DiRT 3 Benchmark


DiRT 3 is the latest installment in the series developed by Codemasters and it’s one of the best rally simulators. Let’s see how it performs in various operating systems.

Before I start I need to say something: I was planning on benchmarking DiRT 3 on Windows 8 too but for some unknown reason the game won’t start in either x32 or x64. Pretty weird since all the software/drivers needed are installed. I tested a few games on 8 and they work pretty fine. Brink works, Crysis 2 works, Fallout New Vegas works. I guess not all games will run on 8 since it’s just an alpha release but if a game works I’ll benchmark it. For DiRT 3 I will drop Windows 8.

Here are the new test system specs:

Test Hardware | DiRT 3

Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)

3.3 GHz, 6 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings disabled, Turbo Boost disabled.

Motherboard MSI P67-C43-B3, Intel P67 Chipset
Memory 2 x 2 GB DDR3 1600MHZ
Hard Drive WD 500 GB SATA III
Graphics Card Sapphire HD6950 1 GB
Power Supply Corsair TX 650 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating Systems

Windows XP SP3 x32

Windows XP SP2 x64

Windows 7 SP1 x32

Windows 7 SP1 x64

DirectX DirectX 9 | DirectX 11
Graphics Driver AMD Catalyst 11.5 WHQL

As you can see I will test DiRT 3 on Windows XP x32/x64 and Windows 7 x32/x64 but there is a problem since the game has DX11 and XP doesn’t. Before I show you the graphs I just want to say that this isn’t really a XP vs 7 benchmark but more of an x32 vs x64 one.

DiRT 3 Benchmark

DiRT 3 Benchmark

As you can see differences between x32 and x64 are almost none. Again I am not testing XP against 7 because the game runs in DX9 in XP and in DX11 in Windows 7 so no fair contest.

If I were to say something about the differences between the two operating systems I’d say: graphics ( what a shocker). The lighting in XP is a bit dull while in Windows 7 it’s great, the Sun’s flare seems almost real, the color of the cars look great. There are a lot of differences between Dirt 3 played in DX9 and DX11: better shadows for dx11, better car colors for dx11, less jaggies for dx11 (although both DX9 and DX11 have jaggies it seems to me that DX11 has a lot less) etc.

Dirt 3 is one of the very few games that are worth letting performance go for looks. So if you have a DX11 graphics card and Windows 7 I’d say screw the extra 20 frames and go for it ! You’ll end up with a beautifull unplayable game :D

In conclusion DiRT 3 is well optimized with no big differences in performance when played in x32 or x64 operating systems. The game’s DX11 is really worth it despite the performance loss.

Forgot to say that if you play Split Screen expect your FPS to drop with about 50%.

In the end let’s see how DiRT 3 performs with 2, 3 and 4 cores, this is a huge surprise actually. This is Windows 7 SP1 x64 on the same test system. The game won’t start on 1 core.

DiRT 3 Benchmark

DiRT 3 Benchmark

Though with a small difference DiRT 3 is actually faster with just 2 cores than with 3 or 4 cores, this is a paradox. I repeated the benchmark with the same results…

  • Felix A.

    I made a benchmark but how will it work ? Will it change my current graphic settings ?
    CPU Name : Intel(R) Core(TM)i5 CPU 760 @ 2,80GHz
    GPU Name : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
    GPU RAM : 1023 MB
    GPU Driver Version :
    Resolution : 1920×1080@60Hz
    Graphics Quality : Ultra
    AA Mode : 8xqcsaa
    DirectX Version : 11
    Minimum FPS : 4,263231E+07
    Average FPS : 4,768606E+07
    Minimum Milliseconds : 2,345639E+07
    Average Milliseconds : 2,097049E+07

    Please write an Email to me if you know how I should set my Graphic Settings :)

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  • so sick

    have you ever tried the game in DX9 then changed the config file and played it in DX11?…the difference is just immense. The fact that you cant see the entire screen here for neither dx version makes it less clear. the blend dx9 side makes the detailed “ïn depth” high res textures of the dx11 side look a little pale and vice versa is the DX9 side saved a little by the shiny DX11 side…