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Dirt Showdown Benchmarked

Florian Glaser, 05/26/2012

Dirtier than ever. With Dirt Showdown the race game expert Codemasters follows in the footsteps of the action-packed Flatout series. Traditional rallies are passé for now. The developer focuses on flashy demolition derbies. Find out if the track also pushes mobile graphics cards to their limits.

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Dirt Showdown (Artwork: Codemasters)

In the past, particular focus was placed on the rally aspect in the Dirt series. Thanks to the successful mixture of arcade and simulation not only action fans (Need for Speed, Burnout, etc.), but also fans of authenticity were fairly satisfied. Besides the car model and track design, especially the atmosphere and technology convinced.

Graphics

First-rate technology
First-rate technology

The same is true for the latest version. The screenshots show that Dirt Showdown offers outstanding graphics. Few rivals can present such clear textures, authentic reflections and fine shadows. The coherent light impressed us most – depending on the time of day, the levels shine in a different light. Sometimes you would just simply like to dive into the screen. The bundle is finished off with fastidious details such as cheering spectators.

Beyond that, the developer earns praise for the stylish menus that again make a quite complex impression, but whose design fits perfectly to the "destruction" motto.

The hardware requirements have increased a bit compared with Dirt 3. The latest episode occasionally runs noticeably slower when using the same hardware and settings.

Benchmarks

Cool menus
Cool menus

We use the limited demo version for our benchmarks that can be downloaded for free via the online platform Steam. Under "Showdown Tour" "Spy+ Pro" you will discover the 8-ball race that takes place in sunny San Francisco (8 ball refers to the layout).

We wait for booting and the intro video to finish and start recording with the tool Fraps when the user interface (position, health, etc.) appears. The benchmark is stopped on the finish line after exactly one round.

Settings

The graphics options are found in a clearly arranged menu. In addition to resolution, anti-aliasing (Codemasters relies on MSAA) and the screen mode, you can also modify the refresh rate and aspect ratio. To prevent annoying time lapses, VSync should also be enabled (the benchmarks were performed without VSync because of the fps limit). The detail level can be set automatically, manually or via five presets.

Great: Dirt Showdown accepts all modifications directly in a running game. Therefore, unlike other games, there is no need to restart or stop the race when altering the settings. Here are our four test settings:

Ultra setting: 1920 x 1080, ultra preset, 4x MSAA
Ultra setting: 1920 x 1080, ultra preset, 4x MSAA
High setting: 1366 x768, high preset, 2x MSAA
High setting: 1366 x768, high preset, 2x MSAA
Medium setting: 1366 x 768, medium preset
Medium setting: 1366 x 768, medium preset
Low setting: 1024 x 768, ultra low preset
Low setting: 1024 x 768, ultra low preset

As expected, the ultra and high presets do not differ much. With the exception of the coarser shadow (compare picture I and II), you cannot see any significant deviation even when looking closely. Texture quality, illumination and reflections are on a high standard.

Medium settings also look good. However, some objects at the sides (note the spectators in the third picture) do not cast a shadow. There are virtually no shadows or reflections in minimum graphics settings. The absence of spectators also has a negative impact on the atmosphere (picture IV).

Ultra
Ultra
High
High
Medium
Medium
Ultra Low
Ultra Low

Results

If you want to enjoy Dirt Showdown in its full beauty, you will have to fall back on a notebook with a high-end graphics card. Ultra details, 1920x1080 pixels and four-time anti-aliasing, are only properly displayed on a top model, such as the Radeon HD 6990M or GeForce GTX 675M. At least an upper midrange member (e.g. GeForce GT 640M) should be installed in the notebook for high details and two-time anti-aliasing.

Typical multimedia graphics cards on the level of a GeForce GT 630M can only display the medium preset smoothly in higher resolutions. In the meantime, minimum settings are also properly processed by integrated GPUs, such as the HD Graphics 3000 (only applies for low resolutions).

If we rule out the ultra preset, the processor has a surprising amount of impact in Dirt Showdown. Our benchmark chart shows that notebooks with a weaker graphics card frequently overtake notebooks with a stronger GPU model – depending on the installed CPU.

Benchmark chart: Dirt Showdown
Benchmark chart: Dirt Showdown

Test Systems

Parts of the results originate from Schenker Notebooks (mysn.de):

  • 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)

Many thanks for the great support!

From left to right: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501
From left to right: Schenker XMG A501, Xesia M501 & XMG P501

In following, a list of all performed benchmarks:

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Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
 Dirt Showdown (2012)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4xMSAA
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
102
77
75
75
 69AMD Radeon HD 7970
87.3
73.1
69.2
61.2
 83NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
103.1
95.1
90.5
77.9
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
90.9
72.9
71.7
62.1
 89NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
112.9
87.8
88
663
 94AMD Radeon HD 7870
87.3
71.2
68.8
53.9
 95NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
98.1
90.6
65.9
 99AMD Radeon HD 8970M
115.1
85.3
59.252
44.62
 105NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
101.1
81.3
75.52
53.43
 109AMD Radeon HD 7970M
97.7
81.1
78.3
48.73
 128NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
109.9
85.3
84.9
45.2
 131NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
96.9
91.6
48.4
 137NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
80.3
84.5
39.4
 143NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
61.9
39
 150AMD Radeon HD 6870
42
 153NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
122
90.452
81.63
33.63
 161ATI Radeon HD 5850
85.8
75.6
74.4
42.7
 162NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
115.61
93.01
82.7
34.02
 163NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M
79.6
62.6
61.4
34.3
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 164AMD Radeon HD 6990M
81.4
62.7
60.1
35.7
 168AMD Radeon HD 7770
94
71
67.9
33.2
 169NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M SLI
104.7
74.052
51.352
19.22
 179NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
93.7
73.3
76.12
31.62
 181NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
81.352
55.252
50.92
30.1
 183NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
101
77
73.22
29.42
 187AMD Radeon HD 6970M
76.6
64.2
59.5
30.3
 189AMD Radeon HD 8870M
72.92
47.22
37.42
24.52
 201NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
74.3
62.5
57.8
25.8
 202NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
81.552
65.82
50.74
23.43
 204AMD Radeon HD 8850M
70
46.7
31.9
 206AMD Radeon R9 M265X
92.9
74.5
68.9
21.8
 209AMD Radeon HD 8790M
82
47
27
19
 216NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
108.2
81.8
59
21.2
 231NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
917
61.058
53.911
18.1510
 236NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
90.652
69.72
51.32
19.7
 238NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M
67.8
63
60.5
23
 243NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
64.35
48.85
32.95
17.93
 258NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
57.5
40.9
14.8
 272NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
51
32.4
19.7
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 273NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M
74.62
53.63
39.63
17.2
 276AMD Radeon HD 8750M
71.3
44.3
35.1
15.9
 283NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
753
43.83
393
15.62
 288AMD Radeon HD 7730M
74
45
33
15
 327NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE
73.8
55.1
36.1
13.4
 330AMD Radeon HD 8730M
55.2
37.5
33
14.8
 333NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
66.6
61.4
37.1
12.9
 353AMD Radeon HD 8670M
62
35
22
9
 377AMD Radeon HD 7670M
60.354
41.14
29.64
11.92
 378NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
76.65
49.156
30.556
123
 387NVIDIA GeForce 820M
48
31.6
27.6
 391NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
38
31.6
22
 402AMD Radeon HD 8570M
59.4
29.4
13.6
7
 403Intel HD Graphics 6000
57
36
23
10
 405AMD Radeon HD 8550M
16.5
11.5
10.4
 411Intel HD Graphics 4600
49.9
26.6
 413Intel HD Graphics 5500
51.4
30
21.9
 426AMD Radeon HD 7660G
41
27
25
9.9
 437AMD Radeon HD 7650M
58.8
38
32.9
 439AMD Radeon HD 7570M
57
38
16
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 442ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650
55.2
40.2
30.3
10.4
 448NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M
48.552
33.12
25.32
 455AMD Radeon HD 7640G
30.2
 462Intel HD Graphics 4400
41.052
24.82
17
5
 467AMD Radeon HD 7550M
65.4
39.6
25.9
 504Intel HD Graphics 4000
52.656
27.86
17.25
65
 513AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
29.2
21.1
16.4
 514AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
31.2
21.3
17
 516Intel HD Graphics 4200
34.5
18.9
12.6
4.9
 518AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
742
32.52
222
6.52
 525AMD Radeon HD 8450G
25
14.7
 532AMD Radeon HD 7520G
27.3
15.7
13.3
 542AMD Radeon HD 8330
27.7
20.7
16.2
 575Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
31
18.8
11.7
 608AMD Radeon HD 8250
15.9
12.6
11.5
 614Intel HD Graphics 3000
31.15
17.25
9.55
 617NVIDIA GeForce G210M
32
20
10
 636Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
35.652
13.352
 670*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
27
13.4
8.6
5
 677Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
28
Pos      Model                                     Dirt Showdown
lowmed.highultra
 731Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
9
* 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 Showdown Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2012-05-26 (Update: 2013-09-12)