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

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

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                                     GRID 2
 GRID 2 (2013)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4xMSAA
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
211.6
152.2
141.4
119.1
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
143.9
134.9
93.2
 3AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire
192.9
134
119
108.3
 4AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
150.12
131.62
111.52
 8AMD Radeon R9 280X
196.2
140.7
129
97.2
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
148
110
102
76
 10AMD Radeon HD 7970
206.5
141.7
130.4
84.5
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
135.952
104.052
97.452
74.42
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
167.9
119.8
111.7
70.2
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
159
120.9
117.4
692
 20AMD Radeon R9 M290X
129.5
90
86
60.3
 21AMD Radeon HD 8970M
146.7
97.9
92.6
502
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
148.5
111.2
101.4
64.1
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
143.7
110.7
102.2
48.2
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
204.4
146.7
133.152
612
 29AMD Radeon HD 7970M
127.7
90
82.3
58.7
 31NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
134.82
105.152
100.93
46.43
 35NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
176.63
1323
1153
34.33
 36NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
110
83.8
77.5
36.6
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 39NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
109.9
99.4
47.1
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
145.4
111.1
103.6
37.2
 45NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
112.4
102.3
36.6
 50NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
1443
105.484
94.456
24.216
 56NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
172.4
125.4
106
28.9
 59AMD Radeon HD 7770
201.4
137.8
106.1
36.9
 67NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
159
28
 69NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
146.5
111.3
101.7
28.7
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
149.5
95.6
94.652
31.4
 72NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
174
128.8
94.6
23.6
 74AMD Radeon HD 8870M
63
58.4
26.7
 80NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
192
107
76
25
 85*AMD Radeon R7 250
203.3
123.6
79
24.8
 86NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
107.4
87.1
25.6
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
147
112.5
87.7
23.1
 89AMD Radeon HD 8850M
52.9
45.9
14.7
 91AMD Radeon HD 8790M
110
85
59
19
 97NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
128.952
793
58.63
183
 99NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
113.8
82.1
59.7
18.9
 100*NVIDIA GeForce 840M
121.6
82.3
45
19.3
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 101NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
145.4
74.6
54.3
16.6
 102NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
79.1
57
46.9
13.5
 105AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
92.3
66.6
53.2
19
 106Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
116.2
61.7
42.5
15.3
 109NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
103.852
65.682
48.922
 110NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
131.8
85.5
58.9
13.3
 114NVIDIA GeForce 825M
70.8
49.5
13.4
 124AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
69.4
42.4
36.6
 125AMD Radeon HD 8750M
80.42
54.952
46.152
15.5
 126NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
98.22
642
45.652
13.7
 129*AMD FirePro M4100
83
13
 135NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
98.552
702
49.42
15.32
 137NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
60.62
44.552
12.82
 140*AMD Radeon HD 8690M
101
52.3
35.6
18.9
 153AMD Radeon HD 8670D
114.1
67
47.2
15.7
 174AMD Radeon HD 8570D
106.4
60.1
40.3
12.8
 175AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
62.8
37.7
31.1
 176*AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
47
31.4
 178AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
56.9
34.8
25.5
 179AMD Radeon HD 8670M
50
29.9
21.7
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 180AMD Radeon HD 7660D
100.3
61.9
44.4
14.7
 198AMD Radeon HD 8650G
79.9
52.1
35.3
 203NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
93.4
47.4
32.2
12.5
 204AMD Radeon HD 7560D
93
56.7
38.4
12.5
 207NVIDIA GeForce 820M
56.5
38
 208NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
94.22
48.352
32.752
12.5
 210Intel Iris Graphics 5100
63.2
34.8
23.2
12.5
 214AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
24.1
14.7
 216NVIDIA Quadro K610M
99.8
50.5
35.7
12.5
 222Intel HD Graphics 4600
56.45
29.85
22.75
12.5
 226NVIDIA GeForce 710M
91.172
53.12
27.452
 227AMD Radeon HD 7660G
74
47
34
12.5
 230Intel HD Graphics 5000
58.6
31.3
22.7
12.5
 246*AMD Radeon HD 8550G
48.2
41
 253AMD Radeon HD 7610M
89
44
30
13
 255AMD Radeon HD 8470D
62.6
37.7
28.8
12.5
 258Intel HD Graphics 4400
396
23.456
15.35
12.752
 294AMD Radeon HD 7480D
34.4
25.7
18
 295Intel HD Graphics 4000
72.6
37.8
20.2
 298AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
69.7
35
23.3
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 305AMD Radeon HD 8450G
34.23
22.73
21.252
12.5
 309AMD Radeon HD 8400
41
22.4
 321AMD Radeon HD 8330
42.22
222
15.32
 342AMD Radeon HD 7420G
28.9
17.2
 364AMD Radeon HD 8280
28.9
19.9
13.6
 370Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
38.252
19.12
13.2
 373AMD Radeon HD 8240
18.7
12.6
 380Intel HD Graphics 3000
39.9
24.4
14.9
 383NVIDIA GeForce G210M
30
18.3
 398AMD Radeon HD 8210
12.6
 402Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
27.54
12.84
12.5
 436*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
29
16
 445AMD Radeon HD 8180
12.5
 446Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
17.054
12.6
* 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 > GRID 2 Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2013-06-13 (Update: 2013-06-13)