Notebookcheck

Saints Row IV Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 08/29/2013

Turn off your brain, prepare to laugh. You do not have to play Saints Row IV for very long before you realize that it is a bunch of anarcho-baloney. Prime grade baloney, that is. Whether the game's graphics and hardware appetite are equally as appealing is a question for this article to answer.

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Saints Row IV Logo

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Gorgeous graphics, as we have recently seen in Crysis 3Metro: Last Light or Hitman: Absolution, are not to be expected from Saints Row IV. Low-poly objects and weak textures are typical of a console game. That is not to say that the explosive action game looks bad. Using a number of tricks, the US developer Volition created a consistent overall look.

Alongside the abundant particle effects and the high "kaboom" factor, the interplay between light and shadows is also appealing. Imagine it is a dark night, and several cars sitting on brightly lit asphalt explode, sending sparks hurling through the air. Scenes like that establish a certain esthetic. Every few meters, Saints Row IV sets off firework-like effects that greatly contribute to the game's chaos and self-mockery. With all that going on, it is easy to overlook any weaknesses in the area of graphics.

Although the graphics menu does not offer a multitude of options, most buyers will appreciate the settings available. Anyone who does not want to pick their way through the 10 specific settings options can just select one of the game's presets. The presets are nothing spectacular, as the title already activates 2x MSAA at medium quality settings. "High" represents 4x MSAA, "Ultra" even activates 8x MSAA. Should there be a problem with the game's performance, the first thing to do is lower the MSAA level. The fact that Volition chose to make all the settings options accessible in the middle of a running game, rather than forcing the player to go all the way to the main menu, is also praiseworthy.

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

Because it was easy, for our benchmarks we used the automatic starting point, where the game drops us when we are outside of the campaigns and missions (see video). With the "super sprint" ability activated, we race down a hill and a street for just under 15 seconds.

Despite the short length of the clip, the benchmark delivers relatively consistent results. In our experience, the amount of resources needed to compute this passage is above average, but we are not talking about anything extreme. During some scenes, the game runs a little slower, during other scenes, considerably faster. More than 30 fps should be adequate for a decent gaming experience.

Results

The game's hardware demands are neither shockingly high nor especially low. For minimum details and a resolution of 720p, you will need at least a low-end graphics card around the level of the HD Graphics 4000/4600 or Radeon HD 7660G. Typical all-round GPUs however, like the GeForce GT 630M, can also handle 1366x768 pixels and the normal preset.

High details and 4x MSAA scream for a GPU from the upper middle class or the lower high-end segment, like the GeForce GTX 660M. You can only experience the full effect of the explosive graphics with a top model card. 1920x1080 pixels, ultra details and 8x MSAA can only be fluidly displayed with a GeForce GTX 675MX or higher. We did not observe any significant bugs during our testing; the graphics appear to be well developed.

You are forgetting AMD's high-end team? We have not included our results from the Radeon HD 7970M or HD 8970M because both GPUs were unnaturally lethargic both with the WHOL driver 13.4 and the Catalyst 13.8 Beta2 (30-50 fps). Considering the flawless desktop results (compare the Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7970), we are guessing the Enduro graphics switching is at fault.

Benchmark Table: Saints Row IV
Benchmark Table: Saints Row IV

Verdict

Saints Row IV is suited both to those who enjoy a good destruction game and to anyone who has an affinity for dark humor and allusions to pop culture. The graphics quality is nothing to ooh and aah at, but it does its job. Thanks to the good range of settings options, the game is playable on a wide range of notebooks. Owners of extremely weak GPUs (Intel HD Graphics 3000 or lower) are the only ones who will have to go without this title.

Test Systems

Our four most important test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M, Radeon HD 8970M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)
  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670MX, GTX 675MX, GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000)

A further thank you goes to Crucial for the 480 GB M500, on which Windows 7 Professional 64-bit is installed.

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 326.80 Beta, AMD 13.8 Beta2, Intel 9.17.10.3223 and/or 9.18.10.3165.

Left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503
Left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503

Overview

Discussion
Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Perf. RatingSaints Row IV
 Saints Row IV (2013)
low
1280x720
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
2xAF 2x MSAA
high
1366x768
High Preset
4xAF 4x MSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
16xAF 8x MSAA
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
91.7
72
96
95.3
93.9
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
92.4
104.3
92.4
83.2
82.8
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
89.5
76.6
88.9
90.9
92.5
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
88.5
99.6
87.7
79.6
80.6
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
75
85.4
72.4
69.3
67.4
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
~75.175%
78.9
68.8
68.2
 20AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire
56.4
67
55.9
50.2
48.6
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
82.9
95.92
88.052
77.12
64.952
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
82.3
91.952
91.92
81.22
58.32
 31NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
71.5
87.8
74.4
64.2
55
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
76.2
82
82
71
642
 33AMD Radeon HD 7970
74.7
90.1
77.4
68.4
58.2
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
63.3
73.152
64.52
583
53.13
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
73.1
90.7
78.8
66.3
52.2
 48NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
81.1
98.5
87.9
77.8
55.3
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
69.4
84.3
73.9
63.3
51.9
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
71.6
94.5
83.6
64
40.7
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
58.8
72
60.5
55.352
43.752
 56AMD Radeon R9 M290X
42.4
49.2
43.4
38.7
35.2
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
63.6
81.3
70
58
41.6
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
68
83.7
72.6
62.8
48.8
 64AMD FirePro M6100
~73.350%
103
45
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
69.9
99.6
87.3
56.1
34.3
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
65.5
88.1
77.1
57.6
36.3
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
62.2
85.2
73.9
52.252
34.852
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
53.6
67.43
59.13
50.74
344
 79NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
~57.875%
68.9
57.2
40.7
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
57.9
79.1
68.2
49
32.8
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
43
58.34
51.954
36.75
23.15
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
55.3
83.9
73.6
37.72
24.72
 109AMD Radeon HD 7770
60
92.4
76.2
43.4
26.6
 117NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
~27.725%
26
 120NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
52.3
77
67.9
38.1
24.8
 122NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
53.4
79.7
69.9
38.3
24.3
 130AMD Radeon HD 8870M
~30.875%
40
32.8
19.7
 135AMD FirePro M5100
67.1
102
98
42
25
 136NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
50.9
82
69
33
19
 142NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
~40.575%
63.1
33
21.2
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
50.5
79.6
67.4
33.4
20.8
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 145AMD Radeon HD 8850M
25.4
33.9
26.8
21.6
17.8
 147AMD Radeon R9 M265X
~34.275%
45.1
32.8
20.8
 158NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
36.6
56.152
47.352
25.52
16.552
 160NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
44.3
75
61
26
15
 161NVIDIA GeForce 940M
34.1
60
48.6
17.2
10.8
 168NVIDIA Quadro K620M
41.7
75
59
22
11
 169NVIDIA GeForce 840M
31.8
52.12
43.852
18.72
12
 171NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
~38.250%
52.1
22.3
 175Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
22.7
35.2
27.9
17
10.2
 178NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
~37.275%
54.3
42.6
15.5
 181NVIDIA GeForce 830M
~3475%
46.9
39.5
15.9
 187NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
~30.775%
42.6
35.6
14.4
 189NVIDIA GeForce 825M
~34.975%
50.5
39.7
15
 200AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
~2075%
25.4
19.5
15.1
 202NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
28.7
50.852
39.42
14.752
9.9
 206AMD Radeon HD 8750M
24.4
36.8
29.1
18.6
12.5
 209AMD Radeon R7 M265
~22.775%
28
22.2
17.7
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
30.2
48.4
39.2
19.9
12.8
 214AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
~17.575%
22.9
17.9
11.7
 234AMD Radeon R7 M260
~16.375%
20
17.1
11.7
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 243AMD Radeon HD 8670D
26.2
40.5
35.2
18.6
9.9
 247AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
~13.975%
18.9
15.2
7.8
 267AMD Radeon HD 8570D
22.6
36
30.3
15.4
8.5
 268AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~2075%
26.2
21.8
12.2
 269AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
8.2
10.6
8.9
7
5.9
 271AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
~18.175%
24.5
19.7
10.2
 272AMD Radeon HD 8670M
~26.475%
38
30
11.6
 273AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
~15.775%
19.5
16.6
11
 274AMD Radeon HD 7660D
23.3
37
30.8
15.7
9.3
 292AMD Radeon HD 8650G
~9.975%
11.7
10.1
7.7
 297NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
24.8
41.952
33.32
14.852
8.952
 298AMD Radeon HD 7560D
21.9
33.6
29.5
15.2
9
 303AMD Radeon R5 M255
~17.975%
30.3
13.3
8.3
 305NVIDIA GeForce 820M
~3075%
42.8
34.5
13.3
 308NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
~26.675%
37.7
29.9
12.5
 310AMD Radeon R5 M240
~1475%
17.4
13.8
10.8
 312AMD Radeon R5 M230
~23.175%
31.3
26.8
11.4
 319NVIDIA Quadro K610M
24.2
44
32
13
8
 321Intel Iris Graphics 5100
16.4
29.1
21.9
8.6
6
 323*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
~11.575%
16.3
12.3
6
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 326Intel HD Graphics 4600
15.6
262
19.052
10.9
6.3
 328Intel HD Graphics 5500
~12.775%
17.6
13.6
6.9
 330AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
~13.675%
18.5
14.5
7.9
 333NVIDIA GeForce 710M
~26.975%
38.9
30.6
11.8
 334AMD Radeon HD 7660G
17.4
25.6
23.8
12.5
7.2
 360AMD Radeon HD 7610M
20
33
28
12
7
 362AMD Radeon HD 8470D
~18.675%
24.7
18.6
12.5
 370Intel HD Graphics 4400
~11.375%
15.72
11.42
6.8
 408AMD Radeon HD 7480D
12.9
19.3
17.2
10
4.9
 409Intel HD Graphics 4000
16.5
29.72
21.22
9.52
5.52
 415AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
~12.375%
16
13.3
7.6
 416AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
~11.775%
15
12.8
7.4
 417Intel HD Graphics 4200
7.2
11.3
8.8
5.2
3.5
 426AMD Radeon HD 8450G
~11.575%
14.6
12.8
7.2
 430AMD Radeon HD 8400
~15.150%
17.1
13.5
 443AMD Radeon HD 8330
7.5
11.3
9.3
6.3
3
 446AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
~7.675%
10.4
8.3
4.3
 463Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
~2.950%
3.8
2.1
 467AMD Radeon HD 7420G
~11.225%
11.7
 472Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
~10.750%
14
7.8
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 494AMD Radeon HD 8280
~11.150%
12.3
10.2
 504AMD Radeon HD 8250
~6.775%
8.5
7.1
4.4
 511Intel HD Graphics 3000
8.3
12.752
9.5
6.5
4.1
 529AMD Radeon HD 8210
~5.825%
6
 572Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
~625%
6.3
* Smaller values are better. / * 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 > Saints Row IV Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2013-08-29 (Update: 2013-09- 3)