Notebookcheck

Diablo III Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 05/19/2012

Welcome to Hell! After years of waiting it is finally available: Legendary developer Blizzard Entertainment has at last launched Diablo III, the long-awaited successor to one of the most popular action role-playing games of all time. We dug into the dark fantasy world and ran Diablo III on several notebook graphics cards. Can your notebook system make it through Hell alive?

Diablo III

The launch of Blizzard's latest action RPG clickfest was not optimal to say the least. Overloaded servers, error messages, connection loss, broken achievements.. those who pre-ordered or stood in line to purchase the game likely went through a Hell of their own as Blizzard scrambled to hotfix the game-breaking issues.

Still, user madness has calmed a bit now that Blizzard's servers have had a few days to settle down. Of course, this hasn't stopped us from benchmarking the game with a wide range of mobile GPUs - both discrete and integrated. Blizzard titles have historically relied more on creative artwork than beefy hardware to express their games and, in this article, we find out exactly how wide of a range of mobile GPUs Diablo III can reliably support. Let's begin!

Graphics

technologically old, but high artistic level
technologically old, but high artistic level

Assuming that you have logged in, you'll be greeted to a dark yet welcoming atmosphere reminiscent to its predecessor over 10 years ago. It's not a graphics horsepower to be sure, but its distinct feel and tone both highlight the dystopian setting perfectly.

What really makes the atmosphere pop aren't the number of polygons but rather the fine attention to details, impressive lighting and the encompassing art style. Unlike the graininess of Diablo II, Diablo III appears to be a mix of watercolor and comics with a pale but more colorful range. Blizzard could have easily made the game feel look like a WoW-clone with a top-down perspective, but have genuinely found an agreeable balance to perfectly capture the Hellish setting that is so unique to the Diablo Universe.

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Benchmark

Our benchmark scene takes place in the old but familiar grounds of New Tristram as seen in the video below. The tested scene is as follows:

We directly teleport to the village market square from "The Old Ruins" where we then immediately activate FRAPS. We command our hero to follow a winding upward path and along the street. After hitting some bushes right outside of town, we turn and run back the same path to the start location of the test. The duration of the recorded scene is approximately 30 seconds long.

Settings

We utilized four different graphical settings to test each of our mobile GPUs. Our lowest settings, which should be suitable for office or entry-level notebooks, ran the game at only 1024x768 pixel resolution with everything either on Low or Off. The more standard setting of 1366x768 pixel resolution is more ideal for cheap, all-round notebooks. Multimedia or gaming notebooks will be able to play at 1080p on High or Ultra details right from the get go.

As usual, we deactivated VSync during our benchmarking tests.

Low Setting: 1024 x 768, Low / Off
Low Setting: 1024 x 768, Low / Off
Medium Setting: 1366 x 768, Medium / Low
Medium Setting: 1366 x 768, Medium / Low
High Setting: 1366 x 768, High, Anti-Aliasing on
High Setting: 1366 x 768, High, Anti-Aliasing on
Ultra Setting: 1920 x 1080, High, Anti-Aliasing on
Ultra Setting: 1920 x 1080, High, Anti-Aliasing on

It's practically a given that a Blizzard game can run on low-end hardware, but what really surprised us is the texture quality difference between the lowest and highest settings -- or should we say, the lack thereof. Unlike many other games, changing the graphics settings will actually not reduce or improve in-game textures by a significant amount. Unless if you are concentrated on looking for minute differences (which you probably shouldn't be doing considering the hordes of Evil trying to kill you), you will hardly recognize the texture quality discrepancies during the heat of battle.

Instead, altering the graphics settings will have a more profound effect on shadows and antialasing. In a game where lighting is key, the loss or reduction in shadow quality can quickly deteriorate the engaging atmosphere Diablo III has to offer. Jaggies can become apparent as well, which is especially unfortunate on characters and NPCs as they will consequently sport slanted edges and appear too polygonal for our tastes. In general though, Diablo III never looks bad regardless of the settings and has definitely surprised us in terms of visual fidelity on lower-end settings.

Low Setting
Low Setting
Medium Setting
Medium Setting
High / Ultra Setting
High / Ultra Setting
Low Setting
Low Setting
Medium Setting
Medium Setting
High / Ultra Setting
High / Ultra Setting

Results

If case if you haven't figured out the good news yet, your trip back to Hell isn't going to require luxury notebook hardware. If you have reserved settings and resolution demands, Diablo III can be played even on Intel's last generation HD Graphics 3000 in low details.

However, we still recommend using a discrete GPU to experience the Blizzard title at its fullest. A graphics card on par with the entry-mainstream GeForce GT 630M will be able to play on medium to high details without a problem. A typical upper mid-range mobile GPU like the GeForce GT 640M can run the game at maximum settings.

Note: Regardless of the computer you might experiences stuttering. The frame rate depends on game mode and number of opponents and our test scenario is not very demanding.

Benchmark table Diablo III
Benchmark table Diablo III

Test Systems

Many thanks to Schenker notebooks, who kindly provided us with the following laptops:

  • XMG P501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GTX 560M, GTX 580M, Radeon HD 6970M & HD 6990M, 8 GB RAM)
  • XMG A501 (Core i7-2630QM, HD Graphics 3000 & GeForce GT 555M, 8 GB RAM)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M, 4 GB RAM)
Von links nach rechts: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501
Von links nach rechts: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501

Please find a list with further Diablo III benchmarks below.

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
 Diablo III (2012)
low
1024x768
Low / off
med.
1366x768
Medium / low
high
1366x768
High
on AA
ultra
1920x1080
High
on AA
 45AMD Radeon R9 290X
260
 52NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
184
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
316.9
284.7
269.2
225
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
216
200
200
188
 63AMD Radeon HD 7970
213
190.8
188.9
191.4
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
193
125
117
84
 79NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
312.8
250.8
246.1
217.7
 81NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
232.1
199.8
206.3
186.12
 87AMD Radeon HD 7870
277.6
228.9
226.2
163.4
 88NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
281.6
245.4
154.2
 90NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
178
116
103
75
 92AMD Radeon HD 8970M
244.8
206.5
182.7
115.8
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
186.5
168.5
184.752
157.254
 101AMD Radeon HD 7970M
243.1
210.6
128.2
94.13
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
292.8
224
201.9
121.3
 114NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
143
123
120.2
81.2
 121NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
224.2
200.1
196
141.3
 123NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
307.922
221.672
189.12
105.242
 129NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
194.6
176
109.9
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 132NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
278.2
205.7
165.6
102.9
 135NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
149
103
91
61
 141AMD Radeon HD 6870
280
227
201
127
 142NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
241
174
110
80
 144NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
216.4
204.82
180.62
111.73
 152ATI Radeon HD 5850
248.3
181.6
121.2
91.4
 153NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
212.2
161.4
102.3
73.91
 154NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M
191.2
156.9
99.7
70.9
 155AMD Radeon HD 6990M
210.2
145
97.1
73
 159AMD Radeon HD 7770
212.9
155.1
129.6
86.3
 160NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
241.4
197
178.4
106.7
 169AMD Radeon R9 M370X
190.3
106.6
98.4
69.2
 170NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
236.3
165.4
144
89.5
 172NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
168
152
94
 174NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
185
133
833
593
 178AMD Radeon HD 6970M
193.4
132.1
89.4
64.6
 180AMD Radeon HD 8870M
132.9
96.2
85.4
54.2
 193NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
179.7
99.9
109.73
673
 195AMD Radeon HD 8850M
111.6
77.152
67.42
43.752
 197AMD Radeon R9 M265X
95.1
81.42
50.92
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 200AMD Radeon HD 8790M
97
70
61
37
 207NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
145.42
113.22
102.62
66.62
 211NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
125.6
86.62
75.12
46.152
 214NVIDIA GeForce 940M
155.4
106.2
89.1
53.8
 222NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
164.37
1057
869
58.19
 224NVIDIA GeForce 840M
62.052
36.052
31.452
17.72
 226NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
156.262
111.472
94.962
58.942
 228NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
172.3
99.9
61.3
44.2
 229*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
70
54.6
45.5
41.3
 230AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
40.5
 231Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
133.8
86.2
75
46
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
94.73
723
67.43
46.22
 234*AMD Radeon 530
85.7
61.7
53.4
 235NVIDIA GeForce 930M
138.4
93.1
73.3
44.9
 237*Intel Iris Graphics 550
132.7
106.7
96.1
61.5
 238NVIDIA GeForce 830M
115.12
72.952
58.82
37.82
 240*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
122.8
79.3
64.7
39.1
 243Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
35.2
 244Intel Iris Graphics 540
57
 247NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
192
125
112
66
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 249NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
104.5
71.652
62.952
38.2
 260AMD Radeon R7 M260X
101.9
68
57.5
37.5
 263NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
132.163
91.363
83.484
49.413
 264NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
139.7
91.82
81.252
49.8
 267AMD Radeon HD 8750M
83.24
57.74
49.44
30.83
 269AMD Radeon R7 M270
94.5
62.1
51
31.4
 270AMD Radeon R7 M265
84.732
55.172
46.752
29.532
 274NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
1193
75.54
67.14
42.72
 275AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
59.8
42.2
36.6
 277*AMD Radeon R7 M460
92.2
60.5
50.7
29.9
 278AMD Radeon HD 7730M
51
44
27
 280AMD Radeon R7 M360
70
52.5
41.4
29.8
 282*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
51.1
38.8
32.3
20.2
 283NVIDIA GeForce 920M
110.752
70.952
57.52
36.652
 285AMD Radeon HD 8690M
70.3
50.6
40.1
29.1
 287AMD Radeon R7 M440
58.7
52
45.7
27.8
 293AMD Radeon R7 M340
92
67.4
54.4
33.5
 294AMD Radeon 520
65.9
41.5
33.7
21.6
 297Intel HD Graphics 630
77.3
54.6
46.3
27.7
 299Intel HD Graphics 530
106.7
71.7
60
35.3
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 302AMD Radeon R7 M260
86.7
61.2
48.9
29.2
 303AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
50.7
36.6
32.9
23.6
 304AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
59.6
41.8
33.6
 305*Intel UHD Graphics 620
40
27.4
 306*Intel HD Graphics 620
105.9
72.2
47.052
33.22
 307AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
49.8
35.1
32.2
23.5
 315AMD Radeon HD 8670D
115
76
62
41
 318NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
98.6
65.3
57.7
42.5
 319AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
54.8
37.1
31.4
20.7
 321AMD Radeon HD 8730M
78
56
51
 323NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
98.9
65.5
57.6
 324NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
119.4
61.2
39.1
27.7
 344AMD Radeon HD 8670M
52
36
29
17
 346AMD Radeon HD 7660D
53
35
 364AMD Radeon HD 8650G
72.452
49.052
42.22
26.1
 368AMD Radeon HD 7670M
61.1
44.6
38.2
 369NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
92.514
66.2516
4617
2312
 372AMD Radeon R5 M335
66.7
41.8
32.4
20.4
 373AMD Radeon R5 M330
70.3
44.4
35.1
 374AMD Radeon R5 M430
66.1
42.3
34.2
21.4
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 375AMD Radeon R5 M255
64.3
51.6
 377NVIDIA GeForce 910M
52.8
48.6
45.5
30.6
 378NVIDIA GeForce 820M
95
66.72
55.92
33.92
 379Intel HD Graphics 520
81.22
52.852
43.32
25.752
 380Intel Iris Graphics 6100
73.8
54.6
44.8
29.2
 381NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
99.1
69.7
56.7
31.8
 383AMD Radeon R5 M240
52
41
33
 385AMD Radeon R5 M230
64.552
40.052
292
16.852
 392Intel HD Graphics 6000
68
39
31
24
 394AMD Radeon HD 8550M
59.5
44.9
34.4
 395Intel Iris Graphics 5100
67.6
44.9
36.4
25.6
 397*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
40.3
25.2
19.6
12.2
 400Intel HD Graphics 4600
72.95
465
38.85
245
 402Intel HD Graphics 5500
53.44
35.24
28.24
17.14
 407*Intel HD Graphics 615
55.8
36.3
30.1
17.8
 409AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
41.8
27.3
21.8
 412NVIDIA GeForce 710M
84.8
60.7
52.9
 413AMD Radeon HD 7660G
66.52
432
33.752
20
 416Intel HD Graphics 5000
583
402
31.52
193
 424AMD Radeon HD 7650M
76.3
51.1
43.2
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 426AMD Radeon HD 7570M
56.456
344
283
233
 429ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
79.7
52.9
44.5
27.2
 435NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M
84.156
50.656
39.556
21.12
 439AMD Radeon HD 7610M
64
44
38
24
 441AMD Radeon HD 8470D
79
50
42
27
 442AMD Radeon HD 7640G
42.7
9.5
 448Intel HD Graphics 515
61.9
41.8
35.1
20.5
 449Intel HD Graphics 4400
4821
36.120
29.619
1412
 450*Intel HD Graphics 610
39.4
25.8
22.4
 454AMD Radeon HD 7550M
58.1
38.1
30.6
 462AMD Radeon HD 7600G
32.852
222
18.952
 480Intel HD Graphics 5300
28.53
21.33
183
15.32
 482*Intel HD Graphics 505
30.1
19.6
17
 490AMD Radeon HD 7480D
58
37
32
20
 491Intel HD Graphics 4000
46.3544
2642
2141
13.614
 494AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
44.8
31.9
27.7
 495*AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
29.1
19.6
15.8
10.8
 496*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
38.4
24.9
19.7
 498*Intel HD Graphics 500
12.7
 500AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
44.7
30.1
23.1
14.2
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 501AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
39.9
26.2
21
13.6
 502AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
28.5
17.8
15.9
 503Intel HD Graphics 4200
35.62
22.552
17.952
9.8
 505AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
70
45
37
23
 509AMD Radeon HD 7500G
40
27
21
 512AMD Radeon HD 8450G
38.9
30.6
24.7
 516AMD Radeon HD 8400
37.552
24.82
20.62
13.4
 519AMD Radeon HD 7520G
55.5
38.5
33.4
 529AMD Radeon HD 8330
33.23
22.43
19.23
12
 532AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
38.252
25.42
20.32
 550Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
32
19.1
14.4
 551Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
25.5
16.7
13.2
 556AMD Radeon HD 7420G
40.852
25.22
17.22
 561Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
36.9
23
19.5
 574AMD Radeon HD 7400G
34
23
19
 581Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
28.12
17.52
 583AMD Radeon HD 8280
31.1
19.8
16
 592AMD Radeon HD 8240
28
18.6
 593AMD Radeon HD 8250
26.1
16.4
13.8
 597*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
22.5
Pos      Model                                     Diablo III
lowmed.highultra
 600Intel HD Graphics 3000
31.39
178
10.78
11.652
 603NVIDIA GeForce G210M
38
25
21
13
 618AMD Radeon HD 8210
21.13
143
11.052
 622Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
29.2
17.5
14.6
 648Intel HD Graphics 2000
24.1
 656*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
23.052
12.952
9.42
7.952
 662Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
15.67
10.35
8.752
5.452
 666AMD Radeon HD 7340
29.2
19.8
 667*AMD Radeon HD 6320
22.8
 670AMD Radeon HD 8180
16.53
11.2
 689Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) HD Graphics
20
12
10
 715Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
-1
 779PowerVR SGX545
3.252
* 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 > Diablo III Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2012-05-19 (Update: 2013-06- 6)