Notebookcheck

GRID 2 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 06/13/2013

Brilliant speeder. Apart from DiRT and F1, GRID is one of the most important franchises from Codemasters. The second release not only promises more racing action, but also a better look. We squeezed ourselves into the luxury cars and determined the hardware requirements of the game.

GRID 2 Logo

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a loyal reader of notebookcheck? Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Especially wanted:
News Editor, Review Editor
(Smartphones) - Details here

Description

For the original German article, see here.

In the first hour of gaming, GRID 2 looks superb. The quick start and the successful (though not always unerring) commentator draw you directly into the race.

The story of GRID 2 is not really innovative: A certain mister Callahan wants to start a global racing series called WSR (World Series Racing) and needs our help. What sounds like a career at the beginning, quickly turns out to be a dull alibi story. As with most games of the same genre, you finally only drive one race after the other.

Although the developer tried to diversely design courses and landscapes (forest, city, etc.), we feel that there are too few environments. Because of all the subcategories the menus are also not perfect.

GRID 2 did not make any striking mistakes in technology or game design. Control is easy after you got used to the somewhat unusual drifting.

The driving behavior (game tested with medium difficulty) decently balances requirements and uncomplicated race fun once again. Fans of the rather undemanding Need for Speed series must be careful in GRID 2. If you are too fast in turns, you will quickly leave the course.

By the way, car body damage looks fascinating: In addition to bumps and scuffs, you can see car parts fly around.

In general, GRID 2 scores points with a moody atmosphere. You'll discover nice details like wobbling exhaust pipes, streaming panels of fabric, or cheering guests. In some courses you'll even see helicopters and trains. Away from exciting events,  there is not much going on. Our garage, in which we repaint cars and accept sponsorship contracts, looks a little bit monotonous in the long run.

The same applies to the race modes. Although GRID 2 brings many surprises, e.g. Overtake (we have to overtake trucks to increase our bonus), it is mostly just about moving from A to B as quickly as possible and beating as many opponents as possible.

Thanks to the aggressive opponents, the events are still far from boring. Great: In contrast to other race games, the AI does not behave as much like a rubber band.

On request, larger driving errors are corrected by rewind. It's up to the gamer whether this feature is a welcome help or destroys the balance.

You can hardly criticize the graphics of the game. Although several textures could be sharper, GRID 2 looks top-notch. In particular the effects (sun, reflections, smoke, sparks, etc.) are high-end.

The sound of the game is also convincing.  No matter whether you are driving over curbs, going past spectators, accelerating fully, or braking hard, the sound is appealing. Discreet music provides for relaxation between the races. 

Benchmark

Like F1 2012, GRID 2 also features an integrated benchmark, which can be executed via its main menu (Options & Extras, Options, Graphics Options, Graphics Benchmark). The self running sequence takes about 2 minutes and simulates a densely populated city course, which demands a lot from the (notebook) hardware. At the end, the benchmark displays the minimum, the maximum and the average frame rate. We store the latter in our database. For a fairly decent gaming experience, the system should achieve above 35 fps. The game tends to stutter if the frame rate is lower.

Graphics options

The graphics menu appears to be sophisticated. Apart from many individual settings under Quality - Advanced, Codemasters implemented several presets (Choose Preset), which allow you to quickly adjust the graphics quality to your hardware.

The Video Mode menu provides further settings. It allows the gamer to adjust resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate and gamma as well as vertical sync and anti-aliasing (CSAA, MSAA or EQAA). Best of all: All changes are applied "on the fly", i.e. without restarting the game.

Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset
Medium Preset
Medium Preset
High Preset
High Preset
Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset

Results

Unless you select the highest level of detail, GRID 2 is relatively undemanding. In lower resolutions even integrated graphics chips like the HD Graphics 3000 (Ultra Low) or the HD Graphics 4000 (Medium) achieve decent results.

If you want to run GRID 2 with 1600x900 pixels, high details and 2x anti-aliasing, you'll require a mid-range graphics card (e.g. the GeForce GT 650M). You'll need a high-end model like the GeForce GTX 675MX or faster for 1920x1080 pixels, ultra-preset and 4x anti-aliasing.

Benchmark table: GRID 2
Discussion

We briefly want to mention a few things we noticed during the test:

• The lower the graphics settings, the higher the influence of the CPU. As the benchmark sequence varies (not all runs are 100% identical), supposedly weaker graphics cards can range in front of their more expensive siblings.

• AMD has a clear advantage in GRID 2, which gets particularly apparent with the Radeon HD 7770. The desktop graphics card would actually be expected to be slower than the GeForce GTX 675M. A further example: The Radeon HD 7970 is significantly faster than the GeForce GTX 680

• When using the beta driver 13.6 you can sometimes observe image errors (flickering smoke) on AMD systems.

• The Radeon HD 7970M again suffers from the Enduro technology, which decreases the performance to some extent, with moderate settings.

• With Medium to Ultra Low settings Nvidia's current Kepler generation (GTX 660MGTX 670MXGTX 675MXGTX 680M, etc.) is slower than the older Fermi architecture (GTX 670MGTX 675M, etc.).

• The huge performance difference between Ultra and High is disproportionate to the visual improvements.

• Apparently, the integrated benchmark cannot measure frame rates below 12.5 fps.

Verdict

Without doubt GRID 2 is a good representative of its genre. You can tell from the first second that the developers know their craft. Codemasters delivers a high-end product in terms of technology and game. After a dozen years with DiRT and F1, a certain routine has developed. The game lacks new ideas which would have made it outstanding. So, GRID 2 is not really a must-buy, but race game enthusiasts will still enjoy driving fast.

Test systems

Our three most important test devices stem from Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670M(X), GTX 675M(X), GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • XMG A502 (Core i5-3360M, GeForce GT 650M)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000)
  • each of them: 8 GB DDR3-RAM (2x 4096 MB @ 1.600 MHz), 160 GB SSD (Intel 320 Series)  & Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Used GPU driver: Nvidia 320.18, AMD 13.6 Beta & Intel 9.17.10.3062 or 9.18.10.3071.

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                                     Perf. RatingGRID 2
 GRID 2 (2013)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4xMSAA
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
89.1
210.4
159
148.9
129.9
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
85.3
211.6
152.2
141.4
119.1
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
~72.575%
143.9
134.9
93.2
 20AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire
75.8
192.9
134
119
108.3
 21AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
~77.775%
150.12
131.62
111.52
 25NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
76.4
176.3
145.6
134.5
102.7
 26AMD Radeon R9 280X
76.2
196.2
140.7
129
97.2
 31NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
76.2
206.7
149.6
133.9
81.8
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
59.1
148
110
102
76
 33AMD Radeon HD 7970
75.2
206.5
141.7
130.4
84.5
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
58
145.13
107.13
98.23
76.23
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
62.8
167.9
119.8
111.7
70.2
 48NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
79.4
205.9
161.2
150.2
79.5
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
62.5
159
120.9
117.4
692
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
~56.275%
117.1
109.9
64.9
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
51.4
142.752
106.62
69.83
63.63
 56AMD Radeon R9 M290X
49.3
129.5
90
86
60.3
 57AMD Radeon HD 8970M
51.2
146.7
97.9
92.6
502
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
53.4
143.7
110.7
102.2
48.2
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
71.5
204.4
146.7
133.152
612
 64AMD FirePro M6100
65.7
203
133
121
49.5
 65AMD Radeon HD 7970M
48.3
127.7
90
82.3
58.7
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
70.9
191.9
152.3
144
54.1
 74NVIDIA Quadro K4100M
57
166
129
100
43
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
58.9
176.63
1323
1153
34.33
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
50.9
134.82
105.152
98.94
46.34
 79NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
~48.675%
109.9
99.4
47.1
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
51.7
145.4
111.1
103.6
37.2
 83NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
~46.875%
112.4
102.3
36.6
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
41.3
111.32
85.552
79.53
36.83
 86NVIDIA Quadro M1000M
68.2
195
153
136
43
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
47.1
1443
105.484
94.456
24.216
 101NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
55.3
172.4
125.4
106
28.9
 109AMD Radeon HD 7770
61.8
201.4
137.8
106.1
36.9
 117NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
~46.850%
159
28
 120NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
50
146.5
111.3
101.7
28.7
 122NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
47.9
149.5
95.6
94.652
31.4
 124NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
53.4
174
128.8
94.6
23.6
 130AMD Radeon HD 8870M
~2875%
63
58.4
26.7
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 135AMD FirePro M5100
55.2
162
115
86
55
 136NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
50.4
192
107
76
25
 141AMD Radeon R7 250
54.2
203.3
123.6
79
24.8
 142NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
~40.475%
107.4
87.1
25.6
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
47.2
147
112.5
87.7
23.1
 145AMD Radeon HD 8850M
~2175%
52.9
45.9
14.7
 150AMD Radeon HD 8790M
34.9
110
85
59
19
 151AMD FirePro W4170M
35.8
112
87
62
19
 158NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
36
128.952
793
58.63
183
 160NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
36.5
145.4
74.6
54.3
16.6
 167NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
35
113.8
82.1
59.7
18.9
 168NVIDIA Quadro K620M
31.4
128
41
58
20
 169NVIDIA GeForce 840M
33.9
103.43
77.413
62.73
20.273
 171NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
25.1
79.1
57
46.9
13.5
 174AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
29.8
92.3
66.6
53.2
19
 175Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
29.7
116.2
61.7
42.5
15.3
 178NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
29.9
1123
61.43
45.83
16.97
 181NVIDIA GeForce 830M
30.1
100.7
69.8
49.8
15.9
 184NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
36.3
131.8
85.5
58.9
13.3
 187NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
~21.675%
60.62
44.552
12.82
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 189NVIDIA GeForce 825M
~24.475%
70.8
49.5
13.4
 200AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
~24.375%
69.4
42.4
36.6
 202NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
28.1
98.22
642
45.652
13.7
 205AMD FirePro M4100
~23.850%
83
13
 206AMD Radeon HD 8750M
25.3
80.42
54.952
46.152
15.5
 209AMD Radeon R7 M265
~20.175%
53.7
39.1
15.6
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
29.7
98.552
702
49.42
15.32
 214AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
17.6
61.9
34.6
28
12.5
 222AMD Radeon HD 8690M
26.5
101
52.3
35.6
18.9
 234AMD Radeon R7 M260
16.4
52.7
32.4
27.8
13.4
 243AMD Radeon HD 8670D
30.8
114.1
67
47.2
15.7
 247AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
14.3
49.5
27.1
20.7
12.5
 267AMD Radeon HD 8570D
27.6
106.4
60.1
40.3
12.8
 268AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~21.575%
62.8
37.7
31.1
 269AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
~20.450%
47
31.4
 271AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~19.175%
56.9
34.8
25.5
 272AMD Radeon HD 8670M
~16.575%
50
29.9
21.7
 274AMD Radeon HD 7660D
28.1
100.3
61.9
44.4
14.7
 292AMD Radeon HD 8650G
20.3
66.452
45.52
34.12
12.5
 297NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
23.4
93.4
47.4
32.2
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 298AMD Radeon HD 7560D
25.3
93
56.7
38.4
12.5
 305NVIDIA GeForce 820M
22.9
82.1
51.42
34.752
12.5
 308NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
23.7
94.22
48.352
32.752
12.5
 310AMD Radeon R5 M240
~17.975%
49.7
32
27.6
 312AMD Radeon R5 M230
~24.775%
68.6
49.7
32.6
 316AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
~9.250%
24.1
14.7
 319NVIDIA Quadro K610M
25
99.8
50.5
35.7
12.5
 321Intel Iris Graphics 5100
17.1
63.2
34.8
23.2
12.5
 323*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
~13.375%
41.5
23.2
17.3
 326Intel HD Graphics 4600
15.7
56.45
29.85
22.75
12.5
 328Intel HD Graphics 5500
13.7
47.23
25.93
19.43
12.53
 330AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
~15.175%
47.6
26.2
19.3
 333NVIDIA GeForce 710M
~27.775%
91.172
53.12
27.452
 334AMD Radeon HD 7660G
21.4
74
47
34
12.5
 337Intel HD Graphics 5000
16.1
58.6
31.3
22.7
12.5
 353AMD Radeon HD 8550G
15.9
47
34
28.8
12.5
 360AMD Radeon HD 7610M
22.2
89
44
30
13
 362AMD Radeon HD 8470D
18.2
62.6
37.7
28.8
12.5
 370Intel HD Graphics 4400
12.3
407
247
16.426
12.752
 400Intel HD Graphics 5300
~12.575%
41
21.34
15
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 408AMD Radeon HD 7480D
~12.875%
34.4
25.7
18
 409Intel HD Graphics 4000
~2175%
72.6
37.8
20.2
 415AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
~13.875%
42.4
23.8
18.7
 416AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
~13.475%
41.7
23.2
17.8
 417Intel HD Graphics 4200
~15.375%
51.1
25.7
17.9
 419AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
17.9
69.7
35
23.3
12.5
 426AMD Radeon HD 8450G
12
34.23
22.73
21.252
12.5
 430AMD Radeon HD 8400
~1550%
41
22.4
 443AMD Radeon HD 8330
~12.975%
42.22
222
15.32
 446AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
~8.975%
27.6
14.4
12.5
 463Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
~7.375%
19.2
12.6
12.5
 467AMD Radeon HD 7420G
~1150%
28.9
17.2
 472Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
~11.475%
38.252
19.12
13.2
 492Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
~8.950%
24
13.5
 494AMD Radeon HD 8280
~10.275%
28.9
19.9
13.6
 503AMD Radeon HD 8240
~7.550%
18.7
12.6
 511Intel HD Graphics 3000
~12.975%
39.9
24.4
14.9
 514NVIDIA GeForce G210M
~11.550%
30
18.3
 529AMD Radeon HD 8210
~5.725%
12.6
 533Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
~8.675%
27.54
12.84
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 567*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
~10.750%
29
16
 572Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
~7.350%
17.95
12.552
 580AMD Radeon HD 8180
~5.725%