Mad Max Notebook Benchmarks
Brilliant. It has been four months since the Hollywood blockbuster was released and now its time for the video game. Unlike many other movie-to-game ports, Mad Max is impressive. Let us take a look at what it has to offer.
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For the original German article, see here.
Mad Max was developed by Avalanche Studios. They were also the producers of Just Cause. The game is action-packed from the third-person view. Like the movie, the game is packed with over-the-top effects, like massive explosions, which will no doubt please gamers.
This title qualifies as an Arcade game thanks to the intense fist fights, like those of Batman, and straightforward races. The available gadgets and tuning elements may be a bit demanding, but this is in no way a survival game like The Evil Within. Mad Max is not a hardcore game but is a lot of fun: There is a certain appeal to shutting off the brain for a few hours and racing at full speed through the desert. Overall, the game feels like a mix of Borderlands, Rage and the Pitch Black movie.
The PC version of Mad Max is very stable. We did not encounter any crashes or other abnormalities during our tests, but some users have complained about massive quest bugs. The engine of the game is well-designed. Although the Avalanche Engine cannot match the quality of a few other open-world games, like The Witcher 3 or Assassin's Creed Unity, it does manage a good job of putting the gamer in the world of Mad Max.
The developers deserve praise for the action and physics effects. Some should be improved, like flames, but overall the effects are very good and make the fights entertaining. Most gamers will keep playing simply due to the beautiful car explosions. The dust and smoke particles, which are created when racing through the landscape, are well done. Sadly, the texture quality of Mad Max is not great. A closer look reveals that many surfaces are blurry. Also, it cannot match the object density of GTA V or Far Cry 4.
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As shown by our benchmarks, the hardware requirements are modest. If the performance is decent, the game will run fluidly. Thanks to the comprehensive tutorial, precise controls and good mechanics, the game quickly immerses players into the environment. The speech quality is a bit poor, which makes the characters sound rather unenthusiastic in the original English audio.
The story is not the focus of this game and can be considered a side dish. Despite fantastic gameplay, Mad Max feels repetitive, as the missions are always quite similar (destroy x, find y, conquer z, etc...). In short: we would have preferred a smaller, yet more detailed world.
Avalanche Studios deserves praise for its extensive graphics menu: a total of 22 settings. Sadly we found a few problems with these settings. Problem 1: if the keyboard is used to navigate the menu, some options will have to be selected by pressing the "E" key before they can be changed. Problem 2: after confirming the changes by pressing the E key again, the user has to click on "Apply" to implement the new settings. Otherwise, the settings will revert back to the old ones. Problem 3: Mad Max sometimes reduces the Hz frequency of the resolution by itself, but this only affects the menu and will not noticeably affect the gameplay.
Furthermore, the studio has included very different settings: sometimes the settings offer levels from "Off" to "Max" and sometimes they offer "Normal" to "High". The available presets only cover medium to high settings. If you want to play at minimum or maximum settings, you have to turn every option off/on in the menu by yourself. To avoid mistakes, we chose the 3 presets available for our tests. Annoying: the integrated Anti-Aliasing feature (probably FXAA) does not do a good job. Skewed borders and some objects tend to flicker a lot on levels.
Mad Max overwrites saves without asking when certain checkpoints are reached. As such, finding an appropriate benchmark sequence was quite hard. We chose "Jeet's Stronghold" in the end as it can be unlocked in the first hour of play.
The active quest "Drive to Dead Barrens" leads us through a desolate street in bleak desert. You can see the start and end of our benchmark sequence in the video below. The frame rate of the benchmark is average. In short: there are times when its runs smoothly and then there are times when everything stutters. Due to the fast game pace, we recommend a minimum of 35 fps.
Thanks to the relatively low hardware requirements, weak systems can run Mad Max decently (Metal Gear Solid V is not as kind). At 1024x768 pixels and minimum details, we could run the game at 38 fps on the entry-level HD Graphics 4600 IGP. A multimedia notebook with a GeForce GT 750M or higher is necessary for a resolution of 1366x768 pixels and the preset "Normal." With a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and the preset "High," the gamer would need a GeForce GTX 850M or better.
A combination of FHD and max details only runs on true gaming giants, like the GeForce GTX 960M. The performance difference between the "Very High" preset and max settings is not very large. Switching to max settings from the "Very High" preset dropped the frame rate from 56.2 to 48.8 fps on the GeForce GTX 870M (around 13%). Owners of a 4K display will not be happy playing this game on a notebook, as even the GeForce GTX 980M lacks the power to deliver a smooth experience on high details and a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. The desktop counterpart, the GeForce GTX 980, can deliver 46.6 fps.
Note: AMD GPU performances will be added in the next few days.
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K|
46.6 (min: 43) fps ∼28%
138.3 (min: 122) fps ∼53%
140.5 (min: 127) fps ∼53%
225.6 (min: 176) fps ∼60%
|AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K|
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
47.3 (min: 44) fps ∼28%
119 (min: 103) fps ∼45%
138 (min: 89) fps ∼52%
240 (min: 197) fps ∼64%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ|
33 (min: 28) fps ∼20%
97.9 (min: 75) fps ∼37%
107.7 (min: 88) fps ∼41%
189.6 (min: 155) fps ∼51%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ|
26 (min: 21) fps ∼15%
77.9 (min: 64) fps ∼30%
84.2 (min: 69) fps ∼32%
169.1 (min: 148) fps ∼45%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ|
24.1 (min: 21) fps ∼14%
67.9 (min: 59) fps ∼26%
76.6 (min: 68) fps ∼29%
145.3 (min: 126) fps ∼39%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 3770K|
21.4 (min: 19) fps ∼13%
64.9 (min: 59) fps ∼25%
69.6 (min: 64) fps ∼26%
140.5 (min: 126) fps ∼37%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ|
19 (min: 17) fps ∼11%
56.2 (min: 48) fps ∼21%
62 (min: 52) fps ∼23%
122 (min: 105) fps ∼33%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ|
Schenker XMG A505
14.9 (min: 13) fps ∼9%
45.6 (min: 41) fps ∼17%
49.3 (min: 44) fps ∼19%
98.5 (min: 88) fps ∼26%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M|
11.3 (min: 9) fps ∼7%
35.6 (min: 30) fps ∼14%
38.7 (min: 34) fps ∼15%
78.2 (min: 68) fps ∼21%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ|
10.2 (min: 9) fps ∼6%
29.6 (min: 26) fps ∼11%
34.1 (min: 30) fps ∼13%
64.6 (min: 58) fps ∼17%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ|
17.8 (min: 14) fps ∼7%
19.6 (min: 16) fps ∼7%
39.3 (min: 32) fps ∼10%
|AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K|
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
18.2 (min: 16) fps ∼7%
35.9 (min: 32) fps ∼10%
|Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ|
14 (min: 10) fps ∼5%
31 (min: 24) fps ∼8%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M|
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
15.6 (min: 12) fps ∼6%
31.6 (min: 23) fps ∼8%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M|
HP Envy 15-j011sg
11.2 (min: 9) fps ∼4%
11.9 (min: 10) fps ∼4%
26.9 (min: 24) fps ∼7%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M|
4.8 fps ∼2%
9.1 fps ∼3%
20.2 fps ∼5%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM|
20.2 (min: 17) fps ∼5%
|Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U|
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
18.7 (min: 14) fps ∼5%
|Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U|
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
7.4 (min: 6) fps ∼3%
8.3 (min: 7) fps ∼3%
18 (min: 15) fps ∼5%
|Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ|
7.2 (min: 3) fps ∼3%
8.3 (min: 4) fps ∼3%
19.2 (min: 15) fps ∼5%
Four of our test models are 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)
Three notebooks were provided by Nvidia:
- HP Envy 15-j011sg (Core i5-4200M, 12 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 740M)
- MSI CX61-i572M281BW7 (Core i5-4200M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 720M)
- Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG (Core i7-2637M, 4 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 640M)
Intel provided one more:
- Schenker S413 (Core i7-4750HQ, 8 GB DDR3, Iris Pro Graphics 5200)
The desktop PC uses CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus as well as graphics cards from Nvidia, PNY and AMD. For the 4K monitor, we use the Asus PB287Q.
GPU drivers used: Nvidia 355.82, AMD 15.8 Beta, Intel 10.18.14.4264 (Win 7) and 10.18.15.4256 (Win 10).