Notebookcheck

Dirt Rally Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 06/02/2015

Purist. In the past few years, Codemasters has developed an arcade-oriented, racing game. Now with “Dirt Rally”, they have decided to return to the old Colin McRae roots. We ran the "Early-Access" game to check its hardware requirements.

Dirt Rally Logo

For the original German article, see here.

Game Engine

Dirt Rally” uses the fourth phase of the EGO engine. The predecessor of this engine can be found in games like “Grid 2”, “Grid Autosport” and “F1 2013/2014” - all of which are made by Codemasters. Although the engine offers decent/good visuals, it looks a little outdated. The cars have glossy reflections and amazing details (inside and outside), but the race tracks are no longer up-to-date. The lighting is not great (depending on the time of day, the scene may appear pale and garish, similar to “Watch Dogs”) and the textures can be poor from time to time. We particularly dislike the ground graphics, which should be far better, considering this is the year 2015. Tessellation should add more structure and details here. Furthermore, the tracks left behind by the car seem to be 2D textures.

Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally

On the other hand, “Dirt Rally” offers great draw-distance and pretty panoramas, which look truly amazing in the race replays. Codemasters have done a great job with the vegetation as well: the lush grass, bushes and trees are rare in racing games. Compared with the “F1” series, “Dirt Rally” offers a much better atmosphere. We would also like to point out the smaller details on each track, such as houses, parked cars or the spectators (very polygonal). The particle and smoke effects during races are a nice touch.

Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally

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We love the damage system of the game. The car has to be smashed hard against objects to leave large marks, but smaller effects, like scratches and dirt, are easy to see. Depending on the race track, the visual car damage particles change: dirt, rain, mud and snow are all found in the game.

Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally

This brings us to our next topic: the tracks. There is a lot of variation in the looks and the architecture of the different race tracks. The demanding driving experience reminds us of Colin McRae and turns each track into a challenge. For example, cutting the corner too close will shoot the car over the border, into the trees. Codemasters has optimized the driving experience and the interface. The menus are far more intuitive now. Overall, although we find the engine to be above average, we think it is time for a new one.eack Other racing games (for example, “Need for Speed Rivals”) have far better graphics.

Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally

However, the gameplay is extremely fun. As mentioned before, “Dirty Rally” separates itself from the mass of Arcade racing games (like “The Crew”) with its demanding driving experience. If you are not looking for a story, but rather want to enjoy a classic racing game, then “Dirt Rally” is the right game for you. Currently, the game is available for 30 Euros (~$33) on Steam. Despite being an "Early-Access" version, we did not notice any bugs. In fact, the old "Codemasters Bug" (game would not run properly in full screen mode), occurred on only one notebook (Schenker XMG A505).

Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally

The studio deserves praise for its extensive settings. We are familiar with the advanced settings from “Grid” and “F1”, which hide many tweaks. Furthermore, the menu includes 5 presets and various options for the resolution, picture and additional display settings (frequency, gamma, vertical synchronization). Anti-aliasing is available in various modes, like CMAA and MSAA. All settings are applied immediately, without requiring a restart.

Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally
Dirt Rally

Benchmark

Thanks to the in-built, 3-minute benchmark; “Dirt Rally” is well suited for performance measurements. Overall, every test notebook performed at the level we expected. Since “Dirt Rally” belongs to the Gaming Evolved program, AMD systems can perform quite well, as can be seen in the comparison of the GeForce GTX 980 to the Radeon R9 290X (the latter lags further behind in other games). At very low settings, the CPU may be a bottleneck, but at higher settings, the GPU is the limiting factor. Considering the demanding driving experience, we believe having a constant frame rate of 35-40 fps (or higher) is important. Note: the benchmark does not go under 12.5 fps.

Results

First the good news: as long as your system supports DirectX 11 and has a dual-core processor with 4 GB of RAM, you can probably run “Dirt Rally”. Therefore, it does not matter if it is a lower-end multimedia notebook or an office laptop. The bad news: at low settings, the game is anything but pretty: blurry textures, poor 2D bitmap trees and missing shadows/reflections. Thankfully, “Dirt Rally” runs smoothly on low-end GPUs like the Intel HD Graphics 4000 or 4600 IGPs. Middle-class GPUs, like the GeForce GT 740M, are strong enough to run the game at 1366x768 pixels and the medium preset.

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

High details and the FHD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) require a more powerful gaming GPU, like the GeForce GTX 850M. For maximum settings and 4x MSAA, a high-end GPU, like the GeForce GTX 870M or higher, is necessary. Thankfully, the system requirements are not as extreme as most other games (see “The Witcher 3” or “GTA V”), which means that high-end gaming notebooks can run the game at 4K (3840x2160 pixels). High details without Anti-Aliasing will run smoothly on a GeForce GTX 880M. Overall, considering the benchmark results, we believe the hardware requirements are appropriate for the graphics quality.

Dirt Rally
    3840x2160 High Preset     1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS     1920x1080 High Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1024x768 Ultra Low Preset
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
84 (min: 68) fps ∼52%
96.4 (min: 85) fps ∼57%
132.1 (min: 100) fps ∼72%
163.8 (min: 118) fps ∼75%
419.4 (min: 306) fps ∼81%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
75.2 (min: 64) fps ∼46%
97.4 (min: 78) fps ∼58%
137 (min: 106) fps ∼75%
163 (min: 126) fps ∼75%
441 (min: 209) fps ∼85%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
58.6 (min: 45) fps ∼36%
72 (min: 54) fps ∼43%
107.4 (min: 83) fps ∼59%
140.7 (min: 105) fps ∼64%
291.7 (min: 243) fps ∼57%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
52 (min: 42) fps ∼32%
69.5 (min: 57) fps ∼41%
109.9 (min: 90) fps ∼60%
133.5 (min: 101) fps ∼61%
403.2 (min: 284) fps ∼78%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
45.5 (min: 25) fps ∼28%
56.5 (min: 38) fps ∼34%
106.1 (min: 80) fps ∼58%
134.1 (min: 98) fps ∼61%
282 (min: 239) fps ∼55%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
41.3 (min: 34) fps ∼25%
51.6 (min: 43) fps ∼31%
102 (min: 85) fps ∼56%
134.8 (min: 98) fps ∼62%
289.8 (min: 241) fps ∼56%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
34.8 (min: 28) fps ∼21%
40.4 (min: 33) fps ∼24%
87.6 (min: 74) fps ∼48%
133.2 (min: 96) fps ∼61%
292.4 (min: 242) fps ∼57%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
22.4 (min: 18) fps ∼14%
32.9 (min: 25) fps ∼20%
73 (min: 60) fps ∼40%
126.3 (min: 96) fps ∼58%
307.4 (min: 239) fps ∼60%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
23 (min: 19) fps ∼14%
27.9 (min: 23) fps ∼17%
60.4 (min: 48) fps ∼33%
111.8 (min: 86) fps ∼51%
286.2 (min: 238) fps ∼55%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
24.1 (min: 20) fps ∼14%
57.8 (min: 48) fps ∼32%
104.1 (min: 79) fps ∼48%
227.7 (min: 192) fps ∼44%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
13.2 (min: 12) fps ∼8%
30.4 (min: 25) fps ∼17%
55.9 (min: 45) fps ∼26%
201.1 (min: 150) fps ∼39%
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
13.8 (min: 12.5) fps ∼8%
26.5 (min: 21) fps ∼14%
49 (min: 38) fps ∼22%
150 (min: 126) fps ∼29%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
12.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼7%
19.1 (min: 14) fps ∼10%
41 (min: 32) fps ∼19%
168 (min: 143) fps ∼33%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
12.5 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
22 (min: 17) fps ∼12%
41.2 (min: 34) fps ∼19%
144.6 (min: 118) fps ∼28%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
12.6 (min: 12.5) fps ∼8%
18.2 (min: 12.5) fps ∼10%
35.5 (min: 16) fps ∼16%
128 (min: 87) fps ∼25%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
12.5 fps ∼7%
16.1 fps ∼9%
32.1 fps ∼15%
120.4 fps ∼23%
AMD Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
12.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼7%
19.6 (min: 13) fps ∼11%
31.5 (min: 22) fps ∼14%
114 (min: 96) fps ∼22%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
14.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼8%
29.2 (min: 22) fps ∼13%
110 (min: 77) fps ∼21%
Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
13.5 (min: 12.5) fps ∼7%
26 (min: 20) fps ∼12%
87 (min: 68) fps ∼17%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
12.5 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
12.7 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
25.3 (min: 21) fps ∼12%
125.8 (min: 102) fps ∼24%
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
12.5 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
12.5 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
21.5 (min: 18) fps ∼10%
80.4 (min: 67) fps ∼16%
Intel HD Graphics 3000, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
0 fps ∼0%

Test Systems

Four of our test models come from Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, GTX 970M, GTX 980M)
  • A505 (Core i7-4720HQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 960M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

These notebooks have Windows 7 64-bit installed on them (Win 8.1 @XMG A505).

Three of our test models come with Nvidia:

Intel provided one model:

  • Schenker S413 (Core i7-4750HQ, 8 GB DDR3, Iris Pro Graphics 5200)

The desktop PCs use CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus and graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. The 4K monitor is an Asus PB287Q.

GPU drivers: Nvidia 352.86, AMD 15.5 Beta, Intel 10.18.14.4170

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
 Dirt Rally (2015)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4x MSAA
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
129
135
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
234
153.3
95.5
94.3
97
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
382
189
152
135
126
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
145
125
118
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
1342
1462
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
294.3
154.5
113.32
93.82
98.9
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
155
137
109
 19AMD Radeon R9 Fury
94
81
 20AMD Radeon R9 Nano
106
138
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
419.4
163.8
132.1
96.4
84
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
381.952
156.652
123.852
94.952
832
 25AMD Radeon R9 390X
353.7
134.9
107.6
93.5
71.2
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
378
207
183
106
87.7
 29AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
82
64
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
122
95.6
79
 37NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
139.3
108.7
93.652
143
 42AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
82
116
 47AMD Radeon R9 290X
441
163
137
97.4
75.2
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
396.65
148.96
121.46
75.37
60.652
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
lowmed.highultra4k
 57AMD Radeon R9 280X
403.2
133.5
109.9
69.5
52
 58AMD Radeon R9 380
363.9
135.3
100.3
60.5
45.1
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
441.4
180.3
130.9
61.3
47.1
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
93.4
65.7
57.8
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
62.1
52.7
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
275.93
127.14
100.634
58.54
45.5
 66NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
235.6
149.6
94.3
67
60
 71AMD Radeon R9 M295X
226.5
103.3
68.4
43
 74NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
76
49.8
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
223.2
117.1
88.4
53
 79AMD Radeon R7 370
341.79
153.5
88.81
49.68
 81NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
289.8
134.8
102
51.6
41.3
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
411.5
156.7
108.3
50.3
37.3
 90AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
42.4
33
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
227.13
112.33
86.23
44.23
38.9
 95NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
292.4
133.2
87.6
40.4
34.8
 97AMD Radeon HD 8970M
196
124.6
82.4
49.5
 111NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
233.75
108.65
72.696
33.158
22.43
 121NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
229.2
99.3
52.2
27
 128NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
286.2
111.8
60.4
27.9
23
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
lowmed.highultra4k
 136NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
162.8610
84.6512
46.413
22.713
 139AMD Radeon R9 M385X
124.2
53
40.7
27.1
 140NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
227.7
104.1
57.8
24.1
 143AMD Radeon R9 M280X
133
53
38.8
20.7
 149NVIDIA GeForce 945M
229
98.5
52.7
22.1
 175AMD Radeon R9 M370X
316.7
79.6
40.1
21.2
 213NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
201.1
55.9
30.4
13.2
 217NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
125.794
52.45
29.75
13.974
 219*AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
59.1
31.4
14.7
 220NVIDIA GeForce 940M
146.19
45.89
23.59
12.59
 221NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
158.552
58.372
31.052
132
 224AMD Radeon R9 M375
40.8
24.8
 227AMD Radeon R7 M370
116.8
47.6
25.6
13.4
 231NVIDIA GeForce 840M
183.2
45.1
22.6
12.5
 236*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
79
27.3
15.2
 237AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
150
49
26.5
13.8
 238Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
168
41
19.1
12.5
 240NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
144.6
41.2
22
12.5
 242NVIDIA GeForce 930M
137.4
47.852
24.452
 243*Intel Iris Graphics 550
132.9
38.8
19.1
12.5
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
lowmed.highultra4k
 245NVIDIA GeForce 830M
165.4
45.6
25.5
12.5
 248NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
170.3
44.4
22.6
 249Intel Iris Graphics 540
1493
36.83
17.23
12.52
 276AMD Radeon R7 M265
136.6
40.6
21.3
12.6
 280NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
128
35.5
18.2
12.6
 281AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
77.852
25.352
142
12.5
 282AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
106
34
19.4
12.5
 284*AMD Radeon R7 M460
108.7
36.7
17.9
12.5
 287AMD Radeon R7 M360
116.93
343
18.43
12.53
 289NVIDIA GeForce 920M
135.25
33.25
16.95
12.54
 293AMD Radeon R7 M440
93.4
36.4
18.9
12.5
 300AMD Radeon R7 M340
129.8
40
21.1
12.5
 301AMD Radeon 520
119.7
35.9
17.6
 305Intel HD Graphics 630
178.9
38.3
16.1
 307Intel HD Graphics 530
135.22
26.552
12.92
 310AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
65.3
20.6
13.1
 311Intel UHD Graphics 620
108.3
31
13.7
12.5
 312Intel HD Graphics 620
129.452
352
15.252
12.5
 313AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
85.62
24.152
13.72
12.5
 344Intel HD Graphics 5600
112.7
27.4
12.9
12.5
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
lowmed.highultra4k
 370AMD Radeon HD 8650G
114
31.5
19.6
12.5
 375NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
110
29.2
14.5
 378AMD Radeon R5 M335
114.2
29.4
15.6
12.5
 379AMD Radeon R5 M330
88.12
22.352
12.5
 380AMD Radeon R5 M430
117.3
32.5
15.9
 381AMD Radeon R5 M255
129.5
41.2
20.9
12.5
 383NVIDIA GeForce 910M
46.8
24
16.8
12.5
 386Intel HD Graphics 520
72.2514
20.5514
12.512
12.57
 387Intel Iris Graphics 6100
83.73
25.83
13.753
12.5
 388NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
120.4
32.1
16.1
12.5
 389AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
59.7
22
 391AMD Radeon R5 M240
122.7
31.1
 400Intel HD Graphics 6000
93
22.8
12.9
 403Intel Iris Graphics 5100
87
26
13.5
 408Intel HD Graphics 4600
101.752
22.82
12.62
12.52
 410Intel HD Graphics 5500
69.67
18.67
12.55
12.54
 415*Intel HD Graphics 615
71.6
16.26
 421AMD Radeon HD 7660G
89
27.3
 456Intel HD Graphics 515
61.754
15.14
12.53
12.5
 457Intel HD Graphics 4400
77.8
19.6
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
lowmed.highultra4k
 459*Intel HD Graphics 510
110.4
19.3
 488Intel HD Graphics 5300
41
12.5
 490*Intel HD Graphics 505
36.5
12.7
 498AMD Radeon HD 7480D
72
21.3
12.5
 499Intel HD Graphics 4000
72.352
18.72
12.552
12.5
 503AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
48.8
16.2
 505*Intel HD Graphics (Broadwell)
50
13.5
 507AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
39.352
16.052
 508AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
52.3
15.6
 509AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
49.7
14.8
 511Intel HD Graphics 4200
67.9
15.6
 536AMD Radeon HD 8350G
55.2
18
 537AMD Radeon HD 8330
48
13.9
 539Intel HD Graphics 500
28.5
12.5
 559Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
41.5
12.5
 560Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
27.2
7.1
 561Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
40.1
11.7
 565AMD Radeon HD 7420G
38.6
14.6
 570Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
52.4
12.8
 590*AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
48.4
15
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Rally
lowmed.highultra4k
 591Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
20.1
12.5
 627AMD Radeon HD 8210
13.1
 671Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
23.12
6.252
* 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 > Dirt Rally Notebook Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2015-06- 2 (Update: 2015-06- 2)