Notebookcheck

FIFA 14 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 10/01/2013

Every year. It's 2013, and Electronic Arts hasn't forgotten to release a new version of their successful soccer video game. Even though the game's graphics demands are the same as ever, we tested the new FIFA 14 with a variety of notebook graphics cards. Will an entry-level model still suffice, or will players need more power this time around?

FIFA 14 logo

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

At first glance, the game's graphics are very reminiscent of FIFA 13. While the characters are elaborately detailed and realistically animated, the stadiums, which are intended to look like the real thing, don't quite meet today's standards. Besides the weak textures, it's also hard to ignore the flat and pixelated clone audience -- a problem that also plagued the last installment. Permanently visible 3D grass and high polygon density are further weaknesses. The nice light, weather and shadow effects can only do so much to make up for these issues.

The extremely high frame rates also lead us to believe that the graphics could have had a little more substance to them. It's a shame that Electronic Arts didn't use the brand new "Ignite" engine, as the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will both take advantage of it. Despite the fact that today's hardware has more computational power, PC fans will still have to be content with graphics on the same level as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As our benchmarks reveal, even cheap multimedia and all-rounder notebooks can run this game without much trouble.

Low settings
Low settings
Medium settings
Medium settings
High settings
High settings
Ultra settings
Ultra settings

The graphics menu (which is only accessible outside the game) exactly mirrors that of the 13 version. We can control the resolution and display mode, and also the render quality (Very Low, Low, Medium, High) and anti-aliasing. Electronic Arts once again chooses to use the high-quality MSAA anti-aliasing technique, which is offered in 2x or 4x and renders a calmer image.

If you'd like, you can also activate a frame limit and/or vertical synchronization. The former can reduce image noise in certain circumstances; the latter takes care of annoying screen tearing issues. We deactivate both options for our benchmarks (maximum frame rates). From within the game, by the way, you can't change anything but the brightness setting.

It often takes a magnifying glass to distinguish the differences between the various quality settings. Only if you switch from "(Very) Low" to "Medium" or the other way around do you notice a big change. Because the hardware demands are very low, almost every user can ignore the lowest setting option. In general, the graphics appear well-developed. We didn't have to deal with any graphics errors or crashes during our tests.

Low settings
Low settings
Medium settings
Medium settings
High settings
High settings
Ultra settings
Ultra settings

Benchmark

A simple "kick off" match in the Allianz Arena between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund served as our benchmark. We used the Fraps tool to log the framerate during about 10 minutes of game play (see video).

In order to keep our test as even as possible as we cycled through our various graphics cards, we avoided repetitions and close-ups. In such scenes the framerate often dropped over 50%. For this reason, the benchmark result should amount to at least 60 fps. At a lower average framerate, FIFA 14 jerks around in certain situations. Even using a fixed sequence, the results sometimes fluctuated from passage to passage. In extreme cases the end result varied by more than 10%.

Benchmark sequence
Benchmark sequence
Frame graph
Frame graph

The fact that weaker graphics cards sometimes came in ahead of stronger models is partly related to the processor. As our table shows, in moderate settings the CPU is often the limiting factor. The best example is the Radeon HD 7770 desktop, which lagged behind the GeForce GTX 670MX in the Ultra setting, but rushed past the GeForce GTX 780M at other graphics settings (Core i7-3770K vs. Core i7-4700MQ).

The Radeon HD 7970M and HD 8970M results also point to the fact that AMD is doing a little worse at the moment. All in all, the performance resembles that of the last edition. In other words: Anyone who could run FIFA 13 smoothly will also be able to enjoy FIFA 14.

Results

As we already indicated several times, the graphics aren't very demanding. Even the weak Intel HD Graphics 3000 can run the game at a resolution of 1024x768 pixels at medium details. Owners of an HD Graphics 4000 or 4600 can even select high details and activate 2x anti-aliasing (1366x768 pixels). For 1920x1080 pixels and 4x MSAA you'll need at least a lower middle-class card. The GeForce GT 630M mastered the benchmark with over 70 fps. Current high-end graphics cards are massively over-qualified for running this game.

Benchmark table FIFA 14
Benchmark table FIFA 14

Verdict

It's a mystery to us why Electronic Arts chose not to take advantage of the new engine employed by the newest gaming consoles. The current generation of notebooks certainly has the hardware power to handle it. Still, as a result FIFA 14 is playable on an exceptionally wide range of systems. Hardly any AAA games demand so little of a computer's inner components.

FIFA 14
FIFA 14
FIFA 14
FIFA 14
FIFA 14
FIFA 14

Test Systems

Our four main test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M, Radeon HD 8970M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)
  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670MX, GTX 675MX, GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000)

A further thank you goes to Micron for providing the 480 GB large Crucial M500, on which Windows 7 Professional 64-bit is installed.

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 327.23, AMD 13.9 & Intel 9.18.10.3257 and 9.17.10.3223

From left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503
From left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Fifa 14
 Fifa 14 (2013)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2x MSAA
ultra
1920x1080
High Preset
4x MSAA
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
440
 15AMD Radeon HD 7970
441.9
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
471
347
334
294
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
752
554.4
545.8
408.9
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
425.5
339.8
327.1
301.1
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
330.5
248.7
235.5
181.1
 29AMD Radeon HD 8970M
344.4
266.1
261
251.9
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
432.1
349.7
349.2
290.4
 36AMD Radeon HD 7970M
355.6
263.9
263.1
241.2
 43NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
404.4
343.5
332.4
300.4
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
312.1
233.4
208.7
201.6
 51NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
432.3
319.1
312.9
268.6
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
142
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
413.9
327
286.752
231.22
 67AMD Radeon HD 7770
627.2
421.2
352.8
228.9
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
450.4
316.9
315.9
238.6
 78NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
489.3
373.8
342.2
247
 79AMD Radeon R9 M275
200.25
113.2
106.2
74.2
 84AMD Radeon HD 8870M
202.4
150.6
136.5
116.8
Pos      Model                                     Fifa 14
lowmed.highultra
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
485.5
287.9
286.4
170.2
 109NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
368.282
252.872
224.042
139.772
 111NVIDIA GeForce 840M
186.3
143.152
126.52
97.2
 113NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
279.39
222.4
199.51
134.11
 116AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
77
 117Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
338
200
156
91
 118AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7700K APU (Kaveri)
75
 119NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
310.552
184.152
149.852
92
 124NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
108.7
57.4
 126NVIDIA GeForce 825M
84.5
 138NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
342.7
217.1
177.5
103.1
 142AMD Radeon HD 8750M
253.63
147.93
142.33
97.53
 144AMD Radeon R7 M265
30
60
60
 149NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
124
 170AMD Radeon HD 8670D
263
188
165
101.52
 193AMD Radeon HD 8570D
140
84
 195AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
109.3
69.2
67.7
57.2
 197AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
125.2
76.8
58.6
 198AMD Radeon HD 8670M
96.6
 200AMD Radeon HD 7660D
87
Pos      Model                                     Fifa 14
lowmed.highultra
 218AMD Radeon HD 8650G
67.7
72
 223NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
274.1
164.4
124.652
712
 224AMD Radeon HD 7560D
245
155
129
79
 228NVIDIA GeForce 820M
102.5
 230NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
137.7
69.9
 232Intel Iris Graphics 5100
204.1
138.2
90.2
502
 233AMD Radeon R5 M230
160
90.2
70.3
39.4
 244Intel HD Graphics 4600
1692
85.83
49.43
48
 249AMD Radeon HD 7660G
122
109
100
65
 254Intel HD Graphics 5000
165.1
100.2
71.4
39.3
 270AMD Radeon HD 8550G
63
 283Intel HD Graphics 4400
1427
767
60.97
393
 320AMD Radeon HD 7480D
70
45.5
 321Intel HD Graphics 4000
1823
973
664
35.354
 324AMD Radeon R5 (Beema)
121.8
53.2
42.3
31.2
 325*AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
95.2
62.9
50.7
26.5
 326Intel HD Graphics 4200
90.8
59.7
33.3
22.3
 327AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
42.4
 334AMD Radeon HD 8450G
54
 338AMD Radeon HD 8400
119
71
50.5
26
Pos      Model                                     Fifa 14
lowmed.highultra
 350AMD Radeon HD 8330
102.8
59.152
462
23.752
 378Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
57.7
37
 398AMD Radeon HD 8280
51.2
37.2
 407AMD Radeon HD 8240
28.6
 415Intel HD Graphics 3000
124.9
60.82
32.352
17.52
 433AMD Radeon HD 8210
7.352
5
 437Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
54.4
32
 471*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
94
52
24
12
 475Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
24.856
19.53
12.83
 521Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
19.5
15.6
16
* 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 > FIFA 14 Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2013-10- 1 (Update: 2013-10- 5)