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DiRT Showdown: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors


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Release year : 2012
Genre : Racing
Developer : Codemasters
Publisher : Codemasters

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DiRT Showdown is an arcade spin-off of the DiRT series that features three game modes. You can take part in regular races, in extreme races with various stunts, and also try to stand against other racers in the arena.

DiRT Showdown also features multiplayer for up to eight people at once, split-screen for two players, and an Autolog-like system.


In this subsection of our review, the main graphical aspects of this game are revealed. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphics settings and the quality of the development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

DiRT Showdown Demo is supported by major Windows operating systems, which include Windows Vista and Windows 7. Other operating systems developers are not currently supported and are unlikely to receive support. 

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The priority and primary graphics APIs are DirectX 10 and  DirectX 11.   Windows XP SP3 with  DirectX 9 is not supported by the game.

Game engine 

The EGO game engine is a product of Codemasters' own development. EGO is a game engine modified from the Neon engine used in the Colin McRae: DiRT game developed by Codemasters and Sony Computer Entertainment using Sony's PhyreEngine cross-platform graphics engine. The engine is focused on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware and software platforms.

 EGO Engine_Logo

On July 6, 2009, Brian Marshall, CTO of Codemasters, officially announced that the PC version of Colin McRae: DiRT 2, which will use the "EGO" engine, will add support for DirectX 11. Thus, the "EGO" engine became the first engine , which was announced to support DirectX 11.

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In late July 2010, Codemasters Senior Vice President Jamie MacDonald, in an interview with Develop, reported on the company's new games being developed using EGO 2.0, the second iteration of the engine. According to him, at this point the company is actively developing the engine.

Advanced game settings

Like all games released by  Codemasters, DiRT Showdown has a wide range of graphics settings. Thanks to the rich functionality of graphic settings, all users can easily adjust their hardware component for a smoother gaming experience. In the full version of the game, the option of extended lighting has become available.

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Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium, high and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Low quality settings 
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Medium quality settings  
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High quality settings  
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Very high quality settings
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With different settings, the game shows the appropriate level of quality.

General visual design and game physics

As we described earlier, the game has not undergone significant changes compared to its previous parts. The open world did not appear in the game, and the game physics and mechanics remained at the same level. More detailed description in the review of the demo version of the game.

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Well, then we will go directly to the gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware.


Test configuration

test stands

Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 2 011

Test stand #2 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1366 platform

Testbed #4 based on the Intel Socket 115 6

Test Bench #5 Based on AMD Soket AM 3

Test Bench #6 Based on AMD Socket AM3 Platform

Test Bench #7 Based on AMD Soket AM 2

Testbed #8 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Benchmark #9 based on the AMD Soket AM3 platform

Benchmark #10 Based on AMD Socket AM3 +

multimedia equipment

3D monitor LG W2363D

Monitor LG E2750

Dell U3010 monitor product provided by  AMD

3D Vision Kit  product provided by  Nvidia

Software configuration

operating system

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64 SP1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 304.48

AMD Catalyst 12.6

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v2.2 

GPU test

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The minimum and average FPS were taken as the performance indicator. Below is a video of the test segment:   

Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1680x1050, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by the game. SLI does not work in this test, but AMD Cross Fire technology showed its best side. Unlike the demo, in this case, all visual settings were activated and turned on to the maximum.

There are some reservations about the gaming benchmark, it does not work quite correctly. The final result is never less than 12 frames for the minimum and 14 for the average. The values ​​were taken from the results collected by third-party monitoring programs.

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The full version has the ability to activate extended lighting. And as we can see further, the activation of the full set of graphics functions globally affects performance. For those who want to know how the game behaves at less aggressive settings, check out the demo test.

Testing at maximum quality settings 1680x1050

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At a resolution of 1680x1050 at maximum settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 6950 or GeForce GTX 580 level showed an acceptable minimum FPS. The optimal video cards will be the Radeon HD 7950 or GeForce GTX 680. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080

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At a resolution of 1920x1080 at maximum settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 670 level (which we unfortunately do not have) showed an acceptable minimum FPS. The optimal video cards will be the Radeon HD 7970 or GeForce GTX 680. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 

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At a resolution of 2560x1600 at maximum settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 7950 level and higher showed an acceptable minimum FPS. There are no optimal video cards for these settings yet. According to the DiRT Showdown video card test, it is worth noting that AMD video cards showed not only the best combination of performance / price, but also the most optimal solution for a smooth gaming experience. 

VRAM test

memory GPU

Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA at resolutions of  1680x1050, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 were taken as the indicator.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings 


The optimal amount of video memory usage for this game is about 1024 MB. 

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 12 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1024x768 with high graphics quality settings. 

Testing at minimum quality settings 1024x768


The game is more optimized for more processing cores. Two cores are enough for the game, but four will provide a smoother gaming experience.

RAM test


Testing of the RAM consumed by the game was carried out by monitoring directly through the Windows Task Manager. The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 3930K @ 4.8 GHz with the amount of pre-installed video memory 8GB DDR3 2400 MGz.

Testing at various quality settings 

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With different quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in DiRT Showdown is at the same level and is approximately one gigabyte.