7610M
57
53
43
16
 266Intel HD Graphics 4400
47.54
32.54
25.54
143
 269AMD Radeon HD 7550M
72
45
30
 277AMD Radeon HD 7600G
21
15
13
 302AMD Radeon HD 7480D
45
32
28
12
 303Intel HD Graphics 4000
3215
2713
2113
123
 308AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
51
38
17
12
 312AMD Radeon HD 7500G
13
 315AMD Radeon HD 8450G
20
17
15
 316AMD Radeon HD 7470M
12
 320NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
39
34
30
 321AMD Radeon HD 7520G
18
17
16
 331AMD Radeon HD 8330
29
25
22
 353AMD Radeon HD 7420G
19
18
15
 385AMD Radeon HD 8240
12
12
 393Intel HD Graphics 3000
362
212
14.52
12
 415Intel HD Graphics 2500
38.52
23.52
21.52
122
 416Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
22.52
192
162
12
Pos      Model                                     F1 2012
lowmed.highultra
 450*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
24
15
12
 455AMD Radeon HD 7340
12
* 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.
static version load dynamic

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > F1 2012 Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2012-10- 3 (Update: 2013-06- 6)