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Counter-Strike Global Offensive Benchmarked

Florian Glaser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Peter Krastev), 08/31/2012

CS reloaded. Over 10 years after the original, Global Offensive is a reboot of the successful multiplayer tactical shooter. Despite its age, the basic game idea is still very popular. The dusty Source Engine is both a curse and a blessing.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Artwork: Valve)

The Counter-Strike series spin-off will surely be discussed in great detail by its fan base. Is the visual update and the addition of a ton of features and game modes make Global Offensive the next step in evolution or is it just Valve trying to line their pockets? Certainly looks like we are talking about a rip-off as CS: GO costs 14 Euro (~$17) on Steam. This article focuses primarily on the technology and performance of different notebook graphics cards.

Description

Counter-Strike has conquered the hearts of so many gamers, not only because of its low hardware requirements, but also because of its team aspect and the tactical components. Thousands of players battle on the servers every day and some LAN parties are unthinkable without CS. Since the last part (CS: Source) has been out for a while, Valve saw that the time was right for a successor. Global Offensive is largely based on the same gaming principles and expands the multiplayer with a couple of new feature like the game modes ’Arms Race’ and ’Demolition’ (you automatically get a better weapon after a kill).

Many textures look blurred up close.
Many textures look blurred up close.
The weapons course is advisable for beginners.
The weapons course is advisable for beginners.
Counter-Strike was never popular among youth advocacy.
Counter-Strike was never popular among the youth.

In order not to fall easily in the heated online battles, beginners should first complete the ’Training camp’. The weapons handling, grenade use, and bomb placement are explained here. The ‘Single Player’ mode is right for those who want to try what they've learned. Global Offensive offers playing against bots whose level of difficulty can be adjusted in several steps. Those who feel ready to face a human player after the dry runs can enter a ’real’ server through the intuitive menus.

Planting a bomb still is one the key elements of the game.
Planting a bomb is still one the key elements of the game.
Global Offensive offers a lot of guns.
Global Offensive offers a lot of guns.
We are already familiar with a similar time course in Call of Duty.
We are already familiar with a similar time course in Call of Duty.

Benchmark

Benchmark route
The route for the benchmark

We had numerous reasons against an online benchmark. Since the threat of virtual death hangs on every second, the choice of an appropriate sequence would be quite hard and we did not want to ruin the round for other players. Due to the typical multi-player problems (lag influences the subjective game quality), we therefore preferred an offline skirmish with bots. At ’Harmless’ level, the AI hardy fights back.

The old mas shine in a new light.
The old maps shine in a new light.
There are many cover possibilities.
There are many possibilities for finding cover.
Money is the reward for success.
Money is the reward for success.

We tested one of the most played maps ’Dust II’. We begin the round as terrorists and more or less circle once around bomb sites A and B (see the screenshot and the video). The entire sequence takes about a minute and is recorded with the help of Fraps. During the run we wanted to ensure high comparability. Because of the less demanding technology, some fluctuations are inevitable.

Settings

Graphics options
Graphics options

The graphics options are typical for a PC game. In the video options one finds basic parameters such as resolution, aspect ratio, brightness and the size of the HUD (Head Up Display). The real thing is under the tab ’Advanced’. Not every title out there offers more than 10 different settings. Some options can ’only’ be turned on or off (Multicore-Rendering, FXAA, VSync & Motion Blur), while others can be adjusted at steps Very Low, Low, Medium, High and Very High. Among these are the shadow quality, the model, texture, effects and shader details as well as the ominous ’Paged Pool Memory’. The MSAA anti-aliasing reaches 8x and the anisotropic filtering about 16x which is something exemplary.

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Low
Low

From a technical point of view, Global Offensive is unfortunately not outstanding. Despite the various improvements, the Source Engine seems rather outdated. In terms of polygon count and texture sharpness, the tactical shooter cannot compete with other FPSs like Max Payne 3Battlefield 3 and Crysis 2. Upon closer inspection, most wallpaper objects seem vague.

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Low
Low

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In comparison to CS: Source, this version is certainly an evident progress. Especially when it comes to atmosphere, Global Offensive takes a step forward. Thanks to the rich decorative objects, the levels now seem less dull. The successful lights and shadows help the ’Look and Feel’. Typical of Valve, there is attention for consistency of the look of the game. For next year though, we wish for a modern engine.

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Low
Low

Results

The moderate hardware requirement is one of the strong points of CS: GO. Even with Intel's older HD Graphics 3000, multiplayer mode is possible depending on the resolution at lower or normal settings. Midrange GPUs such as the GeForce GT 630M manage higher details and 2x anti-aliasing without problems. For 1920x1080 pixels, 4x anti-aliasing and maximum details (incl. FXAA), you do not need a high-end GPU at all. These settings are possible with the GeForce GT 640M. For the latest enthusiast-level GPUs like the Radeon HD 7970M  and the GeForce GTX 680M, Counter Strike does not seem to pose a challenge.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive Benchmark

Verdict

Valve seems to have optimized the technical framework perfectly. Global Offensive may not be visually exciting, but it scores points with its surprisingly low hardware requirements which come in handy mainly for weaker systems. The low price of 14 Euro is extremely fair and deserves some praise. 

Some maps are really idyllic.
Some maps are in idyllic settings.
The game has a great atmosphere.
The game has a great atmosphere.
Some level objects can be destroyed.
Some level objects can be destroyed.

Test Systems

Most of the devices come from Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de):

  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670M, GTX 675M, GTX 680M & Radeon HD 7970M, 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) 

The drivers used were versions: 304.79 Beta (Nvidia), 8.951.6.0 (AMD) and 8.15.10.2761 (Intel).

The Guild Wars 2 benchmark is planned for the end of August.

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

Overview

The chart below contains all previous benchmarks and will be expanded in the future.

Show Restrictions
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
 Counter-Strike: GO (2012)
low
1024x768
(Very) Low
med.
1366x768
Medium
high
1366x768
High
4xAF 2x MSAA
ultra
1920x1080
(Very) High, FXAA
8xAF 4x MSAA
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
272
 24AMD Radeon R9 Fury
268
 34AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
285
 51NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
263.4
261.9
257.3
 52AMD Radeon R9 290X
280
 56AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
186.1
159.7
127.8
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
249
238
228.5
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
230
 66NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
124
 74NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
228
224
 75AMD Radeon HD 7970
251.1
233.8
212.6
212.2
 85NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
250
 95NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
246.3
220.8
198.9
191.6
 97NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
261.2
243.4
227
190.7n2
 110AMD Radeon HD 8970M
261.3
238.3
219.7
148.1n2
 114NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
272.2
264.2
251.2
196.5
 116NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
230.8
194.7
169.3
128
 120AMD Radeon HD 7970M
228.8
200.1
178
121.45n2
 128NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX SLI
232.7
220.8
208.2
168
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 134AMD Radeon Pro 455
145
 137NVIDIA GeForce MX150
94
 141NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
261.8
244.2
224.5
150.9
 150NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
220.6
193.3
131
 151NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M SLI
205.1
182.4
163.4
 156NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
98.9
 163AMD Radeon HD 6870
189
 166NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
267.2
243.85n2
182.5n2
106.9n3
 176NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
208.3
167.9
153.8
102
 182AMD Radeon HD 7770
249.9
230.4
199
128.2
 183NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
246.9
218.7
199.7
138.7
 192AMD Radeon R9 M370X
265
218
159.3
103.4
 193NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
244.4
222.9
164.4
95.7
 195NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
230
171
98
 197NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
225.4
180.3
140.2
90.5
 203AMD Radeon HD 8870M
183.2
138.4
116.3
87.2
 216NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
226.5
189.7
142.2
88.5
 218AMD Radeon HD 8850M
101.9
78.1
 223AMD Radeon HD 8790M
149
116
73
 230NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
237.3
140.6n2
92.15n2
56.7n2
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 233NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
182
156.8
107.2
57.9
 236AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
120.7
95.8
67.3
41.9
 237NVIDIA GeForce 940M
168.1
141.1
112.6
68.1
 247NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
161.3
136.8
111.9
72.3
 250NVIDIA GeForce 840M
79.6
45.5
 251AMD Radeon R7 M275DX
47
 252NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
176.4
124.9
59.8
 256Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
240.4
181.3
88.4
51.9
 258NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
89.2n3
76.7n3
70.2n3
54.1n3
 261Intel Iris Graphics 550
205.4
172.5
112.9
64.5
 271NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
231.2
165.4
112.3
63.4
 272NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
109
86
 274NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
149.7
113.25n2
77.25n2
32
 288NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
157
128
92
52
 289NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
204.7
158.3
103.8
58.2
 292AMD Radeon HD 8750M
135
100.6
82.3
53.5
 300NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
129
99
84
49
 301AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
57.1
42.9
38
23.6
 303AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
86.6
79.8
70.8
44.1
 307AMD Radeon R7 M360
88.9
87.3
65.8
43.8
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 312AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
82
77.8
71.7
50.3
 331Intel UHD Graphics 620
90
62.1
37.1
 332Intel HD Graphics 620
166.3
112.8
70.5
42.7
 333AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
74.7
64
50.2
31.3
 347AMD Radeon HD 8730M
142.4
105.2
83.4
48.8
 349NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
166.9
117.2
81.6
35.9
 366AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
132.3
94.7
65.5
 367AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
48.1
43.7
37.3
30.8
 369AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
101.1
81.5
56.7
 372AMD Radeon HD 7660D
54
 390AMD Radeon HD 8650G
46.8
42.2
36
42
 393AMD Radeon HD 7520G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
70.6
57.1
50.8
43.9
 394AMD Radeon HD 7670M
139.65n2
96.9n2
75n2
45.75n2
 395NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
139.2n3
97.9n3
65.6n3
35.4n3
 396AMD Radeon HD 7560D
79
45
 398AMD Radeon R5 M335
108.7
68.1
48.3
26.4
 399AMD Radeon R5 M330
125
73.3
50.3
 403NVIDIA GeForce 910M
39.1
36.3
34.2
29.7
 404NVIDIA GeForce 820M
135
105.8
78.7
 406Intel HD Graphics 520
115.1n3
76.9n3
56.4n3
29.9n3
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 407Intel Iris Graphics 6100
112.5
81.2
63
32.8
 408NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
107.2
88.2
56.8
 409AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
39.2
28.5
25
 419AMD Radeon HD 8450G + Radeon HD 8570M Dual Graphics
43.1
33.2
26.6
 423AMD Radeon HD 8550M
38.7
33.6
29.4
 424Intel Iris Graphics 5100
144.9
80.1
51.7
30.8
 429Intel HD Graphics 4600
186.9
99.2
52.25n2
27.15n2
 431Intel HD Graphics 5500
71n3
51.3n3
36.2n3
19.7n3
 441*Intel HD Graphics 615
99.9
57.3
39.5
21.9
 447AMD Radeon HD 7660G
58
39
 463ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
101.6
87
70.1
39.1
 466AMD Radeon HD 8550G
39
 473AMD Radeon HD 7610M
176
99
70
38
 482Intel HD Graphics 515
76.7
57.3
35.1
20.2
 483Intel HD Graphics 4400
90n3
56n3
41n3
 484*Intel HD Graphics 610
94.2
70.4
42.8
 488AMD Radeon HD 7550M
133.3
75
56.9
 496AMD Radeon HD 7600G
48
31.8
24.8
 514Intel HD Graphics 5300
62n3
49.7n3
25.1n3
19.8n3
 515*Intel UHD Graphics 605
46.4n2
26.95n2
16.75n2
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 516*Intel HD Graphics 505
35.85n2
30.95n2
21.2
 524AMD Radeon HD 7480D
82
73
50
27.1
 525Intel HD Graphics 4000
78.15n6
46.8n6
26.7n6
20.9n3
 529AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
29.7
21.9
17.8
 530*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
27.9
19.8
16.7
13.2
 531*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
43.7
31.5
23.9
 533AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
35.4
35.3
27.6
 534AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
48.3
42.2
30.6
21.5
 535AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
52.8
40.8
28.5
 536AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
26.9
21.7
20
 537Intel HD Graphics 4200
70.7
35.5
18.9
12.5
 539AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
134.3
81.2
54.1
29.4
 546AMD Radeon HD 8450G
45
33.5
26.4
33
 550AMD Radeon HD 8400
60
47
33.7
19.3
 553NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
75
68
38
 554AMD Radeon HD 7520G
61.4
44.4
37.1
 564AMD Radeon HD 8330
43.25n2
35.25n2
26.8
 565Intel UHD Graphics 600
27.4
 566Intel HD Graphics 500
15.3n2
14
 586Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
42.6
32
20.4
      Model                                     Counter-Strike: GO
lowmed.highultra
 587Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
12.2
11.5
10.4
 592AMD Radeon HD 7420G
52
39
31
 597Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
46.2
34.7
22.5
 617*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
43.6
34.5
 618Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
21.6n3
18.6n3
20.3
11.4
 629AMD Radeon HD 8240
21.1
19.2
 631AMD Radeon HD 8250
17.4
14.3
11.9
 637Intel HD Graphics 3000
60.6n2
37.4n2
16.65n2
10.6
 640NVIDIA GeForce G210M
63
43
29
14
 655AMD Radeon HD 8210
19.3
 658Intel HD Graphics 2500
79.5n2
37.5n2
19.3n2
11.7
 659Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
37
20
11
 693*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
60
30.3
18.8
9.7
 700Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
36.35n2
21.95n2
 754Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
16.2
9
6.8
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value / * 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 > Counter-Strike Global Offensive Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2012-08-31 (Update: 2013-06- 6)