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Driving and Racing

We use Dirt 3 as a quick and meaningful benchmark quite a fair bit at NitroWare for several reasons

  • Reasonable DX 11 effects that wont bring a system to its knees
  • Benchmark mode is realistic of actual game play and includes randomised AI
  • Scales well on different CPU/GPUs and supports up to 8 CPU threads.
  • Commonly owned and tested,quick to run

Driving and Racing Benchmarks

We have since depreciated Dirt2 (we used it as it was based on an older engine and showed slightly different trends) but 960 combined with the newer NVIDIA drivers shows a 1/3rd improvement in performance at 1200p Ultra with 4X MSAA which is substantial.

Trackmania is a popular free to play online racer using DirectX 9 but the age and nature of the game means it cant take advantage of the newest hardware and shows modest FPS even on systems such as a 5960X with a GTX980 or 290X, never the less again GM206 shows a gain here.

Now you may say, ah-hah! you only tested one resolution on Dirt3, how does it perform at lower resolutions, details and AA compared to the other cards? Well we have you covered here. For specific games we perform a top-to-bottom scaling test covering different resolutions, details and AA levels.

Dirt 3 Benchmark scaling - GTX 960

GTX 760 and R9 270X were very similarly matched at original time of testing, 135 FPS MIN for low resolution (likely CPU bound) and 75 v 81 FPS at Ultra with 8x AA.

In comparison at the low end 960 increases this by 10 fps and the top end by a whopping 10 to 15 FPS combined with memory intensive 8x AA, so much for being starved of bandwidth.

Overall, GTX 960 shows a 10-20 FPS increase over both GTX 760 and R9 270X.