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.

Technology

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
    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 ∼98%
159.9 (min: 119) fps ∼100%
139.4 (min: 104) fps ∼100%
122.6 (min: 89) fps ∼100%
Radeon R9 290X, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X Desktop
253 (min: 196) fps ∼87%
129 (min: 101) fps ∼81%
118 (min: 88) fps ∼85%
92 (min: 66) fps ∼75%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
288.4 (min: 212) fps ∼99%
143.6 (min: 109) fps ∼90%
117.5 (min: 92) fps ∼84%
90.8 (min: 73) fps ∼74%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
226 (min: 190) fps ∼78%
139.6 (min: 109) fps ∼87%
114.9 (min: 90) fps ∼82%
76.8 (min: 64) fps ∼63%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
290.2 (min: 222) fps ∼100%
154.8 (min: 124) fps ∼97%
128.7 (min: 107) fps ∼92%
73.2 (min: 60) fps ∼60%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
197.1 (min: 162) fps ∼68%
127 (min: 102) fps ∼79%
108.1 (min: 86) fps ∼78%
70.9 (min: 60) fps ∼58%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
227.3 (min: 189) fps ∼78%
129.1 (min: 103) fps ∼81%
120 (min: 91) fps ∼86%
62.3 (min: 53) fps ∼51%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
211.5 (min: 168) fps ∼73%
112.6 (min: 87) fps ∼70%
95.7 (min: 70) fps ∼69%
62 (min: 51) fps ∼51%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
262.4 (min: 200) fps ∼90%
153.6 (min: 117) fps ∼96%
100.1 (min: 78) fps ∼72%
52.6 (min: 42) fps ∼43%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
199.6 (min: 166) fps ∼69%
130.3 (min: 104) fps ∼81%
92.6 (min: 77) fps ∼66%
46.5 (min: 37) fps ∼38%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
232.4 (min: 183) fps ∼80%
123.1 (min: 98) fps ∼77%
95.6 (min: 77) fps ∼69%
42.6 (min: 35) fps ∼35%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
175.5 (min: 144) fps ∼60%
109.8 (min: 88) fps ∼69%
73.4 (min: 51) fps ∼53%
36.1 (min: 27) fps ∼29%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
191.9 (min: 156) fps ∼66%
130.7 (min: 99) fps ∼82%
74.1 (min: 59) fps ∼53%
34.8 (min: 29) fps ∼28%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
186.2 (min: 149) fps ∼64%
88 (min: 73) fps ∼55%
43 (min: 31) fps ∼31%
20.1 (min: 16) fps ∼16%
Radeon R7 in A10-7850K, A10-7850K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Kaveri Asus A88-XM-PLUS
151 (min: 116) fps ∼52%
71 (min: 60) fps ∼44%
37 (min: 30) fps ∼27%
17.5 (min: 13) fps ∼14%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
120 (min: 93) fps ∼41%
68 (min: 51) fps ∼43%
32.8 (min: 25) fps ∼24%
16.2 (min: 13) fps ∼13%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
141.4 (min: 120) fps ∼49%
64.4 (min: 52) fps ∼40%
30.7 (min: 22) fps ∼22%
14.4 (min: 13) fps ∼12%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
140 (min: 112) fps ∼48%
60 (min: 49) fps ∼38%
33.4 (min: 27) fps ∼24%
14.3 (min: 13) fps ∼12%
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI CX61-i572M
82.9 fps ∼29%
32.5 fps ∼20%
15.6 fps ∼11%
12.5 fps ∼10%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
119.5 (min: 97) fps ∼41%
45.8 (min: 36) fps ∼29%
19.7 (min: 16) fps ∼14%
12.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼10%

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

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
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
284.3
159.9
139.4
122.6
 8AMD Radeon R9 290X
253
129
118
92
 9AMD Radeon R9 280X
288.4
143.6
117.5
90.8
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
290.2
154.8
128.7
73.2
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
226
139.6
114.9
76.8
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
197.1
127
108.1
70.9
 23AMD Radeon R9 M290X
211.5
112.6
95.7
62
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
227.3
129.1
120
62.3
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
262.4
153.6
100.1
52.6
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
199.6
130.3
92.6
46.5
 39NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
192.152
109.652
883
47.23
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
166.652
104.552
70.852
35.42
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
191.9
130.7
74.1
34.8
 103NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
186.2
88
43
20.1
 110AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
151
71
37
17.5
 111Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
140
60
33.4
14.3
 114NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
141.4
64.4
30.7
14.4
 131NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
155.1
53.8
25.2
13
 141NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
120
68
32.8
16.2
Pos      Model                                     GRID: Autosport
lowmed.highultra
 205AMD Radeon HD 8650G
100
43
20.5
12.7
 210NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
141
47
19.4
12.5
 216NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
82.9
32.5
15.6
12.5
 219*AMD Radeon R5 M230
116.9
45.8
 230Intel HD Graphics 4600
99.62
36.92
16.52
12.52
 235AMD Radeon HD 7660G
82
39
20
12.5
 254*AMD Radeon HD 8550G
93
39
17.1
 266Intel HD Graphics 4400
60.7
22.1
 303Intel HD Graphics 4000
83
25
14
 315AMD Radeon HD 8450G
58
28
16.3
12.5
 319AMD Radeon HD 8400
68
22
12.6
 330*AMD Radeon HD 8350G
57
23
13.3
12.5
 331AMD Radeon HD 8330
58
20.5
12.5
 393Intel HD Graphics 3000
50
17.8
12.5
12.5
 411AMD Radeon HD 8210
13
* 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 > GRID Autosport Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2014-07- 6 (Update: 2014-07- 6)