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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.

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

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Saints 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
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
104.3
92.4
83.2
82.8
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
76.6
88.9
90.9
92.5
 4NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
99.6
87.7
79.6
80.6
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
85.4
72.4
69.3
67.4
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
78.9
68.8
68.2
 7AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire
67
55.9
50.2
48.6
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
91.4
84.2
75.4
72.5
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
87.9
98.2
84.1
58.8
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
87.8
74.4
64.2
55
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
82
82
71
642
 17AMD Radeon HD 7970
90.1
77.4
68.4
58.2
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
98.5
87.9
77.8
55.3
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
73.152
64.52
583
53.13
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
90.7
78.8
66.3
52.2
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
84.3
73.9
63.3
51.9
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
72
60.5
55.352
43.752
 30AMD Radeon R9 M290X
49.2
43.4
38.7
35.2
 35NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
81.3
70
58
41.6
 36NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
83.7
72.6
62.8
48.8
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 39NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
99.6
87.3
56.1
34.3
 45NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
85.2
73.9
52.252
34.852
 46NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
67.43
59.13
50.74
344
 49NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
68.9
57.2
40.7
 53NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
79.1
68.2
49
32.8
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
58.34
51.954
36.75
23.15
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
83.9
73.6
37.72
24.72
 69AMD Radeon HD 7770
92.4
76.2
43.4
26.6
 77NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
26
 78NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
77
67.9
38.1
24.8
 80NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
79.7
69.9
38.3
24.3
 86AMD Radeon HD 8870M
40
32.8
19.7
 91*AMD FirePro M5100
102
98
42
25
 92NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
82
69
33
19
 98NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
63.1
33
21.2
 100NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
79.6
67.4
33.4
20.8
 102AMD Radeon HD 8850M
33.9
26.8
21.6
17.8
 103*AMD Radeon R9 M265X
45.1
32.8
20.8
 111NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
56.152
47.352
25.52
16.552
 113NVIDIA GeForce 840M
52.12
43.852
18.72
12
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 115NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
75
61
26
15
 116NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
52.1
22.3
 120Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
35.2
27.9
17
10.2
 122NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
54.3
42.6
15.5
 123NVIDIA GeForce 830M
46.9
39.5
15.9
 127NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
42.6
35.6
14.4
 129NVIDIA GeForce 825M
50.5
39.7
15
 140AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
25.4
19.5
15.1
 141NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
50.852
39.42
14.752
9.9
 145AMD Radeon HD 8750M
36.8
29.1
18.6
12.5
 147AMD Radeon R7 M265
28
22.2
17.7
 152NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
48.4
39.2
19.9
12.8
 153*AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
22.9
17.9
11.7
 173AMD Radeon HD 8670D
40.5
35.2
18.6
9.9
 177AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
18.9
15.2
7.8
 196AMD Radeon HD 8570D
36
30.3
15.4
8.5
 197AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
26.2
21.8
12.2
 198AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
10.6
8.9
7
5.9
 200AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
24.5
19.7
10.2
 201AMD Radeon HD 8670M
38
30
11.6
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 202AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
19.5
16.6
11
 203AMD Radeon HD 7660D
37
30.8
15.7
9.3
 221AMD Radeon HD 8650G
11.7
10.1
7.7
 226NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
41.952
33.32
14.852
8.952
 227AMD Radeon HD 7560D
33.6
29.5
15.2
9
 230*AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
18.5
14.5
7.9
 231NVIDIA GeForce 820M
42.8
34.5
13.3
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
37.7
29.9
12.5
 235Intel Iris Graphics 5100
29.1
21.9
8.6
6
 236AMD Radeon R5 M230
31.3
26.8
11.4
 241NVIDIA Quadro K610M
44
32
13
8
 247Intel HD Graphics 4600
262
19.052
10.9
6.3
 251NVIDIA GeForce 710M
38.9
30.6
11.8
 252AMD Radeon HD 7660G
25.6
23.8
12.5
7.2
 255AMD Radeon R5 M240
17.4
13.8
10.8
 280AMD Radeon HD 7610M
33
28
12
7
 282AMD Radeon HD 8470D
24.7
18.6
12.5
 286Intel HD Graphics 4400
15.72
11.42
6.8
 323AMD Radeon HD 7480D
19.3
17.2
10
4.9
 324Intel HD Graphics 4000
29.72
21.22
9.52
5.52
Pos      Model                                     Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
 327AMD Radeon R5 (Beema)
16
13.3
7.6
 328*AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
15
12.8
7.4
 329Intel HD Graphics 4200
11.3
8.8
5.2
3.5
 337AMD Radeon HD 8450G
14.6
12.8
7.2
 341AMD Radeon HD 8400
17.1
13.5
 353AMD Radeon HD 8330
11.3
9.3
6.3
3
 356AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
10.4
8.3
4.3
 376AMD Radeon HD 7420G
11.7
 381Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
14
7.8
 401AMD Radeon HD 8280
12.3
10.2
 411AMD Radeon HD 8250
8.5
7.1
4.4
 418Intel HD Graphics 3000
12.752
9.5
6.5
4.1
 436AMD Radeon HD 8210
6
 478Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
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 > Saints Row IV Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2013-08-29 (Update: 2013-09- 3)