Notebookcheck

GRID Autosport Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 07/06/2014

Pedal to the metal. In line with the current trend, racing-game expert Codemasters follows up successful games with sequels and releases at least one flagship product every year. The latest addition to the simulator series, GRID Autosport, is intended to be a very comprehensive package which offers a lot of variety. Our review is predominantly aimed at notebook users who would like to know how much horsepower is actually needed to guarantee a smooth gaming experience.

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For the original German article, see here.

GRID Autosport is based on Codemasters' own EGO engine (now in version 3), which has seen many improvements and optimizations over the years.  Although there aren't really any obvious differences between the new game and the previous generation at first glance (GRID 2 had very similar hardware requirements as well), the overall visual appearance doesn't have to hide from the competition.

In addition to various textures as well as light and shadow effects, most of the different race cars compare well to those offered by the competing racing game Need for Speed Rivals from 2013. There's no question that there is still room for improvement in some areas, however.

The standout feature and a major plus of GRID Autosport is the highly adjustable graphics menu. While Need for Speed Rivals only offers a handful of options, Codemasters' product has more than 20 of them, which allow the user to tailor the game to his or her liking. In addition, there are 5 presets (Ultra Low to Ultra) and several anti-aliasing options. Aside from CMAA and MSAA, GRID Autosport also supports (Q)CSAA and EQAA, although the latter two options are reserved for  Nvidia and AMD, respectively.

Great: since all graphics options can be adjusted on the fly, the user doesn't have to stop and restart the game after each and every adjustment. We don't really like the fact that the menus are nested within each other, however. Although we've seen this practice in the past, it makes operation a bit convoluted and not as smooth as it could be.

Aside from a few software crashes and freezes in some scenes, which we weren't able to reproduce, the technology seems up to par. AMD notebooks therefore shouldn't have start-up issues like we experienced with F1 2013.

Considering the game was released this year, the hardware requirements are actually pretty modest. Although the visual appearance of the game has undergone subtle improvements, Autosport runs smoother than GRID 2 with the settings on low. High settings do require a certain amount of power, but overall the graphics engine certainly isn't a resource hog.

A dual-core CPU and a middle-class GPU are enough for a decent race track experience. On the Intel side, a quad-core CPU only has advantages as long as the settings are on low (see the results for the GT 750M and the GTX 850M). Only with very potent GPUs the CPU performance can become a limiting factor.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

Benchmark

Just like previous Codemasters products, GRID Autosports contains an integrated benchmark, which is accessible directly via the graphics menu. The AI then completes a lap at the Grand Prix in San Francisco in about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Since the benchmark sequence is not always identical, but varies during each run (placement, duration, etc.), the results are also not consistent. Multiple repeats of the benchmark test resulted in variations of up to 15 %. In some cases, a weaker GPU might thus place ahead of a more powerful one.

Results

Thanks to support from both AMD and Nvidia we were able to extend our inventory of graphics cards with a few current desktop models. The GeForce GTX 780 Ti managed a frame rate of 123 fps and easily outperforms all single-GPU notebooks with the settings on ultra. The most powerful mobile GPU provides similar performance to a middle-class desktop card: the GeForce GTX 880M, for example, reaches 77 fps on ultra and is thus quite comparable to the GeForce GTX 760 (73 fps), which sells for 200-300 Euro ($275-$410). All things considered, even a GeForce GTX 860M (doesn't matter if Kepler or Maxwell) can guarantee a smooth gaming experience.

A typical allrounder-notebook is powerful enough to support a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, provided that 4x MSAA is not checked. Even with the DDR3 version of the GeForce GT 750M, we still measured frame rates of just above 40 fps. With the normal preset and a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, low-end GPUs from the Intel HD Graphics 4600 on up are sufficient. Only users stuck with very old or weak GPUs might have to resort to the lowest settings.

Please note: at this time, the integrated benchmark is not able to record frame rates below 12.5 fps.

GRID: Autosport
    1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS     1920x1080 High Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1024x768 Ultra Low Preset
GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
122.6 (min: 89) fps ∼82%
139.4 (min: 104) fps ∼69%
159.9 (min: 119) fps ∼69%
284.3 (min: 213) fps ∼66%
Radeon R9 290X, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X Desktop
92 (min: 66) fps ∼61%
118 (min: 88) fps ∼59%
129 (min: 101) fps ∼56%
253 (min: 196) fps ∼59%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
90.8 (min: 73) fps ∼61%
117.5 (min: 92) fps ∼59%
143.6 (min: 109) fps ∼62%
288.4 (min: 212) fps ∼67%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
76.8 (min: 64) fps ∼51%
114.9 (min: 90) fps ∼57%
139.6 (min: 109) fps ∼61%
226 (min: 190) fps ∼53%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
73.2 (min: 60) fps ∼49%
128.7 (min: 107) fps ∼64%
154.8 (min: 124) fps ∼67%
290.2 (min: 222) fps ∼68%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
70.9 (min: 60) fps ∼47%
108.1 (min: 86) fps ∼54%
127 (min: 102) fps ∼55%
197.1 (min: 162) fps ∼46%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
62.3 (min: 53) fps ∼42%
120 (min: 91) fps ∼60%
129.1 (min: 103) fps ∼56%
227.3 (min: 189) fps ∼53%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
62 (min: 51) fps ∼41%
95.7 (min: 70) fps ∼48%
112.6 (min: 87) fps ∼49%
211.5 (min: 168) fps ∼49%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
52.6 (min: 42) fps ∼35%
100.1 (min: 78) fps ∼50%
153.6 (min: 117) fps ∼67%
262.4 (min: 200) fps ∼61%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
46.5 (min: 37) fps ∼31%
92.6 (min: 77) fps ∼46%
130.3 (min: 104) fps ∼56%
199.6 (min: 166) fps ∼46%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
42.6 (min: 35) fps ∼28%
95.6 (min: 77) fps ∼48%
123.1 (min: 98) fps ∼53%
232.4 (min: 183) fps ∼54%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
36.1 (min: 27) fps ∼24%
73.4 (min: 51) fps ∼37%
109.8 (min: 88) fps ∼48%
175.5 (min: 144) fps ∼41%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
34.8 (min: 29) fps ∼23%
74.1 (min: 59) fps ∼37%
130.7 (min: 99) fps ∼57%
191.9 (min: 156) fps ∼45%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
20.1 (min: 16) fps ∼13%
43 (min: 31) fps ∼21%
88 (min: 73) fps ∼38%
186.2 (min: 149) fps ∼43%
Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
17.5 (min: 13) fps ∼12%
37 (min: 30) fps ∼18%
71 (min: 60) fps ∼31%
151 (min: 116) fps ∼35%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
16.2 (min: 13) fps ∼11%
32.8 (min: 25) fps ∼16%
68 (min: 51) fps ∼29%
120 (min: 93) fps ∼28%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
14.4 (min: 13) fps ∼10%
30.7 (min: 22) fps ∼15%
64.4 (min: 52) fps ∼28%
141.4 (min: 120) fps ∼33%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker Technologies S413
14.3 (min: 13) fps ∼10%
33.4 (min: 27) fps ∼17%
60 (min: 49) fps ∼26%
140 (min: 112) fps ∼33%
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI CX61-i572M
12.5 fps ∼8%
15.6 fps ∼8%
32.5 fps ∼14%
82.9 fps ∼19%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
12.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼8%
19.7 (min: 16) fps ∼10%
45.8 (min: 36) fps ∼20%
119.5 (min: 97) fps ∼28%

Review Systems

Four of our review notebooks are from Schenker Technologies:

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, Radeon R9 M290X)
  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

All these systems run 64-bit Windows 7. A special thanks goes out to Micron for sending us a 480 GByte Crucial M500 SSD.

An additional review notebook was provided by Nvidia:

  • HP Envy 15-j011sg (Core i5-4200M, 12 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 740M)

We used the following GPU drivers: Nvidia 340.43 Beta, AMD 14.6 RC2 Beta, Intel 10.18.10.3652 Beta.

We've also included benchmarks from other notebooks, which might make use of different drivers.

Results

Discussion
Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
 GRID: Autosport (2014)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4x MSAA
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
166
136
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
161
131
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
342
191.3
155.2
142.9
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
324.8
159
117.552
100.752
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
429.8
230.7
181.82
145.852
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
297.4
154.3
100.34
80.14
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
315.92
178.92
1562
129.42
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
374.1
207.4
165.7
118.8
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
366
215
183
150
 21*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
141
120
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
284.3
159.9
139.4
122.6
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
403.8
216.2
187.8
126.8
 31AMD Radeon R9 290X
253
129
118
92
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
279.4
166.882
1425
1035
 39NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
368
190
155
106
 40AMD Radeon R9 280X
288.4
143.6
117.5
90.8
 42NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
327.5
173.4
149.1
85.5
 45NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
229.035
129.346
110.458
80.658
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
253.6
146.1
68
33.3
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 48NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
233
143
125
86
 54AMD Radeon R9 M295X
164.8
88.3
63
52.7
 56NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
380
186
151
81
 57AMD FirePro W7170M
232
116
99
67
 59AMD Radeon R7 370
147.1
100.24
91.33
75.04
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
210.752
129.72
113.43
703
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
312.3
151.7
132.4
74.4
 65NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
290.2
154.8
128.7
73.2
 66NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
197.1
127
108.1
70.9
 67NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
319.7
176.3
119.4
58.8
 74NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
202.73
120.43
99.93
59.23
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
227.3
129.1
120
62.3
 76AMD Radeon R9 M290X
211.5
112.6
95.7
62
 85AMD FirePro M6100
283
135
94
48
 88NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
262.4
153.6
100.1
52.6
 92NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
217.37
109.697
83.647
49.858
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
199.6
130.3
92.6
46.5
 99NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
176.44
100.247
74.79
43.69
 108NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
165.536
104.77
68.17
347
 111NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
175.53
99.35
68.35
34.75
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 112NVIDIA Quadro M1000M
248
143
82
43
 113AMD Radeon R9 M280X
107
52
41
26.9
 118NVIDIA GeForce 945M
198.7
118.8
68.5
33.2
 119NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
191.9
130.7
74.1
34.8
 141NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
326.4
145.2
69.7
35.1
 143AMD Radeon R9 M370X
207.7
90.6
48.6
26.8
 147AMD Radeon R9 M275
81.2
42.9
31.1
18.7
 159AMD FirePro M5100
213
101
44
26
 160NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
202.52
88.52
41.52
21.52
 171AMD Radeon R9 M265X
69.352
40.22
23.652
 175AMD FirePro W4100
261
71
34
19
 180NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
186.2
88
43
20.1
 182NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
137
70.9
27.152
16.92
 183NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
209.52
75.52
35.52
172
 184NVIDIA GeForce 940M
164.2
62.23
30.43
16.62
 186AMD Radeon R9 M375
91
47.4
30.1
20.6
 193NVIDIA Quadro K620M
151
76
32
18
 194NVIDIA GeForce 840M
117.74
59.54
29.754
15.73
 195AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
107.6
52.9
35
22.4
 199*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
91.3
40.6
21.6
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 200AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
151
71
37
17.5
 201Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
140
60
33.4
14.3
 203NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
141.4
64.4
30.7
14.4
 204NVIDIA GeForce 930M
142.82
75.83
36.63
16.63
 207NVIDIA GeForce 830M
122.152
60.352
28.92
14.752
 225AMD Radeon R7 M260X
128.3
50.7
26.6
 228*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
176.6
68.4
30.7
14.9
 229NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
155.1
53.8
25.2
13
 235AMD Radeon R7 M270
135.82
53.22
25.052
14.252
 236AMD Radeon R7 M265
55.8
24.3
21.5
14
 240NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
120
68
32.8
16.2
 241AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
71.2
32
18.8
 242AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
69.5
36
23
14.8
 243*AMD Radeon R7 M460
125.3
56.6
26
13.6
 246AMD Radeon R7 M360
104.952
48.052
26.72
13.752
 258AMD Radeon R7 M340
138.5
56.3
27
13.8
 259NVIDIA GeForce 920M
122.544
53.894
25.964
12.53
 260AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
89.5
44.6
20.7
12.5
 263Intel HD Graphics 530
156.82
52.352
22.82
12.552
 266AMD Radeon R7 M260
99.712
37.62
22.98
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 269*Intel HD Graphics 620
40.852
20.952
 270AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
81
32.2
17
12.5
 282AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
70.08
30.66
16.99
 291AMD FirePro W2100
187
62
23
14
 301Intel HD Graphics 5600
101.1
44.9
22.9
12.5
 307AMD Radeon HD 8670M
106.1
43.4
20
12.5
 308AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
66.2
26.9
19.2
 327AMD Radeon HD 8650G
100
43
20.5
12.7
 332NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
141
47
19.4
12.5
 335AMD Radeon R5 M335
132
46.1
21.6
12.6
 337AMD Radeon R5 M330
104.5
38.9
 338AMD Radeon R5 M255
106.12
47.5
22.04
 341NVIDIA GeForce 820M
111.8
43.4
20
12.5
 342Intel HD Graphics 520
105.111
4111
21.110
12.54
 343Intel Iris Graphics 6100
93.52
35.252
21.32
13.452
 344NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
82.9
32.5
15.6
12.5
 346AMD Radeon R5 M240
85.452
38.352
21.8
 348AMD Radeon R5 M230
106.952
40.52
19.1
7.3
 355Intel HD Graphics 6000
94
32
22
13
 358Intel Iris Graphics 5100
94
34.6
21
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 360*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
62.8
21.4
12.6
 363Intel HD Graphics 4600
89.654
32.34
17.23
12.53
 365Intel HD Graphics 5500
68.9518
25.3518
14.616
12.513
 369AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
60.1
24.4
 373AMD Radeon HD 7660G
82
39
20
12.5
 376Intel HD Graphics 5000
85.7
30.2
14.9
12.5
 392AMD Radeon HD 8550G
93
39
17.1