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GRID 2 Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 06/13/2013

Brilliant speeder. Apart from DiRT and F1, GRID is one of the most important franchises from Codemasters. The second release not only promises more racing action, but also a better look. We squeezed ourselves into the luxury cars and determined the hardware requirements of the game.

GRID 2 Logo

Description

For the original German article, see here.

In the first hour of gaming, GRID 2 looks superb. The quick start and the successful (though not always unerring) commentator draw you directly into the race.

The story of GRID 2 is not really innovative: A certain mister Callahan wants to start a global racing series called WSR (World Series Racing) and needs our help. What sounds like a career at the beginning, quickly turns out to be a dull alibi story. As with most games of the same genre, you finally only drive one race after the other.

Although the developer tried to diversely design courses and landscapes (forest, city, etc.), we feel that there are too few environments. Because of all the subcategories the menus are also not perfect.

GRID 2 did not make any striking mistakes in technology or game design. Control is easy after you got used to the somewhat unusual drifting.

The driving behavior (game tested with medium difficulty) decently balances requirements and uncomplicated race fun once again. Fans of the rather undemanding Need for Speed series must be careful in GRID 2. If you are too fast in turns, you will quickly leave the course.

By the way, car body damage looks fascinating: In addition to bumps and scuffs, you can see car parts fly around.

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In general, GRID 2 scores points with a moody atmosphere. You'll discover nice details like wobbling exhaust pipes, streaming panels of fabric, or cheering guests. In some courses you'll even see helicopters and trains. Away from exciting events,  there is not much going on. Our garage, in which we repaint cars and accept sponsorship contracts, looks a little bit monotonous in the long run.

The same applies to the race modes. Although GRID 2 brings many surprises, e.g. Overtake (we have to overtake trucks to increase our bonus), it is mostly just about moving from A to B as quickly as possible and beating as many opponents as possible.

Thanks to the aggressive opponents, the events are still far from boring. Great: In contrast to other race games, the AI does not behave as much like a rubber band.

On request, larger driving errors are corrected by rewind. It's up to the gamer whether this feature is a welcome help or destroys the balance.

You can hardly criticize the graphics of the game. Although several textures could be sharper, GRID 2 looks top-notch. In particular the effects (sun, reflections, smoke, sparks, etc.) are high-end.

The sound of the game is also convincing.  No matter whether you are driving over curbs, going past spectators, accelerating fully, or braking hard, the sound is appealing. Discreet music provides for relaxation between the races. 

Benchmark

Like F1 2012, GRID 2 also features an integrated benchmark, which can be executed via its main menu (Options & Extras, Options, Graphics Options, Graphics Benchmark). The self running sequence takes about 2 minutes and simulates a densely populated city course, which demands a lot from the (notebook) hardware. At the end, the benchmark displays the minimum, the maximum and the average frame rate. We store the latter in our database. For a fairly decent gaming experience, the system should achieve above 35 fps. The game tends to stutter if the frame rate is lower.

Graphics options

The graphics menu appears to be sophisticated. Apart from many individual settings under Quality - Advanced, Codemasters implemented several presets (Choose Preset), which allow you to quickly adjust the graphics quality to your hardware.

The Video Mode menu provides further settings. It allows the gamer to adjust resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate and gamma as well as vertical sync and anti-aliasing (CSAA, MSAA or EQAA). Best of all: All changes are applied "on the fly", i.e. without restarting the game.

Ultra Low Preset
Ultra Low Preset
Medium Preset
Medium Preset
High Preset
High Preset
Ultra Preset
Ultra Preset

Results

Unless you select the highest level of detail, GRID 2 is relatively undemanding. In lower resolutions even integrated graphics chips like the HD Graphics 3000 (Ultra Low) or the HD Graphics 4000 (Medium) achieve decent results.

If you want to run GRID 2 with 1600x900 pixels, high details and 2x anti-aliasing, you'll require a mid-range graphics card (e.g. the GeForce GT 650M). You'll need a high-end model like the GeForce GTX 675MX or faster for 1920x1080 pixels, ultra-preset and 4x anti-aliasing.

Benchmark table: GRID 2

We briefly want to mention a few things we noticed during the test:

• The lower the graphics settings, the higher the influence of the CPU. As the benchmark sequence varies (not all runs are 100% identical), supposedly weaker graphics cards can range in front of their more expensive siblings.

• AMD has a clear advantage in GRID 2, which gets particularly apparent with the Radeon HD 7770. The desktop graphics card would actually be expected to be slower than the GeForce GTX 675M. A further example: The Radeon HD 7970 is significantly faster than the GeForce GTX 680

• When using the beta driver 13.6 you can sometimes observe image errors (flickering smoke) on AMD systems.

• The Radeon HD 7970M again suffers from the Enduro technology, which decreases the performance to some extent, with moderate settings.

• With Medium to Ultra Low settings Nvidia's current Kepler generation (GTX 660MGTX 670MXGTX 675MXGTX 680M, etc.) is slower than the older Fermi architecture (GTX 670MGTX 675M, etc.).

• The huge performance difference between Ultra and High is disproportionate to the visual improvements.

• Apparently, the integrated benchmark cannot measure frame rates below 12.5 fps.

Verdict

Without doubt GRID 2 is a good representative of its genre. You can tell from the first second that the developers know their craft. Codemasters delivers a high-end product in terms of technology and game. After a dozen years with DiRT and F1, a certain routine has developed. The game lacks new ideas which would have made it outstanding. So, GRID 2 is not really a must-buy, but race game enthusiasts will still enjoy driving fast.

Test systems

Our three most important test devices stem from Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670M(X), GTX 675M(X), GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • XMG A502 (Core i5-3360M, GeForce GT 650M)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000)
  • each of them: 8 GB DDR3-RAM (2x 4096 MB @ 1.600 MHz), 160 GB SSD (Intel 320 Series)  & Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Used GPU driver: Nvidia 320.18, AMD 13.6 Beta & Intel 9.17.10.3062 or 9.18.10.3071.

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

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
 GRID 2 (2013)
low
1024x768
Ultra Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1366x768
High Preset
2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
4xMSAA
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
210.4
159
148.9
129.9
 36NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
210.8
152.8
143.3
116.7
 54AMD Radeon R9 280X
196.2
140.7
129
97.2
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
148
110
102
76
 63AMD Radeon HD 7970
206.5
141.7
130.4
84.5
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
1503
111.83
101.43
75.13
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
145.13
107.13
98.23
76.23
 80NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
167.9
119.8
111.7
70.2
 81NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
205.9
161.2
150.2
79.5
 82NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
159
120.9
117.4
692
 88NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
117.1
109.9
64.9
 90NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
142.752
106.62
69.83
63.63
 91AMD Radeon R9 M290X
129.5
90
86
60.3
 92AMD Radeon HD 8970M
146.7
97.9
92.6
502
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
143.7
110.7
102.2
48.2
 102AMD Radeon HD 7970M
127.7
90
82.3
58.7
 107NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
191.9
152.3
144
54.1
 121NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
176.63
1323
1153
34.33
 123NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
134.82
105.152
98.94
46.34
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 129NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
145.4
111.1
103.6
37.2
 135NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
111.32
85.552
79.53
36.83
 144NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
1443
105.484
94.456
24.216
 153NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
172.4
125.4
106
28.9
 159AMD Radeon HD 7770
201.4
137.8
106.1
36.9
 170NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
146.5
111.3
101.7
28.7
 172NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
149.5
95.6
94.652
31.4
 174NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
174
128.8
94.6
23.6
 180AMD Radeon HD 8870M
63
58.4
26.7
 191AMD Radeon R7 250
203.3
123.6
79
24.8
 192NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
107.4
87.1
25.6
 193NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
147
112.5
87.7
23.1
 195AMD Radeon HD 8850M
52.9
45.9
14.7
 200AMD Radeon HD 8790M
110
85
59
19
 207NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
128.952
793
58.63
183
 211NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
123.452
85.12
58.32
20.42
 222NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
113.8
82.1
59.7
18.9
 225NVIDIA GeForce 840M
103.43
77.413
62.73
20.273
 227NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
79.1
57
46.9
13.5
 231AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
92.3
66.6
53.2
19
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 232Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
116.2
61.7
42.5
15.3
 234NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
1123
61.43
45.83
16.97
 239NVIDIA GeForce 830M
100.7
69.8
49.8
15.9
 249NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
60.62
44.552
12.82
 251NVIDIA GeForce 825M
70.8
49.5
13.4
 263NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
98.22
642
45.652
13.7
 267AMD Radeon HD 8750M
80.42
54.952
46.152
15.5
 270AMD Radeon R7 M265
53.7
39.1
15.6
 274NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
98.552
702
49.42
15.32
 276AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
61.9
34.6
28
12.5
 285AMD Radeon HD 8690M
101
52.3
35.6
18.9
 293AMD Radeon R7 M260
52.7
32.4
27.8
13.4
 305Intel HD Graphics 620
79.7
46.4
33.7
12.5
 314AMD Radeon HD 8670D
114.1
67
47.2
15.7
 318AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
49.5
27.1
20.7
12.5
 338AMD Radeon HD 8570D
106.4
60.1
40.3
12.8
 343AMD Radeon HD 8670M
50
29.9
21.7
 345AMD Radeon HD 7660D
100.3
61.9
44.4
14.7
 363AMD Radeon HD 8650G
66.452
45.52
34.12
12.5
 368NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
93.4
47.4
32.2
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 369AMD Radeon HD 7560D
93
56.7
38.4
12.5
 377NVIDIA GeForce 820M
82.1
51.42
34.752
12.5
 380NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
94.22
48.352
32.752
12.5
 383AMD Radeon R5 M240
49.7
32
27.6
 385AMD Radeon R5 M230
68.6
49.7
32.6
 395Intel Iris Graphics 5100
63.2
34.8
23.2
12.5
 397*AMD Radeon HD 8610G
41.5
23.2
17.3
 400Intel HD Graphics 4600
56.45
29.85
22.75
12.5
 402Intel HD Graphics 5500
47.23
25.93
19.43
12.53
 409AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
47.6
26.2
19.3
 412NVIDIA GeForce 710M
91.172
53.12
27.452
 413AMD Radeon HD 7660G
74
47
34
12.5
 416Intel HD Graphics 5000
58.6
31.3
22.7
12.5
 432AMD Radeon HD 8550G
47
34
28.8
12.5
 439AMD Radeon HD 7610M
89
44
30
13
 441AMD Radeon HD 8470D
62.6
37.7
28.8
12.5
 449Intel HD Graphics 4400
407
247
16.426
12.752
 480Intel HD Graphics 5300
41
21.34
15
 490AMD Radeon HD 7480D
34.4
25.7
18
 491Intel HD Graphics 4000
72.6
37.8
20.2
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 499AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
42.4
23.8
18.7
 500AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
41.7
23.2
17.8
 501AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
27.6
14.4
12.5
 502AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
39.5
20.7
12.6
 503Intel HD Graphics 4200
51.1
25.7
17.9
 505AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
69.7
35
23.3
12.5
 512AMD Radeon HD 8450G
34.23
22.73
21.252
12.5
 516AMD Radeon HD 8400
41
22.4
 529AMD Radeon HD 8330
42.22
222
15.32
 531Intel HD Graphics 500
29.3
14.4
 552Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
19.2
12.6
12.5
 557AMD Radeon HD 7420G
28.9
17.2
 562Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
38.252
19.12
13.2
 583Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
24
13.5
 585AMD Radeon HD 8280
28.9
19.9
13.6
 593AMD Radeon HD 8240
18.7
12.6
 601Intel HD Graphics 3000
39.9
24.4
14.9
 604NVIDIA GeForce G210M
30
18.3
 619AMD Radeon HD 8210
12.6
 623Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge)
27.54
12.84
12.5
Pos      Model                                     GRID 2
lowmed.highultra
 657*Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge)
29
16
 663Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
17.95
12.552
 671AMD Radeon HD 8180
12.5
* 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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Florian Glaser, 2013-06-13 (Update: 2013-06-13)