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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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
    1024x768 Ultra Low Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1920x1080 High Preset     1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
284.3 (min: 213) fps ∼66%
159.9 (min: 119) fps ∼69%
139.4 (min: 104) fps ∼69%
122.6 (min: 89) fps ∼84%
Radeon R9 290X, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X Desktop
253 (min: 196) fps ∼59%
129 (min: 101) fps ∼56%
118 (min: 88) fps ∼59%
92 (min: 66) fps ∼63%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
288.4 (min: 212) fps ∼67%
143.6 (min: 109) fps ∼62%
117.5 (min: 92) fps ∼59%
90.8 (min: 73) fps ∼62%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
226 (min: 190) fps ∼53%
139.6 (min: 109) fps ∼61%
114.9 (min: 90) fps ∼57%
76.8 (min: 64) fps ∼52%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
290.2 (min: 222) fps ∼68%
154.8 (min: 124) fps ∼67%
128.7 (min: 107) fps ∼64%
73.2 (min: 60) fps ∼50%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
197.1 (min: 162) fps ∼46%
127 (min: 102) fps ∼55%
108.1 (min: 86) fps ∼54%
70.9 (min: 60) fps ∼48%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
227.3 (min: 189) fps ∼53%
129.1 (min: 103) fps ∼56%
120 (min: 91) fps ∼60%
62.3 (min: 53) fps ∼42%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
211.5 (min: 168) fps ∼49%
112.6 (min: 87) fps ∼49%
95.7 (min: 70) fps ∼48%
62 (min: 51) fps ∼42%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
262.4 (min: 200) fps ∼61%
153.6 (min: 117) fps ∼67%
100.1 (min: 78) fps ∼50%
52.6 (min: 42) fps ∼36%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
199.6 (min: 166) fps ∼46%
130.3 (min: 104) fps ∼56%
92.6 (min: 77) fps ∼46%
46.5 (min: 37) fps ∼32%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
232.4 (min: 183) fps ∼54%
123.1 (min: 98) fps ∼53%
95.6 (min: 77) fps ∼48%
42.6 (min: 35) fps ∼29%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
175.5 (min: 144) fps ∼41%
109.8 (min: 88) fps ∼48%
73.4 (min: 51) fps ∼37%
36.1 (min: 27) fps ∼25%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
191.9 (min: 156) fps ∼45%
130.7 (min: 99) fps ∼57%
74.1 (min: 59) fps ∼37%
34.8 (min: 29) fps ∼24%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
186.2 (min: 149) fps ∼43%
88 (min: 73) fps ∼38%
43 (min: 31) fps ∼21%
20.1 (min: 16) fps ∼14%
Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
151 (min: 116) fps ∼35%
71 (min: 60) fps ∼31%
37 (min: 30) fps ∼18%
17.5 (min: 13) fps ∼12%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
120 (min: 93) fps ∼28%
68 (min: 51) fps ∼29%
32.8 (min: 25) fps ∼16%
16.2 (min: 13) fps ∼11%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
141.4 (min: 120) fps ∼33%
64.4 (min: 52) fps ∼28%
30.7 (min: 22) fps ∼15%
14.4 (min: 13) fps ∼10%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
140 (min: 112) fps ∼33%
60 (min: 49) fps ∼26%
33.4 (min: 27) fps ∼17%
14.3 (min: 13) fps ∼10%
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI CX61-i572M
82.9 fps ∼19%
32.5 fps ∼14%
15.6 fps ∼8%
12.5 fps ∼9%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
119.5 (min: 97) fps ∼28%
45.8 (min: 36) fps ∼20%
19.7 (min: 16) fps ∼10%
12.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼9%

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
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Pos      Model                                     Perf. RatingGRID: 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 980 SLI (Notebook)
84.3
342
191.3
155.2
142.9
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
97.5
429.8
230.7
181.82
145.852
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
60.2
297.4
154.3
100.34
80.14
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Notebook)
79.3
315.92
178.92
1562
129.42
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
85.1
374.1
207.4
165.7
118.8
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
72.1
284.3
159.9
139.4
122.6
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
91.9
403.8
216.2
187.8
126.8
 17AMD Radeon R9 290X
59.1
253
129
118
92
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
69.6
279.4
166.882
1425
1035
 25NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
79.4
368
190
155
106
 26AMD Radeon R9 280X
62.5
288.4
143.6
117.5
90.8
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
71
327.5
173.4
149.1
85.5
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
54.8
229.035
129.346
110.458
80.658
 31NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
44.7
253.6
146.1
68
33.3
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
59.3
233
143
125
86
 38AMD Radeon R9 M295X
36
164.8
88.3
63
52.7
 40*AMD FirePro W7170M
49.8
232
116
99
67
 42AMD Radeon R7 370
43.6
147.1
100.24
91.33
75.04
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
52.4
210.752
129.72
113.43
703
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 45NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
63.8
312.3
151.7
132.4
74.4
 48NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
62.2
290.2
154.8
128.7
73.2
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
50.8
197.1
127
108.1
70.9
 50NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
62.6
319.7
176.3
119.4
58.8
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
47.4
202.73
120.43
99.93
59.23
 54*NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
74.9
380
186
151
81
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
52.8
227.3
129.1
120
62.3
 56AMD Radeon R9 M290X
47
211.5
112.6
95.7
62
 64AMD FirePro M6100
51
283
135
94
48
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
53.3
262.4
153.6
100.1
52.6
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
43.4
217.37
109.697
83.647
49.858
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
45.2
199.6
130.3
92.6
46.5
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
37.9
176.44
100.247
74.79
43.69
 84NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
35.3
165.536
104.77
68.17
347
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
35.4
175.53
99.35
68.35
34.75
 86NVIDIA Quadro M1000M
47.5
248
143
82
43
 87AMD Radeon R9 M280X
21.6
107
52
41
26.9
 92NVIDIA GeForce 945M
38.6
198.7
118.8
68.5
33.2
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
40.5
191.9
130.7
74.1
34.8
 117NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
49.4
326.4
145.2
69.7
35.1
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 119AMD Radeon R9 M370X
32.5
207.7
90.6
48.6
26.8
 123AMD Radeon R9 M275
16.4
81.2
42.9
31.1
18.7
 135AMD FirePro M5100
33.2
213
101
44
26
 136NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
30.2
202.52
88.52
41.52
21.52
 147AMD Radeon R9 M265X
~22.175%
69.352
40.22
23.652
 153AMD FirePro W4100
30.4
261
71
34
19
 158NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
29.2
186.2
88
43
20.1
 160NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
27.7
209.52
75.52
35.52
172
 161NVIDIA GeForce 940M
22.9
164.2
62.23
30.43
16.62
 162AMD Radeon R9 M375
17.7
91
47.4
30.1
20.6
 168NVIDIA Quadro K620M
24.1
151
76
32
18
 169NVIDIA GeForce 840M
19.7
117.74
59.54
29.754
15.73
 170AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
20.2
107.6
52.9
35
22.4
 174AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
24.1
151
71
37
17.5
 175Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
21.2
140
60
33.4
14.3
 178NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
21.5
141.4
64.4
30.7
14.4
 179NVIDIA GeForce 930M
19.7
98.4
67.052
32.12
15.82
 181NVIDIA GeForce 830M
19.8
122.152
60.352
28.92
14.752
 198AMD Radeon R7 M260X
~21.775%
128.3
50.7
26.6
 201*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
24
176.6
68.4
30.7
14.9
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 202NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
20.2
155.1
53.8
25.2
13
 208AMD Radeon R7 M270
19.2
135.82
53.22
25.052
14.252
 209AMD Radeon R7 M265
10.9
55.8
24.3
21.5
14
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
21.2
120
68
32.8
16.2
 214AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
~13.375%
71.2
32
18.8
 215AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
13.3
69.5
36
23
14.8
 216*AMD Radeon R7 M460
19
125.3
56.6
26
13.6
 219AMD Radeon R7 M360
17
104.952
48.052
26.72
13.752
 228AMD Radeon R7 M340
19.9
138.5
56.3
27
13.8
 229NVIDIA GeForce 920M
18.3
122.544
53.894
25.964
12.53
 230AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
14.7
89.5
44.6
20.7
12.5
 231Intel HD Graphics 530
19.8
156.82
52.352
22.82
12.552
 234AMD Radeon R7 M260
~1775%
99.712
37.62
22.98
 235AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
12.4
81
32.2
17
12.5
 247AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
~12.775%
70.08
30.66
16.99
 256AMD FirePro W2100
22.8
187
62
23
14
 266Intel HD Graphics 5600
15.7
101.1
44.9
22.9
12.5
 272AMD Radeon HD 8670M
15.5
106.1
43.4
20
12.5
 273AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
~12.275%
66.2
26.9
19.2
 292AMD Radeon HD 8650G
15.2
100
43
20.5
12.7
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 297NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
17.8
141
47
19.4
12.5
 300AMD Radeon R5 M335
17.5
132
46.1
21.6
12.6
 302AMD Radeon R5 M330
~20.650%
104.5
38.9
 303AMD Radeon R5 M255
~18.875%
106.12
47.5
22.04
 305NVIDIA GeForce 820M
15.8
111.8
43.4
20
12.5
 306Intel HD Graphics 520
15.2
105.17
417
20.47
12.54
 307Intel Iris Graphics 6100
14.2
93.52
35.252
21.32
13.452
 308NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
12.4
82.9
32.5
15.6
12.5
 310AMD Radeon R5 M240
~15.875%
85.452
38.352
21.8
 312AMD Radeon R5 M230
14.2
106.952
40.52
19.1
7.3
 318Intel HD Graphics 6000
13.9
94
32
22
13
 321Intel Iris Graphics 5100
14
94
34.6
21
12.5
 323*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
~10.175%
62.8
21.4
12.6
 326Intel HD Graphics 4600
13
89.654
32.34
17.23
12.53
 328Intel HD Graphics 5500
10.7
68.9518
25.3518
14.616
12.513
 330AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
~12.350%
60.1
24.4
 334AMD Radeon HD 7660G
13.6
82
39
20
12.5
 337Intel HD Graphics 5000
12.2
85.7
30.2
14.9
12.5
 353AMD Radeon HD 8550G
~15.775%
93
39
17.1
 369Intel HD Graphics 515
11.9
86.5
26.3
14.9
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 370Intel HD Graphics 4400
10.2
65.716
23.266
13.54
12.53
 400Intel HD Graphics 5300
8.3
48.63
16.23
12.52
12.5
 409Intel HD Graphics 4000
~12.475%
83
25
14
 413*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
~11.650%
57.6
22.6
 415AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
7.6
58.6
19.8
9.6
4.8
 416AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
~10.950%
54.652
20.92
 417Intel HD Graphics 4200
~10.850%
57.5
18.9
 426AMD Radeon HD 8450G
10.6
58
28
16.3
12.5
 430AMD Radeon HD 8400
~10.575%
68
22
12.6
 442AMD Radeon HD 8350G
9.6
57
23
13.3
12.5
 443AMD Radeon HD 8330
~9.575%
58
20.5
12.5
 446AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
~9.675%
55.5
22.6
12.5
 463Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
~5.450%
23
12.5
 472Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
~1150%
58.2
19.6
 492Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
~5.750%
24.652
132
 508*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema)
~9.150%