Notebookcheck

Sleeping Dogs Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Peter Krastev), 09/09/2012

Asian GTA. With Sleeping Dogs, the publisher Square Enix releases a serious rival of Grand Theft Auto. The open world game is set in Chinese Hong Kong and features a never-before used scenario as well as an exciting story about the Triad. In this review, you will read how current notebook GPUs perform in the game.

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Sleeping Dogs Logo (Square Enix)

The heading ”Asian GTA” is not at all meant as derogatory – on the contrary. After having played a couple of hours, we can say that Sleeping Dogs must not hide behind the amazing role model. The multi-platform title is based on the familiar and beloved mix of combat scenes, action-oriented missions, and vehicle use.

Description

As we mentioned, Sleeping Dogs is set in the metropolis of Hong Kong. This rarely used place in PC games makes for the ideal setting of an adult gangster story. The detailed screenshots prove that the developer has put proper effort in the implementation of the game.

Shortly after the start, the main character strolls through a densely populated shopping street, on which a sort of street festival is taking place. Here lavishly decorated stands alternate with bright neon signs. The colorful reflections on the wet pavement give the scene a great lighting effect. It's a shame that the richness decreases noticeably in some backyards and side rooms. The linear Max Payne 3 achieves a higher quality here. Nonetheless, the action title scores points with a successful atmosphere. The cool soundtrack and professional (English) voice-over do the rest to put the player under the spell.

But who is actually personified in Sleeping Dogs? The gamer steps in the shoes of Wei Shen, a – as we soon discover – cunning undercover cop. The goal: The infiltration of the Triad “Sun On Yee”. In the early stages, the leader Winston Chu has problems with “Dogeye”, who wants to claim a part of the territory for himself.

The main character is actually a policeman.
The main character is actually a policeman.
He must infiltrate the Triads.
He must infiltrate the Triads.
The gangster bosses do not talk good about each other.
The gangster bosses do not talk good about each other.

After several intro videos, a heated pursuit and a couple of dialogs, things get quickly to the point – in the true sense of the word. Wei Shen fights the other gang members and so, soon learns the fight moves/controls. The tough confrontations do have a certain esthetic. The movement is usually quite smooth and generally the fights have a beautiful choreography. Of course one could argue about the brutal finishing moves (in Germany the title will arrive censored), which are sometimes certainly borderline. 

Since the fights feel somewhat slower than in other action hits such as Darksiders II or Batman: Arkham City, we can imagine that the melee battles will get tiresome after some time and develop a repetitive nature.

Some places are extremely detailed.
Some places are extremely detailed.
Things get heated during fights.
Things get heated during fights.
The game world is quite impressive.
The game world is quite impressive.

The role-playing part seems to further motivate in the long term. Sleeping Dogs contains various primary and side missions, which emphasize one or the other gameplay elements. At the end there is a brief rating, which informs the player of their skills and progress. In addition to the traditional rewards (money, items, etc.) the player receives experience points in specific categories (for example Triad or Cop). At a level-up, new skills and upgrades await the player. Fashionable gamers can even clothe the main character. The range extends from shoes through necklaces to headgear.

You can level-up through the experience points.
You can level-up through the experience points.
Sleeping Dogs offers numerous side missions.
Sleeping Dogs offers numerous side missions.
The character dresses up before the fights.
The character dresses up before the fights.

In order to not run unnecessarily through the areas, the main character has a mobile phone, which lists contacts, messages, and police reports, among other things. Consequently, the most important is the garage, which is used to store an owned vehicle. While we are on the subject of vehicles: The wheels are controlled with the mouse and keyboard, but often inaccurately. Another weakness is the sub-optimal and sometimes wobbly camera.

There's nothing better than a modern smartphone.
There's nothing better than a modern smartphone.
The police reports provide background information.
The police reports provide background information.
Great: The vehicles can be repainted.
Great: The vehicles can be repainted.

Benchmark

Square Enix deserves praise for the integrated benchmark. The roughly two-minute sequence provides a nice glimpse into the game world, the cultural environment, and the capabilities of the engine. Thanks to the changing scenes, the graphics card is loaded at varying rates. Since the frame rate drops during graphically intense passages (motorcycling, car driving, etc.), 30 or even 40 fps are desired as a result of the benchmark.

Settings

For a multi-platform title, Sleeping Dogs offers a surprisingly high number of settings. We ran our benchmark with the four presets; Low, Medium, High, and Extreme, which are located in the main menu, under the Display Options. In addition to the brightness, you can also adjust the size of the interface and the resolution. Full-screen mode and the 3D mode can also be (de)activated.

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

Even more options can be found in the advanced graphics menu. Thus the player can, among others, change the V-Sync, the hardware-hungry anti-aliasing, the motion blur, the shadow quality, and the world density. The high-resolution textures were unfortunately not available for download at the time of this review – at least not in Germany (Steam error message).

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

Technically, Sleeping Dogs is still a bit unpolished. A change in the settings often leads to errors and crashes. The title works rather poorly with NVIDIA GPUs. Despite the latest Beta drivers (ForceWare 304.79) the game sometime hung when starting up or loading.

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

Otherwise the engine is relatively good - we were particularly impressed by the fancy character models and the high-quality lighting. Even at medium details, the game is properly enjoyable.

Although you can barely notice the difference between high and ultra settings, the resource consumption increases significantly. As our benchmarks show, for the Extreme settings you would need an absolutely top of the line desktop GPU (or SLI respectively CrossFire). At low settings, the game is suited even for low-end graphics cards, but the reduced effects diminish the atmosphere considerably.

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

Results

While the combination of maximum details and 1920x1080 pixels is reserved only for luxury GPUs such as the GeForce GTX 680 or the Radeon HD 7970 (Desktop!), 1600x900 pixels and high details are also playable with a mobile high-end card (for example GTX 675M). For 1366x768 pixels the GeForce GTX 660M or higher should suffice. The middle preset requires an all-rounder such as the GeForce GT 630M or the Radeon HD 7660G.

Entry-level GPUs on the level of the Intel HD Graphics 4000 will have to be satisfied with lower details and greatly reduced resolution (1024x768) – and the game still stutters sometimes.

Benchmark-Tabelle Sleeping Dogs

Verdict

If you like open-world titles in the style of GTA, you should definitely give the Hong Kong adventure a chance. Sleeping Dogs is gorgeous and provides a solid mix of elements from various genres. Thanks to familiar key strokes you can quickly immerse yourself in the unfamiliar scenario. Although, you should not expect a new action reference, since the game does not come even close to perfection.

We consider the introduction a success.
We consider the introduction a success.
The large world should ensure a high playtime.
The large world should ensure a high playtime.
Sleeping Dogs definitely does not belong in children's hands.
Sleeping Dogs definitely does not belong in children's hands.

Test Systems

Most of the notebooks were supplied by Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de):

·        XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670M, GTX 675M & GTX 680M, 8 GB RAM)

·        XMG A502 (Core i5-3360M, GeForce GT 650M & HD Graphics 4000, 8 GB RAM)

·        Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000, 8 GB RAM)

NVIDIA driver: mostly 304.79 Beta. AMD driver: 12.4 (Desktop) and 12.8 (Notebook). Intel driver: 8.15.10.2696.

From left to right: Schenker XMG A502, Xesia M501 & XMG P502
From left to right: Schenker XMG A502, Xesia M501 & XMG P502

Table

The following list will be constantly updated.

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Sleeping Dogs
 Sleeping Dogs (2012)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
Normal AA
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
Normal AA
high
1366x768
High Preset
High AA
ultra
1920x1080
Extreme Preset
Extreme AA
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
144.22
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
118.6
 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
190.92
101.42
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
84.3
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
78.852
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
182.8
92.5
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
139
109.4
72.2
 27AMD Radeon R9 290X
69
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
159.9
62.8
 31AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
127.252
1122
62.552
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
108.5
79.4
22.6
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
149.3510
58.111
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
148.154
128.913
44.913
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
148.6
110.2
95.7
39.4
 45AMD Radeon HD 7970
125.6
76.2
89.8
43
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
157.8
153.1
97.93
403
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
145
96.8
89.9
33.1
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
167.9
121.3
99.952
30.854
 63NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
123
91
31
Pos      Model                                     Sleeping Dogs
lowmed.highultra
 64NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX
99
31.1
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
150.952
106.52
32.952
 70AMD Radeon HD 8970M
124.5
90.1
58.452
26.82
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
172.9
129.3
104.8
33.8
 78NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
120.3
92.452
74.352
23.44
 80AMD FirePro M6100
168
123
67
22.5
 81AMD Radeon HD 7970M
77.8
55.4
41.22
28.53
 84NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
140.7
102.9
84.6
26.7
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
185.73
145.97
92.218
24.218
 91NVIDIA Quadro K4100M
158
119
77
23
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
152.5
110.52
673
193
 94NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
145.452
123.95
71.558
20.158
 97NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
101.2
80.4
23.9
 100NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
100.2
59.4
16.1
 101NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
95.6
70.5
21.1
 103NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
143.352
70.852
17.152
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
130.452
118.52
72.23
193
 111AMD Radeon HD 6870
164
121.3
71.6
23.1
 114NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
151.2
108.93
543
14.53
 120Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580
107.2
81.2
37.3
8.8
Pos      Model                                     Sleeping Dogs
lowmed.highultra
 122NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
119.12
87.152
54.452
14.92
 128AMD Radeon HD 7770
97.6
70.6
53.4
15.9
 129NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
135.9
97.7
52.5
13.6
 136NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
136
19
 139NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
132.1
98.6
49.22
13.12
 141NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
1322
103.22
48.152
12.252
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
111
79.7
45.7
11.8
 144NVIDIA Maxwell GPU Surface Book (940M, GDDR5)
112.4
85.6
42.8
10.9
 149AMD Radeon HD 8870M
55.32
402
30.32
12.152
 154AMD FirePro M5100
143
108
47
13
 155NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
119
85
34
9
 161NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
121.3
952
46.852
11.652
 162NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
117.1
752
36.22
8.6
 164AMD Radeon HD 8850M
55.42
36.252
 169AMD FirePro W4170M
106.1
77.8
34.7
5
 175NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
75.452
57.72
31.952
8.32
 178NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
73.7
58.5
31.4
7.5
 186NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
882
71.63
29.83
7.652
 187NVIDIA Quadro K620M
88
44
31
8
 188NVIDIA GeForce 840M
75.63
57.74
26.84
6.72
Pos      Model                                     Sleeping Dogs
lowmed.highultra
 190NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
94.1
66.12
30.182
7.1
 194AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
71.5
54.7
28.9
8
 195Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
77.9
55.4
24.7
7.1
 196AMD Radeon R7 384 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
70.9
53.4
25.8
7
 197NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
57.75
41.65
24.35
6.83
 199*Intel Iris Graphics 550
74.5
29.8
7
 204NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
89.32
66.052
24.852
6.252
 205NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
119.7
90
36.4
8.6
 207NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
66
49.4
19.5
 220AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
30.2
28.9
 222NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
79
58
25
6
 224*NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
82.252
64.23
26.33
6.4
 226AMD Radeon HD 8750M
31.3
30.2
23.6
7
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
66.94
55.254
24.654
6.054
 234AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
55
42.3
24.5
7.1
 268AMD Radeon HD 8670D
73.6
55.4
23.6
6.7
 272AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
30
22.1
11
 274AMD Radeon HD 8730M
49
28
22
 293AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
49.6
37.1
27.7
 294AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
24.3
16.5
13.2
8.2
Pos      Model                                     Sleeping Dogs
lowmed.highultra
 295AMD Radeon HD 7660G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
42
29
15
5
 296AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
40.4
29.2
17.6
 297AMD Radeon HD 8670M
38.5
29.4
13.6
5
 317AMD Radeon HD 8650G
49
36.7
16.5
5.3
 320AMD Radeon HD 7520G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
31.6
22.6
18
7.2
 321AMD Radeon HD 7670M
68.9
51.6
17.8
5.7
 322NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
62.352
44.43
16.53
5.052
 328AMD Radeon R5 M255
61.8
45.1
21.4
 331NVIDIA GeForce 820M
56.752
422
17.32
5.3
 334NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
48.42
37.052
15.152
 343AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
24.8
13
 344AMD Radeon HD 8570M
31.252
23.62
11.952
5
 346NVIDIA Quadro K610M
54.5
40.9
14.8
5
 347AMD Radeon HD 8550M
22.1
15.5
13.5
 348Intel Iris Graphics 5100
28.952
19.152
10.452
 353Intel HD Graphics 4600
37.82
272
11.152
6.5
 362NVIDIA GeForce 710M
53.6
39.6
16.1
 363AMD Radeon HD 7660G
47.4
35.9
16.4
5.6
 376AMD Radeon HD 7570M
51.2
37.9
13.2
 379ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
56.6
42
15.8
5.2
Pos      Model                                     Sleeping Dogs
lowmed.highultra
 382AMD Radeon HD 8550G
45
33
13.4
5
 399Intel HD Graphics 4400
30.43
243
103
 401NVIDIA NVS 5200M
55.5
38.9
14.7
 403AMD Radeon HD 7550M
43.7
32.8
11.8
 411AMD Radeon HD 7600G
20.6
14.7
6.8
 429Intel HD Graphics 5300
20.752
15.552
7.152
 439Intel HD Graphics 4000
23.16
14.956
7.556
5
 447AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
28.2
20.6
9.6
 450Intel HD Graphics 4200
22.7
16.5
8.2
5.5
 452AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
40.3
30.2
10.9
5.1
 459AMD Radeon HD 8450G
15.8
14.8
 463AMD Radeon HD 8400
25.7
18.7
 465NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
41
30.1
10.3
 466AMD Radeon HD 7520G
28.3
20.3
11.1
 476AMD Radeon HD 8330
26.3
19.4
7.4
 502AMD Radeon HD 7420G
11
6
3