Notebookcheck

Need for Speed 2016 Notebook and Desktop Benchmarks

Florian Glaser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 03/27/2016

Highly polished. With "Need for Speed", publisher EA relaunches their successful racing series. The arcade-style racing game might lack substance, but the technology behind it is top notch. Our review takes a look at how different noteboook GPUs cope with the title. Update: we've added additional notebook and desktop benchmarks for the 940MX, Fury Pro, R7 370, ...

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

After Hitman, which we've reviewed just recently, Need for Speed now also follows the current "reboot" trend. Stylistically, the new game bears a striking resemblance to the underground series from 10 years ago, which was released during the hype around the first installment of "The Fast and the Furious".

Graphics have improved by leaps and bounds since then. The new offshoot is based on the Frostbite 3 Engine, which is also used in such games as Star Wars BattlefrontDragon Age Inquisition and Battlefield 4 / Hardline. As before, the Engine impresses with well-defined textures and nice effects. In addition to particles (sparks etc.), the reflections are pretty impressive, albeit sometimes excessive. Especially when it's raining, the cars and the track seem to sparkle and twinkle more than an amusement park. The lighting effects also doesn't have to fear the competition. Despite - or maybe because - it is the middle of the night most of the time, the lights really stand out. Thanks to physics simulation, there's also a plethora of destroyable level objects.  

For a game released in 2016, Need for Speed takes up surprisingly little space: even after the install, the title only occupies up about 13 GB of space. Lots of games require up to 30 GB or more (example: Dirt Rally). One point of criticism: an Internet connection is mandatory. Since the user is normally paired up with strangers, there's no way to log in without being online. At least Need for Speed forgoes the 30 fps limit of console games, which was a limiting factor for the PC version of the game Rivals.

Graphics have been improved as well compared to PS4 and Xbox One. PC users can take advantage of higher resolutions and tweak the settings. Even though there's only a total of 12 options, at least all of them can be applied with out restarting the game. As expected, anti-aliasing is part of the package. FXAA doesn't require a lot of power, but only has a fairly subtle smoothing effect; TAA does a much better job, but the picture isn't quite as sharp (see screenshots below). Ambient Occlusion is available via SSAO and HBAO (the latter has more of an impact on the performance). The rest of the options can either be turned on or off or switched between low, medium, high, and ultra.

With Need for Speed installed on an SSD, the load times are acceptable - except for the first start. Users who have notebooks equipped with HDDs have to be a lot more patient. The developers could also improve the controls, or more specifically the key assignment, which isn't exactly intuitive. "Enter", for example, takes the place of "Esc". "PgUp" and "PgDn" aren't commonly used, either - and neither is the vehicle control with the "W/S" and the arrow keys. Speaking of vehicles: the driving model takes a little time getting used to.

The "real life" video sequences seem very cliché and over-the-top, which makes the story more embarrassing than cool - unless the user adopts a tongue-in-cheek attitude or simply looks upon the game as a satire. 

The gaming experience itself is standard fare and reminiscent of the older titles (complete with AI rubberbanding and lifeless streets). The powerful engine sound and extensive tuning options don't quite make up for this shortcoming. From a technical standpoint, Need for Speed appears to be well-engineered. During our tests we never had the game crash, lose connection or encountered longer lag times. We did have some issues with Intel GPUs, which produced massive graphics errors (we suspect the driver here).

Benchmark

Since Need for Speed doesn't come with an integrated benchmark, we've decided on one of the first races (called "In the Driver's Seat"), which we think is representative of the gameplay. Since the performance is fairly constant, this sequence is pretty indicative of the frame rates which can be expected, although the demand on the resources changes a little depending on the weather. Especially during a downpour, the fps number drops a little, since the Engine has to render more particles.   

Benchmark results of above 30-35 fps should provide a decent enough margin. As outlined in the video below, we keep recording the frame rate until Checkpoint 10, which on average takes about 70 seconds.

Results

The hardware requirements depend on the graphics quality. Users who want to enjoy Need for Speed with maximum details, HBAO and TAA and 1920 x 1080 pixels, need a high-end GPU like the GeForce GTX 880M. High settingss, SSAO and FXAA are possible with either a GeForce GTX 870M or GTX 960M. The demands on the hardware further decline at medium details, so a midrange GPUs like the GTX 850M are sufficient. Weaker GPUs can't handle Full-HD without stuttering.

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

In order to reach at least 30 fps, a GeForce GT 750M is only usable at 1280 x 720 pixels and low details. Inexpensive allrounder-GPUs like the GeForce GT 740M and most Intel graphics cards (HD Graphics 4600, ...) are unable to cope with the demands on the hardware. Users who own a 4K display and would like to play the game at high details have to resort to the (prohibitively expensive) GeForce GTX 980 or certain SLI combinations.

Need for Speed 2016
    3840x2160 High / On AA:FX     1920x1080 Ultra / On AA:T     1920x1080 High / On AA:FX     1920x1080 Medium / Off     1366x768 Medium / Off     1280x720 Low / Off
AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K
XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
40.3 (min: 34) fps ∼43%
68.3 (min: 42) fps ∼46%
95 (min: 69) fps ∼58%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
34 (min: 27) fps ∼37%
74.6 (min: 55) fps ∼50%
99.6 (min: 83) fps ∼61%
111 (min: 93) fps ∼88%
133 (min: 100) fps ∼68%
136 (min: 105) fps ∼83%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
32.5 (min: 27) fps ∼35%
61 (min: 43) fps ∼41%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
26 (min: 20) fps ∼28%
51.8 (min: 36) fps ∼35%
70.4 (min: 58) fps ∼43%
78 (min: 63) fps ∼62%
86.1 (min: 67) fps ∼44%
93.3 (min: 70) fps ∼57%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 4790K
Asus Z97 Deluxe Desktop i7-4790K, R9 280X
26.6 (min: 22) fps ∼29%
51 (min: 39) fps ∼34%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
20.4 (min: 16) fps ∼22%
43.4 (min: 33) fps ∼29%
57.6 (min: 49) fps ∼35%
62 (min: 51) fps ∼49%
82.4 (min: 58) fps ∼42%
92 (min: 70) fps ∼56%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 6700K
Desktop PC
11.7 (min: 9) fps ∼13%
34.2 (min: 26) fps ∼23%
43.5 (min: 30) fps ∼27%
52.9 (min: 38) fps ∼42%
83 (min: 62) fps ∼42%
84.2 (min: 63) fps ∼51%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
14.2 (min: 11) fps ∼15%
31.7 (min: 24) fps ∼21%
42.4 (min: 33) fps ∼26%
46.8 (min: 37) fps ∼37%
77.2 (min: 63) fps ∼39%
82.2 (min: 66) fps ∼50%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
11.3 (min: 9) fps ∼12%
37.7 (min: 29) fps ∼25%
49.8 (min: 42) fps ∼30%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
MSI GE72 965M Ti
31.1 (min: 24) fps ∼21%
52.6 (min: 44) fps ∼32%
40.1 (min: 29) fps ∼32%
72.3 (min: 58) fps ∼37%
82 (min: 69) fps ∼50%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
11.8 (min: 9) fps ∼13%
28.7 (min: 22) fps ∼19%
39.1 (min: 30) fps ∼24%
40.4 (min: 32) fps ∼32%
70.7 (min: 60) fps ∼36%
77.8 (min: 62) fps ∼47%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
11 (min: 8) fps ∼12%
27.7 (min: 20) fps ∼19%
38.4 (min: 27) fps ∼23%
45.2 (min: 34) fps ∼36%
70.1 (min: 59) fps ∼36%
77.2 (min: 62) fps ∼47%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
8.4 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
21.2 (min: 16) fps ∼14%
26.3 (min: 22) fps ∼16%
32 (min: 23) fps ∼25%
54.1 (min: 45) fps ∼28%
61.3 (min: 51) fps ∼37%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
24.1 (min: 17) fps ∼16%
33 (min: 27) fps ∼20%
61.6 (min: 49) fps ∼31%
67 (min: 54) fps ∼41%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
18.3 (min: 10) fps ∼12%
23.9 (min: 19) fps ∼15%
31.9 (min: 25) fps ∼25%
43.2 (min: 32) fps ∼22%
49.8 (min: 37) fps ∼30%
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 6700HQ
MSI CX72 6QD
15.5 (min: 12) fps ∼9%
18 (min: 14) fps ∼14%
30 (min: 24) fps ∼15%
33.3 (min: 26) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
MSI GP62 2QD
15.7 (min: 13) fps ∼10%
17.7 (min: 14) fps ∼14%
29.2 (min: 24) fps ∼15%
34.5 (min: 29) fps ∼21%
AMD Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
24.1 (min: 15) fps ∼15%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
13.3 (min: 7) fps ∼8%
15.5 (min: 12) fps ∼12%
26.4 (min: 22) fps ∼13%
30.3 (min: 25) fps ∼18%
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 2970M
MSI CX61 2QC 2970M MS-16GD
21.3 (min: 11) fps ∼13%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
11.1 (min: 8) fps ∼9%
19.4 (min: 16) fps ∼10%
22.3 (min: 18) fps ∼14%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
13.9 fps ∼7%
17.1 fps ∼10%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
16.5 (min: 14) fps ∼10%
Need for Speed 2016 - 3840x2160 High / On AA:FX
AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K, XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
40.3 (min: 34, max: 48) fps ∼43%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K, Desktop PC
34 (min: 27) fps ∼37%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K, Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
32.5 (min: 27, max: 40) fps ∼35%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 4790K, Asus Z97 Deluxe Desktop i7-4790K, R9 280X
26.6 (min: 22, max: 32) fps ∼29%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ, Schenker W504
26 (min: 20) fps ∼28%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ, Schenker W504
20.4 (min: 16) fps ∼22%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ, Schenker W504
14.2 (min: 11) fps ∼15%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ, Schenker W504
11.8 (min: 9) fps ∼13%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 6700K, Desktop PC
11.7 (min: 9) fps ∼13%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K, MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
11.3 (min: 9, max: 15) fps ∼12%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Schenker XMG A505
11 (min: 8) fps ∼12%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ, Schenker W504
8.4 (min: 6) fps ∼9%

Overview

Show Restrictions
      Model
Need for Speed 2016
 Need for Speed 2016 (2016)
low
1280x720
Low / Off
med.
1366x768
Medium / Off
high
1920x1080
High / On
FXAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra / On
TAA
4K
3840x2160
High / On
FXAA
NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
120.7
111.1
98.9
79.2
75.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
106.5n2
94.35n2
90.3n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
99.3
85.7
84
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
129
141
126
104
61
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
96.3
76.7
59.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
133.4
122.4
121.4
93.1
75.1
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
97.5n2
50.95n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
142.9
128.9
96.15n2
84.75n2
47.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
90
48
AMD Radeon R9 Fury
95
68.3
40.3
AMD Radeon R9 Nano
76
34.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
136
133
99.6
74.6
34
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
136.1
130.3
104.4
77.3
40.5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
107.6
102.5
90.7
68.1
37.1
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
130
128
100
77.4
33.9
AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
91
68.4
31.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
83.9n2
64.05n2
31.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
70
31
AMD Radeon R9 290X
61
32.5
      Model
Need for Speed 2016
lowmed.highultra4K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
96.8n3
92.6n3
72.2n3
51.8n3
25.85n2
AMD Radeon R9 280X
51
26.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
118.2
104.6
68.8
51.6
21.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop)
60.4
46.4
21.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
96.3n4
88.5n4
57.75n4
43.9n4
20.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
105
99.3
63.4
47.2
AMD Radeon R7 370
49.8
37.7
11.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
82.2
77.2
42.4
31.7
14.2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
84.2
83
43.5
34.2
11.7
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
51.7
38.2
15.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
83.9n4
75.5n4
45.2n4
33.85n4
14.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
77.8
70.7
39.1
28.7
11.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
77.2n3
70.1n3
39.3n3
28.4n3
11
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
95.8
61.7
31.4
22.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
61.3
54.1
26.3
21.2
8.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
67
61.6
33
24.1
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
49.8
43.2
23.9
18.3
AMD Radeon R9 M280X
24.1
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
30.3
26.4
13.3
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
34.4n3
30.1n3
19.35n2
18
      Model
Need for Speed 2016
lowmed.highultra4K
NVIDIA GeForce 940M
34.55n2
28.95n2
15.7
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
22.3
19.4
NVIDIA GeForce 930M
35.2
28.1
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
28.1
24.7
Intel Iris Graphics 540
17.3
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
18.8
AMD Radeon R7 M460
26.6
23
14.1
AMD Radeon R7 M360
28.1
21.8
11.3
8.9
NVIDIA GeForce 920M
21.3
AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
25.6
22.6
11.7
9.5
AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
18.6
15
AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
11.1
10.4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
12.7
AMD Radeon R5 M330
22.55n2
17n2
AMD Radeon R5 M430
20.8
18.1
AMD Radeon R5 M255
24.1
22.1
11.3
Intel HD Graphics 520
15.2
13.5
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
17.1
13.9
Intel HD Graphics 4600
15.4n2
10.1
Intel HD Graphics 515
7.25n2
5.9
      Model
Need for Speed 2016
lowmed.highultra4K
Intel HD Graphics 5300
9.1
7.7
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value / * 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
60Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 58fps
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.
?Uncertain – 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.

Test Systems

Desktop PCs Custom Nvidia Custom AMD
Motherboard Asus Z170-A Asus Z97-Deluxe
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (Skylake) Intel Core i7-4790K (Haswell)
GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB GDDR5)
PNY GeForce GTX 950 (2 GB GDDR5)
XFX Radeon R9 Fury (4 GB HBM)
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X (4 GB GDDR5)
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X (3 GB GDDR5)
MSI Radeon R7 370 (2 GB GDDR5)
RAM 2 x 8 GB DDR4-2133 2 x 4 GB DDR3-1600
HDD Crucial MX100 SSD (256 GB)
Crucial M500 SSD (480 GB)
OCZ Trion 100 SSD (480 GB)
OCZ Trion 150 SSD (960 GB)
Intel SSD 530 (240 GB)
OCZ Trion 100 SSD (480 GB)
Operating system Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Schenker Notebooks Schenker W504 Schenker XMG A505 Schenker M504 Schenker M503 Schenker S413
Mainboard Intel HM87 Intel HM87 Intel HM86 Intel HM86 Intel HM87
Processor Intel Core i7-4700MQ (Haswell) Intel Core i7-4720HQ (Haswell) Intel Core i5-4340M (Haswell) Intel Core i7-4702MQ (Haswell) Intel Core i7-4750HQ (Haswell)
GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (8 GB GDDR5)
GTX 970M (6 GB GDDR5)
GTX 880M (8 GB GDDR5)
GTX 870M (6 GB GDDR5)
GTX 860M Kepler (4 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (2 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M (2 GB DDR3) Nvidia GeForce GT 750M (2 GB DDR3) Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
RAM 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 8 GB DDR3-1600
HDD1 Samsung SSD 840 EVO (250 GB)
Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD (500 GB)
Micron M600 SSD (128 GB)
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HDD (1.000 GB)
Intel SSD 520 (240 GB) Intel SSD 520 (240 GB) Intel SSD
Operating system Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
MSI Notebooks MSI GE72 MSI PE60 MSI GP62 MSI CX61 MSI CX61
Mainboard Intel HM170 Intel HM170 Intel HM86 Intel HM86 Intel HM86
Processor Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) Intel Core i7-5700HQ (Broadwell) Intel Celeron 2970M (Haswell) Intel Core i5-4200M (Haswell)
GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M 2016 (2 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (2 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce 940M (2 GB DDR3) Nvidia GeForce 920M (2 GB DDR3) Nvidia GeForce GT 720M (2 GB DDR3)
RAM 1 x 8 GB DDR4-2133 2 x 4 GB DDR4-2133 1 x 8 GB DDR3-1600 1 x 8 GB DDR3-1600 1 x 8 GB DDR3-1600
HDD1 Toshiba THNSNJ128G8NU SSD (128 GB)
WDC WD10JPVX HDD (1.000 GB)
OCZ Trion 100 SSD (480 GB)
Toshiba MQ01ABF050 HDD (500 GB) WDC Scorpio Blue HDD (1.000 GB)
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
other Notebooks HP Envy 15 Asus N551ZU
Mainboard Intel HM87 AMD K15.1
Processor Intel Core i5-4200M (Haswell) AMD FX-7600P (Kaveri)
GPU Nvidia GeForce GT 740M (2 GB DDR3) AMD Radeon R9 M280X (4 GB GDDR5)
RAM 1 x 8 GB DDR3-1600 2 x 4 GB DDR3-1600
HDD Samsung SSD 830 (256 GB) Samsung SSD 830 256 GB
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Windows 10 64 Bit
4K Monitor Nvidia driver AMD driver Intel driver
2 x Asus PB287Q ForceWare 364.51 Crimson 16.3.1 15.40.10.64.4300
static version load dynamic
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Need for Speed 2016 Notebook and Desktop Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2016-03-27 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).