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Saints Row IV Benchmarked

Florian Glaser, Sabine Kückemanns (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 08/29/2013

Turn off your brain, prepare to laugh. You do not have to play Saints Row IV for very long before you realize that it is a bunch of anarcho-baloney. Prime grade baloney, that is. Whether the game's graphics and hardware appetite are equally as appealing is a question for this article to answer.

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Saints Row IV Logo

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Gorgeous graphics, as we have recently seen in Crysis 3Metro: Last Light or Hitman: Absolution, are not to be expected from Saints Row IV. Low-poly objects and weak textures are typical of a console game. That is not to say that the explosive action game looks bad. Using a number of tricks, the US developer Volition created a consistent overall look.

Alongside the abundant particle effects and the high "kaboom" factor, the interplay between light and shadows is also appealing. Imagine it is a dark night, and several cars sitting on brightly lit asphalt explode, sending sparks hurling through the air. Scenes like that establish a certain esthetic. Every few meters, Saints Row IV sets off firework-like effects that greatly contribute to the game's chaos and self-mockery. With all that going on, it is easy to overlook any weaknesses in the area of graphics.

Although the graphics menu does not offer a multitude of options, most buyers will appreciate the settings available. Anyone who does not want to pick their way through the 10 specific settings options can just select one of the game's presets. The presets are nothing spectacular, as the title already activates 2x MSAA at medium quality settings. "High" represents 4x MSAA, "Ultra" even activates 8x MSAA. Should there be a problem with the game's performance, the first thing to do is lower the MSAA level. The fact that Volition chose to make all the settings options accessible in the middle of a running game, rather than forcing the player to go all the way to the main menu, is also praiseworthy.

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

Benchmark

Because it was easy, for our benchmarks we used the automatic starting point, where the game drops us when we are outside of the campaigns and missions (see video). With the "super sprint" ability activated, we race down a hill and a street for just under 15 seconds.

Despite the short length of the clip, the benchmark delivers relatively consistent results. In our experience, the amount of resources needed to compute this passage is above average, but we are not talking about anything extreme. During some scenes, the game runs a little slower, during other scenes, considerably faster. More than 30 fps should be adequate for a decent gaming experience.

Results

The game's hardware demands are neither shockingly high nor especially low. For minimum details and a resolution of 720p, you will need at least a low-end graphics card around the level of the HD Graphics 4000/4600 or Radeon HD 7660G. Typical all-round GPUs however, like the GeForce GT 630M, can also handle 1366x768 pixels and the normal preset.

High details and 4x MSAA scream for a GPU from the upper middle class or the lower high-end segment, like the GeForce GTX 660M. You can only experience the full effect of the explosive graphics with a top model card. 1920x1080 pixels, ultra details and 8x MSAA can only be fluidly displayed with a GeForce GTX 675MX or higher. We did not observe any significant bugs during our testing; the graphics appear to be well developed.

You are forgetting AMD's high-end team? We have not included our results from the Radeon HD 7970M or HD 8970M because both GPUs were unnaturally lethargic both with the WHOL driver 13.4 and the Catalyst 13.8 Beta2 (30-50 fps). Considering the flawless desktop results (compare the Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7970), we are guessing the Enduro graphics switching is at fault.

Benchmark Table: Saints Row IV
Benchmark Table: Saints Row IV

Verdict

Saints Row IV is suited both to those who enjoy a good destruction game and to anyone who has an affinity for dark humor and allusions to pop culture. The graphics quality is nothing to ooh and aah at, but it does its job. Thanks to the good range of settings options, the game is playable on a wide range of notebooks. Owners of extremely weak GPUs (Intel HD Graphics 3000 or lower) are the only ones who will have to go without this title.

Test Systems

Our four most important test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M, Radeon HD 8970M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)
  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670MX, GTX 675MX, GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)
  • Xesia M501 (Core i7-2630QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 630M & HD Graphics 3000)

A further thank you goes to Crucial for the 480 GB M500, on which Windows 7 Professional 64-bit is installed.

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 326.80 Beta, AMD 13.8 Beta2, Intel 9.17.10.3223 and/or 9.18.10.3165.

Left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503
Left to right: Schenker Xesia M501, M503, XMG P502 & W503

Overview

Show Restrictions
      Model
Saints Row IV
 Saints Row IV (2013)
low
1280x720
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
2xAF 2x MSAA
high
1366x768
High Preset
4xAF 4x MSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
16xAF 8x MSAA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
72
96
95.3
93.9
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
104.3
92.4
83.2
82.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
76.6
88.9
90.9
92.5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
99.6
87.7
79.6
80.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
85.4
72.4
69.3
67.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M SLI
78.9
68.8
68.2
AMD Radeon R9 M290X Crossfire
67
55.9
50.2
48.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
95.9n2
88.05n2
77.1n2
64.95n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
91.95n2
91.9n2
81.2n2
58.3n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
87.8
74.4
64.2
55
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
82
82
71
64n2
AMD Radeon HD 7970
90.1
77.4
68.4
58.2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
73.15n2
64.5n2
58n3
53.1n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
90.7
78.8
66.3
52.2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
98.5
87.9
77.8
55.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
84.3
73.9
63.3
51.9
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
94.5
83.6
64
40.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
72
60.5
55.35n2
43.75n2
AMD Radeon R9 M290X
49.2
43.4
38.7
35.2
      Model
Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
83.7
72.6
62.8
48.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
81.3
70
58
41.6
AMD FirePro M6100
103
45
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
88.1
77.1
57.6
36.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
99.6
87.3
56.1
34.3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
85.2
73.9
52.25n2
34.85n2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
67.4n3
59.1n3
50.7n4
34n4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M SLI
68.9
57.2
40.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
79.1
68.2
49
32.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
58.3n4
51.95n4
36.7n5
23.1n5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
83.9
73.6
37.7n2
24.7n2
AMD Radeon HD 7770
92.4
76.2
43.4
26.6
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
26
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
77
67.9
38.1
24.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
79.7
69.9
38.3
24.3
AMD Radeon HD 8870M
40
32.8
19.7
AMD FirePro M5100
102
98
42
25
NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
82
69
33
19
NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M
63.1
33
21.2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
79.6
67.4
33.4
20.8
      Model
Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon HD 8850M
33.9
26.8
21.6
17.8
AMD Radeon R9 M265X
45.1
32.8
20.8
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
56.15n2
47.35n2
25.5n2
16.55n2
NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
75
61
26
15
NVIDIA GeForce 940M
60
48.6
17.2
10.8
NVIDIA Quadro K620M
75
59
22
11
NVIDIA GeForce 840M
52.1n2
43.85n2
18.7n2
12
NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M
52.1
22.3
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
35.2
27.9
17
10.2
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
54.3
42.6
15.5
NVIDIA GeForce 830M
46.9
39.5
15.9
NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
42.6
35.6
14.4
NVIDIA GeForce 825M
50.5
39.7
15
AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics
25.4
19.5
15.1
NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
50.85n2
39.4n2
14.75n2
9.9
AMD Radeon HD 8750M
36.8
29.1
18.6
12.5
AMD Radeon R7 M265
28
22.2
17.7
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
48.4
39.2
19.9
12.8
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
22.9
17.9
11.7
AMD Radeon R7 M260
20
17.1
11.7
      Model
Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon HD 8670D
40.5
35.2
18.6
9.9
AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
18.9
15.2
7.8
AMD Radeon HD 8570D
36
30.3
15.4
8.5
AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
26.2
21.8
12.2
AMD Radeon HD 8650G + HD 8570M Dual Graphics
10.6
8.9
7
5.9
AMD Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8670M Dual Graphics
24.5
19.7
10.2
AMD Radeon HD 8670M
38
30
11.6
AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
19.5
16.6
11
AMD Radeon HD 7660D
37
30.8
15.7
9.3
AMD Radeon HD 8650G
11.7
10.1
7.7
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
41.95n2
33.3n2
14.85n2
8.95n2
AMD Radeon HD 7560D
33.6
29.5
15.2
9
AMD Radeon R5 M255
30.3
13.3
8.3
NVIDIA GeForce 820M
42.8
34.5
13.3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
37.7
29.9
12.5
AMD Radeon R5 M240
17.4
13.8
10.8
AMD Radeon R5 M230
31.3
26.8
11.4
NVIDIA Quadro K610M
44
32
13
8
Intel Iris Graphics 5100
29.1
21.9
8.6
6
AMD Radeon HD 8610G
16.3
12.3
6
      Model
Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
Intel HD Graphics 4600
26n2
19.05n2
10.9
6.3
Intel HD Graphics 5500
17.6
13.6
6.9
AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
18.5
14.5
7.9
NVIDIA GeForce 710M
38.9
30.6
11.8
AMD Radeon HD 7660G
25.6
23.8
12.5
7.2
AMD Radeon HD 7610M
33
28
12
7
AMD Radeon HD 8470D
24.7
18.6
12.5
Intel HD Graphics 4400
15.7n2
11.4n2
6.8
AMD Radeon HD 7480D
19.3
17.2
10
4.9
Intel HD Graphics 4000
29.7n2
21.2n2
9.5n2
5.5n2
AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
16
13.3
7.6
AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
15
12.8
7.4
AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
10.4
8.3
4.3
Intel HD Graphics 4200
11.3
8.8
5.2
3.5
AMD Radeon HD 8450G
14.6
12.8
7.2
AMD Radeon HD 8400
17.1
13.5
AMD Radeon HD 8330
11.3
9.3
6.3
3
Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
3.8
2.1
AMD Radeon HD 7420G
11.7
Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
14
7.8
      Model
Saints Row IV
lowmed.highultra
AMD Radeon HD 8280
12.3
10.2
AMD Radeon HD 8250
8.5
7.1
4.4
Intel HD Graphics 3000
12.75n2
9.5
6.5
4.1
AMD Radeon HD 8210
6
Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
6.3
(-) * 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.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Saints Row IV Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2013-08-29 (Update: 2013-09- 3)