DiRT 3

DiRT 3 is a rallying video game and the third in the Dirt series of the Colin McRae Rally series, developed and published by Codemasters. DiRT 3 also falls under the list of ‘games with a handy benchmark mode’. In previous testing, DiRT 3 has always seemed to love cores, memory, GPUs, PCIe lane bandwidth, everything. The small issue with DiRT 3 is that depending on the benchmark mode tested, the benchmark launcher is not indicative of game play per se, citing numbers higher than actually observed. Despite this, the benchmark mode also includes an element of uncertainty, by actually driving a race, rather than a predetermined sequence of events such as Metro 2033. This in essence should make the benchmark more variable, but we take repeated runs in order to smooth this out. Using the benchmark mode, DiRT 3 is run at 1440p with Ultra graphical settings. Results are reported as the average frame rate across four runs.

One 7970

Dirt 3 - One 7970, 1440p, Max Settings

While the testing shows a pretty dynamic split between Intel and AMD at around the 82 FPS mark, all processors are roughly +/- 1 or 2 around this mark, meaning that even an A8-5600K will feel like the i7-3770K.  The 4770K has a small but ultimately unnoticable advantage in gameplay.

Two 7970s

Dirt 3 - Two 7970s, 1440p, Max Settings

When reaching two GPUs, the Intel/AMD split is getting larger. The FX-8350 puts up a good fight against the i5-2500K and i7-2600K, but the top i7-3770K offers almost 20 FPS more and 40 more than either the X6-1100T or FX-8150.

Three 7970s

Dirt 3 - Three 7970, 1440p, Max Settings

Moving up to three GPUs and DiRT 3 is jumping on the PCIe bandwagon, enjoying bandwidth and cores as much as possible. Despite this, the gap to the best AMD processor is growing – almost 70 FPS between the FX-8350 and the i7-3770K.  The 4770K is slightly ahead of the 3770K at x8/x4/x4, suggesting a small IPC difference,

Four 7970s

Dirt 3 - Four 7970, 1440p, Max Settings

At four GPUs, bandwidth wins out, and the PLX effect on the UP7 seems to cause a small dip compared to the native lane allocation on the RIVE (there could also be some influence due to 6 cores over 4).

One 580

Dirt 3 - One 580, 1440p, Max Settings

Similar to the one 7970 setup, using one GTX 580 has a split between AMD and Intel that is quite noticeable. Despite the split, all the CPUs perform within 1.3 FPS, meaning no big difference.

Two 580s

Dirt 3 - Two 580s, 1440p, Max Settings

Moving to dual GTX 580s, and while the split gets bigger, processors like the i3-3225 are starting to lag behind. The difference between the best AMD and best Intel processor is only 2 FPS though, nothing to write home about.

DiRT 3 conclusion

Much like Metro 2033, DiRT 3 has a GPU barrier and until you hit that mark, the choice of CPU makes no real difference at all. In this case, at two-way 7970s, choosing a quad core Intel processor does the business over the FX-8350 by a noticeable gap that continues to grow as more GPUs are added, (assuming you want more than 120 FPS).

GPU Benchmarks: Metro2033 GPU Benchmarks: Civilization V
POST A COMMENT

111 Comments

View All Comments

  • jabber - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    4.6 million on Steam? Is that basically the current total subscriber level?

    Wow I knew gamers were a minority but that's scary. Okay I know not all gamers are on Steam but...

    Amazed that companies even bother for so few. Say it isn't so!
    Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    Pretty sure that's current ACTIVE users. Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    I'd hope so. Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    Yeah it has to be, a few years ago Steam had announced they have some 25 million users, it was actually very close to the individual numbers for 360 and PS3 at the time. Valve keeps their total #s and sales really close to the vest though, so it's hard to get numbers out of them unless they are announcing milestones. Reply
  • Rattlepiece - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    4.6 million was the current amount of users online when the article was written. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

    Steam has more than 55 million active users.
    Reply
  • medi02 - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    I wonder what they mean by "active".
    Most likely it's a number of users with steam client running.
    Well, it runs idle for more than a year for me, yet I'm an "active" user I guess...
    Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Why the hell are you running steam idle for over a year and not using it then? Reply
  • trajan2448 - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    Still publishing Crossfire numbers as legit, despite multiple sites showing numerous runt frames which never reach the screen? This is disingenuous, to say the least. Reply
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    What's more disengenuous is the haswell review. Glowing review of an incremental more of the same from intel.

    This article actually recommends a 2500 k.

    That says it all!
    Reply
  • ninjaquick - Tuesday, June 04, 2013 - link

    "If you were buying new, the obvious answer would be looking at an i5-3570K on Ivy Bridge rather than the 2500K"

    Ian basically wanted to get a relatively broad test suite, at as many performance points as possible. Haswell, however, is really quite a bit quicker. More than anything, this article is an introduction to how they are going to be testing moving forward, as well as a list of recommendations for different budgets.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now