It was merely a couple of months ago when Codemasters announced that they'd be delaying their hotly upcoming and much anticipated title Colin McRae DiRT 2, at that time nobody really understood the dynamic of delaying the PC version -- while Codemasters were already releasing the console version. As it turned out, ATI was really keen to see high-profile titles in the Christmas season carrying support for DirectX 11.
Codemasters takes advantage of DirectX 11 features to add some more realism to the racing environment. You'll notice an improved appearance of water with the help of displacement mapping and other surfaces as well as complex crowd animations which are tessellated for richer detail.
Image Quality setting:
16x Anisotropic Filtering
All settings maxed out
Now, for Dirt 2 we unfortunately had to ditch all results we had made in the past and I thing there will be a number of websites out there that made this istake. The previous time demo test was based on the DX11 demo of the game. The demo code however will only work at DX9 for the GeForce GTX 400.
We swapped out the time demo to the full version of the game, you guessed it... our lovely recorded time demo refused to work. Therefore we moved onwards and completely started all results from scratch to make sure both cards are rendering PROPERLY at DirectX 11.
For the freaks, this is the Baja level with Baha_Iron trail, eight cars and the trial is at night time so we have nice volumetric smoke and lighting. The new time demo is in fact a little harder on the GPU then our previous one. Gorgeous to see really.
Now honestly, I expected a big win for ATI in this title since they handed a big sack of money to Codemasters to get this title DX11 supported at ATI's 5000 series launch. But as it turns out, the cards perform virtually the same with NVIDIA actually taking a small lead in the lower resolutions as well.
When we place the focus on the GTX 480 we see similar behavior, surprisingly good performance for Dirt 2 alright, which should be considered to be a DX11 ATI title.
And here an overview of some more cards, all at 19x12 - DX11 - 8xAA - 16xAF and the very best settings.
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