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CPU Benchmarks

DiRT 2: DirectX 11 Game Performance Compared And Analyzed
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How much CPU speed does DiRT 2 need? We focus now on the CPU speed as a variable. Keep in mind that because the frame rates are so high, we're only examining the minimum frame rates here:

Even a Phenom II X4 at a mere 2 GHz provides ample CPU power so that no processor bottleneck is seen. DiRT 2 doesn't seem to be particularly sensitive to CPU clock rate with four cores available. Let's see what happens with fewer CPU cores enabled, though.

Now we're seeing a difference, but note that a dual-core CPU at 2 GHz can provide a minimum frame rate of 32 FPS. Even a single-core CPU offers playable performance. To summarize, DiRT 2 is one of the most CPU-friendly titles we've ever tested, if not a good example of the benefits of a processor with more cores.

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  • 18 Hide
    Sihastru , December 28, 2009 8:30 AM
    One down, one or two to go ;) 

    Until DX11 does not become mainstream (eg. 90% of the users will have DX11 capable cards) you can't expect to see differences between DX11 and DX9/10 modes. Why? Because they won't make games where one player sees something and the other does not, to the point that will actually mean something and affect the gameplay.

    So anyone that bought the cards for DX11 will not get anything extra from the DX11 code path. No developer that wants to sell a game would code it so that you'd need a new card to play the game. They would not shoot themselves in the foot.

    DX11 is now in the position PhysX was, and I'm not necessarily speaking about the CUDA PhysX version, but the original PhysX by Ageia, when you needed a PCI card for it. It had and still has great potential, but you can't use it to it's full extent until people embrace it and make it mainstream. Until then, all the developers can do is to use certain features here and there, so that it gives you a glimpse of what it could be, but not so much that it makes a difference and modifies the experience too much. They just don't want to give up customers, it's not just that they don't want to use the technology.

    And when DX11 finally becomes mainstream, in 6-12-18 months, the current DX11 cards will be nearly obsolete performance wise... truly tragic. But that's the way the cookie crumbles...

    It's a bit of a troll-ish post (it may seem that way, if you have an ATI DX11 card), and I will get "-1" all round but it's the truth if you think about it from a safe distance. Too bad you... yes... you... the one clicking the "Useless message" icon, won't even get to this last paragraph.
  • 10 Hide
    cleeve , December 28, 2009 5:40 PM
    t1daballerThis article is very misleading.


    It appears to me that your sensationalist comment is misleading, while the article is quite accurate.

    1. First off, our testing was completed before 9.12 was released.

    In any case, you suggest that the 9.12 hotfix driver makes a massive difference. According to AMD's release notes, the hotfix version of the driver "Hotfix that resolves the mouse being enlarged under Windows® 7, improves performance of OpenGL games, Provides CrossFireX™ support for Eyefinity & Provides support for OpenCL".

    None of those things applies to DiRT 2, except crossfire support, and CrossFire was already supported in the 9.11 hotfix driver we used.


    2. "you say "there's a big image difference between dx 11 and dx 9... you can see a huge difference in lighting shadows and even on the cars.".

    Well, where is it? The HardOCP article you point out demonstrated the same image quality differences as this one from what I can see. Where is the "big difference in image quality"?

    I heartily invite you to provide proof. Two screenshots - one of Dx9 and one of Dx11 showing the differences between the two would be nice. Good luck, because no review site has come up with that yet. "a huge difference in lighting shadows and even on the cars" doesn't exist. It's all in your head.

    Are you basing this on side-by-side gameplay - like we demonstrate in our video - or wishful thinking and HardOCP's statement that "it is easy to tell a difference during normal gameplay".
    While I have tremendous respect for the guys at HardOCP , I couldn't disagree with them more on this one. There is absolutely *NO WAY* to easily tell the difference between Dx9 and Dx11 during normal gameplay. All you have to do is click our video for the high-res version: there is no dramatic difference at all, very, very subtle differences maybe, but nothing you could possibly point out during an actual race when the scenery is flying by. And racing is "normal gameplay" in DiRT 2. It is not 'normal gameplay' to park your car on the side of the road and stare at rocks in order to see tiny and otherwise-imperceptible HDAO or shadow differences.


    3. "I play at 1920X1200 4AA everything maxed out and get an average of 38 fps and minimum 31.2. "

    And we got 25 min/30 avg. So what? Both results are very playable.

    You pointed out yourself you're using a different driver, not to mention a million other variables we can't even begin to imagine. Did you even confirm that you're running the game in Dx 11 mode? It isn't reasonable to expect results to coincide perfectly when presenting results you got in isolation compared to a control group.





    To summarize, you're complaining this article involves shenanigans when that's all you've offered. You demonstrate absolutely no proof of an appreciable increase in Dx 11 image quality whatsoever but you have no trouble calling the article down. You admit your test variables are different but then you complain that the article is misleading because you're getting different results?

    Way to make a mountain out of a molehill. I'm not sure why anyone would attach their self esteem to the DiRT 2/Dx 11 cart, but it seems pretty clear you're not able to process this information objectively.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    eklipz330 , December 28, 2009 6:35 AM
    im sure when true dx11 games come out, the difference won't be so subtle anymore.. game looks great either way
  • 5 Hide
    rbarone69 , December 28, 2009 6:50 AM
    I have to say, Dirt 2 is a great game if you like the rally/baja type car racing. Regardless of the graphics differences the game play is simply fun. It's not "real to life" like Forza, but it is a blast playing if you like sliding around corners on track that's not necessarily pavement.

  • 4 Hide
    Onyx2291 , December 28, 2009 7:17 AM
    Looks good, gotta be honest though I probably wouldn't see much of a difference if I just played the game without taking a good look at stuff. Maybe except for the water.
  • 18 Hide
    Sihastru , December 28, 2009 8:30 AM
    One down, one or two to go ;) 

    Until DX11 does not become mainstream (eg. 90% of the users will have DX11 capable cards) you can't expect to see differences between DX11 and DX9/10 modes. Why? Because they won't make games where one player sees something and the other does not, to the point that will actually mean something and affect the gameplay.

    So anyone that bought the cards for DX11 will not get anything extra from the DX11 code path. No developer that wants to sell a game would code it so that you'd need a new card to play the game. They would not shoot themselves in the foot.

    DX11 is now in the position PhysX was, and I'm not necessarily speaking about the CUDA PhysX version, but the original PhysX by Ageia, when you needed a PCI card for it. It had and still has great potential, but you can't use it to it's full extent until people embrace it and make it mainstream. Until then, all the developers can do is to use certain features here and there, so that it gives you a glimpse of what it could be, but not so much that it makes a difference and modifies the experience too much. They just don't want to give up customers, it's not just that they don't want to use the technology.

    And when DX11 finally becomes mainstream, in 6-12-18 months, the current DX11 cards will be nearly obsolete performance wise... truly tragic. But that's the way the cookie crumbles...

    It's a bit of a troll-ish post (it may seem that way, if you have an ATI DX11 card), and I will get "-1" all round but it's the truth if you think about it from a safe distance. Too bad you... yes... you... the one clicking the "Useless message" icon, won't even get to this last paragraph.
  • 2 Hide
    cryogenic , December 28, 2009 9:00 AM
    Dirt 2 uses a DX 9 engine, so I guess this is not such a big surprise, although I've expected more from DX 11 integration, actually **allot** more, considering that the game was marketed as the first DX 11 title out there.

    It's rather disappointing to see such small visual differences between DX9 and DX11 versions, even though I've never expected rather major ones from this title.

    My hope is that DX 11 will become mainstream very fast, and developers will focus on getting the most out of it soon. Congrats to all that got DX 11 cards this christmas(me included). The DX9 performace is great and the fact that DX11 gains market share is even greater.






  • -9 Hide
    cryogenic , December 28, 2009 9:00 AM
    Dirt 2 uses a DX 9 engine, so I guess this is not such a big surprise, although I've expected more from DX 11 integration, actually **allot** more, considering that the game was marketed as the first DX 11 title out there.

    It's rather disappointing to see such small visual differences between DX9 and DX11 versions, even though I've never expected rather major ones from this title.

    My hope is that DX 11 will become mainstream very fast, and developers will focus on getting the most out of it soon. Congrats to all that got DX 11 cards this christmas(me included). The DX9 performace is great and the fact that DX11 gains market share is even greater.
  • 7 Hide
    frederico , December 28, 2009 9:37 AM
    "And when DX11 finally becomes mainstream, in 6-12-18 months, the current DX11 cards will be nearly obsolete performance wise... truly tragic. But that's the way the cookie crumbles..."

    I think, I'm not sure though, but I think he is somehow trying to say that in the 'future' your DX11 graphics card may need to be upgraded to a more powerful DX11 graphics card. Something that has been happening with every graphics card for the last 20 years. I am not sure I can deal with all the tragedy.
  • 5 Hide
    h83 , December 28, 2009 9:55 AM

    I could be wrong, but i think that the only game that will probably show the full potential of DX11 it´s going to be Crysis 2, so prepare your wallets for the PC upgrade...
  • 3 Hide
    LATTEH , December 28, 2009 11:00 AM
    dirt 2 looks awesome in DX 9 or DX11 anyone who buys it will be able to enjoy its beauty
  • -3 Hide
    gti88 , December 28, 2009 11:11 AM
    You ARE wrong, h83, because Crysis 2 will use a cut-down ("light") version of the CryEngine2, wich is DX9 engine.
  • -3 Hide
    hannibal , December 28, 2009 11:13 AM
    Good article! It clarifies that DX11 is not allways superior, but offer some improvements that can be usefull in other type of games.
    It will be nice to see how DX11 affects games like LOTRO online and other character based slover moving games. That Alien vs Predator seemed promising as allso those ofroad nature pictures from Dirt2. Allso Stalker Call of Pripyat is something that is interesting to take a look for.

    DX11 also seems to be using 4* resolution in post prosessing vs dx9 version in Dirt2. It's like comparing 640*480 vs 1920*1600 together.
    Not bad results at all when takin that in account. It would allso be nice to see, if you could togle those effects on and of, to see how much each of them actually affect the performance. It seems that with same visual effect the dx11 would be even faster, but that would really be a waste of resourses.
    Allso it will be nice to see how Ferni will handle this. It really have enough calculation power for all those subtle gimmicks.
  • 5 Hide
    envolva , December 28, 2009 11:29 AM
    sihastruAnd when DX11 finally becomes mainstream, in 6-12-18 months, the current DX11 cards will be nearly obsolete performance wise... truly tragic.
    As you said, DX11 will take a while to become mainstream. Developers that use DX11 will try to use features most users actually can use. No matter what new cards ATI or NVIDIA produce in the future for at least two years game developers will use the ATI 5850 as DX11 baseline to follow. They don't want to exclude more of the few gamers capable of using DX11. Besides the ATI 5850/5870 will be a great deal in a year.

    Performance wise the current cards will do just fine. There will always be something better around the corner, but that doesn't mean the "old" will be obsolete. PC gamming is way ahead the consoles, now we have to wait for a new console generation (2011?) to actually need more processing power for games.
  • -3 Hide
    Pei-chen , December 28, 2009 11:34 AM
    I hope to see a comparison between DX10 and DX11. The visual differences are dramatic for the most part but I am not sure if the improvement is due to DX11 over DX10 or DX10 over DX9. I think the jump is too great to actually show advantage of DX11 over DX10 cards (which most of us are using).
  • -8 Hide
    nforce4max , December 28, 2009 11:43 AM
    Disappointed to say the least worse still dual gpu benches.
  • -8 Hide
    WarraWarra , December 28, 2009 12:07 PM
    PS
    Why not do a proper quality test like my video cards run at, 16X, 24x boxed edge everything on high quality, 1680x1024.

    This game might only last 8 months or 2 months like MW2 before obsolete / useless so push that cards same as normal users would.
  • -8 Hide
    lradunovic77 , December 28, 2009 12:38 PM
    Another proof that DX10/11 are useless at this point. Everything can be done under DX9 and really there is no example of any advantage of DX10/11.
    The best example is still Crysis, and as far as i know there is no game out there to reach the level of details Crysis game has. We all know that Crysis runs under DX9. I am not sure what level of graphic Crysis 2 will push, perhaps Crytek team will truly use DX10/11 but in meantime XP x64 Edition is more then you need.

  • -7 Hide
    lradunovic77 , December 28, 2009 12:40 PM
    Physx is more important then DX11 and DX10 at this point. Nvidia is absolutely right about it. Physx brings more details then actually DX11 over DX9 at this point. CUDA has a lot of more potential then just Physx, and that's doing a lot of calculations CPU does which is joke compared to raw performance of GPU.
  • 4 Hide
    CoryInJapan , December 28, 2009 12:49 PM
    Im just glad DX11 has obvious improvements instead of the huge placebo that DX 10 was.Cant wait till True DX 11 games come out.
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