While it is certainly possible to play DiRT 4 using mainstream hardware (thanks especially to low CPU utilization), the most demanding detail settings are reserved for gamers with modern, high-end graphics cards. Thankfully, there are tons of configurable options that you can use to fine-tune your experience; everyone should be able to dial in a combination that balances frame rate and quality.
The game’s graphics engine isn't extraordinary, and its visuals are merely acceptable. We would have liked to see higher-quality textures, more particles, and a greater effort put toward shadows/lighting. Hopefully, a future patch corrects the launch-day complaints of textures that don't live up to the Ultra quality preset.
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Another thing: Why are the shadows so much sharper at High than at Ultra?
Edit: seeing as how the Asus 6GB 1060 bests the 3GB Gigabyte version, in spite of having less aggressive clocks, I guess I have my answer. Glad I sprung for the 4GB model.
Softer shadows are more natural looking. It is always like this when raising the settings. You get more softer shadows.
Yeah this is a disappointment compared to DiRT Rally which I was an early access adopter of. It is extremely easy on the GPU and at 1440p maxed out everything and 4xMSAA, the built-in bench with my SLI 970s overclocked to 980 reference performance showed ~120fps average. VRAM allocation according to Afterburner was around 2.2GB max. About the same for Grid Autosport as well. Single 970 results in the tests were in the 70s on average and never dipping below 60FPS in minimum.
Compare ^that^ to the 970 results at only 1080p of this game. Codemasters got sloppy with DiRT 4 it appears. Great gameplay, but from my viewpoint, the increased consumption of GPU resources is disappointing for the results. And what's up with CM ditching the built-in game benchmark they've had in Autosport, Rally, and earlier F1 versions? I'll relinquish this one to PS4 duty. Slack console port attempt. Disappointing, CM.
The shadows are also softer at lower settings though. And they seem to be lower res, such that features are lost (beyond what a bit of softness would warrant).